There are many afternoons where I sit and watch birds do things I’ve only read in books. Time is lost on me and as I relax into my hammock and revel in the beauty of life, I am reminded of our connection to everything living. At night, I chaperon bugs onto the balcony so as not to disrupt my practice of ahimsa or non-violence. Ahimsa is the act or intention of doing no harm to others while also not allowing others to harm to you. I’m seeing more clearly now. Un-learning only to learn with new eyes and ears.
I’m living in a small town for the first time in my life and experiencing joy in the small moments. I have four pairs of shoes but I typically only wear one. I haven’t heard the “T word” since I left the airport. Deodorant is a thing of the past. I have no idea who’s designing what for the fall season and it doesn’t matter. I wash my clothes by hand. I sit in the sun. I read for hours. I visit friends without calling first. I haven’t been kissed this much since my last trip to Italy. I conjure. I frolic. I daydream. And although I have three Brazilian numbers, I usually leave my old-school Nokia cell phone on the nightstand. I am far away from fancy; I am light and free.
A few weeks ago during a skype call, DaveyG asked me, “What do you do all day?” I didn’t know what to say. At the time of his question, I hardly knew anyone; and thus, floated along and took things as they came. These days, I have somewhat of a weekly schedule. For example, this morning after a brief reiki session with myself, I walked to Punho Forte where I volunteer with six to fourteen year olds. Punho Forte is non-profit before/after school program. Remember children only go to school half days in Brasil — either in the morning or afternoon. The children are as energetic as most and have no idea that they are the majority in this world, and that the minority spends a great deal of money to ignore their plight. They make bowling balls out of glue and old newspaper, speak fondly of Spider Man and Justin Bieber, and laugh at the corniest jokes. I generally leave two hours later wearing two smiles: one on the inside and another on the outside.
The days are growing more full … I spend most of my time doing:
CAPOEIRA – Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings
TEACHING ENGLISH – Monday through Thursday – late afternoons or evenings
VOLUNTEERING – Thursday mornings and Friday afternoons with Punho Forte
PRACTICING YOGA – A few days per week on the beach
SPEAKING/LEARNING PORTUGUESE – Whenever possible
and in between I practice reiki, meet friends, go to the beach, cook and/or eat, wash clothes, walk up and down the main street running errands. And during the night or weekends, I attend BBQs, parties or hang out at the internet cafe.
I’ve also begun writing a blog for English speakers as part of itacare.com. The first blog post will launch today, June 1st, and its focus is about the capoeira group with which I’m involved, Filhos de Zumbi, and our magnificent instructor, Maristela. If I don’t post on WDIET, check this blog to see what’s happening with me and Itacaré.
It’s crazy to be so close to the many things I love yet so far away from the people I adore. I think of you often and send well wishes your way. Glad to hear it’s warm in the states again! Happy almost Summer ;-) The images are of some of the students with whom I volunteer/teach.
With love and awareness,
P.S. The T word is Terror or Terrorists. As I type, I’m feeling a bit paranoid because you never know who is listening so Tchau! (that’s how the write it in Brasil)