Do not be if I have seen at some time in any photo an expression of so complete, happiness so absolute and so radiant as in this one.
And to so that we notice we will see that it is a sad well photo. The child is called Werfel. He is six years old and Am Himmel lives in the orphanage, in Vienna. We are in 1946. The Second World war has ended last year and he has remained alone in the world.
A minute ago the Red American Cross has given him a pair of new shoes.
If we concentrate well on the photo we will conclude that the child is fed well and dressed good. The shoes that it has are slightly torn, yes, especially in the toes, but they fulfill very acceptably his function. The rest of his apparel does not show the most minimal luxury, nor any lack.
Everything makes us think that, in view of the place and the date, this orphanage fulfills encomiablemente his function. I imagine the terrible limitations and difficulties, and the great heroism of those who are employed at him. I get excited.
I would like to know what belonged to this child, a poor victim of the war, so small orphan, without anything or anybody in the destroyed and sunked world.
And, nevertheless, it has received an unexpected gift: A gift that already is not the object in yes same (a few magnificent shoes), which he does not even need urgently to survive (those that it had could continue doing repair to him for a few months, or enclosedly years), but the palpable demonstration of which it has someone, of whom someone, somehow abstract, indirect and remote, has remembered him and has done a gift to him.
We go, of that someone him wants.
This so pure happiness, this moment epifánico of so high happiness, we touch the heart and it shows us many things. To me, especially, the silly thing that I am.
In these times of crisis, of a sorrow, of tedium, which seems that they are never going to end, I see this child and sit an enormous envy. I think about my first project, my first order when it did not have anything, my first money gained with my honest work. Also I remember brightly my first illusions and my first professional dreads, my take-off to the life, in a world neither hostile nor amicable, in a few circumstances that he did not understand but that I confronted and enjoyed so much since could.
What have I now? Much more that at the time, but I am obstinate in not wanting to see. Because of it I say that I am silly.
Already we are in dates prenavideñas. Serve this photo to wish shoe new shoes all, naturally, but, especially, that you extract of the cupboard this pure and happy soul that it can estimate and enjoy, and this invincible happiness in the middle of the disaster.
I wish all the young architects an order, a work, a gift, a stimulus that shoots you at the new and happy life that comes after the destruction and the horror (or in the middle of them), and a look desprejuiciada to this horrible and destroyed world, but in that, occasionally, very occasionally, there appears someone who comes of very far and brings a few new shoes.
José Ramón Hernández Correa · Doctor Arquitecto
Toledo · december 2013
Nací en 1960. Arquitecto por la ETSAM, 1985. Doctor Arquitecto por la Universidad Politécnica, 1992. Soy, en el buen sentido de la palabra, bueno. Ahora estoy algo cansado, pero sigo atento y curioso.