sexta-feira, 21 de fevereiro de 2020

O NAUFRÁGIO DO BIRKENHEAD

O NAUFRÁGIO DO BIRKENHEAD
(no National Maritime Museum)

O evento que deu origem ao protocolo “mulheres e crianças primeiro”

Embora não exista base legal para o protocolo de “mulheres e crianças primeiro” em Direito Marítimo Internacional, essa prática não oficial de se carregar botes salva-vidas com mulheres e crianças primeiro é uma prática estabelecida que pode ser rastreada até a era vitoriana. É um relato de cavalheirismo que inspirou pintores e poetas, além de estabelecer o padrão para capitães e oficiais da marinha no século 21 e começou com o desastre de um navio chamado HMS (O Navio de Sua Majestade) Birkenhead, em 1852.
Esse procedimento faz com que haja um recomeço de vida para as sobreviventes que tiveram o infortúnio de participar de um evento como o descrito abaixo.
O Birkenhead foi lançado ao mar em 30 de dezembro de 1845 e foi um dos primeiros navios de casco de ferro construídos para a Marinha Real Britânica. Inicialmente, o Birkenhead pretendia ser uma fragata a vapor, mas por razões técnicas, ela foi convertida em um navio de guerra. Ela era o navio de transporte de tropas mais rápido e confortável da época, capaz de alcançar o Cabo da Boa Esperança em menos de 40 dias.
Infelizmente, a viagem de 1852 do Birkenhead em direção ao Cabo seria sua última. Partiu da Inglaterra com a finalidade de levar tropas para a África do Sul. Depois de uma breve parada no porto de Simonstown para reabastecer com suprimentos, o navio partiu desse porto em 25 de fevereiro de 1852, com cerca de 640 homens, mulheres e crianças a bordo na última pernada da jornada até a Baía de Algoa, seu destino final. Com o objetivo de obter uma melhor velocidade, o capitão decidiu que o navio seguisse a 4,8 km da costa da África do Sul. Navegava a uma velocidade constante de 8 nós (aproximadamente 15,7 km/h) e usava apenas seus motores a vapor.
Por volta das 2 horas da manhã, o Birkenhead tragicamente atingiu uma rocha submersa. Embora esta rocha fosse visível quando o mar estava agitado, dificilmente era observada quando estava calmo, como no dia em que o Birkenhead passava por lá. Abriu-se um grande buraco no casco do navio e a água inundou a parte da frente do convés inferior, matando centenas de soldados enquanto dormiam.
O capitão, numa tentativa de deslocar o navio da rocha, ordenou que os motores revertessem — apenas infligindo maiores danos ao Birkenhead. Outra colisão aconteceu. Em questão de segundos, os compartimentos dianteiros do navio foram inundados e o navio começou a afundar.
Os soldados restantes se reuniram no convés e aguardaram ordens de seus oficiais. Uma parte da tripulação recebeu instruções para cuidar dos botes salva-vidas; os outros soldados receberam ordens de permanecer no convés mais alto do navio.  
Devido à falta de cuidados com os cabos para baixar os botes, dois deles ficaram inoperantes. Outro bote salva-vidas se encheu de água imediatamente por manutenção inadequada. Os passageiros ficaram com apenas três botes, lamentavelmente inadequados para todos escaparem, pois dois dos maiores barcos com capacidade para 150 pessoas não estavam entre eles. Consequentemente, a tradição naval de “mulheres e crianças primeiro” foi inaugurada, com várias sendo remadas para segurança.
O capitão mandou jogar os cavalos ao mar (oito dos nove animais conseguiram nadar até a praia). Um tenente-coronel que assumira o comando de todo o pessoal militar, conseguiu manter o mais alto nível de disciplina entre as tropas, se reunindo na seção de popa, que era a única parte do navio ainda flutuando. Poucos minutos depois, esta seção também afundou e, pouco antes de desaparecer completamente, o capitão gritou: “Todos aqueles que sabem nadar, pulem no mar e sigam até os botes!”. O tenente-coronel discordou dessa ordem porque percebeu que se os homens nadassem para os botes salva-vidas, pela sobrecarga, os pequenos botes afundariam também, colocando o resto dos passageiros em perigo. Ordenou que suas tropas permanecessem a bordo, e a maioria fez isso, exceto por vários soldados que tentaram nadar até os barcos.
Os bravos soldados ficaram parados por mais de 20 minutos, agarrados aos restos do navio. Mais tarde, alguns deles chegaram à praia depois de nadar por 12 longas horas. Infelizmente, a maioria dos homens se afogou ou acabou sendo devorada por tubarões. No dia seguinte, uma escuna encontrou um dos botes salva-vidas e depois chegou aos destroços do Birkenhead. Encontrou-se 40 sobreviventes agarrados a pedaços de madeira.
Apenas 193 pessoas sobreviveram ao naufrágio. Hoje, um farol se encontra no local do acidente, sinalizando para todos os navios que chegam lá perto que há um recife perigoso e mortal nas proximidades.
Esse terrível desastre é lembrado não apenas por causa do grande número de mortos; tornou-se também a primeira evacuação marítima em que o protocolo conhecido como “mulheres e crianças primeiro” foi aplicado. Logo após o naufrágio do Birkenhead, essa famosa frase e regra se tornou um procedimento-padrão, dando assim nova esperança de um recomeço.

