Friday, October 31, 2008

Ice, continued

Yeah, it's been long. Since Oct 07th, I've written many half-entries to this blog that never made it to the Web. Regular readers of The Book of the Crossroads know all too well that such an extended period of silence usually means that nothing's progressing. I'm still stuck on Ice.

Truth is, the Grim Old Man of the Solar System back in the house he was when I was born is hard. I had heard many stories and songs about rethinking our role in the world, questioning our own merits and facing our direst needs with honesty before, yeah, but it's hard when you're actually the leading lady, and the opening night came without a rehearsal.

But I don't want to shut my eyes and wake up when I'm 35, either. Missing such a powerful opportunity as Saturn's Return is so not my style. I wanna ride this wave like I've been doing so far, with incredible nimbleness. I've got it all clear and, thanks to a bunch of research, mapped and outlined.

Water birds and frogs are creatures of two worlds, and that's what I've been for too long now. Awen and Ronaldo, recovering-creative and bread-winner, pagan storyteller and nobody special, leisure time queen and depressed slave-to-the-wage. Time's passed, and I neither got a respectable job like a handful of likely lads, neither died in misterious circumstances before my 28th birthday like Jim, Jimmy, Kurt and Janis. Now that I'm moving my focus from my wants to my necessities, I feel the need to integrate all my parts and function as a whole in a clever if not productive manner.

But I still don't have a clue how.

Image: following Jesse's suggestion, I put the drama on the page. Here one can easily see the current schizoid soap opera of my life.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Another Wall Down

I've just concluded the complete German course on Prima! But the studies will go on.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


My professional life has always been a mess, and the older I get, the hardest I have to look to catch the most elusive glimpse of a way out. Or in.

I had the typical education of a firstborn-with-a-little-sister in macho freak South America. I was raised to have a militar career. When puberty came and my voice took a bit longer to crack, my parents very fortunately gave up on the obsession, because back in the daze the military was associated with heterosexuality. Well, come to think of it, it still is. But anyway, they started investing like there was no other possibility in making me a small businessman, because that's what my father was and we all know how the story goes.

My old people were kinda low key and VERY limited. Well, they still are, but 28 years knowing me have forced them to accept other possibilities in a universe like this. I sincerely trust that they had good intentions (in part because I fear going way too bitter this late in my emotional development), but how on Earth couldn't they see I needed drawing, guitar or dance lessons (something my sister had from the moment she could walk without leaning on walls) more than prescribed psychodrugs, or keeping my hair short or totally off-the-wall shoehorning, or multi-abuse? Back then, it just seemed right to think the fault of being misunderstood was mine.

Anyway, time passed, and because my mother had a college degree, she felt indebted with affording me one, too. I wanted Psychology. I wanted to investigate this fascinating world of honest emotions and shared feelings, something that was denied to me because I was born in the wrong place, with the wrong people. And wrong time, too, because I don't think I'll never fit this world before it's about 2050 common era. By then, maybe. So, mom wanted something glamourous, a career that implied a grey suit and a cold-ass stare, so she could look like a celebrity's mom to that miserable neighbourhood I grew up in. To the very best of my judgement back then, the only career that sounded like professional training, creativity honing and glitter was Journalism. Well, at least I'd be able to earn a living writing, right?

Wrong. Like every decision I took guided by my mom's urgings. Frankly, if I had her money and her sense of sovereignity when I was 13, I'd probably have grown up to be a winner today.

Writing is about 5% of what Journalism is these days, and most of Journalism students of my generation never got to work with it because of the scarcity of jobs in the field, the poor academic credentials and the huge mob of competitors in the market. Even those who did, are depressed slaves today. I had to let go of all connections I had with them in order to not be dragged down to alcoholism and suicide. So, I wound up with a useless degree in something that's useless for getting a stable job, a less-than-human identity, charges and demands from family and neighbourhood, and a violent depression. But I managed to fail in the suicide suicide part, fortunately.

I took a summer course in my first Summer after graduation on Art Therapy, and the facilitator, a college Psychology professor said: "the psychologist's nature is to move on to Art". That moment, at least two thousand bells rang in my head, and I realised I'd been on the wrong path from the moment I decided to let my mother influence on my academic career.

But because I avoided alcoholism, I became a self-help junkie. I managed to do fine in this new era, really. The finest I've ever done. Naïvety and irrationality are the best fuel I have used to move my machine to date: I broke free from parental oppression, moved to another state, landed a decent career as a translator and bilingual writer, admited I wanted to be a musician and started pursuing a training against all odds (and all evens, too, for that matter), then moved abroad and even got married. Accomplishments gays of my generation never ever dream of.

