… home again, home again …

Moving from one reality to another is both invigorating and
frightening.  A certain survival mode ensues, while the thrill
of newness seems to pull the scales from your eyes,
colors take on a brilliance, and happenstance and serendipity
become companions once more.

I have dear friends who move all the time, and I think this is why.
There is no way you can get in a rut, go unconscious or be bored.
Each day is fresh and new.

This stay was just this.  Fresh and New every day.
My dear friend Mick picked me up at the bus stop, and carried
me the two hours it takes to transverse the coastal mountains
and wind along the gorgeous, treacherous Highway 1,
of Scenic Magazines and Car Commercials fame.

He’s funny as shit, so my re-entry was nothing short of
complete hilarious delight.
I do love British humor, and when it’s from the source, it
can’t be topped.
What Is it about Brits ?  Is it the proximity they grew up with,
the genetic brilliance crammed into small dark quarters for
months at a time in the constant gray drizzle that made them
resort to being so witty and creative?  Word play rules!
The mind never sleeps…

With the time of year being what it was, I had immediate work
lined up, and in the next few weeks, I bounced from home to home,
doing what we do best, there in the emerald triangle, as some call it.
Seasonal harvests all over the place, and me right in the middle
of it, and all of it legal.
Gotta love California, the way it accepted the
inevitable with open arms.

I remember the olden days, when I first moved to Point Arena
back in the very early eighties.  Folks had been growing for over
a decade there in that backwoods town, filled with a mix of hippies,
intellectual city runaways, generations of old settler families,
young rednecks with big trucks and pit bulls tied in the back…..
What a place.
The hippies had grows in their back yard gardens, which moved
to the woods, which moved further into the woods, and by then
incorporating sleep overs with guns, helicopters hovering outside
your bedroom window, and hilarious trimming parties.
Rip offs became part of the deal, and folks grew more and more,
having to leave a portion for each: rip offs, cop raids, and the rats.

If you grew enough, you’d have enough left over to get you
through to the next year’s investment, and maybe
a trip to Bali or Baja.

Now my friends all had legal grows, and although everything was
quiet and within the close circle…. because all of the above was
still present….. there was a certain relax that settled quietly on
those happy little get togethers.
They were smaller than they used to be, two or three or four
friends sitting for hours, meditatively manicuring in whatever
fashion that particular house required…
Every house had it’s own style and look,
depending on the destination.

I stayed in trailers, large and small.
I stayed in guest rooms, elaborate with exotic decor.
I sat with one old friend in a basement,
while we talked about our grown kids and old times,
when Janice Joplin was her roommate.
She showed me some of Janice’s clothes she still had.

I slept on couches, and dark workshops.
I shared in group suppers with old friends…. I sat alone
working, housesitting while everyone was traveling.
Each week had its own flavor and joy.

One thing was sure…. I had abundance.
And Alcir was so jealous.  He loved that hippie world,
and always wished he could have been there.
I think that was one of his draws to me…. my hippie-ness.

I had been there for the Real Thing, and the sixties
were indeed filled with little bits of heaven.
We were making it up as we went along….
Peace and Love were pouring over all of us,
handing flowers to cops, everyone hugging….

Free Love and Freeing our Minds.
Timothy Leary and Native American sweat lodges in
real Sioux Teepees.
The old Renaissance Fairs, sleeping on the ground by the creek,
drums all night, the Hells Angels serving as our Security Force.
AH, those were the days.

And here I was, in the midst of old and new, each generation
lending it’s brilliance and vision to the dream we all held
for a kinder gentler world.






…the party house…

Today her friend was making plans.  Her husband was
having a monumental birthday party, with many friends
and associates, and massive foods and drinks were in order.
They had traveled to the huge home that the husband and
his group had built for one of the friends, and it was quite
spectacular, atop the golden hills of the Big Island, West
side, with a sweeping view of blueness, and acreage.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This place was Gigantic, with 8 or 10 bedrooms, hallways
where one could get lost (and did), decks and views of the
sloping, rolling hillside, dramatic and shrubby, palms
added here and there.
There were little guest houses too, and it would seem
perfect for conferences, or entire tribal getogethers.
Yet there was a cozyness about it al, that Island Casual
thing that she lovedl.

The Kitchen was a dream, completely stocked with stations
and work areas appropriate for feeding large crowds.
She was in heaven.