segunda-feira, 25 de novembro de 2019

A FLEUMA BRITÂNICA


Em meio à discussão sobre a saída do Reino Unido da União Europeia (BREXIT), os britânicos fazem uma pausa para debater o que realmente importa: o chá.

Após a jogadora americana de futebol feminino Alex Morgan ter feito um gesto em campo como se estivesse tomando chá, na derrota das inglesas pelas americanas, durante a Copa do Mundo de Futebol Feminino em 2019, reacendeu-se o debate entre os leitores do The Times de Londres, o segundo jornal diário da Inglaterra, sobre um assunto que há muito aflige o povo britânico: quando se serve chá em uma xícara, o que deve ser colocado primeiro, o chá ou o leite?

Um leitor, em uma carta para o editor do jornal, ponderou se Morgan, a jogadora de futebol, derramava seu leite primeiro. Sugeriu que é correto colocar o leite em primeiro lugar. Isso inspirou uma resposta no dia seguinte de outro leitor, discordando dele e desencadeou uma enxurrada de cartas ao editor, as mais interessantes sendo as seguintes:

Numa das cartas, um leitor escreveu que se tratava de um problema social, pois o uso de porcelana barata tende a rachar a louça quando se coloca o chá quente primeiro. Então, deve-se despejar primeiramente o leite que diminui a temperatura, assim evitando acidentes.

Outro leitor argumentou que o chá pode manchar a porcelana e colocando o leite inicialmente, reduz esse efeito deletério.

Nova missiva disse que o chá deve ser despejado primeiro, para se determinar quanto leite é necessário. George Orwell, no seu artigo de 1946 “Uma Bela Xícara de Chá” também recomenda que se coloque o chá antes do leite, pelo mesmo motivo.

Ou seja, os britânicos não perdem uma oportunidade para ficarem agitados e discutir assuntos triviais, porém isso oferece um tipo de visão para o caráter fleumático dessa gente.

As páginas de cartas dos jornais britânicos são um instrumento sensível, que pode ser usado para detectar ondas de consternação que emanam do coração. Por exemplo, o editor de um jornal semanal decidiu eliminar progressivamente o "senhor" como a forma de se endereçar cartas ao editor, e ficou tão inundado de cartas raivosas que ele prontamente reverteu a decisão.

Dezenas de cartas revisadas numa Antologia de 2017 “As Grandes Cartas do The Times” do historiador James Owen, mostrou que, via de regra, não eram inspiradas por eventos históricos, mas sim por assuntos bastante banais.

