Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Foot in Two Countries

I haven't written anything here in a whole month, but have been mulling over something for days on end. I could also call this post A Tale of Two Cities or A Word That Defines my Life. When you divide your time and existence between two countries, two languages, two cultures, something happens to you. Mainly, to use a great and fitting French word, you become dépaysée, that is, you uproot yourself, but don't quite put on new roots, or rather, you do, but sort of like those little bromeliads I love called tillandseas. They're air plants and will grow on trees, rocks, shrubs, and are quite content to be blown here and there by the winds.

I can explain A Tale of Two Cities: I shuttle between Miami and Rio. I call them respectively my blue and green city. Miami has that amazing turquoise water; Rio boasts the largest urban forest in the world. And if you're curious as to the Word That Defines my Life, that's easy: it's saudade, Portuguese for longing and missing. It's the story of my life!

I'm flying back to the U.S. again tomorrow morning. By a strange and fortuitous coincidence, every single time I go to Miami there's a show by Marcos Sacramento a day or two before. So, I get to say goodbye to my friends and Rio listening to this absolutely spectacular singer. It's almost as if someone is trying to remind me of the reason I came down here in the first place. And if this should be THE last farewell, I can't think of a better or happier finale!

Photo number one is from last night's performance at Teatro Rival in downtown Rio. For more on Marcos, you can access his site. Photo number two here on the left was taken at the Botanical Garden and features an assortment of bromeliads hanging in there, quite literally.

Marcos Sacramento photo courtesy of Alexandre Moreira, via Beto Feitosa. Thank you, guys!


Blogger Fernanda said...


I can totally relate. I left Brazil when I was 16 years old, 20 years ago. I have lived here in the US and Canada. But I always feel like I am floating around not fitting anywhere and yet belonging everywhere :-0 It is a funny feeling. I am going to visit Brazil in July after 8 years of absence. I am excited and nervous as well.



June 15, 2008 5:46 PM  
Blogger Cris said...

Hi... just now I found out you have a blog, this is nice, because I have been reading your Maria's site for a while now, I always refer it to my friends who want to know what the Brazilian food is like and other aspects too. Having a foot in two countries... I think many of us who have lived abroad have this feeling... it's hard for me to be away for so long from people and friends I care about so much...

June 18, 2008 7:23 PM  
Blogger Sheila Thomson said...

Thanks, guys. Maybe we should create a virtual community called Tillandseas? Keep on reading and writing, if it helps with your saudades!!

June 27, 2008 1:31 PM  

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