Thursday, December 23, 2004

Saudade.../ Holiday blues...

It's hard to be here and have most of the family down in sunny and warm Brazil, eating tons of delicious fruit, enjoying the beach, and, most importantly, each other's company.

After spending 3 consecutive Christmases with family (01 and 02 with my in-laws and last year with both sets of grandparents in my mom's house in Brazil) this year it's just the four of us - oh, and it's the first Christmas we're a foursome.

It's a little sad, but considering that we saw most of our family members several times this year (we had graduations, a wedding, two births - all here in the U.S.), we're better off than many Brazilian expatriates we know. We're having a potluck Christmas dinner with a group of Brazilian friends, and that should be fun!

The tree's decorated, most presents are wrapped, the food shopping is done, all that remains now is this nostalgia. The right word is untranslatable: saudade. This word is said to be unique to the Portuguese language. It means homesickness, a deep longing, feeling blue, nostalgic. All of that and more. I'm sure people who speak other languages feel it too, they just don't have the "right" word to describe it.

Well, even with lots of saudade I hope we have a good holiday season, and that next year, we can be together with our WHOLE family again!

Monday, December 13, 2004

so what?/ a que vim?

I started a blog, but I’m not even writing on it. Partly because of the awareness that it's almost useless - nobody reads it yet. I have no idea whether anybody will ever read it, but just the fact of having it gives me a certain comfort... I don't really belong to this cyber community yet, only unilaterally (I do read other blogs), but MAYBE someday I will belong, I will be read, heard, feel truly connected. I have yet to figure out how to add links to other blogs I read, sites I recommend and the like. I know nothing of HTML and that makes things a little bit harder…

The second reason why I haven’t written any more is that my son (the 6 month old) has been teething (first tooth is out, yeay!), and our sleep has been extremely compromised because of that in the past few weeks. We also traveled on Thanksgiving, had friends over the next weekend, and traveled again last weekend.

The third reason is that I feel a bit intimidated about writing something “public.” Even though English is not my “mother tongue”, as an academic, particularly in literature, I’m supposed to write at least tolerably, and that makes me think twice before posting. I’m not too confident in my abilities as a writer, I wish I could write only half as well as, for example, Catharine Newman (I’m the BIGGEST fan of her online weekly journal, Bringing up Ben and Birdy: Today, however, I decided to just go for it, it may be worth it… and if I don’t even try, nothing will ever come of it.

Let's see...