Cita-se o exemplo de por que os pais da noiva devem pagar as despesas do casamento, por que ratos parecem apenas roer as teclas pretas dos órgãos das igrejas, por que as calças masculinas têm que ter bainha, as formas de finalizar uma carta de uma maneira elegante e amigável. Tudo isso leva a discussões sem fim, porém calorosas.

Como ele mesmo disse: só alguém britânico se empolgaria assim.

baseado em artigo publicado em
 The New York Times (eletrônico)
de 08.07.2019


sexta-feira, 31 de maio de 2019

Nova Edição de O BAÚ DO PASSADO

O Baú do Passado foi escrito em 1993 e estava esgotado há bastante tempo. Decidi fazer uma extensa revisão antes de publicá-lo novamente. Esta é uma edição particular que não será encontrada em livrarias.


O livro pode ser adquirido, encomendando-o pelo 
E-mail wwharris@gmail.com. 
Valor (incluindo frete) R$50,00.


sexta-feira, 18 de janeiro de 2019

AS PROSAS DE HARRIS



Márcia Etelli Coelho é Presidente da 
Regional de São Paulo da 
Sociedade Brasileira de Médicos Escritores
e apresentou o poema na Pizza Literária em 17 de janeiro de 2019

domingo, 25 de novembro de 2018

OLHANDO O DEDÃO DO PÉ


Rodolfo Civile era fundamentalmente um romancista. Seu primeiro livro, publicado em 1993, intitulado “A História de uma Família Calabresa”, tinha como principal protagonista seu avô, Antonio Civile. Em maio de 1994, foi realizado em São Paulo XV Congresso Nacional da SOBRAMES e ele foi premiado com a medalha de prata por seu segundo romance “Olhando o Dedão do Pé”.
Eu era um neófito em assuntos literários, tendo ingressado neste sodalício apenas dois anos antes, porém já publicara meu primeiro romance “O Baú do Passado”.
Não sei se foi por isso que Civile me solicitou que revisasse os originais de seu livro. Entreguei-lhe a revisão na forma de um livro digitado e encadernado com espiral, além de um disquete que posteriormente utilizou como base para a publicação do livro. Tenho até hoje uma cópia do livro digitado, além de cópia da carta que lhe mandei: “Civile — Esta é a minha maneira de lhe dizer o quanto gostei e apreciei o seu livro ‘Olhando o Dedão do Pé”. Forte abraço — Walter —16.09.94 (Livro + disquete).
Por ocasião da publicação do livro pela JAC Editora, o Civile pediu que fizesse a apresentação do mesmo. Descrevi que se tratava da história de duas famílias calabresas radicadas no Bexiga, em São Paulo, além de um médico que as conhecia bem, física e emocionalmente. Sofrimento, dor, paixão e tragédia e amor se mesclavam, com os personagens e fatos se desenrolando diante de nossos olhos, descritos pelo digno facultativo. Quando a história termina, lamentei que o fim tivesse chegado. Queria mais.
A sua dedicatória para Marisa e para mim data de 08.02.95, muito embora o lançamento só tivesse ocorrido em 16.08.95, no Hall livre da biblioteca do Centro Cultural São Paulo, na Rua Vergueiro, 1000, uma realização da Prefeitura de São Paulo, através da Secretaria Municipal da Cultura, com apoio cultural da Novelli karvas.
Civile nunca se esqueceu de minha singela atuação em “Olhando o Dedão do Pé”, anunciando aos quatro ventos o que havia feito e pela qual estava eternamente grato.
Sempre alegre e brincalhão, sabia ser solene quando a ocasião demandava. Sua vida no Bexiga e suas observações sobre o cotidiano demonstravam sua grande capacidade de discernimento e análise do ser humano.
Rodolfo Civile era único e fará muita falta em nosso meio, bem como, tenho certeza, em outros locais também.

