I write to survive. I write because writing is the only outlet I can find for my pain. I write to voice the sadness otherwise sadness becomes bigger than me. I write because writing is my only friend. I write because writing flows when life stalls. I write because my words prove to me that I am still alive, despite all the darkness. I write because I need to give the pain its narrative, I need to name the trauma, to outline its face.
I write when I feel I serve no purpose in this mad, mad world any longer. I write when nothing else makes sense. I write to fill the hole in my heart.
I write because writing is the only choice I have. Writing is the stubborn, pigheaded, tenacious flower that blossoms for a few minutes of the day in the middle of the Arizona desert.
I write to save the day.
Sometimes just a word triggers it. Mostly, it’s the longing and the aching that have become part of who she is. Then the urge, the surge, the desire to plunge into the universe of words. Trying to discover the best combination, the structure that will translate the multitude of what she is. Diaspora is a good one. It shows the movement, a dislocation, the displacement. But as it frequently happens in the world of words, it is not their literal sense, as it were, but the translation that they can undergo. That vague thing called metaphor which is a word being explored in other cluster of associative worlds without losing its initial meaning. Nothing is lost in a metaphor. The elasticity of words stretching towards possibilities. Towards something else. This is what fascinates her. To depart from its entry in the dictionary and from there, to explore its potentialities. Some words invite this movement, some of them in fact require it. This is the case of diaspora. First its applicability, the precision.
Break down diaspora and this is what you have: DIA [across] + SPORA [scatter]
the dispersion of any people from their original homeland.
“The diaspora of people from Brazil”
the people so dispersed.
“The Brazilian diaspora in Arizona”
That geography is one of her issues, there is no doubt. Across the Atlantic. Scattered from her origin. Dispersed. There you go. Here she is, for better or worse, in Arizona
That night she dreamed that a small butterfly had swiftly landed on her bare arm. Its flimsy wings were a translucent black with a few colorful spots. She woke up with this image in her mind: truth is a butterfly. At first she couldn’t grasp the meaning. It was all too simple for her. She was used to analyzing dense texts, the nuances of symbols. The fascinations of double entendres, sub texts, intertexts. Truth is a butterfly? How can a concept like truth be so reduced? But simplicity has a way of sticking like a chewing gum, like that foolish verse that keeps playing on your mind over and over again.
Truth is a butterfly. Truth is a butterfly. Truth is a butterfly.
It baffled her. The simplicity of the sentence. The predictability of its grammatical structure: noun, verb, article, noun. Granted, the last noun could also work as an adjective, something that qualifies the noun. An adjective lends the noun its face.
(to be continued…)
Like life happens.
It popped up as a possibility
Just a concept, Arizona was a reckless adventure
One unlikely spot in the map
As a reality,
Arizona was radical, raw
Arizona was a mirror
Arizona was a punch in the face,
a desert begging for life
an empty space waiting to be filled
by my crisp Brazilian soul
It took such a long time
So many days
for me to call you home, Arizona.
Finally to find myself in the middle
of your aridness.
At first, the baring of the skin,
The colors being revealed,
shade by shade.
At first, the shame,
the sense of loss,
The horror of being caught.
At first, the shock of the failure,
the painful revelation.
Truth, that cutthroat dagger, ready to execute.
At first, the hemorrhage
the ruptured vein, the helplessness,
the profusion of blood.
Until the bleeding subsides.
The wound is revealed:
its depths, its nature.
Maybe the trick is not bail out, even when we find out that some this is not what we thought. That’s what we’re going to discover again and again and again Nothing is what we thought. Neither is mindfulness or fear. Compassion – not what we thought. Love. […] Courage. These are code words for things we don’t know in our minds, but any of us could experience them. These are words that point to what life is when we let things fall apart and let ourselves be nailed to the present moment.
[Chodron, Pema. When things fall apart]
[Mount Lemmon, Arizona]
Bhagirathasana is a pose that honors a great yogi king from India who stood on one leg for a long time to appease the Hindu god Shiva and to be allowed to bring the sacred river Ganges from heaven to earth. It represents the intense penance of Bhagiratha. Bhagirathasana is supposed to motivate us to work toward our goal even if there are many obstacles in the way. It doesn’t mean you have to stand on one leg for years. It is a dedicated effort to one’s practice. It is a pose that makes you strong and enhances your willpower.
His myopia might be a permanent condition
I fear he will not be able to regain his sight
His scars run ever so deep
His needs, secretive
he hides all the layers
in a dark side that is slowly consuming me
-I am losing the faith-
I gasp for breath
The need to reaffirm myself
and find the strength,
– and –
To rise above it all
To go beyond the colossal
fear of that monster
– To let go –
To stand up
to find myself
and recover that faith
To take that walk
and recover the muscles
of my legs so
I can walk
proud and straight
and not look back
to that impostor
I must focus on each step my legs can reach
slowly so that I can
regain the pleasure in acknowledging
how extraordinarily miraculous each step is
I need to
breathe in ever so slowly
to welcome the cold new air entering my nostrils
and breathe out the old warm air out slowly
then breathe out again
and then breathe out once more
To let it all out.