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"Amor e desasperação"

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Foto: Maarten Zeehandelaar

“You know,” she says, “my parents were raised religiously – catholic, the both of them. But by the time they had me, my father had simply stopped believing in anything and my mother had stopped practising her religion, while she kept her faith tucked away somewhere. Nonetheless, all my childhood they dragged me in and out of churches like this one, wherever we went. I have seen basilisks in Tuscany, chapels in Devon, Easter parades in Simancas, medieval churches in the south of France, miracle pilgrim sites in Portugal.”

With a slight wheeze she inhales some air, and I can almost hear the memory surfacing.

“You know, there is this image in my mind of a women staggering around some statue on her knees, holes in her jeans, blood trailing behind both of her All Stars, her husband, carrying their child on his arm, holding her hand while walking beside her. For me, as a child, that spectacle was unnerving in so many ways, that I still don't know what to make of it. There is this side of me, that says if I ever land a guy who tries to make me do that, I'll kick him in the nuts. I for one value my freedom too much to hand it over to some God, or some husband! But there has always been this other voice, whispering creepily in the background, saying that it might have been her choice to do that, her own free will. That for instance the child, or maybe her mother, was ill and there was no one to turn to anymore but the angels, Jesus, Maria, God – anyone, or all of them. That voice has always given me the feeling that I won't be able to understand any of it, life, religion, until I have cause to feel like that woman did. So, you see, I don't think they meant to, but my parents have actually taught me that the limits of my freedom will be marked by love and desperation.”

We look at the altar in silence, while my fingers nervously fret with the ring box in my pocket.


Texto por: Peter-Jan Vermeij


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Copyright © 2010-2015 Maarten Zeehandelaar.

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