Thursday, May 17, 2012

I'LL SHOW YOU THE LIFE OF THE MIND

I was in Brazil last night.

The roar from Iguazu Falls fills my head as we zip in the speedboat to the edge of Devil's Throat, everything so brilliant and so loud that we can only read each other's lips through the laughter:

"Can you believe this?"

"Oh my GAWD! We're really here!""

"Yes! I told you the stroke wouldn't stop you! I told you we'd make it to Brazil!"

What a trip, I think. Forget Rio — Manaus was fabulous. And the Pantanal ... every photo, every video we took paled when compared to the immense reality. The caldo de piranha was a standout. So was the crispy needlefish we washed down with icy beer during a night hike. The birdwatching was spectacular.

We got tattoos in Brasília, learned to samba in Olinda. Every new day was better than the last one — and now we are at the falls, the sound of creation so wonderful that all we can do is laugh in amazed delight and let the experience soak in like the water's spray on our skins.

The speedboat veers even closer to the lip of the waterfall, the Gargantua del Diablo, so close we can see straight down. I knew they liked to literally live on the edge at the falls but this is perilous, this doesn't seem safe at all, one wrong maneuver and this boat is —

Everything is silent now. We look at each other, sharing the same thought. There is no fear, no terror, just a shared understanding of what's about to happen, of the inevitability of this moment. This was always supposed to be.

The speedboat's motor cuts out. I can see the rainbow created by the mist from the waterfall as the boat starts its straight-down journey. I reach over but there is no one else in the boat, only me and my cane.

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