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No Man Is A Continent

The Azores islands lie here where the tectonic plates of the three main continents of Europe, Africa and America grind, push and shove. Right here earth’s entrails spew out molten rock and built a submarine wall that is actually the longest submerged mountain range on this planet, the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. This submarine mountain vary extends from Greenland, passes through Iceland, flows between America and Europe, Africa and South America, then, moves right down to the very tip of Africa, where it, subsequent, turns East at the Cape of excellent Hope and stretches onward to the Indian Ocean.

After 5 to six hours of flight from Boston, of spying below and infinite blue mass of the Atlantic, approaching the islands, we think we are reaching a gigantic roadwork in the midst of the Ocean. Here the vast surface of the Atlantic opens up into gigantic mounds that pile up as if dug out by giant ocean gophers. Then, as our aircraft descends, the islands take on the semblance of an oversize Monument to Earth, a natural Stonehenge that rises from the underside of the ocean and has us spell bound until we land.

These islands lie smack on the Mid Atlantic Ridge and are within the crossroads (the cross seas), of the brand new and Outdated World. It is right here where north meets south and east meets west, and vice-versa. An individual could say, they are a compass rose in Celtic knot, where they’re within the southern a part of north and the northern part of south; in the japanese part of west and western part of east of the Atlantic Ocean. A king Arthur’s actuality, time warped in the middle of nowhere, this magic lava rubble of emerald meadows and mountain ridges, marks the heart of the Atlantic Ocean, give it an arcane, magic quality. These are the Azores the place the place flat Earth became the globe.

On this outpost of the Portuguese sea campaign is the place I stay, and where I was born. Surrounded by the blue desert of the Atlantic, every island is a luxuriant emerald gem, a inexperienced refuge in the course of the blue indigo vastness. There is here a bond of the individuals with this huge physique of water we name our home. This archipelago as soon as recognized as the Islands of Mist, the Flemish Isles or the Isles of Prince Henry, the Navigator, are an Avalon actuality that is a two hour flight away from Lisbon and 5 and a half from New York, about one third of the technique to America. Faraway from any known continent, to the Azorean individuals, every of the archipelago’s nine islands is a digital mainland. The rugged and sometimes mountainous panorama gives us the impression of dwelling not on landlocked islands, however on vicarious continents to the facility of 9, a inexperienced wonderland.

These islands are so green that even tourists who’ve visited Eire admit that, undoubtedly, the Azores are greener than Ireland yr long. Like Eire, Scotland and Galiza, north of Portugal, the landscape has one thing Celtic. Celtic are the Atlantic wind swept rich inexperienced meadows, the rolling pastures, the hills and mountains, the lichen lined stone walls, and windy roads. This is the North Atlantic’s very Secret World, a inexperienced and blue, non-tropical paradise

South of this island, on the Island of Sao Miguel, known as the emerald isle, is exactly where I used to be born. That is that this was the island thought to be on the very brim of the flat world back in time. It was a violent world of sudden volcanoes and earthquakes, of boiling fumaroles and hot springs, of sulphur pits and rising and submerging earth, mixed with the Mid Atlantic excessive humidity and gale power storm winds every single day within the winter time. For that purpose the settlers gave it the title of Saint Michael, the island that may have as a protector the angel that fights hell itself. The folks of this island have been additionally fittingly nicknamed the “coriscos,” or daredevils, for being robust, quick-tempered people who of their love of life dared the very harsh components that surrounded them and managed to make a residing on this brim of hell world itself.

Being a “Corisco,” from my earlier living on that island, I remember my house which confronted the Atlantic Ocean. I remember the weak sallow sun winters when dolphins paraded in entrance of our line of view, frolicked their way through the floor of the ocean in amusing marine acrobatics, elegant somersaulting and pirouetting. Ones with them, watching their fun made us wish to take off, leave our island oasis and comply with them freely via the open waters of the Atlantic.

From our upstairs home windows we also noticed ships come and ships go. Prisoners of this blue enclosure of the Atlantic, we have been the Atlantic’s because the Atlantic was ours, and although we wished out of here, once we moved, we moved over to lands near the Atlantic Ocean; lands, altogether, never too far from a mix of the watery factor and inexperienced pastures close by, be it in Bristol, Tiverton, Providence, Newport, Cape Cod, Hyannis or other seaside towns and villages of the new England states.

