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Blog In Writers Group

The wise illiterate

By Marcela Re Ribeiro
Posted May 20, 2013 in Lifestyle
José da Silva was a man from the northeastern backwoods. He lived in a house of mud wall, and his livelihood came from the barren land, where, often, it was not possible to harvest any crop because severe drought has destroyed all the plants. Therefore, there was almost nothing to eat or drink. His trajectory was a life of deprivation; luxury, he even knew what it meant. In fact, Jose was illiterate. He had no electricity at home, so TV and the Internet were never heard of.
However, Jose had many stories to tell. There was one about the snake that he killed and ate; the wild dog that became his best friend, the wind that made a circle on the floor and lifted the fence in the air, but what he most liked to talk about was his passionate love, Teresa Garcia. Teresa's parents lived beside the house where the parents of Jose lived.
The two couples had just one child. Soon, they became inseparable friends. Teresa loved the corn cob dolls which Jose made and gifted her. Unforgettable were the evenings around the cashew tree, which had a shade that could cover the world, as Jose used to say. They spent their afternoons playing, catching ants, making holes in the ground, and it was just a joy.
Sadness only came when they had no more food. Often, there was little water, and they were alone because the nearest neighbors abandoned their homes, hopeful to find a better place to live. The parents of Teresa and Jose died almost at the same time, when both of them were 13 years old, and without anyone else in the world, they decided to live together. There, began a beautiful story of love and dedication.
They used to wake up early every day so as not to miss the sunrise, and then they would sit together at the back of the house later on to say goodbye to the sunset. The wrinkles on their faces were deep and strong, caused by the sun shone on them all day when they had to walk miles and miles to get some water, which was not always as clean as it should be.
Who was the president of Brazil, Jose and Teresa did not know. If the world economy had affected their lives, they did not care. About life and the world, both thought the same: It does not matter what happens in life just so long as you have someone to hold your hand, be able to look at in the eyes, and maintain love and tenderness with. Jose and Teresa used to say that, in that piece of land, they had two of the most precious things in life: love and nature.
Jose and Teresa lived together many years, and though they dreamed of a house full of kids, they never had children. They died embraced, under a beautiful sunset. It would be as if the place, which they loved so much, were welcoming them in their farewell to life.
This is a fictional story but portrays the real life of many northeasterners living in precarious situations in Brazil. A sad reality of my country.

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