What a Beautiful Spirit…. this man.

I love this song for so many reasons, for when it first came out
in 1987, I was in the throws of my love affair with Brasil and Alcir…
I believed that it was more than a dream…

…and when Milton sings it, his deep and spiritual nature permeates,
lending layers with that voice and those eyes.   …..Enjoy…..

Quando a nossa mãe acordar…………………When our mother awakes
Andaremos ao sol………………………………….We shall walk in the sun
Quando a nossa mãe acordar…………………When our mother awakes
Cantará pelo sertão………………………She shall sing in the wilderness
Quando a nossa mãe acordar…………………When our mother awakes
Todos os filhos saberão………………………All her children shall know
Todos os filhos saberão………………………All her children shall know
E se alegrarão………………………………………….And they shall rejoice

But it’s more than the shining eye, more than the steaming green,
more than the hidden hills, more than the concrete Christ,
more than a distant land over a shining sea,
more than a hungry child, more like another time.
Born of a million years, more than a million years.



…finding my way to Rio…

Suddenly my life had taken the turn to adventure.  I didn’t even have
a Passport!  The only places outside of the Mainland States that I had
ventured to were Hawaii and Alaska.
Loved Hawaii and could Live there, but Alaska? only wanted to visit.

My time was now laid out… I had 6 weeks to get my act together,
before I left for Rio for a month.
He had set the deadline as February 14th… his Birthday…and so
it was ordained.
I had things to pack and put in storage, for I was staying with one
of my daughters at the time, the one who had secured my ticket….
I had to ensure that my animals were safe and loved for the time,
the Passport App was mailed, and I began making money in earnest.

I am an artist, and have always been fond of a Bohemian life, living
day to day and on Trust.  It has always worked, although there are
drawbacks, to be sure.  Still, my freedom has always come first!
I was happy to learn that US dollars were doubled in Brasil, so that
made everything seem a little easier!

As I was impatiently awaiting the leave, while simultaneously and
quietly freaking out, I continued my ongoing studies of Brasil.

Through the past nearly 20 years since I first met Alcir, the Music has
largely been my passport to the culture, and it allowed me to share in
much of the passion, concern, and vibrations if you will, of Brasil,
and particularly Rio.

I settled on Jobim as my groundwater.  The Carioca accent, the deep
warm voice, full of passionate joy and melancholic nuance.
He was the one to bring Brasil to the US, and his melodies are almost
cliche now…. but no, never trite.
It’s odd, because still a lot of Americans (and I hesitate using that
misnomer, as Alcir would laugh his deep and heartful laugh and
remind me…. “don’ call them Americans!  We’re American too!!)  …

A lot of the US knows the songs if you hum them, but have no idea
of who he is.  They still play “Quiet Nights and Quiet Stars”,
“Meditation”, and of course “Girl from Ipanema” as background…!

As soon as it gets romantic or sexy seductive in a film, here comes
one of the familiars, and I’ve often heard them in the supermarket
(the elevator equivalent these days).

So…. since 1985 it’s been my mission to know just what Brasil was
about, hear the language, feel the voices, and get into the mindset.

Beyond that, it was that incredible Guanabara Bay, with Pao d’Azucar,
the islands, the views of Rio with the Concrete Christ, arms spread
and embracing that dear, ancient city, that mesmerized me.

The populace is as varied as the US in some ways… a mixture of the
Indigenous, the conquering Portuguese, and the Africans they brought
in as slaves.  Fascinating mixtures that creates this race of people
where each face is completely different from the next.
I was intriqued to see that one or the other had lead in the genetic
makeup, with nuance of the others in the back-ground.  Because I’d
lived in Hawaii and saw the same phenomenon, this only continued
the anthropological studies I had begun long ago.

The Indigenous contributed their fierce, wild, free spirit, along with
wonderful instruments and sounds that had worked their way into the
fusion jazz of today…. an area where Brasil excelled with their contribution.
Many of their sounds mimic and include the forest of their origin.

African rhythms are the basis of much that comes out of Brasil, and
the influence in new Jazz directions is obvious.  As well, as in many
other Latin countries, the Africans brought their ancient religion,
there called Macumba and Candomble, as well as Capoeira, the
martial arts practice that will blow your mind!

And lastly, there are the many representatives of so many other
countries who have moved there, run away there, or just somehow
found themselves there… particularly the Japanese and the Germans.
Interestingly enough to me, Everyone speaks Portuguese, which
must be a very unifying happenstance.  But it always provided a
little laugh for me, to see blue eyed Arians and Japanese speaking
Portuguese, and likely with their own accents.

And then the Portuguese.
Maybe I’m wrong, but I’ve felt that they are the Gypsies, the ones
who were out there so many centuries ago, meeting, mixing, mating
and gathering other cultures.   They seem to have brought back many
subtle flavors to mix in, along with the Latin soul and Catholic
mythology that is still so prevalent today.
And I must add here that it has been my experience that the
Portuguese have a superiority complex, and I was to know that
better as I truly met the Real Alcir.

