An Unofficial Ode to Brazil: The Spirits that Shook Me

Me, Jasmine, and Amara
Ihla de Itaparica December 2013

The Spirits that Shook Me
by Rosa Lisbeth Navarrete

…and then there was Brazil...

dearest smooth, romantic, whispering secrets in my ear - brah-ZEEL!!!! 

Oh dear, dear Brazil. Being with you was like having an affair with naturaleza….like remembering a wondrous moment in a past life….like rain coming from the earth and flowers from the sky.   You vibrant, you rich, you, you introduced to me just enjoy the moment, stop worrying about things that don't matter because you were born to feel and enjoy what you possess. Look at the miracles around you, look Rosa, look…open your eyes…see your hands, your capable hands...

Breather of Life, that you are.
Woman who lives in the water, that you are.
Man with his fire fist keeping injustice at bay, that you are…memories of tears, blood, and those who still bare the mark of pain transitioned into those who wear the mark of love…love comes with a price after all.

"So Alegría" said Sllyek!!!! You have to scream his name to get it right! 
-- and I couldn't help but smile, while, this child-man, oh man, he was so much fun. 
I will build a rose in your memory, and it will live near the window. 
Because he saw, what she saw, and they saw the dreamer child hiding behind  ...

The house inside a hidden street, inside a hidden treasure cove of people who sung at night. Songs that no one really knows who's who and why we're near, what are the words to that moment when we realize we're just talking to talk - out loud and feel. Feel how alive we are. Loving the night because it's here! Let's dance and the pain could disappear. Tomorrow is another day. 
Everything rhymed with joy, and that included the sad clown graffitied on the wall with a secret message we could never figure out. It laughed all over town with sad eyes. 

The kitchen harbored secrets. 
The living room delight. 
One bedroom gave me nightmares. 
The other gave me sights…
and vision upon vision I knew all was alright.

A-mar-a with her ocean energy letting the waves of life in and out--willing to take in the message, teaching me to say thank you, thank you, thank you Yemanja, you put in while we take out, out with it said Greg- he taught me to stay alert. Keep your ears open, absorb the richness around you, feel it feel it feel it burst into your brain and let the poison of knowledge infect your thoughts with new ideas that you might never have contemplated before this night, when you had carne and drinks beside the sea. 

Dig a little deeper into social justice rights. You girl, let your vampire boy out! To make changes we have to bite once in a while. 

To the educator friends who made Christmas musical and fun, I say a gracious gracias. Impromptu improvisational and impartial intake of each others art, truly present. Sick stomachs that didn't matter because life was happening, and the happening was gloriously beautiful. In the now.

Jasmine, who showered the rooms with sarcasm and introduced me to agua de coco. Jasmine with machete in hand and a warm smile shinning across her face, chased a frog with me one night and then stopped because it was not our home. We talked about magic, and magic talked about us. Jasmine means love and protection. Fellow flower friend. She said, "Run first and fight only if forced to."

Kiss   YOUR  fist.

Robyn lost her flight, sigh.

I took leaps above the waves by the house of the ocean goddess, made wishes come true for the new year approaching…approaching still still wishes approaching. I could hear the water splashing as the fisherman leaned onto the water, and in my minds eye I saw him turn into a merman, he gleamed and reflected off Jasmine's eyes. A-mar-a, Jasmine and I laughed with him as we helped pull the boat back onto the beach; he returned to us a two legged man…but his spirit was still swimming in the sea.  

And fireworks blanketed the Salvador, Bahía sky. I remember wanting badly to take flight. To fly up and touch the darkness of the night…this night, it's hard to sleep. I am here now, I am here back in Oaklandtown  remembering the glimpses of magic and joy. The stories of "cositas raras" that we shared from the corners of that hidden house, as we nibbled giggled on Peruvian chocolate and talked about nothing there. 


La Casa.

Amara's amazing stew!

Doors that lead to glory.

Strolling around the center of Salvador, Bahia.

Bahia Bands. 
The stories the soil could tell.

One of the scariest churches I've ever been to.

Zumbi Dos Palmares, a real life hero.

Musicians practicing for February Carnaval!

Forget Bobba Milk Tea - it's all about Maracuya cocktails.
Jasmine said, "The Jesus game!"

Trees love the ocean too.

On the way back to Salvador from Isla Itaparica.

My dance teacher and who I consider a life mentor,
Ms. Amara Tabor-Smith.

Amara reminds me...

Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is being afraid, and doing it anyways.

.   Travel  .   Live  .   Risk   .   Love   .   Write   .   Document   .   Remember   .   Oneness   .