Mais uma vez

Adeus adeus, Bahia, minha terra adotada. I may have adopted Brazil, but Brazil hasn’t adopted me. I’m still just another estrangeira, now not allowed to go back for half a year.

The hard thing isn’t the readjustment to cold weather or English or NYC stress or American luxuries – though those work well for small talk. Rather, it’s having spent long enough in a place to form relationships, get involved in interesting and meaningful things, and grow a great deal – only to leave in the middle of tudo, sem data pra voltar.

And the worst part? Is the sensation like I’ve just woken up from a long and lovely dream, and now it’s back to “reality.” As though Bahia isn’t even a real place and all the beautiful, rich, funny, and profound experiences I had there didn’t actually happen. Salvador is such a world away from NYC that I suppose this is inevitable, mas que sensação desagradavel.

It’s probably a good thing I’m returning to NYC and not somewhere else, because this city is interesting and diverse and quirky enough to distract me from minha saudade. I find myself deeply grateful for the people who have helped me through my travel and transition – from those who have offered housing, to my parents who shlepped 21 berimbaus from Teaneck to CT to Brooklyn, to Julia and the rest of the CPM office helping me get resettled. It may not seem like much, but right now it means a lot.

I feel like I’m returning a different person – new directions, new dreams, new lessons learned. Trying to take it one day at a time, and looking forward to the next chapter…

Eu saí da minha terra
Com meu berimbau na mão
Chegando na Bahia
Encontrei minha paixão
A capoeira de angola
Eu jogo com coração
Vou no pe do berimbau
Faço minha oração
Vou me embora, vou me embora
Como já disse que vou
Eu sei que aqui eu sou querida
E na minha terra eu tambem sou
Olha aqui meu camarada
Escute que eu vou falar
Me apaixonei pela Bahia
Com certeza eu vou voltar, camará!

era eu, era meu mestre