grave digger
Wednesday, June 30, 2004
There are some nights when, before going to bed, you think that the more you look for it, the less you are likely to find it.

My presence without me

The shelter house


You ask why I choose to live among the green hills;
I smile without answering, my heart at peace.
Peach blossoms float away with the stream;
There are heavens and earths beyond the world of men.

Li Bai (701-762)

Sunday, June 27, 2004
Like the shadow of a flower, I like
you. Like me, please. Like the light
enlightning, like me, please. I like
you. Like a flower enlightning, like
a shadow of light, I like you and I
like to believe that I am like you.

Saturday, June 26, 2004
I am not much of a dancer, but sometimes I feel that I should go out more often and dance

Thursday, June 24, 2004
Her face

I have never tried to know who she was. I could ask my mother or someone older than me, but I never wanted to. I know that she died in 1967, seven years before I was born. I also know her name.
For a while, I was in love with her. At least, that was the way I used to name the feeling I held after looking at her for a time that could not be measured in hours.
Back then, when I was away from her picture, I couldn't remember her face. At home, I would try and try to remember her face and I couldn't. I would miss her and I would suffer for not being able to see her face in my memory.
Today, I can always see her face clearly inside of me. I feel profound tenderness for her. I still don't want to know who she was. I feel that I know who she is.

English team supporters
The match between Portugal and England for the European Soccer Championship will start in about 45 minutes. I don't have a clue about the way the score will go. The whole country is waiting for this game. Everything will stop in 45 minutes.
I don't care that much about it. Still, I have just found a game that reminds me of some english team supporters. Play it here.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004
Talking alone
In my village, people always greet eachother when they pass by in the street. Sometimes, alone in the graveyard, I pass by the pictures that are in certain graves and I greet them. Sometimes, I feel a bit ridiculous doing so, but most times I feel that is a way of honouring those people and keeping them alive for a moment. Those are pictures of people that I met and that I used to greet. Those are people that are part of my past. Sometimes, I feel that I live more in the past than most people. I don't mind that. And when I say "good morning" or "good afternoon", I hear them answering back inside my head and I never feel that I am talking alone.


Here it is where children are buried. Commonly people call them "anjinhos" (little angels). They are usually buried in white caskets. In this part of the graveyard, death is a mixture of sadness and purity, like water, like morning brightness.

General view


Family grave

Tuesday, June 22, 2004
Main path

Main gate

(Regarding pictures, I managed to learn everything on my own. Here goes the first one. Wait for more in the next few days.)

Monday, June 21, 2004
MFRS (1912-2004)
People always addressed to her as "Dona" Maria de Fatima. Dona Maria de Fatima was married for about thirty-two years with the postman. My mother told me that her husband was really respect throught the whole village. Back then, he was one of the few men that knew how to read. They got married very young. She was about sixteen years old when her first son was born. She still had one more boy and a girl. Her husband died before turning fifty years old. They sent their children to live and study in Lisbon at very young age. They sent them to live with a sister of her husband. She was never very close with her two sons and her daughter because, back then, it was very difficult to have the money to travel often to Lisbon. The children grew more attached to their aunt than to their mother. Once her husband died, she couldn't exchange any more letters with her children because she couldn't read or write. She started to work in some rich people's house as a maid and the money was just enough to feed her and to send something to her children every month. Her daughter died with an heroin overdose in the eighties. People say that Dona Maria de Fatima stopped eating after that loss. That mith grew out of her extrem slimness. She weighted about fourty kilos. Both her sons graduated. Before retirement, one of them was a doctor, the other one was a teacher. They were her pride. They still live in Lisbon and they used to visit her twice a year. People say that they are polite and they were very kind to their mother. One of them bought a house in the village but never lived here. Both her sons had children and grandchildren. She never knew her great-grandchildren because she stopped noticing people a few years ago. Before that, her sons tried to persuade her to live with them in Lisbon. She always refused, saying that she didn't want to be a weight on their lives. After she lost her senses, they respected her will and hired a woman to take care of her. She never left her home.
During burial, her sons were very old. Their grandchildren were holding them by the arm.
With all respect, I hope that she may now get all the freedom and all the peace. I am sure that she was much more than her story. Still, I leave it here in the form of these simple words so that we may know that she once existed among us.

