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“Terceira Metade”: in the shadow of silence

farewell symphony.

bring the secret hymn to my shoulder
the body of the atom


Forcing himself to get up, the Baker shook off the sleep that stuck to his eyes and the movements of his body. ‘Now that the darkness has come so close, who will explain to our elders our carelessness with the fire?’ he thought.
Snapping his fingers, he went to the pantry to get the materials for bread: the bag of salt, the yeast, the wheat. Enormous tubs of water were already waiting in the back, and the cat was lying like it had never made a sound. He looked at the man like he was someone who might give him a little something.
Each time he stopped kneading the dough, the Baker was taken back to the night before.  In a crumpled letter, written imperfectly, crooked across the page the woman had rehearsed the words:
‘Bring your syrup eyes to the softness of my back… Touch. Fire up. Burn. (…) This is how we’ll know that tomorrow was a place after us.’
For the first time in years he had left it lying with all the perfumes of the secret woman. Her roaming hands and the hard textures. The rhythm of her breathing sweating through smooth ways of love, The exertion of physical movement that drive them to orgasm. The sound of disconnected sentences and hard textures.
‘strange feelings—disheveled—drew into my restless body during the night… The time of the winds. and of tamer silence…’

Juan RulfoJuan Rulfo

For the first time in years he had neglected to attend to the constant fire of his Village, the name that remained in his care. He looked at the ashes and wanted to know the past of that fire in the sleeping embers. How many destinies had been read in those flames? How many decisions made by the light of a fire already so old?
He remembered the words of the elders: ‘only sudden flashes of silence know how to wake up the flesh… that way they imitate the shock for a delicate flower.’
What to do with his secret? He was the first to wake up in the Village, and the only one who would know that the fire was dead.  Was the circle broken? Would he be haunted by the spirits of the elders for his negligence of loving nature? And had there been such negligence?
The Baker repeated a bit of a prayer while he kneaded the flour dough. He was inspired for a time and made the bread like he was doing it for the first time!
The simplicity of the gesture, the perfect synchrony of his hands with the material that made the dough, that would rise, that would know the fire to become the collective body, the food that is always blessed. The cadence of the gestures: gathering up the dough like it was a temptation, he pushed it away vigorously to forget the matter of the woman.
Was it love or the real cry of his solid solitude?
Through the darkness of the morning silence, he foresaw that the morning was an entity about to succumb to the ways of the sun. Its punctual appearance. An uncertain spectrum between living green and mellow orange.
The Baker looked and saw: the body of the night was a beast protecting its sniveling, defenseless embryo: Humanity.

Terceira Metade é uma programação do Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro com a curadoria de Marta Mestre e Luiz Camillo Osorio, e que se desenha no espaço geográfico e mental do Atlântico, em especial na triangulação Brasil, países africanos e Portugal.

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