I SEARCH FOR AN HONEST MAN
By Ana Paula Arendt*
I search for an honest man; but I am not Diogenes, nor from Sinope. I'm looking for a man who has reached what a woman is, what a primal force of nature is. I look for a man high in his spirit; quite charming in his posture. Well resolved in his tasks to come and in what he has already done: a man independent of his mother and who does not take the opinion of his friends so seriously. I'm looking for a man who enjoys outdoor exercises, the sea, guitar strings, the flight of birds… A man who, instead of rushing to show me his precedence, sits beside me to let our spirits commune and our conversation flow. A man from a good family, who wants to add beautiful things to the history of his family, of the world, of the peoples... A man who does not consider himself complete, who embraces the importance of other men and women in his future. I'm looking for a man who knows the history of his father and of his father's father, of his grandfather's father, and so on for many generations: a man who manages his own pain to guard the treasures of his family and his Land... A man who wants to dominate the world and who, for that reason, has already achieved that: a man who contemplates the wide fields as if he already possessed the land that God bequeathed to all men... I look for a primitive man in his instincts, who knows he does not hold all the answers he needs: who believes in God, who veils the memory of the ancients, he who needs a woman, when the night comes, to look at him and explain his life. I'm looking for a man who insists that I love him during my dreams... A man who recognizes the madness of an atavism to take a faraway detour from all violence against himself, against his humanity, against all women... A man who never applauds the cowardice of those who insult females. I'm not looking for an unfortunate chit who defends good morals: I'm looking for a man who has good morals. I'm not looking for a troublemaker who defends his own freedom out there: I'm looking for an orderly man, who defends my freedom before his own... I'm looking for a man who never bites me, who could never hurt me and who nevertheless wants to heal my wounds. I'm looking for a man who takes care of himself, who grooms himself, but not that much; who is also pleased to leave himself under my care. One who knows the indispensable importance of a good mental hygiene, of the body’s care: a man who had a mother... Who enjoys things arranged around him, without making of such an order a slavery, nor rules as an obsession. I'm looking for a humanist who is exhausted from hearing ideas that have no reason to be, a humanist who needs books and someone who reads them over his shoulders. A man who writes me love letters, telling how much he misses me and how often he remembers me. A man who has some fear of life, of making too terrible mistakes; because he has already discovered that there are unforgivable errors. I'm looking for a man who knows how to overlook my spelling difficulties and who is happy with my little progress. I'm looking for a man who understands his role as a provider in a family, who isn't afraid to make his things the prerogatives of a woman, a man who has learned to let go of a senseless accumulation. I'm looking for a man who wants me as his companion for a walk in the garden, a man who wants to remember a day when he was a boy among the trees and bushes; who catches my eyes as if I were his little colleague in the beautiful grove of his youth, who finds the moment to kiss me... I'm looking for a man who wants a little house next to a river that never fills the entire sea, who loves horses and docile dogs, who thinks a carrot field is a magnificent idea. A man who recognizes among my sentences the aphorisms of friends that I have collected from so much walking. A man who wants to see the same good movies with me as always, who has an inner life where I am an inhabitant, who repeats the characters' lines before they speak on screen. I'm looking for a man who sings in the morning, a man who wakes me up gently with kisses, who embraces me while asking for me to go cook for him: because he enjoys better my way of doing things than his. I seek a man of good faith, even when all other men have given him reason enough to have none: a man, therefore, who has become the pride of his own kind. A man who forgets about other women and leaves them to other men, his brothers: who wants to be Charlemagne and not a Moor! And even the Moors ask their first lover's consent beforehand, for there is no love outside the truth; and outside love there is no man… A man who is Catholic or not; who may become a Catholic, because true love is worth overcoming all weaknesses, acquiring all virtues... A man who does not keep in advance, before his reasoning, how his conclusion will end: who knows how to know. A man who asks me how many children God will entrust to us… So. I'm looking for a man with a very high spirit, very charming, humanistic and tired, with some indissoluble faith in God and in himself; who suddenly realized, as if he had been struck by a ray coming from the largest sky, that he is the love of my whole life. That he is the man I have yet to meet. A man who, finally faced with these lost words from a distant woman, suddenly realizes that she has been looking for him all over the world, in all the languages she has learned, in all the places she has visited… Yes, I am looking for a man who, after tormenting himself in an argument, goes away, and leaves the house! Just to perceive, after a few steps, the abyss. He loves me, too: so it is true until the end of time. I'm looking for a man who can't leave nor live far from me, a man who will turn around in front of the abyss and find me again shedding immense tears. May he then know how to forgive, may he make me promise, as he promises, that we will only talk about good things; that we will put aside all nonsense and selfishness. Our love of one only was born before Aristophanes... I'm looking for a man who has forgotten my sins and who understands the moments of distance, silence, closeness... Who takes all my fault to himself, because he discovered the peace of a greater path, the beginning of an infinite love. I am looking for a man who understands we can look at the world from different points of view; and yet find love, through a simple and inexplicable mystery. Are you the one who reads me, the man I've been looking for all my life? Are you, the architect with hands for making me a never-ending construction? When will you tell me that you are that man? My life companions laugh. They think it's impossible for me to find, here on the face of the earth, a man like that, as I'm looking for, who makes me so complete... That's the moment when the years of a great suffering, of a sad loneliness, in which I've been living, come to me. I'm surprised they deem something so impossible. Yes, that man exists! Because his existence was proved possible. During these interminable years, I, myself, became that reliable man I was so much searching for this long.
* Ana Paula Arendt is a Brazilian political scientist, poet and diplomat. Read more at: www.anapaulaarendt.com.