Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Calling of Windmills

When you are able to look close enough with the priviledge of immersion, it becomes pretty evident why Spain is the country that invented the most perfect icon of the dreamer who, against everybody else, fights for a cause only he sees. Like the Japanese Godzilla reflects Japanese national obsession with size and destitution of space, Don Quijote is a persona so suppressed in the average Spaniard’s psyche that no other nation would be able to so beautifully translate the faith in the Quest against all commonsense into a literary character like Don Quixote de La Mancha.

Listening to Blackmore’s Night song ‘Windmills’, dedicated to the valiant knight who sees powerful giants where commonsensers see mere windmills, an uncourted noble lady where average eyes see a filthy prostitute, and the urgency of a noble quest in a world gone meaningless for everybody else, I am reminded of my Friday late-night talk with my boyfriend´s pal Brunno, a Spanishman in love with the plastic Brazil I have never met other than on TV and touristic brochures here in Spain.

Brunno is an academic researcher dedicated to Brazil. He’s recently published a book on the diplomatic relationship between my native country and my current home, and is particularly enthusiasted about everything Brazil that is part of the tourists’ routine and have never really whetted my appetite. He acted surprised when I told him I don’t listen to samba in the house, and that I can’t cook feijoada. He was expecting to enjoy a circus ring freak show when Jose invited him to meet his Brazilian boyfriend and was caught surprised when he met an actual person committed to his own 3-D Humanity.

Brunno, as curious about me as almost everybody I’ve met here in Spain, asked me lots of questions about how I felt about my racial inheritance, about Internet relationships, about Brazilian politics, and many other things he already had particularly cristallized visions on. Everytime I gave a very personal reply and told him my personal stories, he put everything in check with statistical facts, remote historical distorted information, and vivid descriptions of how things were about 30 years ago, pulling me down from my flight, back to the black-n-white lenses Spaniards have permanently on. He was so invested in contradicting me he didn’t mind at all contradicting himself twice or three times in every point I made and he wanted to refute.

Sitting there on our balcony, making me speak my heart out to try to wetblanket everything I said, Brunno was the perfect picture of the stereotype I’ve designed for Spaniards over the past two months. Suave, confident, too sure of his convictions for his own good, ever ready for a good verbal time-out and profoundly envious of my sensitivity.

After a long chat, Brunno did acknowledge in private to Jose I’m very Brazilian. Maybe because I retain the abnormal sensitivity to the Unseen and an irresistible attraction to spiritual things, being from one of the spiritually wealthiest nations on Earth, something the average Spaniard deep inside seems to crave for. And deny.

Here’s the lyrics to the song ‘Windmills’, written by Candice Night on a melody by Ritchie Blackmore:

Far from the worn path of reason
Further away from the sane
He battles his shadows and demons
Fighting to light the way

And the dust and the dirt cloud his vision
Onward he rides unafraid
He fights the good fight for good reason
A star that refuses to fade

Still he braves his path…
Windmills only laugh

She was wounded and wild when he found her
He saw her through child’s eyes
She fell for the spell he was under
Each day a brand new surprise

And she watches with strange curiosity
She wants so much to believe
Trying to break the chains of reality
Dying to set herself free


Though he may appear tattered and broken
His clothes are shabby and bare
Still he glows like the light from a candle
With passion of one who still cares

There was always a rhyme to the reason
Peering out from tired eyes
The truth finally came in treason
So wrong, but so justified…
So wrong but so justified…
Windmills close their eyes…

Image: Don Quixote and Sancho with Miguel de Cervantes (their creator) on top, and my sharp eye. A beautiful monument in Plaza de España.