Limping Along

L1044716Dear Clara,

I’ll forego a translation for this, and keep it short.  I’m pretty sure you are fine in English.

We’re in Portland now, after some side trips to Port Angeles, WA, and Vancouver BC (for a screening), having returned from Jakarta.  All this time I have been hampered by piriformis syndrome, which I had 9 years ago.  It is a pinching of the sciatic nerve as it passes through a muscle.  No fun – like most serious pain it saps your energy and spirit.  Part of the reason I haven’t written sooner.

Recently an acquaintance in Lisboa wrote me a little letter, telling me that among the circle of people who are your mother’s friends and family, the “official story” which they apparently believe, and which was told at some point by Teresa, is that I left her and you – that I initiated the separation.  I suppose then this is the story you were told.  As the note which Teresa gave me, and which I included in my letter to you of August 4, the truth is that it was Teresa who broke our relationship.  In the coming time I will print here the emails which she sent me, after having given me the note in Cabanas, before and after she kidnapped you on Nov. 1, 2000.   I think you deserve to know the simple truth.

Marcella and I are presently in a kind of limbo – awaiting word from some festivals, and deciding if she should try to get a Greencard here in the USA, which would allow her to work here.  Meantime there is some chance we will be in Europe soon, and if so I will consider going to stay a while in Lisboa, with the intention of finally seeing you after these 14 years of not being able to do so.  As the piriformis thing reminds me, I am getting old and…  I would not like for you to carry on the balance of your life with the ghost of a father, whom you were kept from seeing, hovering over you.

Amo-te, Clarinha

Teu pai, Jon

piriformis-sciatic-nerve-variationsHere is the first email your mother sent to me after we returned to Roma in October 2000.  We had, as I vaguely recall, had some telephone conversations before this email arrived:


You will note particularly one sentence, which confirms what I wrote in the earlier letter, that Agua e Sal was a kind of self-portrait, and a projection of what Teresa intended to do:

This film I’m shooting is so similar to what I am feeling and living that sometimes I have a real hard time understanding.

In the coming days I will print this stream of emails which were sent to me.  It will help you to understand what happened to you.





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