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No Man Is A Continent

The Azores islands lie right here where the tectonic plates of the three main continents of Europe, Africa and America grind, push and shove. Here earth’s entrails spew out molten rock and constructed a submarine wall that is definitely the longest submerged mountain range in the world, the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. This submarine mountain vary extends from Greenland, passes by Iceland, flows between America and Europe, Africa and South America, then, strikes down to the very tip of Africa, the place it, subsequent, turns East on the Cape of fine Hope and stretches onward to the Indian Ocean.

After five to six hours of flight from Boston, of spying under and infinite blue mass of the Atlantic, approaching the islands, we think we are reaching a big roadwork in the course of the Ocean. Right here the huge floor of the Atlantic opens up into gigantic mounds that pile up as if dug out by big ocean gophers. Then, as our airplane descends, the islands take on the semblance of an oversize Monument to Earth, a pure Stonehenge that rises from the bottom 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These islands lie smack on the Mid Atlantic Ridge and are within the crossroads (the cross seas), of the new and Outdated World. It’s right here the place north meets south and east meets west, and vice-versa. A person could say, they are a compass rose in Celtic knot, the place they’re within the southern part of north and the northern a part of south; within the eastern part of west and western part of east of the Atlantic Ocean. A king Arthur’s actuality, time warped in the course of nowhere, this magic lava rubble of emerald meadows and mountain ridges, marks the center of the Atlantic Ocean, give it an arcane, magic quality. These are the Azores the place where flat Earth became the globe.

On this outpost of the Portuguese sea campaign is where I reside, and the place I used to be born. Surrounded by the blue desert of the Atlantic, each island is a luxuriant emerald gem, a inexperienced refuge in the course of the blue indigo vastness. There’s here a bond of the folks with this vast physique of water we name our house. This archipelago once known as the Islands of Mist, the Flemish Isles or the Isles of Prince Henry, the Navigator, are an Avalon reality that may be a two hour flight away from Lisbon and five and a half from New York, about one third of the option to America. Faraway from any recognized continent, to the Azorean people, every of the archipelago’s 9 islands is a virtual mainland. The rugged and sometimes mountainous landscape gives us the impression of dwelling not on landlocked islands, but on vicarious continents to the ability of 9, a inexperienced wonderland.

These islands are so green that even vacationers who’ve visited Eire admit that, positively, the Azores are greener than Eire yr long. Like Eire, Scotland and Galiza, north of Portugal, the landscape has one thing Celtic. Celtic are the Atlantic wind swept wealthy 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, referred to as the emerald isle, is exactly the place I used to be born. That is this was the island thought to be on the very brim of the flat world again in time. It was a violent world of sudden volcanoes and earthquakes, of boiling fumaroles and sizzling springs, of sulphur pits and rising and submerging earth, combined with the Mid Atlantic excessive humidity and gale pressure storm winds every single day within the winter time. For that motive the settlers gave it the title of Saint Michael, the island that might have as a protector the angel that fights hell itself. The folks of this island have been also fittingly nicknamed the “coriscos,” or daredevils, for being robust, quick-tempered people who in their love of life dared the very harsh components that surrounded them and managed to make a dwelling 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 front of our line of view, frolicked their approach by the surface of the ocean in amusing marine acrobatics, elegant somersaulting and pirouetting. Ones with them, watching their enjoyable made us wish to take off, leave our island oasis and comply with them freely through the open waters of the Atlantic.

