Having sung for the young girls who gave a standing ovation after every song, for the vast audience spilling into the aisles for the Creation, and for the elderly woman who kissed my cheeks with tears in her eyes, repeating “Obrigada” over and over in my ear and so many other things I only wish I could understand, I found myself sitting on the bus back to New Haven with a very heavy feeling. I couldn’t begin to imagine how a group that had just sung Bright College Years in an ill-formed circle at the baggage claim could be dispersing all around the world. But then I settled on what I remembered best about Rio, this one moment when I looked out of the bus window and saw along the shore a line of white ships poised on the glassy water. Their maiden names once painted in blood red were chipped and faded from the burning sunlight…the waves lapped up against their sides like rivulets of cool relief and when they fell away the wood gleamed with newfound heat. Their bows were securely lodged in the copper sand, but their sails stretched out to some other place. The image compelled me to write as the tour came to a close, “I cannot believe I have come so far through such a beautiful country only to have reached the end of the journey...” I thought of us parting ways to go and serve others or to further our own passions, and to hopefully also find a bit of ourselves along the way. “…and the start of another.”
And now, sitting here and writing this on a humid Friday afternoon in New Haven, with a film script beside me and the spirit of adventure in the air (please see the movie Up), having come together with people I have never met before to capture beautiful moments on film, I realize that this is exactly where all of us probably are.