Central Atlantic Islanders, we had this intrinsic urge or bond with the world on the market. Just like the Inuit of Alaska, who called themselves, “Inuit,” that means the “Folks,” when round them there was hardly anyone however bears, seals and whales, we, too in our Mid-Atlantic isolation, felt a strong bond to the world. We knew nobody else but ourselves and, in fact, the various ships that docked on a few of our ports. Our idea of Portugal, actually, was our very island. We had been Portugal, and we have been Europe, even though, the vast majority of us had never been either to Portugal or anyplace in the previous continent. In truth, there was a regulation that prohibited the free motion of people’s in Portugal, so that any of us would not often journey or resettle on one other island. That contributed to micro-cultures throughout the archipelago of the Azores, or a 9-folded reality of the Azores, every island claiming to be the Azores in its own manner. That’s the truth even right this moment, when being on one other island, is like being on a completely completely different world, a unique Azores altogether.

What we, actually, weren’t, and we were well conscious, was America, and America was a larger magic than the Azores themselves. America was the magic California, New York, the lands of snow and ice, all in one, a land with a strong allure. It was related to money, vehicles, Hollywood motion pictures, loads of every thing beneath the solar, food, plenty of meals, wealth, numerous wealth. Via the pictures individuals sent again to the islands, America spelled progress, consolation, freedom, and glamor. It was a place of bicycles, toys galore, refrigerators, plush cars, heat homes with comfy sofas and arm chairs, Television’s, good tasting candy and candy smelling gum, comfortable clothes, women who wore heavy lipstick; a place the place one would be protein enriched plump (fat being one thing desirable in these days). It was a land of picket houses, of piles of snow, of wooded surroundings in every single place, of “Cheese!” smiles and extra smiles, a happy, wealthy, self-assured realm. Who, therefore, within the Azores didn’t dream of moving to America in those days Remoted and neglected by Portugal, America was like a natural extension of these islands. It attracted us like a magnet. Fall River, New Bedford, Providence, Boston, Newport, Bristol, Tiverton, Taunton, Lowell, Pawtucket, California became household names here. The impact of America on these islands was such, that there is not one Azorean right here on the island immediately that does not have a relative or an acquaintance dwelling on the opposite side of the Atlantic Ocean, that is the reality. America grew to become, indeed, a part of the Azores 1960’s and 1970’s warp and woof.

Then, in the future in 1968, it was our turn. We moved on to Fall River, Massachusetts and the world would never once more be the same.

Leaving the Mid-Atlantic Ridge actuality, it was like arriving at a brand new flat land world, an expanse that took the place of the deep extensive ocean and supplied us an Ocean of possibilities. Immigrants, then we rapidly discovered what America was really all about; being new there, we, certainly, didn’t take It for granted. We let go of our roots, we began speaking and thinking American. We had been grafted to America, America was us.

Funny is that we quickly perceived that America was manufactured from islands too. There we had been the “Portuguee,” the French Cannocks, from Canada, the Polacks, the “Italiano” and the Irish. For one, we began paying attention to K’s, Y’s and W’s, letters that did not exist in our alphabet. Going for a trip, felt like being one of those dolphins out there after we were back in the Azores, diligently trying to figure out the world of Americans by means of the billboards and signs we learn. Coming from a wet world, America was a dry expanse, a world tangent to ours, a brand new England woodland inexperienced ocean, removed from us by centuries of progress and dry land imbued with the spirit of Indians and glaciers of yore.

America was, thus, as we understood it, put together of many ethnic groups or pockets of people who like Lego items came collectively under one America for all. There were the different neighborhoods, and ethnic events that proved that America was a mosaic of cultures, actually, with a very robust, sometimes over bloated patriotic strand that stored us all together.

Like a Christmas spruce with a central shaft secured to a tree assist, with branches covered with tinsel and bright lights of all colors that was America. The base, was, of course, America’s history of the Struggle of Independence and the gargantuan efforts to break away from an outdated time system as that of oppressive kings and repressive England. It was Americas’s brand new historical past of independence and democracy.

The Fourth of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas time were three of its most vital highlights and the belief in its personal greatness was something that made It tick, made us want to tick to. America was a young maverick of a country, and to have grown up in America was great! At the identical time, we saved a penchant for the islands and folks, the land from where we had come. How might we not

Right now, after having lived in Massachusetts and for about two a long time in Central Europe, within the Netherlands and Germany, I returned full circle to these islands. Here, I notice that I am not from here any longer; that I do not fit here. The world culture caught up with the Azores, for sure, and the Azores are no longer what they used to be. These are not the islanders we as soon as were. This is more like a shallow continental, obsessive compulsive client society which has been spoiled by the recent rapid affluence caused by the adherence of Portugal to the European Union.