From our upstairs windows we additionally saw ships come and ships go. Prisoners of this blue enclosure of the Atlantic, we were the Atlantic’s because the Atlantic was ours, and though we wished out of right here, after we moved, we moved over to lands near the Atlantic Ocean; lands, altogether, never too removed from a combination of the watery aspect and green pastures nearby, 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 out there. Just like the Inuit of Alaska, who referred to as themselves, “Inuit,” meaning the “People,” when around them there was hardly anyone but bears, seals and whales, we, too in our Mid-Atlantic isolation, felt a powerful bond to the world. We knew no one else but ourselves and, of course, the numerous ships that docked on some of our ports. Our idea of Portugal, really, was our very island. We were Portugal, and we have been Europe, regardless that, the vast majority of us had never been either to Portugal or wherever within the old continent. In reality, there was a law that prohibited the free motion of individuals’s in Portugal, so that any of us would hardly ever travel or resettle on one other island. That contributed to micro-cultures inside the archipelago of the Azores, or a nine-folded actuality of the Azores, every island claiming to be the Azores in its own way. That is the truth even right this moment, when being on another island, is like being on a completely completely different world, a unique Azores altogether.

What we, really, were not, and we had been nicely aware, was America, and America was a higher magic than the Azores themselves. America was the magic California, New York, the lands of snow and ice, multi functional, a land with a powerful allure. It was related to money, automobiles, Hollywood movies, loads of every part beneath the solar, meals, plenty of food, wealth, numerous wealth. Through the photographs folks sent again to the islands, America spelled progress, consolation, freedom, and glamor. It was a place of bicycles, toys galore, refrigerators, plush vehicles, heat houses with comfy sofas and arm chairs, Television’s, good tasting sweet and sweet smelling gum, comfy clothes, girls who wore heavy lipstick; a spot the place one can be protein enriched plump (fats being one thing desirable in those days). It was a land of wooden houses, of piles of snow, of wooded surroundings everywhere, of “Cheese!” smiles and extra smiles, a contented, wealthy, self-assured realm. Who, therefore, in the Azores didn’t dream of transferring to America in these days Isolated and neglected by Portugal, America was like a pure extension of those islands. It attracted us like a magnet. Fall River, New Bedford, Providence, Boston, Newport, Bristol, Tiverton, Taunton, Lowell, Pawtucket, California turned family names right here. The impact of America on these islands was such, that there just isn’t one Azorean here on the island as we speak that does not have a relative or an acquaintance dwelling on the other facet of the Atlantic Ocean, that’s the fact. America turned, certainly, part of the Azores 1960’s and 1970’s warp and woof.

Then, at some point 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 broad ocean and offered us an Ocean of potentialities. Immigrants, then we shortly realized what America was really all about; being new there, we, surely, didn’t take It with no consideration. We let go of our roots, we began talking and considering American. We have been grafted to America, America was us.

Humorous is that we quickly perceived that America was manufactured from islands too. There we were the “Portuguee,” the French Cannocks, from Canada, the Polacks, the “Italiano” and the Irish. For one, we started listening to Okay’s, Y’s and W’s, letters that did not exist in our alphabet. Going for a ride, felt like being one of those dolphins on the market when we have been again within the Azores, diligently trying to figure out the world of Individuals through the billboards and indicators we read. Coming from a wet world, America was a dry expanse, a world tangent to ours, a brand new England woodland green ocean, faraway 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 teams or pockets of people who like Lego items got here collectively underneath one America for all. There have been the different neighborhoods, and ethnic events that proved that America was a mosaic of cultures, really, with a really strong, generally over bloated patriotic strand that saved us all together.

Like a Christmas spruce with a central shaft secured to a tree support, with branches covered with tinsel and bright lights of all colours that was America. The bottom, was, after all, America’s historical past of the Struggle of Independence and the gargantuan efforts to interrupt away from an previous time system as that of oppressive kings and repressive England. It was Americas’s model new historical past of independence and democracy.

The Fourth of July, Thanksgiving and Christmas time had been three of its most vital highlights and the idea in its own greatness was one thing that made It tick, made us wish to tick to. America was a young maverick of a country, and to have grown up in America was great! At the same time, we saved a penchant for the islands and other people, the land from the place we had come. How might we not

At present, after having lived in Massachusetts and for about two a long time in Central Europe, in the Netherlands and Germany, I returned full circle to those islands. Here, I realize that I’m not from right here any longer; that I do not fit here. The world tradition caught up with the Azores, for sure, and the Azores are not what they was. These aren’t the islanders we as soon as had been. This is extra like a shallow continental, obsessive compulsive client society which has been spoiled by the latest speedy affluence brought about by the adherence of Portugal to the European Union.

