Sunday, 5 September 2010

Same old, same old...

Always that same old story,
but we just don’t seem to learn:
That failure is often a path to glory,
when we ignore the point of no return.

Always that same old speech,
but we just don’t seem to remember:
That righteousness we cannot teach,
to those who compromise or surrender…

Always that same old, same old
but its time that same old becomes new.
Some of our gambles we must fold,
And some of our dreams we won’t see through.

Image by Walfrido Garcia

Monday, 16 August 2010

An Angel

She walks within the humble dust,
yet she was born amid the clouds.
And while life has shattered all her trust,
she still brings smiles upon the crowds.

She takes our old and makes it new,
for all of those who have no name.
And since angels such as her are few,
we must thank God that this one came.

She opens up and shares her heart,
with all of those who need a hand.
And while most people pass and part,
she stops to help the nameless stand.

Image by chitrasudar

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Hide & Seek

When you hit walls, seek the door...
Find your peace in times of war.

When you lose faith, seek the way…
Find your path, don’t go astray.

When you are in love, seek the bliss…
Find your comfort in a simple kiss.

When you are prepared, seek the cause…
Find your strengths and accept all flaws.

Image by kwerfeldein

Monday, 8 February 2010

Beautiful Stranger

The face of an angel that has given up hope,
she no longer listens and forgot how to cope.

That beautiful stranger that I used to see,
she is lost in herself and forsaken her plea.

I wish I could find her and stretch out my hand.
Whisper those words that would help her to stand.

But wishes and dreams don’t often come true:
So beautiful stranger… I’ll leave that to you.

Image by innaminnafly

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

And the World for All

During a recent panel discussion in the United States, I was asked what I thought about the idea of internationalizing the Amazon Rain Forest. The young man who asked this question began by saying that he wanted me to answer as a humanist and not as a Brazilian. This was the first time that anyone has ever stipulated a humanistic perspective as the point of departure when asking me a question.

In point of fact, as a Brazilian I would always argue against the internationalization of the Amazon Rain Forest. Even though our government has not given this patrimony the care that it deserves, it is ours.

I replied that, as a humanist who fears the risks posed by the environmental degradation that the Amazon is suffering, I could imagine its internationalization, just as I could imagine the internationalization of everything else of importance to humanity.

If, from a humanist perspective, the Amazon must be internationalized, we should also internationalize the entire world's petroleum reserves. Oil is just as important for the well being of humanity as the Amazon is for our future. The owners of the reserves, however, feel that they have the right to increase or decrease the amount of oil production, as well as to increase or lower the price per barrel. The rich of the world feel that they have the right to burn up this immense patrimony of humanity.

In much the same way, the wealthy countries' financial capital should be internationalized. Since the Amazon Rain Forest is a reserve for all human beings, an owner or a country must not be allowed to burn it up.
The burning of the Amazon is as serious a problem as the unemployment caused by the arbitrary decisions made by global speculators. We cannot permit the use of financial reserves to burn up entire countries in the frenzy of speculation.

Before we internationalize the Amazon, I would like to see the internationalization of all the world's great museums. The Louvre should not belong merely to France.The world's museums are guardians of the most beautiful pieces of art produced by the human genius. We cannot let this cultural patrimony, like the natural patrimony of the Amazon, be manipulated and destroyed by the whims of an owner or a country.

A short time ago a Japanese millionaire decided to be buried with a painting by a great artist. Before this could happen, that painting should have been internationalized.

While I was at the meeting during which I was asked about internationalizing the Amazon Rain Forest, the United Nations convened the Millennium Summit, but some presidents of countries had difficulties in attending due to U.S. border-crossing constraints. Because of this, I said that New York, as the headquarters of the United Nations, should have been internationalized. The city, or at least Manhattan, should belong to all humanity. As should Paris, Venice, Rome, London, Rio de Janeiro, Brasília, Recife - each city, with its unique beauty, its history of the world, should belong to the entire world.

If, to minimize the risk of leaving it in the hands of Brazilians, the United States wants to internationalize the Amazon Rain Forest, we should internationalize the United States' nuclear arsenals. If only because the country has already demonstrated that it is capable of using these arms, causing destruction thousands of times greater than the deplorable burnings done in the forests of Brazil.

