When they ask me how I manage to write so much, I answer with a pout, change the subject or make some excuse. A little modesty, a little shyness, here and there a bit of astonishment. What I don’t say – so as not to sound arrogant or presumptuous, even if I do – is that I blame myself for writing so little. Because there are days like today, when words seem like one of those anti-demonstrations water jets (one of my dreams is to fly that) and I feel like I’m capable of writing a thousand texts on a thousand subjects.
I don’t know if I’ve already told you here, and if I haven’t, I’ll tell you again: I have a note-taking app in which I throw all the ideas that occur to me throughout the day. There are days when there are many; there are days when they are none. Just as there are ideas that resurrect with just a short reminder and others that, despite the elaborate reminder, remain comatose, waiting for a flash that makes me say “ah, yes, of course, of course.”
Take, for example, the idea that gives the title to this text that you already regret having started reading, but, once you started, go to the end. It’s a note from four months ago – the app tells me. Made at 22h02 on a Thursday morning. And yet, despite all these useless chronological details, I don’t know what it is exactly. I mean, I know that Job suffered every possible misfortune except politics. But I have no idea how to turn this into palatable text for my beautiful, smart, wonderful readers. (Pix key such and such).
Yeah. There’s no way. I’ll have to get up and go to the library. Which, in this case, consists of a withered cabinet in which a few books autographed by friends who may not even be friends are falling asleep (politics, you know) and the Kindle crammed with interrupted readings. But I think it’s so chic who says they have a library at home… Behold, at the bottom of the cabinet, hidden behind stuffed owls, virgin moleskines and a wooden yo-yo that I didn’t even know I had, I find several books about the same subject: Job.
Well then. I had this phase where I was obsessed with the issue of suffering. I have Jó in Portuguese and Jó in Hebrew (what for?!). I have a novelized Job and a book on Job’s influence on Western literature. I just don’t have Jó in comics because… look at my face, right? I also have books that, although they don’t have Job in the title, are about Job. My favorite is “Why Bad Things Happen to Good People” by Harold Kushner. Thanks for asking. CS Lewis also wrote a book on suffering, they say. But I don’t have this one.
Patience and faith
It was a horrible phase, this one. And I don’t want to talk about her. Better to stick to the idea that became the theme and title of this chronicle: Job suffered all possible misfortunes, except one: politics. You know the story of Job, right? Of the man whose patience and faith are put to the test day after day and such. Well then. At an undetermined moment four months ago, for some reason I thought it was good to point out that Job’s sufferings lack one that bothers us a bit. Whoever guesses which one wins.
Yes, politics! . There is no record in the biblical book that he was forced to endure what we endure every day. The provocation of naive PT members who think they will not be affected by Lula’s policies for a third term. Rebels without a cause fed on soy milk invading churches in political demonstration. The dehumanizing offenses of the legion of hypocrites signaling virtue on social media. The everyday absurdities of higher courts. The impotence in front of a relative who, no matter how much you explain to him from the atrocities of Holodomor to the economic disaster of Dilma Rousseff, still insists on proudly displaying the badge with the red star.
As I recall the biblical book, in the theological debates that follow the many tragedies and misfortunes faced by Job, friends do not console him with ideas of resentment or envy – ideas communists. Nobody tells Job to vote for the PPB (Party of Biblical Characters) to “go back to eating picanha and having a beer on the weekend”. There is no mention of any minimum income program or threat from the landless. Or would it be sandless? Job does not have to face abortionist militants, nor does he suffer “censorship of the good” when expressing his unshakable faith.
I am not minimizing (not to be confused with mimicking