Rodolfo Civile era médico, formado em
1952. Fez parte da Sobrames –SP. Faleceu
em 07.10.2018, aos 93 anos de idade.

sábado, 18 de agosto de 2018

THE QUEST FOR FLEXIBLE ROCK



Ouro Preto is a town of 70,000 inhabitants, about 100 kilometres from Minas Gerais State’s capital, Belo Horizonte and is world-famous for its colonial architecture and the works of sacred art by Aleijadinho, whose real name was Antônio Francisco Lisboa (1730-1814) considered by many as the greatest name of the American Baroque. His nickname means deformed, as he was a sculptor that had to have chisels tied to the stumps of his hands so he could work.
When I told a Scottish friend of mine that I would be spending a few days in Ouro Preto, he made me a rather curious request: to buy him a flexible rock that I had never heard of. In fact, I doubted its very existence. However, I found references to it on the Internet, and in Ouro Preto!
Even so, I remained unbelieving, incapable of imagining how it would look like.
It seems to be an unfamiliar rock, for most people questioned in Ouro Preto had never even heard of it. My friend had the same difficulty when he was there years ago. He knew more about the flexible rock than most locals. It was even suggested to me that it might be soapstone, so well-known in Minas Gerais State thanks to Aleijandinho’s works of art with that material, but I was sure its consistency would not make it flexible.
I hunted for information in the historical centre of the old capital of Minas Gerais. At a jeweller’s, the manager told me it was a very rare rock indeed, but could not tell me where to find it. I insisted on my search when visiting a market for articles made from soapstone. At one of the stalls, it was suggested that I look for a dealer who sold stones of various types and who also had a stall in one corner of the marketplace. The man knew about flexible rock and affirmed that it was rare and the only place we could possibly see it was at the Ouro Preto Mineralogy Museum, a few blocks away.
On entering the museum, my first thought was regarding the flexible rock. And, lo and behold, there it was in a glass frame with a wooden base and supports to hold it upright inside the glass. Its identification was written at the bottom: flexible quartzite. Seeing is believing!
Quartzite is a metamorphic formed rock. The term itacolumite was first used for a Brazilian quartzite thought to be a new type of rock in 1822. Temperature and pressure are factors that influence in its formation, resulting in quartz-rich sandstone. Such conditions fuse the quartz grains together forming a dense and hard rock. Its various colours depend on the impurities found in the rock itself. Its main use is in pavements, ornamentation in buildings and swimming pools and for building foundations due to its high resistance.
Flexible quartzitic rocks are found not only in Brazil. It seems that the flexibility of the rock is the result of well-interlocked junctions of the quartz grains that are separated by uniformly-narrow inter-granular void spaces supposedly caused by chemical dissolution of grain boundaries of quartz. According to modern analytical methods, the flexibility has been shown to be due to its porosity that permits an interstitial movement where the interlocked grains are held together in spite of their displacement. These factors can cause low cementation of the crystals, making that part of the rock flexible.
There were samples for sale. I have my doubts as to the rarity of flexible rock, as there were various samples to choose from. Flexible quartzite resembles sandstone and is quite hard just like other rocks. I examined and took a slab of rock measuring sort of 40 x 20 cm, and cut to a thickness of about one centimetre. It has to be lifted upright just as you do with a sheet of glass or it will break in two. In this position you can admire its flexibility in all its splendour, moving like a jelly. It is hard to believe, but the darn rock is really flexible!
Having found the rock was quite a victory. Returning home I sent an E-mail to my Scottish friend. He found it rather strange that I had difficulty in finding the quartzite, as he had seen it at the Mineralogy Museum. He only did not tell me that before, because I had not asked him! When he was in Ouro Preto he had not been able to buy a sample.
It was fine not to know where to find the quartzite. It just made the adventure of discovery more interesting. The fact that it is not well known makes me believe that it is hardly looked for, forcing people that have heard of its non-legendary existence to the conclusion that it is a very rare rock indeed.
It was necessary for a foreigner visiting Brazil, coming from faraway Scotland, to tell us about the existence of this interesting rock. The sample was adequately conditioned so it would not break and was given to him as a memento in having given me the pleasure of discovering another mystery of our country.
Three or four years later, I made contact with the Mineralogy Museum to order slabs for my sons and myself. They were conditioned in a heavy wooden box and sent over by post.