(I have been away for a few days because I needed to gather some information for the post that I will write about the woman that died last week. Also, I managed to get a digital camera and I took about fifty pictures that I already have in my computer. Now I just need to turn them into a jpeg file... Can anybody help me? I don't have a clue about how to do that...)

Thursday, June 17, 2004
I will keep in my drawer of secrets and of useless
objects the memory of a star shining in your eyes.

I will keep the memory of your lips, my lips,
and one unspoken word, the simple meaning of birds.

Morbid thoughts before falling asleep
After being buried, corpses lie in the casket, with their arms crossed over their chest, in complete darkness.
Covered with land. In total silence.
Right now, in the whole world, there are thousands of corpses lying in caskets, with their arms crossed over their chest, in complete darkness.
Covered with land. In total silence.

Death will come and will wear your eyes –
the death that is with us
from morning to evening, sleepless,
deaf, like an old regret
or an absurd vice. Your eyes
will be a futile word,
a cry kept silent, a silence.
Thus you see them every morning
when alone you stoop over yourself
in the mirror. O dear hope,
that day we too will know
that you are life and nothingness.

Death keeps an eye on each of us.
Death will come and will have your eyes.
It will be like giving up a vice,
like watching a dead face
re-emerge in the mirror,
like listening to closed lips.
We will go down into the vortex mute.

Cesare Pavese, Death Will Come and Will Wear Your Eyes

Wednesday, June 16, 2004
It never happened to me before. Yesterday, an old woman died at the city hospital. In the end of the afternoon, I heard the bells and, as usually, I called my mother. After a few minutes, she called me back, saying the name of the deceased woman. She was ninety two years old, was senile for a few years and I had never heard about her. My mother tried to explain me who she was but my mind was on other things and, after a while, she also started to talk about other things.
Today, during mid afternoon, I was at the graveyard, reading, enjoying the shade of my shelter house, when I got a phone call from my mother asking if I could pass in the grocery store and buy her a bottle of vinegar. I said that I would do that and, casually, she told me to leave as soon as the burrial of the woman was over, otherwise I wouldn't find the grocery store open. That was when I realized that I had forgot the whole thing. I ran to the storage, I grabed the tools I needed and I ran to the place where I started to dig until I was soaked with sweat and the palm of my hands were covered with blisters. When I heard them arrive, I was still inside the hole. I jumped out of it, I ran the side gate and I can only imagine the way I looked by the way the undertaker and the family of the deceased woman looked at me.
It never happened to me before. Needless to say, that I bought my mother the vinegar she asked me to and I also bought her a small gift. As I write these words, my hands are rolled with gauze.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Since internet is such a pictorial area, I have been wondering about the possibility of posting some pictures here. I wouldn't post pictures of me, but I would post pictures of the graveyard where I work and of the places where I exist. First I would have to borrow a digital camera. Then, I would have to find someone that helped me to to turn those pictures in a jpeg file. Then, I would have to find a place on the internet to store them. Do you think this idea is worth all these effort?

Monday, June 14, 2004
100th post
This is my 100th post.
I want to dedicate it to this fine people:
Manuel Alvarez Bravo
Gertrude Thomas
Dora Douglas
Tony Lopes

Hope that they are in good shape and I wish them 100 more.

Home videos
Did anybody outside Europe heard about what happened to Severina Vuckovic? Read it here. Can you imagine what would happen if somebody put your most hidden secrets available for free download all over the internet? Can you imagine if somebody got pictures of you doing those things that only you know that you have done? Can you imagine how Severina Vuckovic must be feeling right now?

