O Rio Paquequer

O Rio Paquequer by Jason Weaver

O Rio Paquequer (2014) — original acrylic painting by Jason Weaver

Let us
drink
the clear stream
of wellsprung purity,
and breathe
with lungs of leaves
a conscious continuity;
Let us
lie down
in a rocky seam
an earthen process,
and be
this perpetual
moment of progress.

by Jason Weaver (2014)
Original painting by Jason Weaver, O Rio Paquequer (2014), acrylic on canvas, 70cm x 100cm.

The scene depicted in this painting is of the Paquequer River, the principal river in Teresópolis, Brazil, where it begins high in the forest of the Serra dos Órgãos mountains before flowing north. Working from a photo I had taken, I aimed to capture the timeless continuation of the river just downstream from the Cecy and Pery Waterfall, so named for two main characters in the Brazilian novel, O Guaraní , written in 1857 by José de Alencar.  The title is derived from the name of an indigenous indian tribe whose territorial region once included the surrounding area of Rio de Janeiro, including Teresópolis . The novel is a romantic adventure whose hero, Pery, a Guaraní indian, deserts his tribal family so that he may forever be with his blonde-haired, blue-eyed mistress, Cecília, or Cecy as he calls her. It was the majestic beauty of the river Paquequer that inspired Alencar to write his famous novel, and in turn inspired me as well; here, translated into English by James W. Hawes in 1893, are the opening words of O Guaraní:

FROM one of the summits of the Organ Mountains glides a small stream, which flows northerly, and enlarged by the springs which it receives in its course of ten leagues, becomes a considerable river. It is the Paquequer. Leaping from cascade to cascade, winding like a serpent, it dozes at last in the plain, and empties into the Parahyba, which rolls majestically in its vast bed. Vassal and tributary of that king of waters, the little river, haughty and overbearing to its rocks, bows humbly at the feet of its sovereign. It loses then its wild beauty; its waves are calm and peaceful as those of a lake […] It is not at this point that it should be seen, but three or four leagues above its mouth, where it is still free. There the Paquequer rushes rapidly over its bed, and traverses the forests foaming and filling the solitude with the noise of its career.