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  • Writer's picturemapasconfinamento

Telma Tvon

Translated by Claire Williams


I keep going only in belief

Everything I have inside me is belief

It’s faith featuring strength

It’s continuity sung by guts, sung by the attitude of someone firm in their belief

I keep going with Life

Everything that’s formed of strength and light is patience

It’s hope sprinkled with the understanding that all we aren’t doing is all we can do!

And I keep going

I go on alone during these entire days which could be shady indoors but are not.

I’ve decided that they will not know the shadow of me! I’ve decided that I will keep going with sun in my solitude!

I go on! I go on with the pained monologue of someone who is missing so much!

I go on! I go on shielded by the waiting which every day stops screaming at me

It just murmurs quietly that everything’s going to be alright, and I know it is! I can feel it is!

And on I go! I go on restlessly working out what isn’t happening because I hold in me the power of knowing that it will happen again, one day, one night.

There’s a voice choking, playing at being emotional, there are smiles on videocalls. There are times when zoom gets sentimental. There are times when I don’t feel like answering, don’t hold it against me. There is so much beyond this new data but there are hugs we’re missing

I dreamed that I’d be getting out today!

I don’t want to be immune to hugs, kisses, compliments and laughs because I keep going!

I dreamed that I’m free now today! I want love that’s contagious, viral, anxious and enduring! Because I always kept going, because I’m keeping going and I’ll always keep going being certain that it’ll all be fine, for us all.

It’s getting closer, I can feel it. No more shouting, I’m buzzing. So used to lockdown, will I get used to freedom? I know freedom so intimately and yet I’m so scared that I won’t recognise it and how I long to recognise it.

So I keep going, clothed in hope, shod in change

How I feel, keeping going. Triumphant. Did you really think I wouldn’t cope?

I didn’t even need to be very strong. I really think not even a bit strong.

Loads of times I used the idea of strength in my rising up but it was actually the lightness in me that kept me going. I lied to myself that I was strong, I just had to convince myself it was true.

Sounds of happiness accompanying me

Smells of reflection driving me

My footsteps confined inside my two-bedroom flat, playing at living in two-zero-two-one, pointing me in the right direction

That’s always been how I’ve kept going. Me and my belief, not the blind kind of faith that’s never questioned.

I’ve often wondered, and even more often doubted myself during all those times, the certainty. The certainty that this enclosed silence would make me emotionally gigantic. How I’ve grown. How I’ve split from my ego to be able to hear myself. To listen, in fact. To listen to myself, in fact. I seem to be moving on renewed. Tired? Renewed. After a break of a year or so which has enabled me to put myself out with the rubbish and belatedly recycle myself. Renewed. Ready to live like never before until I get tired of that never and go back to living like I always did. Renewed, on I go.

I keep going just with confidence.

Everything I have inside me is confidence. Might there be too much?

It’s certainty rhyming with nicety

It’s my will sung by my ability to feel that I am unique in my world of confidence.

I keep going with Life.

Everything that’s formed of the sweet and touching.

It’s madness soaked in the seriousness of someone who knows they are about to get to where they wanted.

And how good it felt to keep going with the magic of a fairy godmother disguised as a mermaid, daughter of a unicorn. I carry on free being everything in this completely unlocked-down mental space. Rebellious. Bold and completely liberated. Totally free at the moment when the world thought it was imprisoned. Totally dream drenched in improved days, days thinking about Us, days designed in a joyful existence in countless moments. What about the nights? Nights are for flying, nights are the existence of the counted moments of unspeakable excellence while waiting with complete patience for the sun.

I keep on going.

Being the daughter of a year or so of noise in continued silences.

I keep on going

Being light on myself, creating strength inside me.

I keep on going, knowing that we are now the legacy of learning to live better.

I cancelled the complaining, I keep going.

I ditched the sulking, I keep going

Bad moods are strangers to me, I keep going

I downloaded positivism conscious that things are going to be fine not because the less good will stop happening but knowing for sure that things are going to be fine because I’ve bypassed anything that could hurt me more: my, lack of belief, my, lack of confidence.

So I keep going. And how I keep going.

I’ve let the sofa breathe, I haven’t really tidied up room 2021 and I keep going.

And I carry on.

One foot inside, the other outside, courage totally outside and I keep going.

Yeah, I really think that renewed, I keep going.


Telma Marlise Escórcio da Silva by name, presented here as Tvon, was born on a rainy, sunny day in the April of Luanda, Angola, and lives in Lisbon, Portugal, since the times of her basically basic education. A graduated in African Studies from the School of Arts and Humanities at the University of Lisbon, she has an MA in Social Services from ISCTE-IUL and is also a lover of the Hip-Hop culture, a passionate for Human Rights, and Voracious for African Literature. She's just a Woman. Just the Woman. Just that.

Claire Williams is an Associate Professor in Brazilian Literature and Culture at the University of Oxford. As an academic she has published widely on twentieth and twenty-first century women’s writing, minority writing and life writing from the Portuguese-speaking world, and has translated stories by Dulce Maria Cardoso, Hélia Correia and Ana Paula Maia.

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