I am a big fan of Leonard Cohen. Among his many amazing songs, Dance me to the end of love has a special place in my heart. It moves me to tears in a very tender, bittersweet way, as only a true work of art can do.

It is one of those examples of a song in which lyrics and melody combine so perfectly that they get lost in each other to the point where it’s impossible to hear the notes on the chorus without singing along. Its sweet and sad refrain echoes like a promise and a redemption: since even love comes to an end, may we be led to it with tenderness.

Brazilian musician Chico Buarque de Holanda also addressed the theme of the end of love, but his interpretation was a little different. In his song Futuros Amantes (Future Lovers) love does not end, it simply passes from lover to lover, dodging time and space.

The love from yesterday will be revived by the lovers of tomorrow in a continuous flow of love. What a wonderful theory, isn’t it? And brilliant, as we are used to seeing in the work of this great artist.

I particularly like this idea of love that continuously comes and goes, for it explains the fact that so many songs talk about this feeling. The truth is: they are talking about the same love. Sure each experience of love is very personal, and a million other factors will be responsible for turning every single story unique, but the core of love would be the same.

And how to get to that core? How to reach the source of love? The verses of Futuros Amantes give a hint:

Don’t worry, nothing is for now
Love will always be lovable
Future lovers, perhaps
They will love each other, without knowing
With the love that one day
I left to you

The source of love can only be reached by loving. Preferably with the right music in the background.

Be seeing you!

G.F.

Have you ever experienced a Sackgasse period? You know, the “dead end street” feeling. The one that usually comes during the times (days? weekes? months? we better stop here), when nothing seems to change, and the more you try to move, the more you find yourself in the same place.

The feeling that nothing changes, despite your greatest efforts, is probably one of the most destructive ones, for it goes against nature. Life is all about changing, as we recently discussed. Actually, if you think about it, change precedes existence.

I was deep immersed on these thoughts as I got a message notification from my friend A. She wanted to know how things were going and we chatted for half an hour or so, while she was waiting for her flight to departure. I asked her if the trip was business or pleasure and she told me that she could not afford any leisure time, since the war in Ukraine had deply affected her job and life plans. Long story short: her “home” has now been reduced to two suitcases.

A. is a trooper, so I know she will be all right, and it was very nice to hear from her, but I could not help wondering how weird it felt to be talking about a war, as a natural ocurrence. Frankly, I was expecting a little more from the twenty-first century.

How far from the thruth were our furturistic dreams! We took aim at The Jetsons and ended up on a Orwellian-esque plot (did anyone mention reality shows?). How come?

My vision of the future also includes long and passionate discussions about really relevant things, for example, Why is Vermeer so important? , why some of the most detailed images of the universe  look a lot like a jazz album cover? Or maybe the links between jazz and comics. Creative, important stuff and not, you know, the current death-and-devastation set.

I wanted to have a happy closure to our conversation today, but I think I owe you this one. Or maybe we owe it to ourselves and we will finally decide to pay it off.

Be seeing you!

G. F.

My first performance beyond my backyard was at school when I was six. If I am not mistaken it was during my Elementary School end of term pageant. The story: Vinícius de Moraes had written a book in verses for children, adapting the story of Noah’s Ark. The book became a hugely successful TV special, with songs written and performed by great names of the Brazilian popular music, such as Chico Buarque, Moraes Moreira and Elis Regina.

My school’s end-of-year pageant consisted of performing some numbers inspired in the hit musical. The students sang and danced dressed like the animals represented in the songs. There were the lions, the elephants, the giraffes. My class got the song about bees. Our costume consisted of a white T-shirt and shorts and orange cellophane wings attached to the shoulders by a fragile wire base, the same used in the “antennas”, held in a hair bow and finished with styrofoam balls covered in glitter.

This wonderful childhood memory was my only experience with bees and I don’t think the fact that being a consumer of honey, propolis and pollen makes me a queen bee, but the fact is that the bees in the neighborhood apparently feel good in my life. home, with a special preference for the kitchen. They´ve found a minimal space in the anointing between the sink and the wall that apparently holds water and turned it into a drinking fountain. Rumor has it that they plan to build a spa on the site.

Anyway, I can’t be angry with such ingenious and (why not say?) sweet creatures. On top of that, threatened with extinction by human actions! Let´s face it: tecnally, if someone had to leave, that would be me. Although I have the slight impression that I am being manipulated by the bees, the fact is that I had to learn to live with them and until now we´ve managed to share the space quite well: they leave, respectfully, every time I start cooking or washing the dishes and return as soon as they realize the coast is clear, so to speak.

Maybe I am able to communicate with them (I just forgot how) or maybe they just liked my elementary school performance. Maybe I will find out someday. Until then, as the song of my childhood said: come and see how they give honey, the bees of the sky!

Bee seeing you 😉

G.F.

Nothing is permanent, except change
(Heraclitus – 500 BC)

Many musicians have secret rituals before going on stage. Although I am not exactly part of the club, there is indeed something I like to say to my gang such moments: “now don’t you worry, for something is sure going to get out of our control.” I do not say it in order to be funny or mean. All I want is to keep it real and bring up a simple fact: during a live performance something will happen in a different way than expected. There is nothing to do about it. Accept it, embrace the situation and go with the flow.

Actually, this applies for most situations in life. Last week, for instance, I was expecting funding for a project and I got pretty anxious about it (checking-messages-each-three minutes kind of anxiety). In order to distract myself, I kept working hard. It sounds strange, but it really works), which made me kind of proud of myself. So far, so good.

When the answer finally came out, it was not a good one. My mood changed immediately. All the pride suddenly disappeared, and I think it took a good deal of my vital energy with it. As an obvious result in such cases, the previous week’s “keep your hands busy” attitude has been replaced by a “what’s the point” prostration. Looking back to the situation, maybe I should have allowed myself to grief.

Trying to work further and not being able to, made me feel even worse (“you are lazy and that is why you did not get the gig“, said the voices in my head). The problem with ignoring sad feelings and pretending that nothing happened (“the important thing is to move on, after all a true winner never lets her/himself down blablabla…”) is that, sooner or later, all that pain you tried to throw under the rug will come back, usually bringing reinforcements.

Losses are part of journey of life and learning to deal with failures helps a lot to face difficult times. Trying to abruptly interrupt this natural cycle, introducing a routine of “nothing but winning” is not only a huge mistake, but also an enormous cruelty to oneself.

On the other hand, learning not to be cruel to yourself is a practice to be absorbed over life. And if you, on top of that, manage to be kind to yourself, then you are really lucky, my friend.

Be seeing you!

G.F.