Saturday, November 7, 2009

My Life as a Dog

I´m a dog. Or so I´m told by the Chinese Zodiac page :-D Well at least that means I´m loyal to my friends, root for the underdogs, and will do anything to protect my offspring. Good, good. That might also explain my love for the canines. Rummaging through old family photos I found this one of Xodó, my earliest partner in crime. I was probably trying to teach him some trick - that he never learned, by the way.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Body, Mind and Soul

This is Grupo Corpo, with the ballet Bach. Couples dancing in harmony and partnership, supporting each other. I think they´re perfect!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Why the Ocean...

Sophia Andresen, in one of her poems, addresses the sea with this line: You are a mystery, made only for me (És um mistério feito só para mim). Every time I get a chance to contemplate the ocean, I get the same feeling: I know nothing. Whenever the cold southern waves invite me into their waters, I follow them in a mixture of curiosity and caution: I never know what they might have reserved for me. I love the magnetic , though many times dangerous, freedom of being one with the sea. When my feet change from sand to water, I usually complain about the cold, but welcome the touch. I love to watch the waves come and go and I´m always curious about what the high tide might bring to shore. Some months ago, when I was visiting my hometown, after two days of strong winds and turbulent waters, there were two dead sea turtles and a dead sea lion, besides hundreds of seashells on the sand, brought by the storm. Some years ago, the Southern Atlantic tide brought a shipwreck to Cassino Beach. That´s the cycle of life.
We all have our ways of connecting with Nature, whether we´re aware of them or not. Some people see nature as a mother, some as an enemy, and some others as a slave. I see nature within myself. I have my mountains, my oceans, my trees, my high and low tides, my tempests, my hurricanes, my sunny days but, most importantly, I have that mixed feeling of uncertainty and curiosity about life that makes me appreciate every single experience, as if it had been brought by the waves.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Inhabiting One´s Own Body

Some time ago I was attending a funeral service and there was this acquaintance right beside me who kept muttering, this is so sad, although her face remained unmoved, frozen. She had just had botox injected all over her face that morning, and could barely speak. Another acquaintance whom I thought I´d see there couldn´t make it, because she had just had liposuction the day before and it was still very painful to move. Both women are about my age: 39 years old, and have always been attractive, healthy women who really didn´t need those interventions.
I´m not saying we shouldn´t care about beauty. There´s nothing wrong with females (and males) trying to look good. Make-up, moisturizing creams, jewelry, perfume. I love all of that. The problem is when we can´t draw the line. When we stop being human beings above everything and live our lives around cosmetic procedures that will make us look like this or that celebrity, sometimes of the opposite sex ;-). Why are we, women, so obsessed about being someone else? First of all, let´s absolve the guys. It has absolutely nothing to do with them. In fact, most men are perfectly fine with the way we look. Second, I don´t think it has to do with beauty. I can´t be convinced that substituting your actual and normal nose for something that looks like a light switch will make you look more beautiful.
I think I´ve had a glimpse to where the problem may lie observing mothers and daughters, including myself and my daughter: our daughters growing up means we´re getting older. That´s basic. But I´ve been observing something else in this complex relationship: mothers can do many damages to their daughters´ self-esteem when, instead of behaving like parents, they behave like same-age friends with a credit card. Instead of saying- my love, you don´t need those (astronomically expensive) jeans to be beautiful, you are beautiful being yourself- we go ahead and buy them those jeans because all her friends have them, too. Now, when we buy that , and into that, what we´re actually saying to that young girl is: yes, a pair of very expensive jeans is all we, women, need to make us feel we´re worth something. It can also be a handbag, sunglasses, a pair of shoes, a boob job, a car, a crystal engraved cell phone, the list is endless.
I have wrinkles around my eyes, and they are most evident when I smile. It´s part of me. Many times I don´t say anything, I just smile with my eyes and the people I love know what I mean. I also don´t wear expensive and exclusive clothes. I choose clothes that are beautiful (in my opinion) and comfortable, and that have to do with my personality. My nose is not small, but it´s exactly like my father´s, and I´m proud to have inherited it, among his many other traits: he was an awesome man. I think the best I can teach my daughter is that being comfortable in one´s skin, that is living in one´s own body, is one of the most beautiful things you can find in a person.