sexta-feira, 31 de julho de 2009

DIAS CINZENTOS EM CURITIBA

So it has been for over a month now, a taciturn parade of cold gray days in a city which sometimes seems to be one of the worst habitats on this planet. The sun has rarely peered out from behind the thick masses of clouds and mist, the white walls of our house speckle with humid brownish flecks in snowflake patterns and we shiver underneath several layers of clothing all day long, trying to resist the usual assortment of colds and gripes. And now half the city has gone into a panic over the bout of swine flu that has made its way here in the worst moment of our winter, closing down schools, gyms and swimming pools (by health department order). Those who are the most perturbed admonish us to stay away from social gatherings, shopping malls and cinemas as well. To top it all off, today – one of the chilliest thus far- there are workmen from COPEL changing the electrical posts and cables on our street. They’ve been back and forth along the power lines all days, in a bright orange cart that has been hoisted up into the treetops, weathering occasional rain showers, while I struggle to nurture some patience. No power till the late afternoon. So in the meantime, I´m back to the pen and paper of old… sentences that begin at the left margin but go on and on and on until they coil and curl around the edges of the pages, reminding me of phrases and thoughts to be added.

In some ways, the whole year has thus far proven much harder than I would have imagined it. I didn´t get my research grant, which I requested a total of four times, twice each from two different financing agencies. (There were no criticisms – actually only praise – for the project itself, on women in equestrian sports in Brazil and Spain. Just not a priority, I guess, for agencies that prefer to finance gender studies focusing on topics like violence and prostitution, and are less interested in this possible, yet uncommon sphere of women´s empowerment…) Other things, too, that have happened, are best left to express through poetry. Nonetheless, the months spent “there” and then “here” have hardly been unproductive. Most recently, we were finally able to send our edited volume “Mulheres e homens, olhares e cenas: estudos sobre representações de gênero no cinema contemporâneo” off to the publisher (with some luck, it may be out in 2010!) And I´m anxious to move on, as I will in a few weeks: first to Chicago and then (again) to Barcelona, where new projects and friends are awaiting. Most of all, now that we are past mid-year, I can sum up what is perhaps my most crucial personal discovery: I´m still in some ways the same person I was many years ago, drawn to challenges and willing to deal with the adverse circumstances that are often a part of them. As for the last months of 2009, well, one never knows what surprises lie in store...

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