Yesterday, I decided to learn japanese. Today I have started to learn it. I have spent a few hours, with a note book, in front of the computer, with the sound of sitcoms on the TV, practicing the writing of japanese vowels.

I have learned that with this alphabet, one of the three possible japanese alphabets, the word "love" is written only with two letters: "ai". I think that I have learned a lot today.

I have disliked the word "witty" since the day that I have learned it. I don't like the meaning of it and I don't like the sound of it.
When people try to be witty, the only possible thing that they may achieve is to be witty. The only thing that is worse than being witty is when people try and fail to be witty.
Please warn me whenever you feel that I am being witty. That will only happen by accident. I don't want to be witty. I will do my best never to be witty.

Sunday, June 13, 2004
Unlabeled paradoxes
Some of my favourite bands can easily be considered as "goth", "gothic", "gothic metal", "dark wave" or simply "dark". Still, there are a lot of bands that I love that can't be labeled with any of these names. Also, there are a lot of "dark goth" bands that I dislike.
Unlike most people, I can easily cope with paradoxes. Actually, I believe that some of the most important things in life are paradoxal. That is why I believe that this kind of labels are important and absurd at the same time.
They are absurd because it is obvious to me that it is impossible to label someone. There is no label in the world that can exactly fit all the complexity of any human being. People are always bigger than labels. But labels are important because they are the most effective possibility of comunication that we have. In a way, words are labels. If I write "apple", you will read "apple" and, probably, it will come to your mind the image or the taste of a completelly different apple than the one I was meaning when I wrote "apple". Maybe I was meaning a small, green, bitter apple and maybe you understood a big, red, sweet apple. If that happens to a word as objective as "apple", we can all imagine the missunderstandings carried by words such as: "death", "sorrow", "pain" or "goth"... Still, words are one of the main tools we have to comunicate. In a way, words are labels. That is why I consider labels important.
I always dress in black, I mostly listen to goth bands, but you would never hear me saying: "I am a goth". I find these need of self-labeling either adolescent or too simplistic. That is exactly how I feel about the need to clarify the definitions of labels. In its own nature, all labels are clichés. But, paradoxically, I feel the need to clarify the meaning of "goth".
As I see it, "goth" is an attitude, both ethic and aesthetic, that opposes the common mainstream attitude of living life in a superficial way. Most people pay with loneliness and emptyness the choice of sex over love, the choice of "fun" at any cost. "Goth" has to do with feelings and with people. People are the most important thing in life, life is all we have and feelings are what make us humans. And there are no feelings without inteligence as much as there is no inteligence without feelings. Dressing in black, mentioning issues seen by a majority of people as "negative" are reminders that those issues exist. It weren't the "goths" that invented death, nor sorrow, nor mourning. It exists, it is certain for everybody, but we all live in societies that choose to close their eyes to it, as if they could refuse it. Some of our problems derive from that refusal. When our lives are not touched by any of those issues, we tend to give importance to issues that aren't important at all: money, envy and so on. We put things out of proportion. "Goth" is about being true to life. "Goth" is about sensitivity and empathy. "Goth" is about being deep because life is a deep issue, despite all labels, despite all paradoxes.

Saturday, June 12, 2004
To make friends
How to make friends by telephone.

Click here for really usefull tips.

Friday, June 11, 2004
Bedroom window
From my bedroom window, I see a field of olive trees surrounded by the back of houses painted in white. Sometimes, shepards bring in flocks of sheeps that stay eating from the grazing land. Further, there is a small hill with houses and, on top of it, there is the church. That is where, sometimes, the bells toll anounicing that someone died. At night, all is quiet. At this time of the year, between spring and summer, one can only listen to cicatas and crickets at night.
What do you see from your bedroom window?