References
— Oliveira, Flávio Roberto de – degree in Geography - Federal Institute of Minas Gerais (Ouro Preto campus), 2015
Wikipedia (Internet)




YOU

You chase me
You follow me
Be it step-by-step
Be it with your looks

Those green eyes
Sparkling and roguish
With a playful air
Saying they agree to anything

Lying down in my lap
You murmur satisfied
Your warmth extols
Your sleep is touching

You awaken at the slightest sound
You stretch and yawn
With a penetrating gaze
You want to play again.

A nibble here
A slight bite there
You are reprimanded
Though it is painless

I caress you once more
You purr satisfied
Let out a meow
And settle down again



SNOWSTORM!

IT COULD HAVE LOOKED LIKE THIS
(Source: the Internet)

The snow was falling incessantly. Whoever was looking through the huge window in the Great Hall of the five-star Italian Alps hotel thought the scene beautiful, with white flakes covering the thick conifers on the mountain slopes. It was still mid-afternoon. The fireplace ablaze warmed the atmosphere and delicious wines from northern Italy were savoured. The chatter of voices mingled with the crackling from the fireplace. Some guests sat in armchairs reading newspapers, magazines or books, others were dozing. There were puffs scattered around the room, and those sitting on the floor were leaning against them. It was a quiet place for wealthy people.
Alice was there wondering how on earth Marcelo would return from the village at the foot of the mountain over fifty kilometres from the hotel. In this weather, the roads would be in terrible conditions. The intense cold was worrying because when the roads froze, the thin layer of ice created made the vehicles skid. Even though this all crossed her mind, she was mostly engrossed in entertaining their two children, aged four and six.
The weather was relentless. It was snowing more and more. Suddenly there was a crash, and a great deal of snow fell from the roof of the hall, falling in front of the large window. All the children ran there. The scenario was that of snow collected under the window, while part of it rolled down the mountainside. The boys chatted excitedly about that unusual scene. Alice was trying to calm them down. The manager thought that the hotel would now be isolated until the storm passed.
Alice talked to Marcelo over the mobile, explaining what had happened, advising him not to return until it stopped snowing. The children were playing 'catch' with other children in the room. Several guests decide to play cards, seated around square tables covered with traditional green felt cloths. It was a good way to pass the time since they had little else to do.
Towards the end of the afternoon, as it began to get dark, waiters entered the hall carrying baskets of bread, jam and cheese, besides hot tea in teapots and milk, along with other drinks such as beer, juices, and water, and more wine. Everyone went over to help themselves at a long table against the wall opposite the great window. Alice's children ran and screamed around people who were eating and sipping their drinks around the table. At a certain point, the mischievous boys slipped under the table and began poking at the guests' legs. Alice was forced to get underneath to grab them, but they dodged her, laughing at their prank. That was when a new rumble was heard.
The guests paid little attention to the fact, as it was probably more snow moving from the roof. Suddenly, however, there was a violent jolt and the wall opposite the large window exploded as if it had been made of cardboard, throwing tons of snow, earth, and stones into the room, crushing everything and everybody in front of it. If that was not enough, losing the support of the walls, the building of the two-story hotel next door collapsed, completely blocking the hall's exit and escape route. The hall's ceiling, receiving the full impact of the avalanche, fell on all. The avalanche continued from the top of the mountain, burying the hotel in snow and rubble so that nothing remained. Just as reminders of the disaster, there were remnants of the conifer forest scattered along the avalanche's path. Then there was complete silence.