But the fairytale has led me to a new hard beginning. I live now in a xenophobic land that thinks my country is Disneyland with semi-naked women and pseudo-African rythmns. Unless I agree to be the next football sensation or this week's mulata, I probably ain't good for much. And I'd been living happily on language before the prince became a frog.

A few problems arose. First, I can rely on two languages to work with as a professional: English and Portuguese. Turns out the locals prefer what they all seem to call "native speaker" by consensus when it comes to choosing a translator, a teacher or a writer, even though that notion is scandalous nonsense, and most of the times it leads them to pick the worst candidate possible. No wonder hardly anybody can speak a foreign language here. And technically, I'm not a "native speaker" (whatever that means, since no-fucking-body is born speaking a language, except maybe Taliesin reborn, in that old Celtic legend I loved telling when I was a storyteller), neither of English, nor of Portuguese, because the news in town is that in Brazil we don't speak Portuguese, but "Brasileño", whatever the fuck these sicktards mean with that. So, now that I had landed a career and had started building a nice resume, I'm back to ground zero with five years more counting against me in a youth-worshipping culture obsessed with perfection and no idea whatsoever of what a foreign language actually is. And no degree to stand above questionings (Spain's national sport), either.

I decided then I'd just temporarily move to "informal economy", as we call it in Brazil. I hanged signs advertising private English and Portuguese lessons in public libraries. In all libraries I posted them, lack-mentality, EFL-teaching jerks ripped off my ads and posted their own. I used to rip theirs off, too. But tonight it made me just too depressed that, after all I have been through, I'm now reduced to this.

Frogs are said to unfreeze when the Winter's over and to come back to life, brand new. I just want to hope there's still an irrational all-winning idiot somewhere deep inside me, just waiting to unfreeze and start leaping and frolicking again when Winter's over.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Faster, please

I'm legally married and I cannot be kicked from Spain by policemen ambushing South-american ppl in the Metro exit anymore. I'm safe. And I've got a date for my Spanish ID# to come, so I can work, travel, study and own stuff. In January, 2009. But truth is that it makes me sick I can't visit my people in Brazil sooner than sometime next year, maybe in Spring.

It's hard. The whole thing's been pretty hard to achieve this, but it's even harder to realise it's not over yet.

Don't get me wrong. I'm loving being here, I'm loving getting my basic needs met without weariness for once in my life, but as of right now I need a PnT in Trianon, a public ritual with a beautiful spiral dance and a power cone in the end, a pressed hot-dog with Cheddar and mashed potatoes and a poetry slam in Casa das Rosas.


By the way, the photos of the wedding are already online: . Enjoy.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

My Wedding Day

We got married yesterday. Whatever was said that day or before, and I know this because I was there, they didn't mean those mean words. Everybody was touched in a way. It was a beautiful occasion, an important day, and the celebration of enough strength, faith and power to overcome the usual difficulties of sharing a house with a person very different from you, moving to a very different country and practicing radical acceptance.

The day began early. A rather charming conversation between my mother and father-in-law had happened a few days before:

Father: One of these days, Jose will marry.
Mother: Yes.
Father: When it happens, don't make me aware of it.

So, my brother-in-law and his wife picked my mother-in-law up early that morning and drove to our place. From here, she helped me iron my gold shirt and Jose's brown one for the big day, and we went to the civil registry to meet the rest of Jose's friends. Jose and I said "I do", Curri and Ángel took photos and then had lunch in my favourite restaurant in Madrid, a vegetarian and pirate-inspired place very appropriately called "Isla del Tesoro". Really nice. Then we went to have a coffee in one bar, a drink in another and slowly one by one we came home while the group went bar-hopping. Nothing that was said would move me from my center and from the glory of that day. It was all earned with merit and a very rare sense of honour.

The photos will come soon, I hope. My own camera is broken, and Jose doesn't have one, so we just relied on friends. Let's hope and trust that this time the photos will come, and then I'll proudly share them.

It's merry to live in a country where gay people have civil rights, even though not many other things about it are as merry. Married life isn't new to me in many ways, since we had been living together for a year and four months. But even though we've been walking the same road as one ever since, from now on the roads we cross will see each of us both in a very different light. Which is what I sought.

And I love my husband.