building something out of nothing

I'm still wretchedly sick. And I'm also wretchedly bored. I've watched loads of movies, logged some serious hours in bed, eaten loads of chicken soup, and I'm still sick. Maybe it's time to re-learn an important lesson:
A few years ago, A. and I decided to ditch our little mountain town for a few months and take a big month long trip to Brazil. We had no specific itinerary but we did have two stipulations: we wanted to see a real and authentic Brazil and we wanted to be by the beach as much as possible. After days of airports, planes and buses across the whole of the Americas we had at last made it back to the middle of nowhere. Jericoacoara, Ceara, our destination, was a place without a lot of things, chief among them roads. The only way to get in and out was to drive in an open air, off-road bus over the swollen dunes of the beach, a bumpy and slow but enchanting ride. As the bus crested up and down the dunes, circled passed a quiet lagoon, and skipped its way across the tall sandy grass A.’s gaze met mine often. The excitement of everyone on the bus was palpable; we were headed to a secret a forgotten place. When we finally arrived the bus driver took us down the main stretch of sand, proudly showing off a swarm of guesthouses, cafes, bars and the local version of a grocery store before finally stopping at the end of the line. Jeri sits on the left part of an almost peninsula that juts out into Atlantic on Brazil’s jagged outline of a coast, just a hair south of the equator. The town faces west as it gazes over the ocean and is almost entirely surrounded by enormous sand dunes that make up a national park. When we arrived it was late afternoon and the sun’s golden hue was disappearing over the edge of the ocean. It was hot. And spectacular. We wanted to swim, eat and drink our way through this paradise, and set about our task as quickly as possible. It was right about then that my body started to fail me. It all started with some bug bites. A mosquito, or rather a hoard of those suckers, found their way into our room one night and quickly devoured our fresh non-tropical flesh. And while A. recovered relatively unscathed from the event, I was not so lucky. My body completely turned on itself, reacting to the bites like they were poison. What started with red swollen itchy skin led to a full on feverish flu. With that I was miserably locked out of this Eden and chained instead to my bed. To me it was a devestating start to what was supposed to be a lusciously romantic adventure. One day, as I graduated from bed to a deck chair at our little pousada, I did absolutely nothing. Nothing. I didn't sleep, I didn't read. I didn't try to watch one of the horrendous telenovelas that seemed to be the only programming available in the whole of Brazil. I sat and did the only thing I had energy for, which was nothing. As I sat, quiet thoughts and meditations crossed my mind, and I realized that there is a lot to nothing. I learned, in that chair, what surrendering looks like. Let go, the universe seemed to be saying. All you can do is let go. And then open your eyes and see how much you can build out of nothing.
colt, brazil

2 comments:

Marcella said...

I'm into commenting. i hope that's OK. So, first, what a lovely post about Brazil. And, second, I didn't mention this: I'm going to Brazil! To the coast for New Year's and then Rio for a few days in the first week of January. I am going to some out of the blue place (maybe same as yours?), led by my sister and her Brazilian friend Sofia. My parents are coming. J. unfortunately could not choke up the $1500 airfare, which is understandable. I am being shipped by the parentals. Very excited. Beautiful pic.

honora said...

Yay, Marcella! That's so amazing. I'm so excited for you. Brazil is beyond incredible... seriously, I fantasize all the time about moving there. PS--I love the comments!