Musical Land Mines

I have a thing for anything Brazilian; I love the whole Brazilian vibe – the beaches, the food, the people and definitely the music. Brazilians have an intoxicating joy for life. They work to live, not live to work. Marisa Monte is a perfect representation of the beauty of Brazil. Marisa is a well-established Brazilian singer whose musical genre is a blend of Brazilian pop with Bossa Nova roots. I believe she only sings in Portuguese so she probably is an unknown to most Americans. The moment I heard her voice, I was mesmerized. In Brazil, she is highly admired and if you listen to her song A Primeira Pedra (translation – The First Stone) you can see why. There is a softness to her voice and a vulnerability that touches your heart.

Although I enjoy many of Marisa Monte’s songs, I haven’t listened to her music in a while. This is a consequence to me subconsciously associating her with the heartbreak of my previous relationship. He was Brazilian and, for many years, I tried to disconnect myself from anything Brazilian-related. A good writer friend of mine described this feeling perfectly. He said that after a horrible break-up, you are very careful to not step on any “emotional land mines.” These land mines can be anything that reminds you of that relationship. The moment you stumble upon an “emotional land mine,” you can go down a quick downward spiral, even when you least expect it. You try to move forward and avoid being triggered. You destroy those pictures, cut off ties with “his” friends, move to a new city – you do whatever it takes to move on.

It took me a long time to heal from the betrayal of my previous relationship. Discovering infidelity in your partner feels like a punch in the heart. It took a lot of self-love and time to build my trust in love again. It was a painful, yet empowering process. Mr. ShuGar has also helped in the healing process. His love taught me that not all men are the same. There are still some good ones out there. I thank my lucky stars for having found one of them.

The years had gone by and I never realized I buried my love for all things Brazil. I guess this is another side effect of the break-up.

I recently fixed my iPod and I heard Marisa Monte’s A Primeira Pedra once again.  The song begins by her asking who can throw the first stone who has not suffered or died because of love.  Who can resist the temptations of the heart and revoke the laws of the heart? For many years, I judged myself for falling in love with the wrong man. Time has taught me to have no regrets, but, rather, to embrace all the experiences that have brought me to this moment in my life. They are all a part of me.

I am (re)embracing my love for Brazil. There’s so much beauty in its culture and I hope to take Mr. ShuGar to my favorite parts of Brazil one day. But first, I think I might start learning Portuguese again – it’s been a goal of mine for a very long time and I absolutely love the sound of the language. Brazil, muitas saudades.

Special thanks to my dear Brazilian friend who helped in the translation of Marisa Monte’s A Primeira Pedra.