Alice opened her eyes and saw nothing. She was in total darkness. Close to where she was, she heard a child whimper. Not understanding what had happened, she tried to get up and hit her head on something hard. She put her hand up and felt a flat, wood-like structure above her. She remembered that she was under the table when everything went dark. She must have fainted. Suddenly it came to her why she was there; she had been trying to control her children. She called out to them and, to her delight, the one who was crying answered and, soon after, the other boy also heeded her call, although he was further away.
She still did not know what had happened. Barely able to move her arms, she dug into her pockets and discovered her mobile. She switched it on and by its dim light saw that she was under the table, isolated by earth and snow in front of her. To her left was a great vacuum, and to her right, about half a meter away, was her youngest son, bleeding from a cut on his forehead. Moving her mobile a little farther, she saw that her other son was very still because his legs seemed to be trapped in some debris. Alice was terrified and unable to move from fear. Trying to calm down, she asked her son to approach her slowly and carefully. He came along, still whimpering as she pulled a handkerchief from her pocket to wipe his little face.
Finally realizing what must have happened and that they were lucky in having survived, she asked the boy to go over to his brother and try freeing his legs. Alice squirmed, finally managing to lie on her stomach and, using her elbows to get around, crawled over to her children. She had to stop several times, for her movements brought snow and earth down upon her. Digging and removing the rubble with their hands, they were able to release the boy. She urged them both to follow her to the other end of the hole where they were because it was larger there. She asked them to stay close to her, trying to comfort them, explaining what most likely had happened, and to keep them quiet so as not to consume the oxygen too quickly, for soon, soon, relief would arrive and they would be rescued. The younger son cried out for his father and the older one said he must already know about the accident. Alice was not so sure of that, who would warn him? She was stunned when her son suggested that she call him over the mobile. It had not even occurred to her to do so. Turning on her mobile, she saw that there was a signal. I wonder? She thought. With trembling hands, she punched in Marcelo's number. 
Marcelo was in a snack bar in the village where he was waiting for the weather to improve. He was eating a hamburger with a friend when the mobile rang. It was still snowing heavily. It was very dark outside. Alice’s voice was hysterical, as she told him what had happened. He spoke briefly to his friend who left the snack bar for the police station across the road to alert I Carabinieri. The chief on duty rushed in, took the mobile from Marcelo's hands and spoke into it, trying to calm the girl in distress, so he could obtain precious information about the disaster.
The conclusion was that there had been an avalanche and that the hotel had been hit. The chief assured Marcelo that they knew the region perfectly, and even though it was a dark night, a rescue group would already leave by land. Marcelo and his friend wanted to go along together with the group and were accepted, provided they obeyed orders. At dawn, in better weather, according to the weather forecast, helicopters would fly over there too.
In less than fifteen minutes, the police station was teeming with soldiers and volunteers from the nearby villages accustomed to this type of action. They followed in three vehicles loaded with tools and Marcelo followed in the pickup van he had rented. They were lucky that even at low temperatures, there were no frozen tracks, just a lot of snow. They managed to make the journey in a very short time indeed.

IT COULD HAVE LOOKED LIKE THIS
(Source: the Internet)

