Monday, February 18, 2013

A New Years Resolution

Sunrise East New York, Bklyn 
I went to see my father, Poppy we call him, yesterday for the first time since I arrived in NYC.  I was nervous about going to see him because of one of  the many new years resolution that I made to myself.  That resolution was to be honest. Not that I've been lying, but I haven't been "telling"...does that make sense?  Well, I haven't told my father that Simon my ex-husband, and I are no longer together.  It's been almost two years since he left and my father doesn't know a thing.  

My family is good at keeping secrets.  My siblings never said anything to my father.  I never asked them not to but through some sort of osmosis, they automatically knew.  And being that my family isn't close, its now easy and effortless for us to keep secrets even when they're no big deal.   We love each other but we live in our own bubbles that are not holding up anymore.  They're suddenly beginning to burst and splatter our lives everywhere.  It's a bad habit that I can trace back to my childhood, through family, through my cultural background, through watching others.   Keeping secrets is a great skill if you're in the CIA, but we're just regular people so why the charade?

 So how dis I get around this? Answering without answering!  By saying things like "We'll see what happens", "Oh he's fine".  General answers you know? And people are smart, they figure it out or at least guess that somethings going on but they accept it; at least for a while.

When I arrived at my fathers place he ranted on and on about the usual subject, his children and our mother.   Both my parents go on and on about each other all the time like broken records.  I decide to change the subject by asking him questions on Haiti.   It worked!   All the while I'm thinking in my head "How do I tell him about Simon"? 

It wasn't all a ploy.  I really wanted to get some information about my fathers life in Haiti because my friend and I are working on a project.  As I grow older I also realize how little I know about my family.  My parents hardly talk about themselves or their lives before they got married and had children.  It's like the past never existed.  But they do have a past and did have a life before America, before we were born.  I learnt that my father was once a young man in his twenties, lifting weights with his friends in Port Au Prince, getting into fights with a friend who was part of the Ton Ton Macoute (military force during president Duvaliers dictatorship in Haiti)  "to show that you're strong" my father said. "Because I beat him up he told me that he was going to bring some men for me.  But I told him I know people to".  "As a man in Haiti you can't be weak, that's when people come after you".  He couldn't remember which arm it was on as he lifts his sleeve to show me the bite mark that proves this battle was real. On his left shoulder is a scar obviously shaped like teeth that I never knew was there.

After three hours of talking I get ready to go.  He asked me if my husband was working. Here it was...the opening I was looking for but dreading.  In honor of my resolution I knew what I had to finally say.  "Simon and I are not together anymore".  His response was " Oh I'm so sorry. So now you're alone?  I kind of figured something was going on".  "You couldn't work it out"?  "No" I said.  "So, if he come back you not going to take him back"?   I knew this question came because he didn't know the details or how long ago this actually happened.  "He's not coming back poppy" is all I said.
I left my fathers place full of information, like I knew him a little better and that hopefully he was getting to know me better.  I feelt like this was the beginning of a new day now that I'm back in Brooklyn. But at the same time it left me trying to swallow a huge lump of reality.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Fuerza Bruta: A Brazilian show about overcoming the brute force in life.

So...I know it's been a while since I blogged.   Sorry about that.  But I'm back and I have to tell you about this great show I saw called Frueza Brute!   It started in Brazil and made a nice home run in NYC. It was amazing and delivered an unexpected but well needed message.
Life Rave!

Frueza Brute is show about the celebration of LIFE!  When life brings you blow after blow, when you're going through the hard times; don't let it keep you down.  Get up again and again and again and celebrate life. Dance in the rain, live in the moment, and celebrate you! Be proud to be you, to be alive!

This show has left it’s mark in my memory for ever!  It was my second week back in NYC since my dramatic departure from Abu Dhabi.  I was feeling confused with mixed emotions about my decision and my life. A dear friend of mine invited me to see Frueza Brute; a show I’ve wanted to see for a while now-and I accepted. When I said yes to the tickets I had no idea what I was in for. I knew through word of mouth that it would be an experience that ignited all my senses, and have me dancing to the beat; but it was so much more than that!  Many reviews say how fun and energized the show is but that there is no real plot to the show. Just enjoy the party.  They are wrong.  They missed the whole point. Frueza Brute is a metaphor of life!

The show is a standing show. Yes we had to stand up for about an hour but it was worth it! The atmosphere is club like and smoke filled. They tell us to stand in the center of the room first as the rest of the eager audience gathers around to fill the room.  The show starts out with a huge treadmill being pushed out into the center of the room.  We are directed by the shows crew to move out of the way.  Walking on the treadmill is a man wearing a white suit.  Music is blasting.  I'm immediately hooked and trying to figure out what is going on.  The man begins to run and then BAM!  A gun shot is heard.  The man in the white suit bends over in pain and blood stains his shirt.  He  then falls over and lights go black.

 Lights up again.  The man in the white suit stands up and continues to walk while taking off the bloody shirt and reveals a clean new one underneath.  He starts to run. A wall with a door opening passes in front of him and he bust through the door.  A second wall comes down made of card board boxes and he bust through that wall also and confetti flies every where. And then BAM!  A second gun shot is heard.  He is down on the floor.

The man in the white suit gets up again, takes off the bloody shirt and walks.  Several people begin to walk on the treadmill as well.  They are bumping into him as if he doesn't exists.  After they leave, the man with the white suit is then bombarded with chairs that are placed on the treadmill that fall off on the other sides but is replaced over and over again.  The man walks.  Tables and chairs are placed on top of the treadmill and the man tries to sit and rest but he has no time before it falls to the other side.  He  picks up the chairs and table and tries to reposition it so it doesn't fall off and he can sit but that was pointless. A bed is placed on the treadmill and he finally lies down and sleeps. We are then gestured to move around the room and a big silver curtain comes out and wraps the room.  These two women flowing like fairies are hanging from the ceiling and roll around the silver curtain wall back and forth.  After several rolls they become angry and wild and chase each other along the wall.  When that scene is done, the man wakes up from this nightmare looking very tired. He picks up his bed and drags it with him as he walks on the treadmill.

Later on there are people dancing that he joins and they get the audience to dance as well!  Foam ceilings with confetti fall on their heads but they keep dancing.  They also break foam boxes on their heads, dance in the audience, bring people on stage to dance with them and foam boxes are broken over every ones heads.  They dance and dance.  We dance and dance.  Misty rain is sprayed over the audience and we continue to dance. 

Next a clear ceiling comes down over the audience and women wearing thin dresses are sliding, gliding and curling in a small pool of water.  As we look up at them in awe, they looked like x-rays of embryos in the womb.

                                                  New Beginnings
After 15 minutes of that, more celebrating! 

The treadmill comes out again with the man in the white suit walking through his life. He begins to run again.  A wall comes down for him to bust through and when he does, two other people are running on the treadmill next to him.  They are smiling and running together.  A large staircase comes out in front of them.  They hesitate and walk up to the door on the top.  They hesitate, they look down and then they jump together swinging through the air and busting through walls!  They land back on the treadmill and they end by walking on the treadmill together.  Then a mini after party of dancing happens with the actors in the show and a shower of rain pours down.

I may have missed one ore two scenes but this is pretty much the whole show.  It ends with the man in the white suit walking through with the support of others.  Lesson learned: you can't go through life alone. Support each other, take a leap of faith and celebrate your life!!  Dance in the rain!  I loved it!!
Taking a leap of faith