(by Flavio Rodrigo Orzari Ferreira)
May the torch of curiosity light up
and reveal to me the hidden fertility of the imagination.
May careful observation
fertilize my crop,
burst in plentiful courage,
into a health that has been gathering in me,
so that I can ride out of my reason.
May the wisdom of communication
surround me with words of protection,
may only those who vibrate like me draw near.
May the plurality of beings and things
allow for the lushest dives and,
like the oak, may I hold the good faith I was given,
reaching, finally, the wealth shared and spread by the ancient branches of the old Yew.
So be it and so be it.
text for Flavio (by Deborah Birch)
If the scar is a physical trace of a wound in the body, the site of its healing, it is also a remnant of the trauma itself, a remnant of place and time, stories, and relations. It is a locus that leads us to a web of personal and political connections anchored in the body.
A tangible sign that the body is shaped by its environment, the scar is also a reminder that the past accompanies us into the present. As a site of healing that recalls what has been undergone and what has transformed, it points to the resilience of the body and the spirit. We might call upon it to remind us that if the present is our future viewed from the past, the future is an imaginary that can guide us and give us energy in the present.
The scar on my cheek is barely visible now, but it always brings to mind the view from above my child’s body while I was looking down on it listening to myself scream, the anaesthetist’s needle coming towards my face, and once, at family Christmas, my grandfather joking that in the future my husband would be able to feel it in the dark and know it was me. “I’ll never have a husband,” I thought indignantly.
A scar is a portal to images and memories of people, situations; an echo of our unfolding and our insight. “I’ll never have a husband,” I laugh as my girlfriend runs her fingers across my cheek.
Urucum, do you know that name? It is the name of a very Brazilian plant. Its scientific name is Bixa orellana, from the Bixaceae family.
Bixa is the way they refer to gay men. It’s like the plant was named sissy, marica, pédé… This plant is used by the indigenous people of my land for bodypaint, protecting the body from its enemies: the painting of this plant protects those who go to war. Protects them from the sun: a medicine for o corpo e o espírito. Now each person has a painting, a fingerprint tracing their pride in being who they are.
At first Bixa was an offensive word, but we painted ourselves and went to war with that word, filled with our pride in being who we are. The Bixa protects the body and the spirit of the sissies.