The music, customs and habits are these of any city in mid America, London or Paris, the costs on something, as properly. That’s, the global culture has turned the islanders into customers of something and every little thing. Right here too is the realm of cell telephones, Ipods, Fb, the social nets, and no matter is on the market within the deep large world. They crave for the newest, the best quality, probably the most expensive many another extremely-technological gadget, toy or piece of equipment. Low in self-worth, they’ve a inferiority complicated, that makes them want to vie with the more affluent and highly effective Northern part of Europe minus the self-discipline, arduous work and moderation. The taste, due to this fact, right here, as anyplace else in the large capitals of the world, is for something extravagant, extreme, wasteful and pretentious. Having been for many a long time the poorest nation of Europe, it now exhibits a progress that defies some of their different realities, so that, for example, they’re forcing everyone to make use of the web providers for government purposes, when a great portion of the individuals aren’t prepared for it yet. It’s a technological age bureaucracy that borders on technological Fascism of some type. Much is finished by vanity, to show their prominence and self-significance.

Sadly, what the Spaniards weren’t in a position to do century after century, in only about three a long time, Brussels did. On account of this new culture there’s the drug and break-ins scene, a world of corruption and cultural excesses of a society receiving subsidies for every little thing they need and beyond. The looseness and the indulgence of the inner city infected the minds and customs of the individuals right here and the simple, hardworking and unassuming Azorean atmosphere is gone.

The truth is, today’s islanders do not wish to leave the Azores any more. The They are saying their America is right here, that they haven’t any need or want for America, that America shouldn’t be what it is cracked to be — they absolutely have turned their backs on America, however they are doing the same to their age outdated values and Beliefs. While they definitely became extra affluent and up to date with the rest of Europe, they lost on humility, on honesty, on integrity. Proud world age people, they are an inside out society; one subservient to world developments and world 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 importance.

But, what fascinates me extra on living back right here within the Azores is the History of the Age of Discovery, our historical past ‘s rich past.

Here born, although the sea is what shapes our character, we even have an incredible attachment to the land, for in spite of everything, in a time of famine as was the time of the Hundred Years and the Iberian Wars in Europe, everyone who moved right here was in search of a peaceful place, a spot away from constant armed conflicts, simply, a patch of land to farm and feed their family. We, Azoreans had been, subsequently, a product of an agrarian society, one hooked up to the fields, devoted to self adequate farming and cows, plenty of cows; while dreaming to someday better our lot by some means in town or by transferring somewhere else at any time when potential.

People who misplaced contact with the old continent, many of the names around here are the only residual proof of our origins. De Melo, my name, probably comes from somewhere near where the caravelles sailed out, from the city of Lisbon or its surroundings. It also factors to a spot near the very best level of Portugal, called the village of Melo within the very heart of Portugal. Some other names have been translated into Portuguese from Flemish and French 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 stone island parka for sale on. Others have remained the same, just like the Bettencourt, Fischer, Wallenstein, Weber, Schneider, and so forth. The Spanish invasion right here for sixty years from 1582 to 1640 left names like Toledo, Borba and Avila. This was certainly, a first de facto European melting -pot, the place the place people came collectively from totally different locations in Portugal and Europe and from here unfold the world over, especially to lands of Brazil Hawaii, Bermuda and North America.

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

A world detached from ours, although we felt we were Portugal and Europe, we were a folks turned to the West. Portugal and Europe were not the route of our ambitions. West, to the new World, was indeed the only direction we knew for centuries. 200 and sixty years in the past it was to the southern part of Brazil, especially to the State of Santa Catarina that our individuals moved to. The king of Portugal himself, promoted this mass resettlement at that time to make sure that through an intensive settlement of the southern part of Brazil, the Spaniards would not encroach or take over that area. My own Nice-Grandparents settled in Brazil and lived there a few years earlier than they returned to the islands. For a very long time, Brazil was the Hy Brasile of Celtic lore. It was our future as we had been Brazil’s.

