ROSĀNGELA VIEIRA ROCHA
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"STONES RIVER"


(...)I decide to create a different, very special collection of several types of little moss squares. I become a real strider, always searching the river’s margin, the vacant lots and the cemetery. I pick light and dark green moss, highly and less velvety, the big, medium and small variety.

I’m proud of my collection, all tidied up on a wooden box. Moss is one of the most soft and beautiful things that exists, even more than pure silk. It can only be compared with cattail, that I believe being one of the components used in the making of velvet. At my cousin’s birthday party, one of the boys says that he collects stamps. The other children start talking about their own collections, while munching the party’s candies (my aunt is very sophisticated, serving only fine candies at her parties). I’m earnestly waiting my turn to speak, as I’m sure nobody has a collection as exotic as mine. I can even sense the general envy after telling about it. As I speak I can see the strange stares they exchange among themselves, until a bolder fat boy finds his nerve to say “mud collection, who ever saw a thing like that? Small lumps of wet earth inside a box, what a stupid thing.” “It’s not mud” I reply. “It’s not mud, it is moss, m-o-s-s, a completely different thing. Moss is that green velvet so good to the touch, like touching peaches, like a baby’s skin. Do you really know moss?”

I fly from the party, racing as fast as I can. My collection is a fiasco. What a deception, I caught myself even wanting to destroy it. At home, at last, I hug the wooden box, reassessing my loving care.


(RIO DAS PEDRAS (Stones’ River), Secretaria de Estado da Cultura, Brasília, 2002., p. 50)