A conspiracy between my instincts and my ancestors

Dearest Martina:

I’m off to Brazil. Since you know me better than most I suppose you aren’t surprised that I’m leaving from one day to another, but I couldn’t await our next chat and I am writing this as I sit on the airplane headed for Rio de Janeiro.

It turns out that my instincts and my ancestors have conspired against me and set the perfect trap, a proposition much too succulent and intriguing to ignore. I hastily packed a bag and I’m on my way to discover what they have in store for me.

Do you remember that book I started reading in Sant Jordi about the love story between the Brazilian architect and the American poet? Remember the poem “One Art” we read together with the team? Well, it turns out the poet is Elizabeth Bishop...and I desperately want to know how my grandmother knew her and why she was at the center of Bishop’s love story.

I knew those verses were familiar! My grandmother would recite them by memory constantly, especially when she’d lose one of my toys (which was fairly often). Searching through the books I inherited upon her death, I found one by Bishop, titled “Geography III,” with its poems underlined and highlighted. My heart was beating insanely fast, as if it knew something were about to happen, until something fell from between its’ pages. It was the photo of a highway, an elegant car, and under the image was my grandmother’s unmistakeable handwriting: “Brazil, 1951.” Petropolis is a city near Rio, where the two women from my novel lived for more than a decade...beginning in 1951. Does it make sense now, Martina?

My grandmother was everywhere! What a woman! You have no idea what I’d give to have her here to tell me this story (and many others)! I do miss her dearly.

In sum, love, once again, sorry for the gaps I leave in the schedule, but I promise that this escape will result fruitful. I know it.

Hugs and kisses to the team.

All my love,

Manuela