Cartões Postais para Clara
I write you now, not about what happened in 2001, after I left Lisboa. I’ll do that later. I write as last week a friend of mine, a filmmaker and peer, died. His name was Peter Hutton, and I knew him since 1974 or so. He made lovely small films, silent, in black and white until a decade or so ago, when he shifted to color. They had no story, no actors – just exquisite, often mysterious, luminous images that somehow held together. I’d see him when I could – he lived and taught in upstate New York. The last time I saw him was two years ago in New York City, at an opening of an installation of his and Jim Benning, another friend of mine. When we visited we’d play cribbage all day, drinking beer. When he died he was 71, taken quickly by cancer.
I write because I am 73, and Peter’s death reminded me – as if I needed it – that I could be gone as quickly. Next week, or in 20 years, we can’t know. (My father died at 99, so maybe I will be around a while.) But it reminded me of this reality, and that in turn reminded me of you. And that I think for you it is important, for the rest of your life, that we meet, and that you get to know me a bit – something beyond the blogs and other things you can find out about me.
I am pretty sure your mother, and your Portuguese family, has either simply acted as if I do not exist, or they have filled the past 15 years with unhappy words about me – it is rather normal for “parental alienators” to do so. The idea was to either erase me – your father – from your awareness, or to give you negative feelings about me. Again, rather normal behavior for such persons. So I understand this situation is likely difficult for you, and I am sure you are carefully pressured to not contact me, which doubtless makes it still more difficult. But, as my friend’s death reminds me, my time is circumscribed, and so your time to meet and find out who your father actually is, is likewise limited. You can contact me through this blog, or my email.
My back operation seems to have been successful and now two months and some later, I am pretty much over it, and doing well. Thankfully.
I hope to hear from you, Clara. When you wish and can.
I hope your summer is going wonderfully!
Below some of the things I’ve been doing this summer:
Amo-te, Clarinha !