To the Sound of Ganzas – Matamoe landscape with peacocks by Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin, Matamoe landscape with peacocks - 1892
Paul Gauguin, Matamoe landscape with peacocks – 1892

The landscape of the island is a washed out mosaic of colours. The rich palette of shades contains all the stories in the world. Just by looking at the gradients disgorge onto one another, I can feel the warmth of the oranges and yellows coming out from the canvas and lighting up my face.

The sun sets, and soon the midnight blues and the opaque blacks will overcome the lighter tones evanescing into the horizon. It’s almost night-time but the heat still imposes its rays of light and its sultry air to the population of the island. The tempo of the men and women’s hips swinging from left to right walking down on the green trail follow the rhythm of the ganzas, a percussion instrument played by Cariocas nearby the village. Two peacocks search for a stream of water to quench their thirst. A man to their right has just lit up a fire, wearing nothing but black shorts enhanced with red flowers, he is getting ready for a good night sleep in the middle of the jungle. He will share a tent with other inhabitants looking to stay close to the fields of corn where they work all week. It takes them too much time to travel from one side of the island to the other where their home is. They don’t mind staying here, they don’t feel lost or far away. The skies and the exotic setting reminds them of just how raw and unique their homeland is, and makes them proud and profoundly grateful to belong to this paradise.

Nature, animals, the heat, and the human beings’ breaths altogether create a harmonized realm where it must feel good to live. I close my eyes, put on some Joao Gilberto, and I travel in my head to unknown territories familiar to my imagination. I swing my hips from left to right to the sound of the ganzas in the background…

Listen while reading Ho-ba-la -la by Joao Gilberto

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