The music, customs and habits are these of any metropolis in mid America, London or Paris, the prices on anything, as effectively. That is, the worldwide culture has turned the islanders into customers of anything and every part. Here too is the realm of cell phones, Ipods, Fb, the social nets, and no matter is out there within the deep wide world. They crave for the newest, the very best quality, the most expensive many another ultra-technological gadget, toy or piece of tools. Low in self-worth, they have a inferiority complex, that makes them want to vie with the more affluent and powerful Northern part of Europe minus the self-discipline, onerous work and moderation. The taste, subsequently, right here, as anywhere else in the big capitals of the world, is for something extravagant, excessive, wasteful and pretentious. Having been for a lot of a long time the poorest country of Europe, it now exhibits a progress that defies a few of their different realities, so that, for instance, they are forcing everyone to make use of the online providers for authorities functions, when an excellent portion of the folks aren’t prepared for it but. It’s a technological age bureaucracy that borders on technological Fascism of some type. Much is completed by vanity, to prove their prominence and self-significance.

Sadly, what the Spaniards weren’t able to do century after century, in solely about three many years, Brussels did. On account of this new tradition there may be the drug and break-ins scene, a world of corruption and cultural excesses of a society receiving subsidies for every thing they want and past. The looseness and the indulgence of the internal city contaminated the minds and customs of the individuals right here and the easy, hardworking and unassuming Azorean environment is gone.

The truth is, in the present day’s islanders don’t want to go away the Azores any extra. The They say their America is here, that they haven’t any want or desire for America, that America will not be what it’s cracked to be — they absolutely have turned their backs on America, however they are doing the identical to their age previous values and Beliefs. Whereas they definitely became extra affluent and up to date with the remainder of Europe, they lost on humility, on honesty, on integrity. Proud world age people, they are an inside out society; one subservient to world traits and global mores; servants, if not slaves to their very own self-indulgence, vanity and hedonism. Spoiled by subsidies and authorities hand-outs they make up a “Schau und Glanz” society, one led by greed, arrogance and an exaggerated sense of self significance.

But, what fascinates me more on residing back right here in the Azores is the Historical past of the Age of Discovery, our history ‘s wealthy previous.

Right here born, although the sea is what shapes our character, we also have an amazing attachment to the land, for in any case, in a time of famine as was the time of the Hundred Years and the Iberian Wars in Europe, everybody who moved here was searching for a peaceful place, a spot away from constant armed conflicts, simply, a patch of land to farm and feed their family. We, Azoreans have been, subsequently, a product of an agrarian society, one hooked up to the fields, dedicated to self adequate farming and cows, numerous cows; while dreaming to in the future higher our lot someway in the town or by transferring someplace else each time potential.

People who lost touch with the outdated continent, most of the names around listed below are the one residual proof of our origins. De Melo, my name, in all probability comes from someplace close to the place the caravelles sailed out, from town of Lisbon or its surroundings. It also factors to a place near the very best level of Portugal, called the village of Melo within the very heart of Portugal. Another names have been translated into Portuguese from Flemish and French just like the van Hagen into Silveiras, van Huerte into Horta, van Brugge to de Bruge, Breton to Bretao, Franc into Franco, Bernard into Bernardo, Ormond into Ormonde, Brun to Brum, and so on. Others have remained the same, just like the Bettencourt, Fischer, Wallenstein, Weber, Schneider, and so forth. The Spanish invasion here for sixty years from 1582 to 1640 left names like Toledo, Borba and Avila. This was certainly, a primary de facto European melting -pot, the place the place individuals got here collectively from totally different locations in Portugal and Europe and from right here spread the world over, especially to lands of Brazil Hawaii, Bermuda and North America.

Then, just just like the seas around us, the extra remote the island, the rougher, the less fluent the language is. Sao Miguel, the island the place I got here from, for instance, has a very sturdy French accent, which factors to the affect of individuals from Bretagne. One of the towns is even named Bretanha after Brittany, Bretagne in France. On one other island, the island of Faial, more affected by the ingression of the folks of Flanders, there is a city called the Village of the Flemish, or the Flamengos for a similar purpose.

A world detached from ours, although we felt we have been Portugal and Europe, we were a folks turned to the West. Portugal and Europe weren’t the route of our ambitions. West, to the brand new World, was certainly the only route we knew for centuries. 200 and sixty years ago it was to the southern part of Brazil, especially to the State of Santa Catarina that our people moved to. The king of Portugal himself, promoted this mass resettlement at the moment to ensure that via an intensive settlement of the southern a part of Brazil, the Spaniards wouldn’t encroach or take over that region. My own Great-Grandparents settled in Brazil and lived there many years earlier than they returned to the islands. For a long time, Brazil was the Hy Brasile of Celtic lore. It was our destiny as we were Brazil’s.

