Sunday, August 15, 2010
Feel the love
It was a quiet morning, if chilly, and the park nearby was hosting a military band set up to play some favorite songs for an hour or so. We had read about it in a cultural schedule I picked up last Wednesday when I was at the MAC (museum). Any good excuse to get us out of the apartment before noon!
We also needed a new “puxa saco,” that ingenious tube of cloth into which you cram your used plastic grocery bags for easy dispensing later. Ours (perhaps 15 years old) had recently given way to age. The weekly feira (arts fair) in the park would surely serve up a good selection of the common kitchen accessory.
Showered and shampooed we hit the street and went to enjoy the music (just one block from our home).
I get this feeling often. I admire the clear expressions of affection between family members here. Not just new parents and their tiny ones – but also between adult children and their older parents. Teens and parents touch. Babies and grandparents feed off each other’s joy. Middle-aged couples kiss in public. Everyone seems to give the requisite privacy and tacit support to celebrate loving relationships without shyness or hesitation.
Together we were a crowd listening to live music, swaying to the rhythms, smiling, touching, hugging, kissing, and encouraging each other to get the most of it all. Old and young. Dark skinned and light. Just us, feeling the love. Enjoying a Sunday in the park.
Sure I’ve had similar experiences in San Francisco – perhaps in Stern Grove. But something about the personal openness here is really different. It feels both vulnerable and exhilarating. People are not afraid to demonstrate their affections.
Count me in. Even as a gay couple Luiz and I joined the celebration of Sunday in the park. Long glances exchanged, winks, brief touches. It may not be all that is available to others, but we stoled a bit of the joy all the same.