The Quaresmeira

Quaresmeira, foto by Jason Weaver 2017

SOON,
everything would be different.
If she had known that then, if she had
simply considered the possibility,
if she had only understood that nothing —nothing
would ever be quite the same again,
she would have lingered a while longer,
stayed beneath the trees
studying intensely the purpura
of the quaresmeira flower
until the fading light
of late day ceded to black
and spilled into her mind a
permanent hue of aliveness,
then she would have something — anything
to anchor her, to comfort her,
to keep her from slipping away,
from disintegrating into
obscurity and dissolving
to bits in the wind.

By Jason Weaver, 2017

 

In a Fog

Original painting by Jason Weaver, 2016

Original painting by Jason Weaver, 2016

A fog of cool, white
winter-wet clouds curled across
the landscape in long, low wisps
and settled in at a wooded edge.

Here within I was
(pleasantly surprised) to find
a sudden, simple clarity of mind,
cocooned in a butter-balm of calm
a world-away from the
intrusive
incessant
cacophany of clutter,
far from the voice
of white-noise news and views.

Unbound of ego and need,
unchained to doubt and fear,
I frolicked free amid the trees,
climbing, swinging,
dancing ’round arm-in-arm,
playing hide-and-go-seek and
sparring like sword-wielding warriors
with rampant abandon,
falling to the ground
hand-in-hand
in heaps of laughter and shouts!
Never shall I forget!

——–

A fog of cool, white
winter-wet clouds curled across
the landscape in long, low wisps
and settled in to free me.

by Jason Weaver, 2016

Original painting, Trees and Fog (2016) by Jason Weaver, (acrylic on canvas, 70×100 cm).  Dedicated to my dear friend Magaly Haasper. You showed me how to believe in myself, never shall I forget!

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.

 

A Forest in the Tree

Photo by Jason Weaver

Photo by Jason Weaver

Let me share with you some news
that I recently acquired
through the internetted, interconnected
world wired web
about what some scientists have discovered
below the cover of forest floor.

It seems that trees, long thought to be
these lone survivors-of-the-fittest,
in fact assist each other with nutrients
through an interconnected, internetted
bed of fungi and roots, much like neurons in a brain
they communicate with chemical exchange.

In other words, they speak.

Indeed, they speak a type of interspecies trees-ese
since an ecosystem with structured biodiversity
brings, among other things, resilience
so that a forest can survive despite fire and drought,
despite insects, wind and disease–
–but not logging.

You see, and it is this point I found most profound,
the largest, oldest, and most interactive trees,
those with the most complex systemic memories
act as generational elders, so that
as they age and degrade, they release their entirety
until eventually, at last, they collapse back to earth.

Imagine that,
a forest in the tree.

by Jason Weaver, 2014
The photo was taken at the National Park in Teresópolis, RJ, Brasil. I give full credit to the video “Do Trees Communicate?” by Professor Suzanne Simard, found on YouTube for teaching me such a beautiful reality of our world.
http://youtu.be/iSGPNm3bFmQ

The poem was written for and is dedicated to the students in my Conversational English class.

Uma Luz na Neblina

Ainda que eu hesite em escrever sobre os eventos daquele dia e da noite anterior, não querendo defini-los, confina-los, reduzi-los a uma interpretação e representação lineares, o processo que em si pode de algum modo revelar a fragilidade e quebrar o encanto – eu não posso NÃO. É que, na verdade, não houve eventos distintos e nomeáveis que ocorreram naquele meio-dia que se tornou tarde que se tornou noite, apenas uma grande experiência coesa, com a passagem do sol e a chegada do frio úmido, os quais fizeram parte integrante da história como os atores o fazem em uma peça. O palco improvisado, a Casa das Letras, transformou-se em sincronicidade a esses elementos, enquanto os atores, eles próprios pintores, poetas, fotógrafos, escritores, e atores de fato na vida, iam e vinham, em fluxo e refluxo a medida que agrupamentos se formavam e se dissipavam em seu próprio ritmo/por conta própria, criando várias cenas dentro da cena, escrevendo histórias individuais com seus próprios personagens e tramas, cronologias e morais; fios entrelaçados e atados na tapeçaria contexto do momento presente.

Foi no calor e claridade do meio-dia que as sementes de conversas se enraizaram e cresceram seus muitos ramos. Mais tarde, enquanto o sol dava lugar às nuvens, o sereno que havia descido sobre nós acrescentou um peso palpável às nossas palavras, palavras que aderiram à nossa pele e que, como a própria garoa respingada, acabariam integrando-se em gotículas de consciência que molhavam nossas almas.  Ainda mais tarde, espantando a umidade da noite, um pequeno fogo foi aceso na lareira de pedra, projetando um brilho âmbar, um fogo de iniciação e ideia, de ambição e criatividade, um fogo de conexão mental, emocional, física e espiritual, ligado às gavinhas, de fumaça e neblina, que desceram da montanha para nos abrigar.  Na realidade, não posso dizer com certeza que o nevoeiro não nos tenha engolido por completo naquela noite, encasulando-nos de outros fogos, aqueles fogos destrutivos que ardiam além das nossas paredes. Tornamo-nos um útero no nevoeiro, protegidos por ele enquanto as horas passavam sem que reparássemos ou nos importássemos. Uma magia vertia de dentro das paredes de lambri do útero, alta e onisciente, rápida ainda que silenciosa a vaguear pela sala, intangível como as sombras das velas trêmulas pelo vento.

Uma Luz na neblina

No fim, o nevoeiro soltou o abraço e, um por um, os atores esvaziaram o palco e seguiram seus rumos, incapazes de lembrar ao certo se qualquer daquelas coisas havia acontecido. Mas tinham certeza, nós tínhamos certeza, de uma realidade. A de que o que encontramos no dia que virou noite, naquelas horas oníricas enevoadas de fumaça e nevoeiro e fogo, não eram exatamente os outros, mas partes de nós mesmos, partes que um dia foram espalhadas e agora eram reunidas, partes frágeis, pedaços solitários, reunidos pela força da vontade de ser um novamente.

por Jason Weaver
Tradução por Nora Vicente
Imagem por Marc Claussen

2014

The Light Shines from Within

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.

Casadasartes

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