20 October 2014

Vai Dar Certo

My application for VISA was denied.

As in the two prescient dreams I had in the weeks after submitting it, the reason for the rejection is unclear.

Why does it feel like a personal injury?

But only a little.

I told someone recently that I enjoy a challenge. I love games and figuring out how to change this "no" into a "yes" feels like I game. A "big" game because I want very much to go to Brazil.

My bristling dissatisfaction and disappointment with Holly Springs MS has been placated -- somewhat -- through teaching piano but for a long time, and still occasionally, I was gripped with a resolute determination to either change this place or escape. It didn't feel like a game. It wasn't fun or inspiring. Felt more like desperation. How can one Northern woman change a Southern town? Where does a middle-aged black woman go in the U.S. to start over....again?

I'm in a cage here but I am fed and sheltered and I have piano students. I'll make do and wait.

I am much less resigned as re the Brazilian adventure. Unlike the Holly Springs situation -- where I am outnumbered and the rules of engagement are largely unspoken -- getting to Brazil is a process of navigating bureaucratic waters. There are explicit rules, although they seem to have changed in the last few weeks. Communication is possible. My opponent is not swayed by my place of birth or skin color or speech pattern. We are, ostensibly, playing by the same rules.

Via Skype, I am practicing my Portuguese language skills with new friends in Brazil. Additional benefits of our conversation include learning about the histories and cultures of the country as a whole and individual regions. And I am encouraged, fortified in the "game" of securing a VISA by the beautiful smiles and repetitions of "vai dar certo" and "vamos vĂȘ-lo aqui". Some of them assure me that I "look" Brazilian so my arrival there is a certainty.

This last notion is interesting when I consider how often I've been told that I "look" African. Maybe they are the same thing.