Wyatt Underwood's


Brasil as Fantasy

Brasil was where I learned that a pixie might surprise me by stepping out of a flower, or a troll might burst from under a wooden bridge. There a cave became even more scary - and even more tempting! - when I read that an ogre might live in it. Never found troll nor ogre, but I sure looked! Maybe horses really did step out of nowhere there, and disappear when a grownup intruded.

In Brasil, we made swords from the centers of palm fronds that had fallen just for us. We fought with them just like knights or musketeers might have. (We hadn't movies, but we did have books and magazines and storytellers. And made up much that no one told us.) We might throw down our swords and run off to make up a game with a ball, or we might become discoverers prowling into woods and thorns at the edge of the fields outside town. There had to be a treasure behind all that prickly, but we never found it.

We did find a place where men sang and laughed while they dug into the ground. They denied hunting treasure and claimed they built a house. We could see the strings and stakes and men digging a hole. They showed us where each room would be and made it as real as a room in a story! Every few days we'd return. They'd show us what they did and tell us how it all worked. Slowly a house did take shape! And its rooms were just where the men had predicted! It was almost as good as magic.

And suddenly all that was gone; I was snatched off to a strange country that grownups told me was my home. (The US.) For a year or more I hoped a pixie would step out of a flower and whisk me back. Maybe part of growing up is learning not to count on magic. But the Brasil that stayed with me abounded in magic.

And now that I'm discovering its Musica Popular do Brasil (MPB), the poetry and the voices and the sounds bring that magic back. Maybe part of growing up is learning where to find magic when you need it.