At one other time previously, waves of Azoreans moved on to Hawaii and Bermuda, whereas others boarded the whaling ships that came by here from the new England states, and doing so, started a stream of individuals to Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, the three most sought after destinations in New England for the Azoreans. With the Gold Rush, we, then, moved on to California and within the early twentieth century, to Montreal, Ontario, Toronto, Quebec, Vancouver, B.C. and different cities in Canada.

To Brazil we brought our language and our customs, our Carneval, our religiosity, our Holy Spirit Cult, you name it. To Hawaii we took a musical instrument which was the forerunner of the ukulele. We also brought sweet bread and pineapple there. To America we brought our labor and our spirit of endeavour and journey. From the Far East, we introduced the hydrangea, camellias, North folk Island pine trees, tea plantations, orange bushes, Japanese rose bushes and a ginger like lily plant that covers the hills right here in September. From America, we introduced information of our realization exterior these islands, of a brand new nation which made particular person progress potential; gave everybody a chance to a better standard of dwelling, the arrogance of being financially unbiased and holding a way of accomplishment unimaginable on the islands.

Portuguese outposts, these islands, are the islands of Prince Henry, the Navigator, the man, the prince, the leader of the Order of Christ in Portugal, the previous Order of the Templars in disguise. On these remote islands, removed from every continent, south of the sinking of the Titanic, and north from the Sargasso seas, we, right here, are linked to a time in historical past when the world unfolded and we sailed the seven seas. They are the islands of the Finisterre, a Finis Mare, an finish of the world and sea actuality, islands of fireplace and brimstone, a spot where the secrets of the Atlantic Ocean have been first unlocked and the place flat world became the globe as we understand it today.

After the speedy settlement of the islands, when cattle, pigs and goats have been brought in and allowed to open up the land for humans, households from totally different areas of Portugal and Europe wandered in. This was adopted by an period of wheat and woad, when the Azores became the granary of the Age of Discovery and woad, a plant used as dye, was exported to Flanders. Then got here the Age of the Orange groves, when the English got here and oranges were sent from here to England galore. Portugal, in actual fact, turned the primary western nation that brought oranges from the Far East, particularly China and the primary to make use of of oranges to battle scurvy on their world voyages. In consequence, Portugal was quickly associated with oranges to a degree that many Arabic countries, international locations the place the Portuguese stopped on their voyages to and from India, started naming their oranges for the very title of Portugal, portugalo, an orange.

Now, during this Age of Discovery, one of many strategies used by Prince Henry’s college was the methodical recording of data. That’s, thanks to this College of Navigation Europe vast, captain logs and minute to minute reporting had been for the first time launched and became the standard operation process with the navies of all countries from then on up to the current. Each island was, by the decree of the Prince, governed like an actual ship, by a “Captain Donatory” in command of a Captaincy that saw to it that the island each was in control of, was rightfully being settled and explored. Ironically, however, the secret gimmicks plots and intrigue performed by the Templars marked the Age of Discovery as effectively. That is, whereas all efforts had been made to scientifically, methodically keep track of all that was finished and stated, when all the data was recorded and shared as no other time before that era, it was additionally a time when a lot info was intentionally withheld or deceptively maneuvered to misguide and mislead if not everyone else, Spain for sure. That was an Age of misleading conceal-and-go-search strategies, for which the Portuguese, beneath the order of Christ, (the Templars in disguise) grew to become the best of gamers. It was a Tom and Jerry actuality, where little Portugal, Jerry, had to take care of itself one of stone island clearence the simplest ways it may, by means of trickery and artful, even devious scheming; by the withholding and altering info for some ulterior finish, unknown as we speak.

Columbus, himself, comes across as a wily character, one who was fully at residence in Portugal, spoke the language, married into a noble family and was by no means thought of as a foreigner here in Portugal. When he moved to Spain, he was referred to as the Portuguese. No one ever called him the Man kind Genoa, because it was customary to nickname foreigners those days, like El Greco. He is even suspected to have been of Jewish-Portuguese ancestry from a Portuguese-Jewish community in the area Genoa or Livorno, just to the South of Genoa, in Italy. Some even say that he isn’t even that, however that he was a noble from the area of Alentejo, from the city of Cuba in Southern Portugal and that was actually the explanation for his naming one of many islands he found by that very name. He wrote Portuguese and Spanish with a Portuguese flair. He by no means used Italian to precise himself, nor did he present any attachment to Genoa in any way.

