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  • Foto do escritorBernard Gontier

Holy Family


She's crazy, my sister. Said those slanted-eyed guys are our family. It was during a casual conversation, you know? At night, for no reason, she decided to tell the mysteries of the offspring. That we are like vines, which only produce good wine if grown on dry, arid land. They must suffer to attain primacy. In comfort, they produce miserable grapes, unworthy of a good taste. Maybe that will change.

You're crazy, I replied, dawn was already at a fifth and she was telling stories. Talked about the incident on Omaha Beach and that all those who were there, on either side, were our relatives. Very bellicose people, she explained, most of the time they fight for no reason. Then told me that we have blood relatives in Africa, Eurasia and Indonesia. That some get up early and others sleep late. I asked her if we have artists in the family, to which she replied enigmatically, quoting a person I had never heard of: László Moholy-Nagy preached that art and life can be integrated. "The true artist is himself a whetstone - he sharpens his senses - his eyes, mind and feelings and interprets ideas and concepts through their very core." Never heard of this guy, I replied, but she didn't seem surprised, just rectifying how numerous we are. I decided to turn on the television, the dawn was running like a song on the tip of her lips, she pointed her finger at the image, they were showing a report of a guy smoking a kind of pipe in the middle of the garbage. "Our cousin," she said, "and that other one too, see, now they're being beaten with a truncheon, the one who hits is also family, see, plus those, and that one over there...". I turned off the device, I needed air. I went out to the sidewalk to examine a star or two. She came back. I halfheartedly confessed that I didn't see anything sacred in our family. She reacted with good humor, exclaiming: what nonsense, we are sacred from head to toe, from root to improvisation, from the inside out and from the outside in, we are sacred as far as we even suspect. Then told me that we have uncles in Mexico, Australia, the Galapagos and Micronesia. And in places close to these. Do you believe, she asked, that some uncles talk like that? Like this? - I retorted. And she opened her mouth saying: “zaprojectovano taki sposób, obwiazujace wymogi zaleceniach, dolycza prowady”. Damn, where did you learn that? With family members, explained smiling. The day was breaking and she would tell me stories, a little out of place, I confess, about relatives who appeared on TV, or who were lying on the wide avenues, who lived on sands, in tenements, in tents, in deserts and forests, in paradise mansions and in happy homes like spring. And said again that some get up early and others sleep late and that the maxim “who is not born to serve is not fit to live” is very relative, while very true. At one point, I asked her to stop, because I felt like I was exhausted in the face of so many revelations, that I needed to take care of autumn, otherwise winter would be of little use, and that no matter how much she insisted, it was difficult for me to deal with the sacred and with the kinship, that I might need more time to process the information. She gave me a nice hug, a hug that conveyed deep breath. At that moment I wished that time would stop, so that I could understand something of what she had said and who knows, maybe one day I could explain it to someone else. A brother, perhaps. (Image: 19th century Indian kantha from Karun Thakar Collection with scenes of flora, fauna and people)

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