Carnival got its end in Brazil a week ago. Now, I can go back to my happiness. Don’t get me wrong, I love Carnival, but when you’re far and in the worse part of the winter time, hear about Carnival becomes a torture.
Another day I was talking with a gringo musician about music – kind obvious. He was telling me he thinks Brazilian music is quite sad. I felt very offended by it. I really do. How come, the happiest people in the world got sad music? Was he crazy?
Then I was preparing the playlist for a Carnival party at home and started to listen the songs with a foreign ear on them. Unfortunately I realized, yes, they sound sad. We dance, we have drums, but there is a musical note down on its scale, they aren’t the Portuguese fado for sure, but they sound very sad.
It was inevitable associate it to the famous picture of Tarsila do Amaral, the Abaporu . I remember when Teresa and I went to MOMA and she asked me why the Abaporu is so sad, “Is that because he got big feet?” (and I couldn’t stop to think on my shoes size 10…)
As a Brazilian we have the colors, we inherited the rhythm, but we don’t give the chance to be sad and upset, it’s culturally embarrassing for us. Please, don’t get me wrong again, we can be happy, but we DON’T HAVE TO BE ALWAYS happy, that’s not possible – at least on my opinion.
If you know me a little bit, you’d probably be afraid of my mental conditions now: “she’s depressed”, you’re going to say.
I’m generally very positive and really try to be. I used to laugh on my worse situations because of this obligation to be happy. But I’ve learnt with other cultures that I still must laugh but I’ve twisted into “laugh because I’m thankful for the chance to learn”.
Nowadays I prefer to be positive, not happy. I thought they were the same but they don’t. You can suit yourself in the sadness. Sadness/anger with positivism can direct people to better solutions. A false happiness, in opposition, can drive you to an obligation, into unfulfillment.
I see it in Tarsila’s work, this teaching about the colors of our sadness. They can be raw, strong and positive, and only we are able to pick the way we want to reflect them.
PS: Despite of the fact it’s one the most representative Brazilian pictures, the Abaporu official residence is in the MALBA(Buenos Aires – Argentina). It’s quite ironic due our historic relationship with the Argentinians.