Initially before everything, my desires lifted off of me and then returned to my body to circulate. And destiny sang out, in a clear, mostly bright and curious sound. My intentions were transparent, this day made sense . . . It was different. At night, I had been seated on a wooden bench, and just there, I felt the urge to sing. I took a deep breath, so I began, and everyone heard me, and at thirteen, there I was, anxious and loving everyone's attention, I was inspired and very nervous. That same night, the sky was starry, the humidity muggy, I continued . . . and, there I was, performing yet another song, by an admired singer of Brazilian Gospel. I closed my eyes and thought of nothing else. My guitar teacher was playing, and one of the best-liked coordinators of the house was recording video.
I sang with deep emotion and dedication, so my heart opened to any emotion that wouldn't ruin that sensation. There was no knowing that the video would eventually have the resonance it did, and most interestingly, I had no idea how special it would become. I had waited all these years for something, and my desire manifested when I closed my eyes, my hands trembled as if I was afraid, but . . . it was the opposite, it was hope.
This video flies like an eagle, across oceans, above the clouds, by the wind, the rain, along roadways and even through the tones and harmonies of trees, until finally, and not least unexpectedly, to social media. From so many trajectories, so many views, someone saw it . . . heard it . . . and was enchanted by it. Immediately. She didn't think twice.
Her dream swelled on emotions. She felt an increased desire to go in pursuit of what she longed for, more discoveries. She followed her second step to move forward with an open heart: she made contact for more information and familiarity. Curious, she traveled fearlessly, eighteen hours by bus, and there she was. After years of dedicating her life to this pursuit of success, fighting for her conviction to recompose herself in space and to arrive at the sense of accomplishment, for having constructed a family. Dreams for which she persists until achieving them and, until today, cherishes all she has achieved. As she moves through it, her self-esteem uplifts. Only she knows what she has been through all her life, but she never stopped believing that one day she would find someone to live and share stories with, her home would fill with obstacles and commitment. And, in the middle of so many challenges, she dreamed with someone who would have a story to tell and would enjoy the attempts.
Sentiments and emotions filled me when I awoke and I got up for another day of school, at 6:30AM in the morning. Even though I knew nothing, I felt my heart accelerate. I felt something I'd never felt before that wasn't any kind of happiness, it was gentle and at the same time intense, as if the universe conspired with me, saying today is a special day. After experiencing so many emotions, this one was curious and impulsive, and I had the urge to cry, but even that made me smile. Divided by multiple feelings, I sensed everything was different, from the humidity, the smells - the words - the sensations. All of it raised new questions, and I didn't know whom I should ask or talk to. That morning, I was quiet and feeling, it was as if I perceived that doors were opening, like clouds in the sky when you are calm on a sunny day. I wasn't worried, I was confused. I went to school and returned in tears, red-eyed, walking with my head down. My cousin, Taína, took my hand and asked, "what happened to make a face so confused?" when, at 11:30 in the morning, it was still sunny outside. Back at home, at the Mão Amiga children's shelter, I felt that from the moment I passed through the gate everything moved like waves, ever so gently, even vibrations of extreme intensities.
Getting ready for lunch, I took off my uniform and my tears fell at the same time, as naturally as the light passing through the windows of iron and glass. They brightened the room and made everything clearer. Funny how the metaphor did not apply to my questions, nor did it clarify them. I lowered my head, just as a booming and clear voice announced my trip to the Courthouse. Where people held power over my life and my security. The Courthouse is a place of ethics and responsibilities, before laws and judges, between psychologists and social workers. Their decisions are initiated upon desires, choices, and preparations for a new life, or the rebuilding of homes and family, depending on to whom it is directed. With this announcement, my eyes closed and everything I had been feeling began installing itself and occupying space in me. My heart beat at the same speed as it had in the morning. I did not speak a word, since what was in my mind would not emerge from my mouth. I wished I could decipher my tears and understand the reason for my acute anxiety, and this unexplainable sensation.
After all, I was getting ready to go to the Courthouse. I went to my room, considered taking a nap to know if I was dreaming, if it was all an illusion. But I did not imagine what was to come would contain warmth and be of extreme difference, something that would change me, make me another person. Today I am someone I never imagined becoming, my essence didn't change, my choices and vision changed, making me perceive the true meaning of life.
Today I perceive a true way of loving and caring, there is a lot to learn from you, Mom . . . What I already carry with me shows me how talented you are . . . to teach me. Thank you for admiring my capacity to learn. It is with you that I learned that mother-love is unique and true. It is for a lifetime, and is never passing, it is the combustion that drives the common human to do the impossible, and never dies. It crosses time and survives all the storms, breaks barriers beyond the imagination, the mother of the heart is eternal… It is love beyond life, my blood does not run in your veins, yet I am reborn. And one thing I can assure you, we are connected by the soul.
Elaine Lara Rosa Forman is 17 years old and in the 11th grade at Edem High School in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Writing has been part of her life since she was very young. It is yet another tool for expression, which puts her in a place of spaciousness, where not everything needs to be said, but indeed, written. She wrote that line in a piece called "The Mirror and my Emotions." Some of her favorite Brazilian writers are Cecília Meireles (1901 – 1964); Carlos Drummond de Andrade (1902 – 1987; and Cora Coralina (1889 - 1985). Elaine Lara is a person in search of her own freedom, of alterity, and of the real. She honors her life story, because it gives her reasons to make a difference, as it also opens paths that she may take one day that she hasn't dreamed of yet. In addition to writing, she is interested in art therapy and loves music, which takes her to special places. Art is my best friend. Without it, she wouldn't be who she is or where she is. Thank you for reading her words. Image created by author.