So, the history of our islands, subject to this dynamics of deception and intrigue, factors to an Age when not every part was revealed: it was a world the place the highly effective by way of Machiavellian stratagems ruled and the individuals had no selection, no voice, and no proper to the knowledge of the games that had been being played on them. In any case, this was additionally the age, when spies, all foreigners, walked the plank or were despatched to the pyre by the Inquisitors; the people have been a rabble with no inborn route and the court and the Church alone determined everybody’s destiny.

Europe, being in those days a theatre of struggle and of fixed turmoil, of knightly forays and religious fever, of total waywardness best described by H.J. von Grimmelhausen’s The Adventurous Simplicissumus, was a de facto nightmarish situation of many a battle and skirmish, a land of scoundrels, villains, cutthroats, of shrewd Jews- made new Christians, noble scoundrels, and simpleminded rogues in all places. This was a time of religious zeal and roguish attitudes. Deep inside humanity wanted out and away from it all. Right here, these islands in the middle of the Atlantic have been the very first hope of escape from the quagmire of the occasions, and our people were for essentially the most part that submissive rabble majority, interspersed with many a rapacious ruffian, cutthroat or thug, over zealous sailors or sea knights, greedy lords, petty nobles and shrewd foreigners who dared to interrupt away from all of it, and so we remain and are, even in the present day.

This was Europe’s very own “Gold Rush.” It was the Rush of the European Spirit, tired from battle, hungry for change, craving for the lands of dreams, of gold and spices, the Far East and India, the unknown frontiers of Prince Henry’s new world. One of the actions of the Flemish once they arrived right here, was exactly to search for diamonds and gold which they thought were considerable within the Azores.

By here, the Portuguese have been in a position to mount its huge world empire, the primary the place the sun never set. It was the Portuguese to essentially first attain the Far East, lands of China and Japan, the primary Europeans to settle on lands like Timor and Macao, Nagasaki and Hiroshima. It was by the Portuguese Jesuit affect, that Vietnam, for instance, picked up on a phonetic alphabet and the Chinese set their days of the week numerically beginning with day of the Lord, Sunday after which Second, Third, Fourth and so forth Days, Portugal being the only European nation that does that. It’s because of the affect of both the Portuguese Jews and the Jesuits that Portuguese is in the present day, after English and Spanish, the third most spoken European Language of wide world span.

Having in Spain its arch enemy, Portugal’s alliance with England, the oldest and longer European Alliance since 1373, was a reality even older than Port wine. Prince Henry, himself, was the son of the House of Lancaster and the king of the House of Avis. In England the Portuguese found their staunch partners and protectors. At the Treaty of Windsor, each countries renewed the age previous treaty and promised an eternal partnership. It was thanks to that treaty that the Americans by the bequest of England was allowed to open a Base here on the island of Terceira again within the 1941’s. The Portuguese authorities being a Fascist authorities during World Struggle Two, did not align with the American presence here, however the Treaty was explicit, and the Fascist government bonded to England for safety of Portugal’s own worldwide empire, had no choice however to bow to England, when England made a special request that the Americans are available. So the bottom was established and continues to be right here, and here is the place I work.

No Man is a continent; we are all islands, realities that rise from the bottom of a standard watery body that binds us all into one sole reality that’s the truth of our planet. Islands, what is happening to us right here on these islands is, in fact, taking place to the whole world as well.

Thus, world developments, the gimmicks of the inventory markets and the banks, the cooperative world, play the identical way the order of Christ did at the Age of Discovery. They are the brand new Order of the Templars in disguise. We dwell a time of non-submissive, self glad, smug masses who entertain themselves on new technologies as on toys, have misplaced the power to construct grand desires, comply with greater than lead, dwell on a new form of folly, one primarily based on the excesses of knowledge that comes kind the surface and not from the inside of themselves. We have now misplaced our inside virtuousness and should not authentically ourselves any longer, but subject to world traits, global schemes, slaves to what others suppose and do.

Azoreans, from the Azores, we can make out the outline of those new islands in the horizon, as we will inform reality in our world of mists and eternal shifting, rise and sinking of lava in these our sweet Islands of Mist. From here we will inform that the entire world is now a brand new Azores actuality, the place no man undoubtedly is a continent. In the middle of this new Ocean, we notice we’ve got reached our very West, and the far East is on; that there are games being played on us, the estranged, the detached plenty. Are we opened-eyed sufficient to pick on the games being performed this time, or will all of us play being part of the lost continent of Atlantis, or is it the sinking of the Titanic

The world is altering. The query that remains is, “Is this transformation into the globe as we constructed it here way back, or is into a flatland on the brim of a fireplace and brimstone world, once Stone Island Jumpers more

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