She had known it was part of the plan before she arrived,
and had included her several Fondue Pots in her luggage,
as this was to be her contribution to the festivities.
She loved to cook, loved feeding parties, and had wonderful
plans for several flavors and lots of things to fork and dip.

Meanwhile her friend was list making, while she did her best
to extract numbers and timings, so she could plan too.

“Gosh, we’ll need two black slaves to carry our things from
the stores,” she laughed…
“Well, that’s you babe,” came the quick response, and she
immediately checked her friend, to be sure this was a joke…
apparently it was not.
When she did her best to make light of the comment, her friend
suggested she put on her black face…
“Hmmm…I think my friend’s a little tense,” she mumbled to herself.

The shopping turns to her and two of the wives, and they all swing
and stagger through the isles of several island stores, with weighty
lists and last minute thoughts.
Lots of people, more each day are added, and there must be
enough of the appetizers, the main dishes, the desserts,
the drinks and wines, and of course… the cake!
So much to think of…

She hopes she can pull it together, as everyone seems a little
scattered, and who is doing what begins to be confusing…

Still, the excitement builds, she has her own little room to
herself, and just looking across this landscape of brush and
small trees and rocky hillsides excites her imagination.

She’d lived in the islands, and never seen this particular vast
western side, where the moisture has been stolen before it
could pass the mountains, and those rain laced laden Tradewinds
arrive dry and arrid, freed of their burden, and creating an
entirely different world.

Tomorrow they start cleaning and chopping and arranging for
the big afternoon, very soon to come.

She gets out her three little Vintage Fondue Pots, each with its
own stand and warming candle.
There are eight or ten little Forks to each pot, and the whole group
together, with its Retro avocado, orange and mustard colors,
and ‘modern’ lines, takes her back to the early sixties,
when Fondue Parties were quite the thing.

Parties were so civilized and jolly then, she thought.
A nice glass of wine, some jazz in the air, everyone dressed for
the evening, a small fire in the fireplace…  Yes….

…to ibicui…

After the daughter went home to mother, it was finally
our time.  He wanted to show me the backhills country,
and other sides of Brasil that he loved.

One particularly beloved place was Ibicui (i-bee-quee)
Going south, along the coast a ways, there were small
fishing villages, quiet and quaint, and here we found our
heaven.  I remember his saying …

“Oh babe, this is Us…” as we walked down the cobblestone
street to the beach.  A vendor pushed a little cart with hot
meat on a stick… a particularly popular food in Brasil.
The Scale of the place was so gentle and human, a certain
ease and slowness that you could deeply sense.

We found a bunch of little blue crabs for sale, sadly blowing
bubbles as they awaited their fate.  I couldn’t bear to buy
them, it was just too depressing.  Their colors were Art.

We stayed with his old friends, George and Angela…
(ghorrgh and anhella) who had an upstairs home on
the little cross streets, and they walked with us, and
the guys had a great time getting drunk and reminiscing…

Or so I guessed, as once again, it was all in Portuguese.
But they were so sweet, laughing all the time, playing great
music, and it didn’t matter…. I felt very included…

That was especially true, when the boys went to the bar,
and Angela, a giant grin on her face, said the magic word….
“…Caipirinhas!”  big smiles back and forth, and I got it that
She wanted to show Me how they were made for Reals,
her style, Brasilian Home style.
She was very proud of her methods…

This is the national Drink, and since we’d come from a visit
to the Cachaca Museum… sort of like a wine tasting bar, with
Cachaca bottles lining the walls, and huge casks in the other
room….I came prepared!  You say it ‘kashasa’…

There were all grades and flavors of this strong liquor, made
from the sugar cane.  I found that it was similar to Tequila,
with the same differences in hangovers too…. the better the
grade, the better you felt next day.
So after tasting a few, I got us a nice expensive bottle of Brandy,
and it was true.
We got wasted with our Caipirinhas, and I for one felt great
the next day.  Ha!

Caipirinhas are made by chopping up fresh limes into very small
pieces, and crushing them with a mortar and pestle, slowing
adding a little sugar, and a little cachaca, alternating them.

You work it and work it, and all the wonderful nuances
of the pulp and peel come out…
Once you get it to the desired taste and blend, and personally
I don’t like mine too sweet…
strain it, pour it over ice, and Drink it!    Zowey!!

