Independence Day

Posted: September 7, 2010 in Uncategorized
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This picture was taken on a snare drum.

Image via Wikipedia

today it is Brazil’s independence day. somehow independence day does not do justice to my memories of military and school parades with which we use to celebrate independence day. at home it was always a reason to talk about the cry of the independence: Independence or Death! and I thought for a long time that this was the greatest cry for something ever. Years later I came to find out that many other desperate sovereigns have cried the same cry. Pretty much equivalent to “leave me the fuck alone”, except on a much ampler circle – of a nation that is. The fact remains however that September 7th was a date to look forward to. At the time one did not move the holidays around to award the citizenry more leisure time, so you could very well have Thursday off for the parades, and Friday you went back to work or school. It seems to me that if generally rained on the seventh of september. The wind blew with enthusiasm and skirts flew up for the embarrassment of girls and boys alike. I love the bands! I mean I really loved the drums and the strident clarinets. I could watch that forever. when i was allowed in the band at our school, I was assigned a snare drum. I learned the part, learned that one has to march and play at the same, learned that one has to buy a really expensive outfit even though you don’t have the money at all. So, I figure I would master  2 out of 3, and so I did, I played the snare drum well, I marched perfectly in synchrony with my mates but for the life of me, i could not afford the uniform.  Nobody knew but i couldn’t afford shoes either so the shoes I donned  were too big for my small feet. After a few rounds of the gym, playing with all my small heart, I had blisters on my feet. They hurt like hell, but the love I had for that tinny drum, made it all worthwhile. I wonder now if it was the catholic culture that expected pain, sacrifice, even death with the sublime, the salvation, attaining something as incredible as heaven, or playing the drum at the parades.  So I bled for my country in my small feet inside my big tennis shoes. And I didn’t care – it was only difficult to remove my socks,  my enormous white scabs: to pick a sock off of a dried bloodied blister is not too simple.. a sudden pull and you want to die, a slow pull and you wanna kill someone.  It never occurred to me to soak my feet. Maybe because we didn’t really have a bathroom or a tub that could hold water. or a mother that could or would assist us in overcoming these sorts of youthful wounds. Fact is, by no revealing the wounds, I could stay in the band. 
That is also the time when I learned that there are powers that be, behind the scene actors, people who watch , who  are in the know and make decisions, and they never would even say anything to us. Because Laisha also was in the band. Same situation. Dont remember her blisters because it is hard to remember your sisters wounds when your own are bleeding, especially when you are no more than 12 years old and the beatles are just starting to make noise.
So the great day comes, Friday, September 7, 1962. My instructions were to get off the bus at the park where the band would meet. Mind you, you either were part of the band, or you have to march – so, everyone was there. So I did and I could see from a distance the bunch of kids dressed up in royal blue outfits with tall royal blue and silver hats with their silvery instruments. So Laisha and I walk slowly towards them, pretty much ready to accept our fate – we would have to march with the rest of the girls – no drums for us…  Lo and behold, great balls of fire… wouldn’t you know that the p.e. teacher greets us with her stern germanic look and hurries us to get our drums and get into position!  The two in white uniforms in the very middle of our royal blue guard!
Happy 7th of September


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