When they reached the height of the road where there was a detour going up to the hotel, there was nothing left, no main road, no detour. Everything was covered with snow, earth, stones and bits of walls and concrete with twisted iron. They climbed the slope on foot, using powerful torchlights to light the way.
It was Marcelo who first identified an area that looked like part of the hotel. They all carried iron rods, used specifically to pierce the snow to try to find firmer structures underneath the soft surface. If it were the hotel there, it would be under a thick blanket of snow. They did not even consider moving the fallen trees because they were too heavy. Marcelo began systematically to stick the rod into the snow. At some point, he felt some resistance. He called the others who agreed that something was down there. They started digging and came on the object: it was a broken wooden door. Affixed to the door was a number, showing that it was the door of a first-floor apartment. They managed to pull it out, but underneath it was snow and the rod revealed no more resistance.
Marcelo called Alice by mobile but could not get in touch with her. Had her battery run out? He had every hope of finding his family, but time was pressing. He already knew they depended on a pocket of air to stay alive. He was sweating even though it was cold, from constantly jabbing the snow with the rod. He felt extremely anxious and tired. Despite being attentive to the task before him, his thoughts wandered, reminiscing about the best moments he had had with Alice, their courtship, their engagement, their marriage, and the birth of their children. It had been an excellent life. She and the boys did not deserve this fate.
Judging that the apartment door could have moved down with the impact of the avalanche, they went up the slope a little more always poking the snow with the iron rods. Again, they encountered a resistance and dug. They came to a twisted structure that looked like a roof and hit it with shovels. Marcelo's friend asked for silence because he thought he had heard a sound that was not an echo. He knocked again and sure enough, they heard a faint, distant sound. They called more men and everyone started working on the structure until they opened a hole. With one of the torchlights, they lit up the place. It was a room with all the furniture broken or tumbled and there were four people inside. One was lying with his leg twisted in an impossible angle and bleeding. The others seemed fine. They widened the hole and entered the room. They managed to remove the guests. The wounded man was put on a stretcher that one of the soldiers brought up. The rescued guests explained that the apartment was located on the second floor of the hotel. The chief determined who would take the wounded man and the other guests down to the cars below, as he began to discuss the situation with the rescuers.
If that apartment had borne the burden, there could be other rooms in the same situation with people inside. There was no way to access the hallway through the door that was blocked by debris. The only solution would be from above. Although he had never paid much attention to the design of the hotel, Marcelo recalled that the Great Hall was a projection to the right of the apartments when looking up the mountainside. The rescue of his family would have to be done that way too.
At that moment, Marcelo’s mobile rang. Alice was very distraught, becoming more at ease knowing that Marcelo was close by. He explained what they were doing and assured her that he would get them out of there soon. She gathered her kids closer, not only to feel safer but also because it was very cold in that place. They tried to be very quiet. She let them fall asleep. It was impossible for her to sleep. She did not suffer from claustrophobia; however, the difficulty of getting around made her feel desperate, and she thanked God that the boys slept so as not to witness her anguish.
She trembled visibly as the mobile rang again. Marcelo, his voice choked, wanted to know how they were. It was already dawning and they had searched for the hall all night long. When they were almost losing hope, a soldier stumbled, suffering a violent fall. After rescuing him, they went over to see what had caused the fall and saw that it was the tip of a rooftop. The roof was gradually removed, revealing a Dantesque scene, with shredded bodies all over the place. Digging frantically, they made it to the table. There was no way to dig around it due to heavy tree trunks that lay directly in front of it. Marcelo warned his wife that they were going to saw the table with a chainsaw and for her to be careful.
Time was running out. The boys had woken up and had difficulty breathing. Alice also felt the air thinning. With trembling hands, she tried to make contact with Marcelo with her mobile, but to no avail, as she could not turn it on. The battery had run out. Suddenly they heard the chainsaw cutting into the table near where the older son had been with his legs trapped. Alice thought she really would not have the strength to get over there. In a matter of minutes, a part of the table was removed, but the table top began to lean dangerously, almost blocking the passage through which they were to reach the opening. Alice asked the boys to go first, and that she would follow behind. Slowly, they managed to reach the aperture and were hoisted out by strong hands and soon they were being held by their father. The day was already bright and clear. Several survivors were being transported to the nearest hospitals by helicopter. The dead were placed side by side to be transported later.
Beneath the long table, Alice crawled by her elbows to the opening. Her strength was waning and her breathing harder and harder. She saw clearly that the displacement of the tabletop had left a very narrow space for her to pass. It crossed her mind that she should have been on a diet and thus thinner, she could pass more easily. She even giggled. She heard a rustle of earth moving, and she only had time to reach forward in a silent call for help, and felt a heavy blow on her head, forcing her face to the ground. Then everything went black.
Marcelo saw when the gap they had made began to cave in and fill quickly with earth and debris. He started screaming for help and several volunteers and soldiers rushed to him and everyone began to dig frantically. He would yell and gesture asking everyone to hurry up or else his wife would die. It was necessary to take him away and hold him. After a few minutes, he managed to calm down and fell to his knees, hugging his two children, looking at the scene as if he already knew what would be the outcome.
After about an hour, they were able to remove the table and dig beneath it, until they reached Alice's limp and lifeless body.


