Publicado por: Mário Matos | 11/05/2009

Portuguese soul, romantic soul?

In a time when almost every day the closing of newspapers makes the news, the courage to launch a new paper, here in Portugal, is laudable. The new title is i. The name is, in my opinion, a bit unfortunate, but that’s beside the point. The new paper has won my adherence, both because of the contents and the format, close to the traditional Spanish daily ABC. It’s almost a daily magazine. The main themes are, until now, well chosen, and the articles dedicated to the immigration phenomenon and to the xenophobe tendencies which, in these times of crisis, begin to resurface, are opportune and balanced.

The team who are bringing us i everyday deserves a congratulation.

On Saturdays, the newspaper comes with the inevitable magazine, in this case a graphically challenging magazine edited by Pedro Rolo Duarte, a man who has in recent years given proof of competence in this field. The first issue’s theme is «we, romantics». Opening the issue is a quotation in the shape of a heart, of Miguel Esteves Cardoso, a journalist and writer. As Rolo Duarte says in the editorial page, this text goes around the Net, forwarded from mailbox to mailbox, from romantic to romantic. Or perhaps from romantics to others they expect to convert…

It’s a beautiful text, indeed, so I give you my translation below:

18_03 001

I want to praise pure love, blind love, stupid love, sick love, the only true love there is. I’m sick of small talk, sick of understandings, sick of service conveniences. I’ve never seen such brutish, such cowardly, such lazy lovers as those of nowadays. Incapable of a large gesture, of taking risks, of a stroke of boldness, they are a race of phonecallers and canteen buddies, they’re the guys of «alright, it’s ok», espresso drinkers, compromise achievers, jerks, ass-lickers, romance killers, romanticidals.

Does no one ever fall in love anymore? Does no one accept the pure passion, the endless longing, the sadness, the imbalance, the fear, the cost, the love, the illness that is like a cancer eating our hearts and at the same time singing in our chests?

Love is one thing, life is another. Love is not meant to be a helping hand. It’s not meant to be the relief, the support, the break, the pat on the back, the refreshing pause, the emergency rescue in the sinuous road of life, our sentimental «give us a hand, will you». I hate this contemporary mania of chicken soup and resting. I hate the new little couples. Wherever you look, you no longer see romance, shouting, craziness, knife stabs, hugs, flowers. Love has closed shop. It was taken over by the people in slippers and serenity.

Love is love. That’s the beauty of it. That’s the danger. Our love is not to understand ourselves, it’s not to help us, it’s not to make us happy. It can and it cannot. Doesn’t matter. It’s a matter of chance. Our love is not to love us, to take us suddenly to heaven, just in time to catch a bit of hell still open. Love is one thing, life is another. Life sometimes kills love. The «small life» is a murderous convenience. Pure love is not a means, it’s not an end, it’s not a beginning, it’s not a fate. Pure love is a condition. It has as much to do with everyone’s life as the weather. You don’t understand love. It’s not meant to be understood. Love is a state of those of feel.

Love is our soul. It’s our soul unbridled, running after what it doesn’t know, doesn’t catch, doesn’t let go, doesn’t understand. Love is one truth. That’s why illusion is necessary. The illusion is pretty. Doesn’t matter. Let us imagine and lie and dream whatever we want. Love is one thing, life is another. Reality can kill, love is prettier than life. Fuck life.

In a moment, in a glance, the heart is caught forever.  You love someone. However far, however difficult, however desperately. The heart keeps what our hands let go. And all day long and all life long, when the one you love isn’t there, it’s not him or her that keeps us company – it’s our love, the love we have for him or her. It’s not meant to be understood. It’s a sign of pure love not to understand, to love and not to have, to want and not keep hope, to hurt without getting injured, to live alone, sad, but in better  company than those who live happily. You cannot surrender, you cannot resist. Life is one thing, love is another. Life lasts for a lifetime; not so with love. A single minute of love can last a whole life. And be worth it also.

Miguel Esteves Cardoso, Último Volume, 1991


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