In their debates, the United States presidential candidates have defended the idea of internationalizing the world's forest reserves in exchange for debt relief. We should begin by using this debt to guarantee that each child in the world has the opportunity to go to school.

We should internationalize the children, treating them, all of them, no matter their country of birth, as patrimony that deserves to be cared for by the entire world. Even more than the Amazon deserves to be cared for.

When the world's leaders begin to treat the poor children of the world as a patrimony of humanity, they will not let children work when they should be studying, die when they should be living.

As a humanist, I agree to defend the internationalization of the world. But, as long as the world treats me as a Brazilian, I will fight for the Amazon Rain Forest to remain ours. Ours alone.

Text by Cristovam Buarque

Photograph by Moonman82

Thursday, 14 January 2010

No Regrets...

I came across this text on the internet and thought it would make a good first post for this new year: 2010.

10th Grade
As I sat there in English class, I stared at the girl next to me. She was my so called "best friend". I stared at her long, silky hair, and wished she was mine. But she didn't notice me like that, and I knew it. After class, she walked up to me and asked me for the notes she had missed the day before and handed them to her. She said "thanks" and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I wanted to tell her, I want her to know that I don't want to be just friends, I love her but I'm just too shy, and I don't know why.
11th grade
The phone rang. On the other end, it was her. She was in tears, mumbling on and on about how her love had broke her heart. She asked me to come over because she didn't want to be alone, so I did. As I sat next to her on the sofa, I stared at her soft eyes, wishing she was mine. After 2 hours, one Drew Barrymore movie, and three bags of chips, she decided to go to sleep. She looked at me, said "thanks" and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I want to tell her, I want her to know that I don't want to be just friends, I love her but I'm just too shy, and I don't know why.

Senior year
The day before prom she walked to my locker. My date is sick" she said; he's not going to go well, I didn't have a date, and in 7th grade, we made a promise that if neither of us had dates, we would go together just as "best friends". So we did. Prom night, after everything was over, I was standing at her front door step. I stared at her as she smiled at me and stared at me with her crystal eyes. I want her to be mine, but she isn't think of me like that, and I know it. Then she said "I had the best time, thanks!" and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I want to tell her, I want her to know that I don't want to be just friends, I love her but I'm just too shy, and I don't know why.

Graduation Day
A day passed, then a week, then a month. Before I could blink, it was graduation day. I watched as her perfect body floated like an angel up on stage to get her diploma. I wanted her to be mine, but she didn't notice me like that, and I knew it. Before everyone went home, she came to me in her smock and hat, and cried as I hugged her. Then she lifted her head from my shoulder and said, "you're my best friend, thanks" and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I want to tell her, I want her to know that I don't want to be just friends, I love her but I'm just too shy, and I don't know why.

A Few Years Later
Now I sit in the pews of the church. That girl is getting married now. I watched her say "I do" and drive off to her new life, married to another man. I wanted her to be mine, but she didn't see me like that, and I knew it. But before she drove away, she came to me and said "you came!". She said "thanks" and kissed me on the cheek. I want to tell her, I want her to know that I don't want to be just friends, I love her but I'm just too shy, and I don't know why.

Years passed, I looked down at the coffin of a girl who used to be my "best friend". At the service, they read a diary entry she had wrote in her high school years. This is what it read: I stare at him wishing he was mine, but he doesn't notice me like that, and I know it. I want to tell him, I want him to know that I don't want to be just friends, I love him but I'm just too shy, and I don't know why. I wish he would tell me he loved me! `I wish I did too...` I thought to myself, and I cried.

My point?

More often than not, we choose to ignore our natural instincts: we don’t do because it’s “wrong” or we don’t say because it’s embarrassing or we don’t feel because it hurts...
The truth is that sometimes we just have to take that “leap of faith” – so when you find that person that makes your words sound a little slower, your eyes shine a little brighter and your heart beat a little faster, do, say and feel every single moment to the fullest...
Because in the end these moments are all you ever really had.