• Marie Tattiana Aqeel

Chapada Diamantina

Updated: May 9, 2019

Spent the day at the river. I took a long walk following the wind. Wound up in a cute little almost private crevice of the river where I removed my top and bathed nearly nude. I was joined by four older women, which I was happy about because they would not gawk and also because their presence at this part of the river would ward off other passersby. I loved it. One of the women -the most independent of the group I would say- even took off her top. She was the first to swim out into the river to find out how deep it was, and the one to talk to me and then to sit quietly while the others prattled about the history of Brasil. She said she didn't like this conversation. She didn't like to talk about the messy history. But their conversation was like music to me because I was listening to learn the sounds of the language. So.

I followed my heart wind and left Kilombo early Tuesday morning. I arrived here in Vale do Capão early Wednesday morning after spending the night in a cheap but clean room in Palmeiras. I encountered an older guy in Palmeiras who started talking to me as I was waiting for the van up the mountain to Capão and he invited me to ride with him when his friend offered a ride up. I gladly accepted. We talked. I shared pamonha (sweet corn similar to a tomale) that I had just bought in the marketplace. He offered me the spare room in his house to stay while I'm here. Again, I gladly accepted.

Yesterday we walked around to the markets close by, visited his spiritual mother, and then went on our way to see a natural medicinal curing space that he and some other folks have been working on. On the way though, he slowed to show me a house he used to live in and then a couple folks came running to the gate to say hi- they were people I knew from Kilombo! I was so glad and surprised to see them. Out of all the moments and all the places we could have independently been, we were there together at the same time. Perrrf. They were chilling outside playing music so of course I joined in. We stayed for hours. Then when we went to see the curing space I saw myself reflected in the one-room house designated for medical healing practice. Interesting.

When we left, I was really tired and hot. We were on the road back home and I was debating whether or not to stop at the river then or to go back after dropping off our stuff and changing clothes. We passed the river. Then I stopped with a feeling in my heart to go then to the river. We stood there in the road as I deliberated. Just then his friend who I had met earlier came bouncing down the road with her beau and a bunch of instruments like, "We're going to the river to play music!" So we went to the river.

Magnificent river. Brown like tea with native medicinal plants covering the floor, mineral rich, clean. Bathing in it totally feels invigorating. I receive the force of Chapada from this river, which is fed by the surrounding mountains which are fed by the rain, energy of the sky.

I feel love here. This morning I woke and spent some time alone in the house. I found out that the guitar my new friend has is a pretty good one. It's steel strung so it stays in tune better than all the other guitars I've been playing here in the heat of Brazil. In a moment I was overcome with gratitude and started to cry. Felt like my grandmother repeating thank you, thank you, thank you over and over again. To who? The Creator, of myself and all things, and also to myself for creating the life that I'm living. I feel so blessed to be here. Super charged. Energized. The river, the trees, the mountains, the music, the good food. I am revitalized.

The things I think and feel come true. When I allow myself to sit with them, start to trust them, they turn out perfectly. I wonder if I've lost this sense before or if I just turned it off in the haze of routine. I want to keep this. Going with the wind is as much a practice in waiting/being patient as it is in moving. All things good. Asé.



I almost forgot to mention that I rode with two lesbian couples from this hippy village to the nearest town. There are quite a few of us here I've noticed, which always makes me feel so nice. In fact, I've seen more here than I've seen during my entire time in Brasil thus far. We are attracted to la natureza. And hippy towns are lax on religious doctrine. Pff-hahaha. Hippies are of the earth. Religion. Psshhh.



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