brazil and the way of waterspublished: 2012-12-07
One song. I close my eyes. Despite the winter I am back there, back in Brazil. In a small place called Buzios. The warmth of daily life at the time fills my ears, spills over into my chest.
We were in Rio then. And even though Rio meant we were hundreds of miles away from home, I needed to be away even more. Alone.
So I’d step on a bus. My son and his father would wave at it. Off I went, away for a few days of writing in Buzios. There was this quiet confidence to being alone. When alone, I knew exactly what I needed to do. I didn’t in any other situation.
There I sat, in a small hotel right by the beach. My windows and shutters open, my feet dangling over the balcony. Writing. And walking. Then writing again.
Every morning at breakfast – I was always the first – they’d play this song. I recall the waitress, she was the embodiment of the soft sensuality of Brazil in shorts and a cap. She’d twirl a tray on the palm of her hand and hum along with the song.
These past few days, I found myself spiraling downward. And so I spoke with someone today, a man who is trained to deal with people in such spirals. He works with his hands, not with his head.
“Is it that you no longer see a future?”
I suppose it is. But these past few months, I had also stopped myself from looking back. Wasn’t this what everyone tells you to do? To live in the present?
“You’re not living,” he said, “you’re thinking.”
So this evening, I allow myself to feel this scene of the past through a song. Not consciously, by chance. And however perfect that past may have been, I always found ways of ruining it for myself. I’m not supposed to think, but if I was, I’d now be thinking: Is it too late to say thank you?