Just a thought....
Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Su Gimtadieniu, Jurgis!


Yes, I know I have used this photo before, but it is one of my all time favourites. One day I'll still have this printed large and mounted on my wall. It is, to me, so symbolic of the spirit of the man (and girl... but the man is the one I want to talk about today).

Strong enough to move mountains (almost literally), but gentle enough to make his 'chick' (Heidi, the irascible cockatiel) feel comfortable. Passionate about history... passionate about his roots... passionate about Lithuania. He dreams of dining on a huge tankard of beer with pork knuckle and sauerkraut. And dreams... he has many... to work his own land, to walk the land of his forefathers again, to build his home, to own and ride a shire. Jurgis is big! Ok, he's built fairly large, being tall and broad shouldered, but he is also big in other ways... a big heart - generous to a fault, a big personality - you know he is there, big hands - let me tell you, they're useful, big dreams, big plans, and big on fun! He's skilled in so many things and what he hasn't already mastered, he'll tackle with gusto, except writing, which you may have noticed by his empty blog.

Jurgis, life would be incredibly dull without you around. I'm so glad you were born. Thank you for all you are and for all you do. You're a very precious part of our lives.

Happy Birthday!

I know you don't want any fanfare, but there you have it... you know I'm not much good at the whole obedience thing ; )


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Wednesday, 19 August 2009

It’s a kind of magic… or witchcraft

*looks back on blogs* Seems I've been fairly scarce. We've been busy over this end. I know it's no excuse, but there really hasn't been much time.

Over the past couple of days, I have been on a voyage of discovery of, for me, new music talent. One of the artists I found was Zolani Mahola of Freshlyground. Zolani has the most engaging smile. The music is enchanting. This song is one of my favourites, though you should really do yourself a favour and listen to Pot Belly!

They have some beautiful music which stirred something deep within me... a language I haven't heard for many years... the language of home.

Between Freshlyground, Lira's "Feel Good", Noa's "Beautiful that way", and and a few others, I finished up smiling. I created a new playlist on my mp3 player to listen to on my way to work. It was so worth it!

My day started with an odd phone call.
"Hello, is that the home of Tatiana who was part of the dance group?"
"Well, yes, but she's not in. Can I take a message?"
"Are you her mother?"
"Uh.... yes?" *getting a little worried*
Turns out, he wanted to hire me to photograph an event that was to take place tonight. Unfortunately, I have (or should I say 'had) a student tonight, so I declined. The student cancelled later, but I wasn't to know. After all this time of waiting for photographic assignments to come in, I get this now. Ah well.

I left to teach, listening to my very upbeat Feel Good playlist. By the third song, I was grinning at everyone. One older lady got onto the bus and smiled back at me. She had a little round face that crinkled up in well-used laughter lines. I took out my bright little notepad with it's sunny flowers and wrote: "O seu sorriso é lindo!" ~"Your smile is beautiful!" When I saw she was going to get off, I tapped her on the shoulder and handed her the note. She looked suspicious, but took it. She read the note as she was about to get off, then turned to me with surprised wonder and an even more beautiful smile. To me, the happiness of the world was wrapped in that moment. I got off too (it turned out to be my stop). She kept turning around to look at me, then looking back at the note. Although we both went into the metro, I made a point of going a different path, as I didn't want to unnerve her. It made my day though. I posted another note on the mirror of the public bathrooms at the company where I teach... and left a note tucked into the handle of a lady's bag. This was fun! : )

I was chatting to my student. He asked if I had any trouble getting in, as there was a bomb scare on Paulista Avenue and the metro had been shut down. I discovered this evening what that was all about.... Magic!


It turned out to be macumba, a witchcraft ceremony of African origins, brought over by the original slaves. A bottle of red wine commonly gets left on street corners or other strategic places, depending on your wish, along with black or red candles and often a dead chicken (in Brazil's heat, you can imagine the smell after a few hours). The photo above is an old one I took near the crematorium and is a spot, I think, often used for macumba, though the wine has been consumed. Thankfully, there are no chickens. Those can get nasty. I know I have other macumba photos floating around. I just can't find them now, aside from which, I never have the camera handy when I come across a full macumba scene with it's wine, candles and chicken on all for corners of an intersection. Back at our old home, we saw it often, as we lived on the corner. The intersection was a popular place for macumba offerings.

Back to the bomb scare. The cops were called in for a suspicious bottle with red fluid. The metro line was disabled and the area evacuated. Um... yes... Brazilian efficiency. You can read the article here (and practice your Portuguese). It does show a photo of them 'disabling' the wine ; )


Sunday, 02 August 2009

A picture of a Sunday

Brazil is essentially a sun-worshipping nation. Today is our first sunny day in a long time. Inhabitants crawled, stretching, from their suburban caves, desperate to shake off the enforced hibernation of non-stop rain.

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Neighbours nod over high back yard walls, as mothers rush out to dry laundry before tomorrow's promise of yet more rain. I joined the laundry parade. Standing between banners of flapping towels, I watch an azure blue kite dance in the hazy sky. Notes from someone's violin concerto drift past my ears, while the thump, thump someone else's rhythms mark the time.

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On the corner, boys are mulling over the their kites. The kites were probably caught on the overhead wires or are lying broken on someone's rooftop.

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The dogs lay motionless in a warmth-induced stupor.

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Wait... not entirely. Dingo would get up every ten seconds to see if there was a lickable hand or foot within reach... or a passing dust mote. Who knows what gets her attention.

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Aah... bliss!

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Our outside workbench is sprouting again. The type of mushroom is different this year.... a frilly, spiky sort. I got a little carried away with the camera...

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The clouds have already pulled over again, ready for the next lot of rain. A new week is starting.

On a side note... *click here for the article* blue mice may be an answer to spinal injuries (I won't let my mind go into what may have caused the spinal injuries in the mice) and you will soon be able to order diamonds made from Michael Jackson's hair. Methinks the world has gone crazy. Don't scientists have enough to do rather than making diamonds from MJ's hair?!