Monday, November 17, 2008

boys to men

Men never lose their boyish nature in gesture or in heart. Horsing and slappin’ backs; yet rarely embracing. Emotions are often held at a distance, stored in a jar.
Boys wanting to be men learn distancing quickly emulating fathers and men they see in their lives. Stony smiles barely slip through bloodless pursed lips.

Here, Itaparica in the Brazil I have met the boys/young I have come to know do embrace. They came into my life to share their love of Capoeira. Historically it had been outlawed by the state. To begin to practice, play or joga your master baptizes you with a name, possibly silly or indicative of your nature. Ultimately a foil, or subterfuge if questioned by the police.

Being around these young me, I saw their hearts peak out; shining winning grins on cue. They really do live inside their skins and their innocence. They revealed their emotions. Nurturing each other befitted their nature more than tough bluffing and swelled chests which trap more air than passion.

Each one: Feijões, Cenoura, China, Bodogi and Correia were not sure how to gather a net for Junior after his mother died suddenly. They were as confused as all young men are who are not ready to understand death. Through the initial period, they remained attentive and patient; not shut down or vacant. Their presence swaddled the love they had of their homey like a downy feather bed.

I am not sure if time heals, or if it just softens the reality of the pain. That day back at Sacatar; Monday, na segunda 27-October I saw flashings, molten metal emotions hot for a moment then rising as fog burned off by morning sun. These buddies who joga Capoeira together were silently, invisibly hugging Junior, (aka Arroz), guiding him like a true posse on his road forward.

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