Although I hesitate to write about the events of the day and evening prior— not wanting to define them, to confine them, to reduce them into linear representation and interpretation, the very process by which might somehow reveal a frailty and break their spell– I cannot NOT. And really, there were no such distinct and nameable events that occurred that mid-day that became late day that became night, merely one grand cohesive experience, with the passing of the sun and the arrival of the chilling damp as much an integral part of the story as the actors are to a play. The impromptu stage at Casa das Letras morphed in synchronicity with these elements as the actors, themselves painters, poets, photographers, writers, and indeed actual actors, came and went, ebbed and flowed as groupings formed and then released of their own accord, creating many scenes within a scene, writing individual stories with their own unique characters and plots, timelines and morals; knotted threads interwoven within the contextual tapestry of the living present moment.
It was in the bright and warm of noontime that the seeds of conversation rooted and grew their many branches. Later, as the sun ceded to cloud, the “chuvisquinho” that had descended upon us added a palpable weight to our words, words that adhered to our skins and like the misted drizzle itself would eventually collect to form droplets of consciousness that wet our souls. Later still to shake the evening damp, a small fire was lit in the stone fireplace casting an amber glow, a fire of initiation and idea, of ambition and creativity, a fire of mental, emotional, physical and spiritual connection bound in tendrils of the smoke and of the fog that had descended from the mountains to ensconce us. Indeed, I cannot say for certain that the fog had NOT swallowed us entirely that night, cocooning us from the other fires, those destructive fires that blazed beyond our walls. We became a womb within the fog, protected by it as the hours slipped past without notice or care. A magic coursed within the paneled walls of this womb, tall and all-knowing, quick yet silent as it skimmed about the room, intangible as the shadows of the wind-blown candles.
Eventually, the fog let loose its embrace, and one by one the players emptied from the stage and went their ways unable to recall for certain if any of it had actually occurred at all. But certain they were, we were, of one thing. That what we had found that day that turned to night, in those dreamy hours of mist and fog and fire and smoke, was not so much each other but parts of our own selves, pieces that had once been scattered and now had reunited, fragile pieces, lonely pieces drawn together by the forces of good will to become whole again.
Words by Jason Weaver, 2014
Image by Marc Claussen, 2014