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Trevor Hall - Brazil


March 15, 2018

Where is home? Is it a country? A city? Or a thing? And how can I feel so wrong in a place, but simultaneously fit it like a glove? These are all questions I ask myself daily in Brasil, which is a country that I now can call home. This place is my home not because I have lived here for six or so months, but because I know my heart will ache when I have to leave in 23 days. Home is a feeling. Here is a poem I wrote about where I come from in Brasil. Aproveita:)

 

I am from the Ilha da Magia.

From sunshine and flooding in the same day.
5290 miles from the place I called home.
From the island overfilling with tourists and traffic
I am from Fora Temer and crise,
Which has become every Brazilian’s way of explaining 
What has gone terribly wrong over the last year.
I am from a town that seems more gringo than Brazilian.
Where in the cafe, I hear more English than Portuguese.
And from night swimming in the moonlit ocean,
Where the water caving in around me replaces unavoidable stress for just a moment.
I am from caldo de cana, brigadeiro, and guarana;
All tasty in their unique way.
I am from permanently stained clothes, hanging calmly on the clothesline.
From listening to music on headphones with strangers,
Riding along on the bumpy bus that I miss 79% of the time.
I am from funky music and Travis;
Both I cannot go a day without hearing.
I am from dreamy beaches and grains of sand bouncing around as they char my feet.
From the waves beating the shore, kindling their own symphony.
I am from a lack of spicy Mexican food and an abundance of Zucchini. 
And from ignoring issues, avoiding hurt feelings.
From savory, and poisoned, street Yakisoba,
Leaving my head hanging outside a crowded public bus window.
I am from a failed attempt at balancing free time 
And making the most out of the clock that ticks away.
From trying to be in two worlds at one time:
America and Brazil.
Portuguese and English.
Happiness and sadness. 
I am from a bridge year of false expectations.
Where I thought I would be saving the world, perhaps the rain forest too.
Where I believed I would achieve fluency;
Where I thought I could gain more answers than questions.
Or a little more direction.
And where I could run away from all arising problems.
But this year is nothing more than a selfish year.
A year of self discovery.
Luckily, with a web of fellow support connected strand-by-strand like a dream catcher.
And as I wander in the middle of the web,
I realize that almost everyone is linked, but one still lingers away.
A spitting image of myself; 
My worst enemy.
I come from a place where I learn to grasp courage, acceptance, and forgiveness.
Even though I continue to wonder what my future self will remember.
Will he grin when he reads through the red journal
filled with writing smudged by tears that spilled down my face just years before?
Or will he regret the moments he didn’t take? 
The conversations he didn’t have.
I am from numerous meetings and travels.
From tudo bem and how are you doing;
And the misunderstanding of explaining myself to others.
Why didn’t you tell me that?                           
Well, if I don’t understand how to explain that in English…
How could I even try in a foreign language that seems to change every day?
I am from the fear of not remembering.
From forgetting words;
And from wishing time would just freeze for a moment.
Because I know that once I wake up from this inexplicable dream,
I will again be in San Francisco Airport with my suitcase trudging behind me.
And then, again, I will say:
Where do I come from?

 

 

Trevor Hall