You can also make Vodka Caipirinhas, if you can’t find Cachaca,
but there’s nothing like the real thing.

The next day we all went to the beach and jumped in the water.
This place is magical, truly.  These are 18th century colonial
Portugal fishing villages, along the edges of the bays.
Ibicui is clean, quaint, there is no crime, people eat locally, and
there are dolphins in the bay.
(“Dolphins….it Had to be Dolphins”, and they both snickered)

It is along the same mountain range as Rio, with views of the
village and forest of about 50/50, edged by varietal rainforest
covered hills, and up into the mountains.
Then there are the Angras…. 365 islands scattered along this
coast, and it is a quiet little tourist get away for Brasilians.
They like to say it takes a Year to see them all!

Journal, February 26…

“Ibicui, Mangaratiba county.  Paraiso!  (pa-ra-ee-sou)

The place was/is perhaps the most perfect place.  Surely
there are other such places, where people just walk along
the streets, and swim with their kids, and everywhere
you look, all is PAIX.   A peaceful paradise.
Complete comfort, easiness, openness…unreal.

Built on rising levels of ground and winding railroad streets,
it’s all cobblestone, ancient.  The strong healthy Rain Forest
within and along this series of communities, matches
approximately the mass of the manmade…
Life and Death, as Alcir was to call it.  No doubts that
if left alone, this jungle richness would cover over and
eventually eat up all the buildings.  How Lovely.”

“It’s Saturday nite … checking in from Brasil…
Dear diary,”…she wrote as she savored the day’s delights,
and remembered his eyes, in the water, glazed….
…glazed and blissed…..saying it was a new day, and
he was really a new man, and at last he Knew it.

He said he’d call himself Lazarus.
“Lazarus, brought back to life, thanks to…..Me!”
and he spread that wide enveloping grin as he had been
doing a lot of today.

“…and you!” (tenderness moved in like clouds,
soft filtered over primal joy)…
“I could never have gotten here without you.
Why are you becoming so important to me?”

His demeanor had altered today, as he showed her
the small town around the bay.
This day, she thought…has been perhaps the most
perfect day… or the closest to it so far.

Her feeling radiated from a heart and throat chakra,
a pearlescent center, and her entire face radiated with
light and color and hair… She felt it, she used it.
She was Quiet, and from the inside.

“He has joined us today,” she noted to herself.
“There’ll be a lot more power available for us to use,”
and she smiled to herself.

“Your new little egg heart has just cracked open,”
she told him, there in the bay, in the water, after
his dive and swim to her, and she to him.
Swimming to each other, each in their own fashion…

“I love you..” he said, his eyes pouring it over her
like soft molasses,  his eyes pounding out
the heart drum of truth.

“I love you… I know that now.  You’re going to see
more of the old Alcir that you knew….”
She looked clearly into his radiant eyes.  His entire
being glistened with sparkling drops of water and sun.

“Hi,” was her whispered reply, and they kissed…..”



… first journal entry of 2005 …

I’ve been thinking about how I got into Brasil, how much the world
has opened up to me since Alcir first stepped into my life.

After him, it was the music first, that caught me.  I would hear a
voice like his, hear that accent.  That music station I found that
played global fusion jazz stuff, where I first heard Djavan.
The world beat program from Mendo, with Lilia, a Brasiliera.
The diversity of music blew me away…

The African beats, the syncopation, the many layered subtleties…
I’d never heard anything like it.  From there, of course the next
was the language.
I could hear the like-Spanish sounds, but again so many more levels
and intricacies … more like a combination of Spanish and French…
it tickled my ear, and brought back his memories… the sound
of his accent… so I got some Portuguese Language tapes, and
began understanding a little.

I began collecting CDs, and saw the faces of Brasil, understood the
cultural mix of Portuguese, gypsies in a way, having been on the sea for forever…the Latin feels… the Indigenous, from the Amazon with
their wild and savage ferocity and their forest sounds, and African
rhythms from the slaves they brought in and screwed.

I learned of the vastness and diversity of the country itself, noticing
programs on Brasil, the Rainforst, the Amazon, the abundance and
the pillaging of resources.
No one had ever taught me that Brasil is Bigger than the States!

