segunda-feira, 27 de fevereiro de 2012

God's people

I have never seen a Catholic priest or nun in Miranda. Where are they? I have got to tell the pope. They should be doing something to stop this. There are so many new gospel churches materializing in the little town that I think something is wrong. My neighbors are good example of what is happening. The situation is weird and is similar to a collective brain washing operation.

These people live in Miranda – an old town (over 200 years, old for Brazil) existing on top of a fantastically beautiful land. These people know nothing about this land. In the meantime they spend their days and whole nights singing about Jerusalem, Israel, Hebron and Mount Zion. Why don’t they sing instead to the Bodoquena Mountains, the Miranda and Salobra Rivers, the Cerrado, the Carandá Palms and the flowering Paratudo forests?

Aren’t these also part of the creation of God? How can a people live on a land so long and konw so little or care to know so little about it? Not care about how to protect the locally available nature that God supposedely created? – The animals, the birds, the hyacinth macaws? How can they talk of the Lion of Judah when they know nothing about, kill or don’t care to kill the Jaguar of Miranda? That is why I tell you: there is no way the discipline of ecology can prosper and survive among these God’s People.

The message is that man is not part of nature – he (preferrably “he”) is a master over it; everything was made by God with man in mind. The fish, made for him to eat. Water was made for him to drink, wash himself, swim in, and in the case of rivers, for man to throw and dump garbage in them, sewer in them. The flowers of the earth were made for him to smell, for man to see and give glory to Him – God; mountains and valleys and rivers and seas were made for Him to entertain his eyes, to produce food for him. All the animals are food to man – only man matters. Animals like the jaguar can be killed if they are thought to be a threat for the chickens of man – since they are man’s food supply. A pentecostal, a Jehovah’s Witness, a Mormon, an Evangelical, a Lutheran, a Catholic can so easily talk – in these latitudes – of how he killed a jaguar, an opossum, all for the same reason – opening up new spaces for man, his faith anmd his food supply. How many animals of Brazil are condemned because of man’s domesticate animals for food supply!

Besides living on the land without knowing anything about it or caring to – they spend days – like my landlady, dreaming of and singing about getting the hell out of here as quick as possible. “A hora está chegando para o povo de Deus ir embora” says the song I hear 30 times a day and which means “the time is coming for God’s Peope to go away”. Yes they are waiting and awaiting for the glorious day when they will go. Where to? They don’t know. It may be Jerusalem, not the real Jerusalem where all these mess began and where, even today, people are burned aboard buses when they thought they were going to work. There is another Jerusalem and they are going there. They just have to keep on singing praises to the Lord.

He, the Lord, made everything there is. He finished his work and is now resting. He does nothing else because all is done. His most important business is to listen to the praises of his People left in Miranda, Aquidauana, the Bodoquena Mountais, the Maracaju and Piraputanga Ranges. That is the mission of God's People in the Pantanal.

I have known dictators like Alfredo Stroessner (Paraguay), Idi Amin Dada (Uganda) who not only welcomed praises but also rewarded those who sang praises to them with jobs, political positions, money, land and millions of poor people to serve them. Should I be led to think that God is something like a dictator from Uganda, Paraguay, or any of thousands of Brazilian mayors who love puxa-sacos (ass kissers) and who reward them accordingly? Are all these people trying to say that God is a corrupt leader who loves to be praised and rewards the blind praisers while boycotting the neutrals and shooting down opponents?

God, I would hope, has got to be bigger than that. Must be so big as to live so high up that must not care whether you sing praises, curses or scorn him. He, God, must even laugh – like I do, when he hears people saying or suggesting that he is a psychopath that feeds on praises, needs ego massages, every nanosecond through eons and eons forever and ever. What a pitiful situation for us – I mean, God and us! Amen!

Miranda, Feb,1993

Pantanal: a tough loving place

Esse texto foi escrito em inglês. Assim que for possível, eu o traduzo!

Now I know why the Pantanal has been preserved after 200 years of Western-style cattle rasing and exploitation like fishing, hunting and so on. Mosquitoes. It is hell on earth. This is my first winter here. I had never expected that it could be so wet, that it could rain so much, that there were so many species of mosquitoes, that life of pantaneiros could be made so miserable. In the subject of mosquitoes, there is one that is all white, fast and looks like a white shadow and worse, it is not a friend of diplomacy. When it stings, you feel. There is a variety that is heavier than the shadow and that swarms into people's skins by the hundreds.

Last January I walked 12 kilometers on the Pantaneira Road, with, anytime, 400 of them following me, landing over me, buzzing around my head. There were so many of them that my nose started to itch and I ended up developing a sneezing crisis. One day, I had prepared lunch for four of my mountain bike tourists from Japan. Lunch, I phantasized, had to be by the paradise-like Abrobral River area where I once spend one whole Pantanal summer camping out. It had to be perfect and unforgettable. Unforgettable it was. No one ate. No mouth could be opened. No one dared to think of sitting down. I lost US$ 15 per person right there and later on I had to give money back to my hungry tourists. That is called money back guarantee.

There are all sizes of mosquitoes too. There is a huge one, nealy half an inch long. Good biter, too. But the one that really irritates me the most is a tiny one that has developped the ability to fly without leaving the place. Flies without going anywhere. When you look at it, it is there flying with a buzz. Then you think it is easy to just slap it down and off the area. A mistake! They react and fly sideways, up or down while keeping the wise distance of always being about a foot from you. I think the world military would love to have an aircraft or flying object like that. It would be able to fly and hover over enemy position, bombing the enemy and defending itself by just flying-sliding sideways. Besides causing material damage to to enemy positions, it would leave the enemy forever traumatized, and sick of war.
You have got to love the Pantanal to stay here, live here. This is tough land and I am glad I have had this privilege. Even though I have become forever traumatized by the white shadow mosquito and his sideway-flier-slider friend.

Written in Miranda, March 14, 1996
Somewhere down the Avenida J.Pedro Pedrosian