So there I was.  Filling my senses with as much of Brasil that I could.
Learning some Portuguese, understanding the Carioca accent and
style,  (Rio has it’s own regional dialect)… and realizing Rio was
Ancient in so many ways, and with so much history, and learning
more and more about Alcir, and who he Really was, and had become.



…the letter…

The wait lasted forever…. thrilled at the find, still nothing would silence the need to know.  Who was he now… what had he been filling his life with since we’d parted.  Was he happy… did he remember…still.

While i waited, the site entranced me, giving me glimmers of him, his world, and what most entranced was the poetry.  I had no idea the man of action, man in a man’s world, man of few words, wrote the way he did.

One poem called me back again and again… even though the Automatic Translations were often times confusing….

“In Search of a Love”

Viajo pelos mares,                                           Travel by sea,
em busca de teu porto.                              in search of your port
dias e noites passados                                days and nights spent
em busca do alento                                    in search of inspiration
do seio que alimento                                  within which, the food
com os beijos do regresso.                   with the kisses of return.

Seguem as gaivotas,                                            Follow the gulls,
aos bandos a me guiar                               the gangs to guide me
apontando as nuvens distantes         pointing the distant clouds
que refletem como espelhos,                  reflecting like mirrors,
teu corpo que flutua no mar.       your body that floats in the sea.

A luz do farol, na noite           The light from the lighthouse at night
tira-me de rumo incerto                    strip me of course uncertain
devolve o caminho                                            returns the path
que hoje navego sozinho,                        I now navigate alone,
pela vida,pelo sonho                                         for life, the dream
a te buscar.                                                                to you.

Esta brisa que me move,                        The breeze that moves me,
também sopra em meus ouvidos               also blowing in my ears
as velhas canções de amor                           the old songs of love
que me fazem flutuar                                        make me fluctuate
que me levam a dançar                                  leading me to dance
que afastam de mim a dor.                         the pain away from me.

Longitudes que aproximam                         Longitudes to bring
as latitudes da vida.                                      the latitudes of life.
Seguindo as cartas                                         Following the letters
que como se na sorte                                        that as is the luck,
vão me afastando da morte                   take me away from death,
prolongando meu sofrer.                      prolonging my suffering.

Caminhos incertos,                                              Ways uncertain,
nesta busca                                                              this search
sem instrumentos.;                                        without instruments
guiado pelo amor,                                                 guided by love,
pelo instinto                                                           by instinct
e por meus tormentos                                      and my torments

A maldade me corta o peito,                      The evil cuts the breast,
como o vento que rasga as velas       like the wind ripping the sails,
fria lâmina precisa,                                          cold blade needs,
insensível aos meus lamentos           insensitive to my lamentations
finda os movimentos,                                    leading the movements
da viagem que agoniza.                             of that agonizing journey.

Afunda o barco                                                     The boat sinks
em mar revolto.                                                     in billowy sea.
Naufraga o amor                                              Ship wrecked love
acaba o sonho,                                                        just a dream,
sucumbe o desejo.                                     the desire succombs.
_ De bom                                                                  Good.
o fim da dor.                                                    the end of pain.

The Mechanical Translations certainly left things to be desired, but I found I could just sort of blur my mind’s eye, and the Feeling would come through…

I reached with fingertips of heart, longings of mind, waiting waiting after so many years, wondering if I could be that for which he waited, that which called to him through the clouded skies, a dream that I longed to waken to.

And then at last, it came.  Or rather, I found it amongst weeks of emails.
How could this be?  A letter from Alcir, postmarked weeks ago, there amongst ads and old questions.  There was no way I could have missed it, not seem it jumping from the page…
Then it occurred to me… his computer had a wrong date.  Of Course!
That could be the only answer…  And whenever he sent it, it shuffled itself into the past pile, only to be found when cleaning the house of my files.  How strange…

But there it was… Alcir Jose de Souza.

Slowly I opened it… or quickly, I don’t really know which.  It was that time warp thing again, he was there, waiting to be opened, waiting for weeks, and then it was before me…

…And he included a picture of himself, at work in the Control Room of a ship.
Graying temples, a more grounded aura, the boy had morphed into a man, and heart swelled into throat, the patter of past and future now present and alive once more.

Carol ?
My delicious Carol, from my youthfull days in northern California, my crazy godess of love for whom i drove many times from Tahoe to the other end of Californiashwazerneger (Sory i couldn resist).
If is really you send me a foto and some private things that only you would know.      What i was douing in there? wath car did i drove ? and other more private things .
Send me a return e mail soon.
If is you all my love and kisses !!!
See if is realy me the man you think you know !!!!!!