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  • Writer's pictureRai Cantisano

é carnaval

carnaval is the one time reliable to get me homesick.

the most wonderful time of the year.

rest and joy, to the proportions of your choosing.

all you must do is celebrate. being alive.

the costumes are a plus.

be who you want to be. nothing is too magical, funny, powerful or sexy, for that matter.

millions on the streets doing... what is it that we do? dance, yes. drink, too, sometimes.

nothing at all.

being together. that's it.

millions of people. together. not working. not averting a crisis. just being.

it makes me miss a people who has the ability to do that, ritualistically, every year.

it makes me think of my friends, and the reckless we have been together and the trust that was built from that. it makes me think of being alive, and wanting to.

i don't often have a joy only day.

there's always an email, a phone call, a chore, a plan, a question.

i don't often have a joy only week.


what if i did?

first though: my career would collapse. people would be angry at my doing nothing. they would berate me and be mean to me and tell me i am one lazy potato.

i know that could happen, and that it is probably not true.

what's beyond that fear?

i think i would be invincible.

much like my people, who endure in a country historically oppressed, where the basic needs of so many are not taken for granted. who rise, day after day, and move through the challenges of life knowing there will be cold beer and dancing until you can no longer on the other side of it. because we said so.

maybe resilience is the ability to say, let's dance tonight, this week, until the sun comes up. let's wear our hopes and dreams in a costume and be so exhausted by the end of it that life will hold us tenderly to rest. let's prioritize the priorities. you, me, music, "i'll meet you by the bloco at 7 am, make sure you wake up bitch", "do you have glitter i can borrow", "my feet hurt and i will not stop dancing".

i will not stop dancing.

i am from a people that refuses to stop dancing.

in spirit, i bring myself to the streets of rio, as i walk today to take the 2 train towards my responsibilities. i am not there physically, but my soul is dancing to the bateria.

what if it was all for joy, anyway?

me, my friends and a stranger, being together in joy.

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