About a month ago i wrote this article for a travel writing contest on ah-ha moments. I knew i would not win as i exceeded the 200 word count by nearly double. what can i do, i'm a brat. But perhaps on this Salty Sunday of Philosophical Musing, i should resurrect it for someone other than a rejection inbox to read. I will preface it by letting you into something personal; i miss Brasil and what i left in it so much that it hurts.
Under the Stars in Ouro PretoWhat a bloody tourist town. We walked past the main square, Tiradentes, as a group of tourists crowded around a gaggle of street performers syncing a drum beat. Tonight was not my mood for entertainment. In our hands were plastic cup caipirinhas purchased from a sticky floored locals-only bar; half the price but twice the flavor. One block past the square—all was deserted. We climbed the stone wall surrounding the Cathedral, Aleijadinho's masterpiece. Are we allowed to sit here? No one near to stop us. I looked at the sky while swinging my legs against the centuries old brick; “you know,” I began with a slight hiccup, “I see the same moon in Seattle...now lets see...where is the big dipper?” “The big what?” my accomplice replied. I stopped short—ah yeah, southern hemisphere. i had forgotten I was somewhere else. How the hell does an American forget that they are in Brasil. So we have the same moon, but different stars. A connection yet a cut. It looks like the difference is merely in the details; big picture little picture. “I don't know what is a dipper,” he went on, “but there are, others you can see...” he resolved as he pointed ubiquitously “up” toward the constellations whose distances, in reality, dwarf our own perceived continental chasms into minute scales of nothingness. My eyes filled and began to salt my caipirinha. Was a bit too sweet anyway. Why do i feel no pangs of homesickness. I looked again to the moon, the same moon, and I knew I was not so far away; how could one feel homesick whilst in their own backyard.
Revelations: The medical test for the feeling of place is simple: if when stabbed with the realization of being far from home there occurs no pain or remorse at or around the injection site—then the diagnosis is that you are home already. Ah-ha.I scraped the last crystals of sugar off the bottom of my cup. That was the strongest mojito i've ever had. I slid off the stone wall, I won't feel it on my bare legs until tomorrow. For a tropical country, Brazilian winter nights are pretty damn chilly. But enough with the stars, my lemony lips tell me. In a cobblestone town, you have to watch where you place your feet; eyes to the ground, and give me your hand. It is now time to walk home.