MY SOUL HAS A HAT

My friend and fellow writer Grady Smith sent me a text that touched me. Grady’s debut novel, Blood Chit, tells of the effect of the Vietnam war on a soldier who fought there. His latest, written with other veterans, is The 31st Infantry Regiment: A History of “America’s Foreign Legion” in Peace and War. It’s due out this summer.

I quote the text exactly as Grady sent it to me, despite oddities that were probably the result of translation:

MY SOUL HAS A HAT

Beautifully written by Mario de Andrade (San Paolo 1893-1945) Poet, novelist, essayist and musicologist. One of the founders of Brazilian modernism.

__________________________

MY SOUL HAS A HAT

I counted my years and realized that I have less time to live by, than I have lived so far.

I feel like a child who won a pack of candies: at first he ate them with pleasure but when he realized that there was little left, he began to taste them intensely.

I have no time for endless meetings where the statutes, rules, procedures and internal regulations are discussed, knowing that nothing will be done.

I no longer have the patience to stand absurd people who, despite their chronological age, have not grown up.

My time is too short: I want the essence, my spirit is in a hurry. I do not have much candy in the package anymore.

I want to live next to humans, very realistic people who know how to laugh at their mistakes and who are not inflated by their own triumphs and who take responsibility for their actions. In this way, human dignity is defended and we live in truth and honesty.

It is the essentials that make life useful.

I want to surround myself with people who know how to touch the hearts of those whom hard strokes of life have learned to grow with sweet touches of the soul.

Yes, I’m in a hurry. I’m in a hurry to live with the intensity that only maturity can give.

I do not intend to waste any of the remaining desserts. I am sure they will be exquisite, much more than those eaten so far.

My goal is to reach the end satisfied and at peace with my loved ones and my conscience.

We have two lives and the second begins when you realize you only have one.

End of quote.

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