Buddhas and Brazil in Brooklyn

Last night, Eli and I attended a party at Miss Favela in Williamsburg.  The hosts of the party were celebrating their ten-year wedding anniversary and festivities were well under way by the time Eli and I arrived.  A band was playing Brazilian music in a corner while a small throng filled the botequim, eating, drinking, shouting and dancing.

We got a couple of beers, greeted some fellow revelers and sat down near the band to enjoy the music and eat some dinner.  We happily stuffed our bellies with costela, a house specialty of meltingly tender slow-cooked beef short rib, accompanied by a yucca puree, black beans and rice.  The sauce on the costela suggested the sweetness of chili without the heat, which kept the costela‘s rich, meaty flavor front and center.

The windows and shutters were flung open, giving us the sense of being indoors and outdoors at the same time.  Between bites, I watched a couple of Brazilian women dancing in front of the band, mouthing the words to “O Pato” and moving with total abandon.  Other guests were laughing, others straining to hear and be heard over the joyful din.  

I thought to myself, All of us in this room went through the arduous process of being born, and all of us in this room will die someday.  Along the way, we’re all sure to know great happiness and great sorrow.  But for now, we’re here together.  We’ve got wonderful friends and food and music.  This moment in time is divine.  Maybe all the answers really are within us already.

Just then, I looked over my shoulder.  The wall across the street was graffiti’ed with a painted-on affirmation of what was in my heart: WE ARE ALL BUDDHAS.



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