2016, aniversário de black friday, desaparece para o mundo Fidel. Data importante, então, que, em circunstâncias outras, me guardaria para debate. Pelas melhores ou piores razões, discute-se por aí, afinal, e eu... Eu quero lá saber.
Importa, sim, que foi também esse o dia que escolheste para despedida. Após cinco dias de indizível sofrimento - carregados de uma tal ironia que parecia menorizar estes últimos nove anos que te sequestraram em doença e total imobilidade, assim como se fosse pouco, insuficiente para declaração - tomaste o assunto em mãos, fechaste o ciclo e decidiste, por fim, descansar. Escassas horas depois do nosso desalentado boa noite.
Saíste, discretamente. Escoltada pela noite, madrugada cedo, de mansinho, como sempre, tu.
Tu, que eras tão importante, minha Mãe grande, tão mais que a desagregada maioria, na tua bondade sem tréguas. É fácil tomar o mundo do amor quando se alberga um coração de passarinho, como o teu: todos são bons, existirá sempre, seja onde e como for, uma razão outra na origem de cada má escolha, atitude, erro, que temos de saber buscar e a obrigação de entender.
Só por isto, mas muito, tanto mais, essa imperdoável sexta feira deste ano de todos os castigos seria o dia da perda maior para todos os que te amavam, e mesmo para os que mal te conheciam mas a quem, de alguma maneira por inventar, que sempre acabavas por resolver, descobrias como chegar e aconchegar.
E foi essa a tua força de vida maior, que soubeste tornar verdadeiramente humana: a todos saber chegar. Ainda que o teu próprio mundo teimasse em ruir, repetida, recorrentemente, atingindo-te como um raio. Vezes sem conta, sem fim, até ao fim.
Estou agora ainda mais só, apesar do tanto amor, o imenso carinho que me tem rodeado estes dias, por quem sempre esteve a meu lado, tu sabes, e até por inesperadas mas fortes presenças que muito me têm surpreendido as convicções. Só, por dentro de mim. Tenho tantas saudades tuas, minha querida, mas não sei como dizer-to.
Que o tempo eterno te seja amigo, como mereces.
Até já, Mãezinha.
For these last 9 years I 've been writing to my mother, though posting only a few poems. This one, in english 'cause i wanted everyone to know her, was written exactly one week before she passed away, when her health condition was still under control.
‘… Cry, cry!
You Poets of my country
Trunks of the one single root
Of life that brought us together
And should'nt you be by my side
Then there would be no fado
Nor fadistas such as I’
- “Madness” refrain, written by Júlio de Sousa
This is fado. I was raised by its side. My mother was a stunning fado singer who never pursued a career. She was very popular in her youth and known way far from her home land, a tiny village in Alentejo.
Many years later, here in Lisbon, someone I had just met, a taxi driver who used to be friends with her during their youth, once told me: “we used to walk from the railway station up to the village, and when she was performing outdoors, at the main square, her voice echoed so clean, so magic and beautiful through those hills, it was such a special, overwhelming emotion, that we felt like God was talking to us”. His words.
But she never took a cent from those shows: though she was poor, she always donated her earnings to institutions specially the fire department, and i only knew about this when i moved to work in Alentejo, at age 44, and people who still talk about her let me know this and many other sweet stories about her. She was a rare beauty, they said, woman and soul.
At 17 (1951) she was offered a 2 year contract to sing in Belgium but her parents wouldn’t allow her to move abroad. She was forever devastated. But she was strong as hell. Period.
One day, I was 18, she was 40, we were attending a party at Mila’s - my cousin that I love like a sister - and as she always used to she asked my mother to sing. A young couple sitting near me immediately reacted and started complaining: oh no, not fado, not now!, the guy said, but beautiful Mila, wearing her most enchanting smile, politely asked him to shut the hell up.
So, my mom started to sing, acapella, and everyone in that garden suddenly became the witness of the purest silence a crowd can hold – the essential condition to listen to fado. She sounded much like young Amália but she was unique. At a certain point, I looked around and it had happened again: tears were rolling down everyone’s faces - no news, it was the usual reaction - but then I remembered to look at him, the complaining guy, and i noticed he was looking down, firmly facing the ground like he was staring at the grass... cause he was crying too. And this I will never forget.
When I was 8, my parents split up. It was mother’s decision, for so many, repeated, obvious reasons. And then she locked herself up in her room for a week, drinking milk only and having a sony tape recorder for her only company. Only I was allowed to enter that room. And for a week she sang to that tape recorder: it was her scream, her struggle to survive. And not before this she was able to let the tears out.
This is fado, when watched alive. Beautifully sung, like Amália did or, in this case, in Ana Moura’s rendition, you’ll have no words to describe it. But you have to be right there, with the singer. They carry us to another place from another reality within each one of us. And yet, only a few can do it, cause a great voice is mandatory and yet not enough to sing fado. And in my opinion, there’s only a few fadistas who carry the gift. They do not just sing it, they breathe, live and rise in it.
Mother was one of them. She can’t even speak today, her vocal cords are paralysed and she was subject to surgery 2 years ago. Strangely enough, she cannot stand listening to fado anymore. When she hears it on tv, her face shows she’s crying (she can’t cry anymore either) and she keeps moving her head left and right, stating a “no”.
This is “fado”, which also means “fate”. And this is he-art.
ANA MOURA – LOUCURA (MADNESS)
Dec 2, 2016