sexta-feira, 22 de junho de 2018

SERÁ QUE TE MANDO FLORES?

Será que te mando flores
Juntamente co'um pequeno cartão
Ou preferes que te remeta apenas
Uma fatia de meu coração?

Essa dúvida cruel me assola
Desde o instante em que te vi,
Apaixonei-me por teus lindos olhos
Ao ficar bem perto de ti.

Meu desejo é incontrolável,
Não sei mais o que fazer
Pois vivo cada momento
Apenas para te rever.

Tu me deste um beijo gostoso
Vindo da pura inocência do teu ser
Depois me abraçaste, carinhosa
Que só me fez enlouquecer.

Passamos juntos momentos fugazes;
Quero voltar a segurar-te a mão,
Ficar de novo a teu lado
E dizer-te o que sinto no coração:

Tu és tão linda, Mulher!
Nos meus sonhos, de rara beleza
Beijar teus lábios rosados
Quero agora, com muita certeza.

Será, então, que te mando flores
Ou esse poema que fiz aqui?
A saudade que me oprime o peito
É do amor que nutro por ti.


sexta-feira, 18 de maio de 2018

RETRATO DE MÃE


Tradução do original em espanhol §

Existe uma mulher que tem algo de divino pela grandiosidade de seu amor,
E muito de um anjo pela incansável presteza de seus cuidados;
Uma mulher que, sendo jovem, tem as reflexões de uma anciã e, sendo velha, trabalha com a vitalidade da juventude;
Uma mulher que, se for ignorante, descobre os segredos da vida com mais clareza que um sábio;
E se for instruída, se acomoda à simplicidade das crianças;
Uma mulher que, sendo pobre, se satisfaz com a felicidade dos que ama;
Uma mulher que, sendo abastada, daria com bom grado suas riquezas para não sofrer o dissabor da ingratidão em seu coração;
Uma mulher que, sendo forte, se abala com o gemido de um infante;
Uma mulher que, sendo fraca, às vezes se reveste com a coragem de um leão;
Uma mulher que, enquanto estiver viva, não sabemos valorizar, por que a seu lado todas as dores são esquecidas;
Porém, depois de morta, daríamos tudo que somos e tudo que temos para revê-la, nem que fosse por apenas um instante, para poder receber dela um carinhoso abraço e escutar novamente sua voz;
Peço que não exija de mim o nome desta mulher, se não quiser que ensope de lágrimas esta folha, porque eu a vi passar por meu caminho;
Quando seus filhos crescerem, leia para eles esta página e eles lhe cobrirão de beijos;
Contará, então, que um humilde viajante, em pagamento pela rica acolhida recebida, deixou aqui para você e para eles, o Retrato de sua Mãe.


§ Monsenhor Ramón Ángel Jara Ruz nasceu em Santiago do Chile em 1852. 
  Chegou a cursar Direito na Universidade do Chile, no entanto em 1874 
  decidiu se tornar padre. Foi vigário de Valparaíso (1894-1898) e depois se
  tornou o bispo da cidade de Ancud (1898-1909), depois Bispo de La Serena,
  no Chile, em 1909 e faleceu na mesma cidade, em 1917.