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

To Brazil we introduced our language and our customs, our Carneval, our religiosity, our Holy Spirit Cult, you title it. To Hawaii we took a musical instrument which was the forerunner of the ukulele. We additionally brought candy bread and pineapple there. To America we brought our labor and our spirit of endeavour and adventure. From the Far East, we brought the hydrangea, camellias, North people Island pine timber, tea plantations, orange timber, Japanese rose bushes and a ginger like lily plant that covers the hills here in September. From America, we brought information of our realization exterior these islands, of a model new country which made particular person progress possible; gave everyone a chance to a greater normal of living, the confidence of being financially independent and holding a way of accomplishment impossible on the islands.

Portuguese outposts, these islands, are the islands of Prince Henry, the Navigator, the man, the prince, the chief of the Order of Christ in Portugal, the previous Order of the Templars in disguise. On these remote islands, removed from each continent, south of the sinking of the Titanic, and north from the Sargasso seas, we, here, are linked to a time in historical past when the world unfolded and we sailed the seven seas. They’re the islands of the Finisterre, a Finis Mare, an finish of the world and sea actuality, islands of fire and brimstone, a spot the place the secrets of the Atlantic Ocean were first unlocked and the place flat world changed into the globe as we realize it right this moment.

After the quick settlement of the islands, when cattle, pigs and goats had been introduced in and allowed to open up the land for people, households from totally different areas of Portugal and Europe wandered stone island parka for sale in. This was adopted by an era of wheat and woad, when the Azores grew to become the granary of the Age of Discovery and woad, a plant used as dye, was exported to Flanders. Then came the Age of the Orange groves, when the English came and oranges had been despatched from here to England galore. Portugal, actually, grew to become the primary western nation that introduced oranges from the Far East, namely China and the primary to use of oranges to battle scurvy on their world voyages. Consequently, Portugal was rapidly related to oranges to a degree that many Arabic nations, countries where the Portuguese stopped on their voyages to and from India, began naming their oranges for the very title of Portugal, portugalo, an orange.

Now, throughout this Age of Discovery, one of the methods used by Prince Henry’s school was the methodical recording of data. That is, because of this School of Navigation Europe broad, captain logs and minute to minute reporting had been for the first time introduced and turned the usual operation procedure with the navies of all nations from then on as much as the present. Every island was, by the decree of the Prince, governed like an precise 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, nonetheless, the key gimmicks plots and intrigue performed by the Templars marked the Age of Discovery as properly. That is, while all efforts have been made to scientifically, methodically keep monitor of all that was completed and stated, when all the information was recorded and shared as no different time earlier than that period, it was also a time when much data was deliberately withheld or deceptively maneuvered to misguide and mislead if not everybody else, Spain for sure. That was an Age of misleading conceal-and-go-search methods, for which the Portuguese, underneath the order of Christ, (the Templars in disguise) turned the better of gamers. It was a Tom and Jerry actuality, the place little Portugal, Jerry, had to take care of itself one of the best ways it could, via trickery and artful, even devious scheming; by means of the withholding and altering information for some ulterior finish, unknown in the present day.

Columbus, himself, comes throughout as a wily character, one who was utterly at home in Portugal, spoke the language, married into a noble family and was never regarded as a foreigner here in Portugal. When he moved to Spain, he was referred to as the Portuguese. Nobody ever known as him the Man type Genoa, because it was customary to nickname foreigners these days, like El Greco. He is even suspected to have been of Jewish-Portuguese ancestry from a Portuguese-Jewish group within the area Genoa or Livorno, simply to the South of Genoa, in Italy. Some even say that he is just not even that, however that he was a noble from the area of Alentejo, from the city of Cuba in Southern Portugal and that was really the rationale for his naming one of the islands he discovered by that very title. He wrote Portuguese and Spanish with a Portuguese flair. He never used Italian to express himself, nor did he present any attachment to Genoa by any means.

