Parabens, Clara !
Your hand, the day you were born.
You’ve been around our nearest star now 20 times. 7,300 spins around the axis of the earth you live upon, which in Lisboa goes about 1000km per hour. Around the sun the earth is speeding at 108,000 km per hour, and then our solar system, is rushing around the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way, at 828,000 km/h. The galaxy is itself moving through space at 600 kilometers per second , or 2.1 million km per hour.
Of course, you hardly notice these things as the days go by. Rather you note the cyclic wave of the day and the seasons – spring equinox just passed by and in Lisboa and all the northern hemisphere, it warms and spring arrives. Once, while you were waiting to be born, I walked the stairs and alleyways of the Alfama, trying to teach myself to feel the spin of the earth. One day I noticed a stripe of sunlight cutting across the cobblestones at a particular time, and I returned the next day at the same time to catch it arriving. I set up my camera, and began to shoot. Shortly afterwards two young children, dressed in Scout uniforms, came by and stopped directly before the camera. At first I was annoyed, and worried they would ruin my shot, and then I was charmed. They made faces, talked, and finally left, just before the sun cast its light across the walk. It is one of the best shots I ever took. (I would like to send you the film but I don’t think you would get it if the past efforts to send things to you hints of what would happen now.)
I hope you have a wonderful birthday, surrounded with friends. Naturally I wish I were there. May you be graced with love, this day, and every day.
Your first day on this earth.
Parabens Clarinha ! And I hope in the coming year we may meet again after this long time of forced distance. May you have a wonderful year and be surrounded with love.
teu pai, jon
From 6 Easy Pieces
Amo-te, Clarinha !!