[ texto em português aqui :) ]
I just got out of a bathtub flooded with the scent of lavender.
I could stop right here and say that while you guys are flooded in glitter, I took the time to relax this carnival. But that's not (entirely) truth. Am relaxing, but mainly because I caught a virus that attacks the respiratory system and knocked me down like I haven't felt in a long time. Useless to tell you the truth, and yet there is so much to be done. While my whole system was weakening, I kept fighting back. I cleaned an entire apartment, washed clothes, packed up what was still in it - and gave back my keys. Another cycle that closed. Beautiful projects that keep coming up and I've been getting the chance to create unique things. I found amazing people to work beside me in this new phase of the studio. I'm excited and there's so much to organize, structure - at a distance and also for the trip I'll do to Brazil in April. At the same time, I'm organizing myself - the best I can - to be totally present on a trip I'll make to the US in March, to visit the SxSW, a congress/festival I've wanted to go for so many years. And now I am going, in the company of a dear friend. I have decided to extend my stopover back in London to spend my birthday with friends I haven't seen in years - and whom I miss. So many amazing things happening, energies flowing, so many ideas lining up, amazing people passing by, so much to do, so much to document...I haven't made much progress these days - as I had initially planned.
The bath was actually for that, to make progress - but not in my tasks but rather my healing - and in sending energies to my friends who have also caught the virus, and especially their children who are suffering more than us adults. Lavender was to help me relax the body - and also the mind - that was sore. While I was sitting in the still half empty bathtub, I took a deep breath, as I had not been able to in a while - and then I noticed that, because of the pressure of the water and the oil, bubbles began to form - of various sizes. But even before they became bubbles, when the water hit the surface, the oil danced on top of it. The polar water - the apolar oil. And because of this difference in polarity (thanks chemistry classes) they do not mix. But they dance. And in this movement, and colliding with each other, the bubbles formed. Even if they didn't want to turn into bubbles, because of all the movement around them, their destiny was inevitable. A universe of bubbles formed. Which grew and grew, and were then connected by a white foam made of millions of other microscopic bubbles. They were all connecting and also involving my body. I sat there, I don't know how long, just watching this constellation of bubbles forming. And then I saw my reflection in each of them. At first just a silhouette - which could be anyone's. And then in the larger bubbles the reflection became sharper. A tired face, messy hair, the naked body all shrunk. As I concentrated on the breathing that flowed, I began to reflect on the bubbles and our reflexes. Our images. Or the image we pass on to the world. We insert ourselves in so many bubbles throughout life. To make appearances, to belong and trying to be - something we are not often. Or most of the time. And often we tell ourselves a story, we feel at home. It feels comfortable.
Even though deep down we know it isn't exactly what we want. So we start creating escapes. Ways and moments, situations and connections - that get us out of that bubble, even if it’s just for a few hours. They make us breathe. And then we go back to our daily routine. To the bubble. And yes, I agree that some bubbles are also exactly what we wanted to have. But then I ask myself (and I ask you), did you ever go live in other bubbles to really know? Or is it also a story we are telling ourselves? And also telling the world?
It is so much easier to post on all the media about the unforgettable trip we made. The fun parties we danced throughout the night. The amazing things we've accomplished. The beautiful love we conquered. The habits that make us healthier. And all the rest of the days? Where are we? What do we do? Insecurities, doubts, falls, fears, broken hearts, losses, disconnections. And no matter how positive we are, how we are able to build triggers to get out of those moments. On a few days all we want is to hide away. And that's okay. And then I asked myself - why don’t we post pictures when we feel like that? When we feel sick? Sad? Heartbroken? Scared? Well, because it's not beautiful. And then I thought, "Yeah, probably a picture of me in this situation now wouldn't have as positive an impact as the picture of my smile when I reached another step of my journey. Well, maybe my naked body will attract attention, but definitely not the sick look. I don't want to show the naked truth right now. I just want to breathe." - (yes, it all crossed my mind at that moment). I lifted my head, I stretched my body, and I sank into that universe of bubbles. My body connected the warm water, the oil, the solid base, the thin air. I closed my eyes. The body relaxed, and the mind kept going...
Bubbles, bubbles, air, water, oil, movement... people, connections, images, reflexes, expression, creation, composition...
I have a latent urge to show everyone the naked truth. I can’t help it. The pain and love I live every day. The pain and love I observe in the world. The pain and love that our planet lives - every day. It is a will that has been growing and growing in recent years, months and weeks. The more I dive into myself - through the most varied therapies - this message becomes clearer. There is something beyond my bubble. Beyond our bubble. Something that connects water to oil. That transits between bubbles. That transforms. Translates. That pierces through. But that goes beyond a beautiful posed smile with a beautiful landscape as a background (let’s just be clear that I have nothing against those who do this - it's beautiful - if it portrays you - if it's part of you). But it's not part of me. I don't feel comfortable taking pictures like this. It's not pictures that attract me. I like intriguing things. The non-obvious beauty. The beauty that makes me think. That inspires me. That makes me connect, understand all the complexity of a second that was clicked. A static image that has movement. Countless details that can make up a whole. That makes me stop, observe from different perspectives, discover new things. That teaches me something. That makes me feel. That makes me connect.
I find it incredible when the brain makes connections. When you give yourself the time to have such connections. Tonight, I breathed - and I connected. Not necessarily on a photo - but through an image - that I observed right there in front of me. I gave myself the time for that. And then I remembered the text I wrote about beauty - and why it is important in our lives. The role of art. The role of expression. A system of translation, from reality - to beauty. To show another perspective, to show reality. Not just raw - because it is already so present around us. In the news, in the networks. We don't need another portrait of reality. We all know reality - and it can be painful - but we need a moment of contemplation, of reflection about this reality. An insight. A breath. A deep breath. In our routines, to connect to what is real. For us. And our context.
I write in plural, because I was also part - and still am - of some (many) bubbles. Stories that I tell myself. And at the same time I've been popping so, so many bubbles these last years, months and weeks. Some really big bubbles that I was part of. But that my reflection was no longer clear enough. It could be anyone. But not me. I don't belong - or rather - I don't want to belong to some of these bubbles. To these stories. They are no longer part of me. I'd rather be the oil, which dances on water - or maybe the naked body, which connects all the layers. I want to choose where to be, why to be there, and to leave, when it doesn't make sense anymore. But more than that, I want to give myself completely in, and dive - into the pain - but mainly into love. And then use art as a tool for this translation. Mine and the world's. The liquid movement between bubbles. By connecting, translating and transmitting the different realities.
And then I opened my eyes and realized tonight I gave myself this moment. This breath (in the most literal way) because my body was in need. And my mind too. I connected everything that is happening in my life at this moment. I contemplated something real and beautiful that transformed itself in front of me. I reflected, transformed, and translated it. I recharged myself. I healed another little piece of myself. And that's what I wish for you too. If you can't find this connection in your life right now, let me share mine. Let's connect - every day - be it through the lines, the words, the movements. Naked - and raw - but beautiful.
I was invited as a contributor. I connected. I participated in a few sessions, but was also part of the support team to the YIPs organising the forum. I was in front of the stage, but also standing behind the stage. I read between the lines and then drew lines on a panel that grew through the five days of the Forum.
One day I was with my cousin, who is a doctor, in the port of Santos in Brazil, watching the ships entering and leaving their docks. When a huge cargo ship, that was old, all rusty and marked by a life of great adventures, crossed our path. Immediately, seized by the power of that vision, I told her; "Look what a beautiful thing this ship is." After a long silenced pause, she timidly replied, "I think it's amazing how you can see beauty in this old, battered thing."