Smoking habits
I have never smoked a cigarrete near my mother. I am twenty-nine years old, I smoke for about ten years and I have never smoked a cigarrete near my mother. When I lived at her place, I would leave full ashtrays in my bedroom. After a while, I would find them empty and washed, but I have never smoked a cigarrete near her. Once, she left a book in the bathroom, opened at a page where it was written: "Ten advices to quit smoking". Whenever she found packs of cigarretes or lighters in my dirty laundry, she always left them untouched in the center of the empty kitchen table. We have never talked about it and I am sure that, if somebody mentions the subject of smoking, my mother will say that no one in our family smokes.

Why didn't you write more often during the last week?
Because I have been busy.

Why have you been busy if nobody died at your village?
Because I have been busy doing other things.

What other things do you do besides digging graves?
I think about things.

Have you been busy thinking about things?
Yes, I have been busy thinking about things.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004
The concert
I thought a lot about how to describe you the concert. I have been the last few days describing it in my head, trying to find a way of describing it to you. I have thought about lots of different aproaches. I always got to the same conclusion. The best way to describe how it was and how I have felt is the following:
It was great.

Friday, June 04, 2004
Metal man
I am really happy and enthusiastic. As soon as I finish this post I will drive to Lisbon and I will watch .a concert of Slipknot, Incubus, Sepultura, Metallica and my portuguese all time favourite band, Moonspell I will be back tomorrow, probably with a hangover and hopefully with lots of stories

Thursday, June 03, 2004
The good thing about counters is that it leaves one to imagine the people that read these words from the few details that you are permited to know. I have noticed lately that the words that have been written here got some visits by someone in Uzbekistan. Yeah... I thought the exact same thing that you are thinking.

Call me
This last weekend, I was walking in the street when I got a call on my mobile phone from a friend of mine. I kept on walking and talking. After a while, I saw him at some distance. We waved ate each other and kept on going our ways. Only after I arrived home, I noticed that we could have hung up the phone and we could have talked live. After a while, he called me saying that he had just realized the exact same thing.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004
BFAC (1996-2004)
Some people tried to explain me who Bruno was, but I have no memory of him. He was on second grade. His teacher was Dona Angela. She was also my teacher because she has been the elementary school teacher in my village for the past thirty five years. I remember when I was on second grade and that is my way of imagining Bruno. We were all very naive. Like me, Bruno had classes in the morning. I remember how difficult it was to wake up early. Then, we would spend the whole morning in the class. When I was on second grade, we already knew all the letters in the alphabet and Dona Angela would ask us, one by one, to read out loud stories from our text book. We were learning multiplications, divisions as well as subtractions with three digits. Besides school, we would spend our time playing and helping our parents. I guess that Bruno was not far from what we were then. Things haven't changed that much around here.
Bruno lived in a part of the village called "Queimado" (which means "burned"). This part of the village is in the exact opposite from where my parents lived, where my mother still lives, and a bit far from where I live today. I was never much related with anyone living in that part of the village. Still, I have seen his parents before. Here, we all know each other, we have all seen or even talked to each other at some point of our lives. His father works in construction. He is a mason. I have seen him many times talking about soccer in the tavern of the main square. I have also seen him going to work or coming back from work. Like most women in the village, Bruno's mother is a housewife. I have seen her sometimes at the vegetable's market. They must be in their mid thirties, but they look a bit older because of the way they dress and behave. During the burial, they had no reaction. I have seen many burials and I am almost certain that someone gave them pills to endure all the still pain that was in their faces. I haven't seen Bruno's face because the casket was sealed, but I am sure that I must have seen him sometime. Maybe I was walking in the street and he was playing soccer with other kids. Maybe I passed and he mocked me in the way that kids usually do, half brave, half scared.
He was buried in a white casket in the part of the graveyard where children are buried. That part of the graveyard is called the area of the "santinhos" (which means "little saints").
With all respect, I hope that he may now get all the freedom and all the peace. I am sure that he was much more than his story. Still, I leave it here in the form of these simple words so that we may know that he once existed among us.


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