While I have been slowly growing re-accustomed to the place I call home, with its breakfast tacos, sweet tea, towering highways and skies as far as the eye can see, I have been simultaneously living with and through the footage I captured in Brazil. Sitting at my desk in Texas, I watch Vitoria preparing a meal for her two sons, Jaidete making jokes while rolling out dough for bread, and Jane Cler singing away the days in the Mangarfo kitchen.
These moments, captured in time, played over and over, become an album of sorts. I look back to these moving pictures, laughing at times, crying at others. And sometimes my sadness morphs into something else. Anger. Rage. Despondence. For the subjects of these images speak their truths- truths that have many layers, truths that laugh at times and cry at times, too.
These moving pictures, playing a game of show and tell, stand as evidence to the present, to the past…to generation after generation of struggle. These women warriors, acutely aware of the power they carry, tell it like it is, unabashed and headstrong. These mothers, who hold it down, who care deeply, who see past the cards they were dealt by this system that tries to break them. These women, who remind each other of their worth, who whisper into the ears of their children. These women, whose homes smell of garlic, pressure-cooker whistling, when they feed hungry bellies and pray the price of beans does not rise this month.
These moving pictures, captured there, are fading in our memories but very much alive on this computer screen in Texas. But there the smell of garlic can still be sensed. The book is still open…its pages being written. Its protagonists live on. They continue to tell it like it is, to fight for what is theirs. I am merely no longer there to witness it. And now I can only look back on this time, the part of this story that I played a small part in. I look back and I am grateful. And I am changed. And I remember to love and I remember to receive love. And I remember to fight because of them.