So, the historical past of our islands, topic to this dynamics of deception and intrigue, points to an Age when not every thing was revealed: it was a world the place the highly effective by Machiavellian stratagems dominated and the people had no choice, no voice, and no right to the data of the games that had been being performed on them. In spite of everything, this was additionally the age, when spies, all foreigners, walked the plank or have been sent to the pyre by the Inquisitors; the folks have been a rabble with no inborn path and the court and the Church alone determined everybody’s destiny.

Europe, being in these days a theatre of warfare and of fixed turmoil, of knightly forays and religious fever, of whole waywardness finest described by H.J. von Grimmelhausen’s The Adventurous Simplicissumus, was a de facto nightmarish scenario of many a battle and skirmish, a land of scoundrels, villains, cutthroats, of shrewd Jews- made new Christians, noble scoundrels, and simpleminded rogues in every single place. This was a time of religious zeal and roguish attitudes. Deep inside humanity needed out and away from it all. Here, these islands in the midst of the Atlantic have been the very first hope of escape from the quagmire of the times, and our folks have been 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 break away from it all, and so we stay and are, even in the present day.

This was Europe’s very personal “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 many actions of the Flemish once they arrived right here, was exactly to look for diamonds and gold which they thought had been ample within the Azores.

By way of here, the Portuguese have been in a position to mount its wide world empire, the first where the sun by no means set. It was the Portuguese to really first reach the Far East, lands of China and Japan, the first Europeans to settle on lands like Timor and Macao, Nagasaki and Hiroshima. It was by the Portuguese Jesuit influence, that Vietnam, for example, picked up on a phonetic alphabet and the Chinese language set their days of the week numerically beginning with day of the Lord, Sunday and then Second, Third, Fourth and so on Days, Portugal being the one European nation that does that. It’s because of the influence of each the Portuguese Jews and the Jesuits that Portuguese is at this time, 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 actuality even older than Port wine. Prince Henry, himself, was the son of the Home of Lancaster and the king of the Home of Avis. In England the Portuguese found their staunch companions and protectors. On the Treaty of Windsor, both countries renewed the age outdated treaty and promised an eternal partnership. It was because of that treaty that the People by means of the bequest of England was allowed to open a Base right here on the island of Terceira again within the 1941’s. The Portuguese government being a Fascist government during World Conflict Two, didn’t align with the American presence right here, but the Treaty was specific, and the Fascist authorities bonded to England for protection of Portugal’s own worldwide empire, had no selection but to bow to England, when England made a particular request that the People come in. So the base was established and continues to be here, and right 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 is the fact of our planet. Islands, what is happening to us here on these islands is, in reality, occurring to the entire world as properly.

Thus, world tendencies, the gimmicks of the stock markets and the banks, the cooperative world, play the same approach the order of Christ did on the Age of Discovery. They’re the new Order of the Templars in disguise. We reside a time of non-submissive, self happy, smug plenty who entertain themselves on new technologies as on toys, have misplaced the flexibility to build grand goals, observe greater than lead, stay on a brand new kind of folly, one based mostly on the excesses of data that comes kind the surface and not from the inside of themselves. We have lost our interior virtuousness and aren’t authentically ourselves any longer, but topic to world tendencies, international schemes, slaves to what others assume and do.

Azoreans, from the Azores, we could make out the define of those new islands in the horizon, as we are able to tell actuality in our world of mists and eternal shifting, rise and sinking of lava in these our candy Islands of Mist. From here we will tell that the entire world is now a brand new Azores actuality, where no man undoubtedly is a continent. In the course of this new Ocean, we notice we’ve got reached our very West, and the far East is on; that there are video games being performed on us, the estranged, the detached masses. Are we opened-eyed enough to pick on the games being played this time, or will we all play being part of the misplaced continent of Atlantis, or is it the sinking of the Titanic

The world is changing. The query that continues to be is, “Is this variation into the globe as we constructed it right here way back, or is into a flatland on the brim of a hearth and brimstone world, once Stone Island Jumpers more

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