I got a couple movies, after the Bravo Station TV showed me
‘ Dona Flora and Her Two Husbands’  (with Sonya Bragga),
‘Bye Bye Brasil’,
‘Xica do Silva’,
and of course Raoul Julia in ‘Kiss of the Spider Woman’.

Here he plays a Brasilian Revolutionary in a Sao Paolo prison.
He So reminded me of Alcir, so angry and discouraged, his young
ideals dashed like stormy waves on the rocks of reality….and
with Sonia Bragga as three different women: the real one,
the imagined one in the romantic story related  to him by his
gay cell mate, and the morphine dream one, well,
I immediately identified, and watched it more than several times.

In the scene where he is dreaming, after pain and morphine have
taken over, in that dream she comes into the hospital and whisks
him away to a small row boat… and she rows him out onto the water,
and although deeply in pain, he begins to relax… and she says:
“This dream is short, but it is happy”  …
well, the parallel was uncanny.

From there, it was Payakan, one leader of the Kayapo trying to
save their villages from the disasters of logging and gold mining…
and more CDs from the different areas and varieties of style.

Sting and Trudy, and the Rainforest Foundation…and then
The Djavan Concert !  that was maybe ’89 or ’90… took Piney and Lily,
danced shoulder to shoulder with a huge room of crazy Brasilians,
and grokked the energies for real.   Such a filling of knowing.

Met Piney in the city at a Brasilian nite club, and drank their fruity
Rum drinks, ate fried Yucca with hot salsa… I was hooked big time.

Oh The Feojoada!  I invited about 25 of my friends for a nite of the
whole real deal, with the many traditional dishes,
…and with Brasilian Movies, and Music playing in
the background all night.  It was a sensational success!
(it’s sort of like their version of Thanksgiving, but I discovered later
that because it is a meal based on African roots and foods… poor…
it is Not enjoyed by more Aristocratic Brasilians!)

The David Byrns compilations, and beginning to understand the
differences between the regions, Rio and Bahia, and all those
reflections in the music styles.
After a few years, I focused more on certain singers and composers,
especially Jobim, Caetano Veloso, Milton Nacimiento, Joao Gilberto,
and of course the old Samba stuff, both traditional street samba and
Bossa Nova, with Jobim, Joao and Stan Getz, from the sixties.
Terrific stuff.
Back in the sixties, I’d seen Brasil 66 at the Hollywood Bowl, with
no clue whatsoever on who they were at all.
Now I listened and Got it all.

**JAN 4th… by now Piney has offered me her Travel Miles, and I
have told him the news.  It’s really happening now.
Well…. he called tonite, and asked if I could call him back, because
his rates are so high there.  It was nice to have him call and miss me.

It seems he had a story to relate to me…  TWO of his exes came by
to see him at the same time, and after fighting with eachother
(scarey women), they Both turned on Him!
Ha ha ha…wish I could have watched!  Brasilian Novellas are
really really melodramatic and full of sound and fury.
So now he’s been drinking Vodka, and was very talkative and funny,
as well as rather philosophical.

He started talking about Colin Powell and Congoleeza, and said
he didn’t trust women who don’t have orgasms… which led to
having a hard on, which he called ‘a woodie’…. whereupon he said
“Oh, this isn’t a woodie…. this is Hardwood” and
so I added ‘tropical hardwood’… mmmmm!

He began reminiscing… “when I kissed you, I felt life.  I was Alive.
We found eachother in a very common way.
With you, I was fucking Life.
I was filling up myself with Life, I was mesmerized by you.
I was not amused with life at that time.

I am not the person I Am right now.
I’m just a regular Joe Drunk… I do nothing.  I don’ have to work,
I do drougs…
But with other weemen, they don’ add anythin’…
they take…I take…
a little piece of ass or sometheen… But…I’ve seen beyond.

Oh, I have a big hardon, where you can sit and make yourself
comfortable.   We’re just a couple of Sr Citizens….”

“NO!  I’m not a senior citizen!” I jumped in…

“I wouldn’t be fucking a Sr Citizen!” he laughed…
” I would be expecting a Boy Scout to come by an say ‘NO!…
you can’ Do that!…. oh here, can I help you across the street?’ ”

We were both laughing now.  He said his bottle of Vodka was
half empty, and with the talk about his cynicism, I chided him
with the old…  ” it’s half Full ” thing…
“Well,”  he said…”if we put you an me together, we have
a Whole Fucking Bottle!”