The Age of Innocence (in Alaska)

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Ad created by Shawnie Anderson – aka Wonder Woman – for our last Alaska event suggestively called “What if…” Photo taken in Greece, during one of my shows (what became known as  “Joana Perón” by the balcony)

“And above all,

watch with glittering

eyes the whole world

around you because the

greatest secrets are

always hidden in the

most unlikely places.”

Roald Dahl

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Performing at “What if” show in Anchorage, Alaska.

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You can´t explain love, that´s why you know it´s Divine. Me and Figaro.

The Age of Innocence. A clear reference to the homonym novel by Edith Wharton. Or not. It depends on how innocent you are. Innocence has been one of my favourite themes, and my most cherished treasure, from the moment when I was able to be a spectator of myself.

What is it? Who has it? How do we lose it? Can we hold on to it in a world where innocence seems to be crashed, or mocked at best, without mercy?

Most people I know value smartness, ambition and accountability as the most important traits in a human being. I think innocence – the ability to keep your inner child intact – makes the cut. Intelligence, courage, honesty, sense of humor and Jude Law looks add to the recipe but “innocence” is at the core of everything. Nothing, not even aligators, scare me more than a (poor) person who has lost his/her innocence.

Someone who has lost it becomes sour, acid, cynical, disenchanted (the worst word in the dictionary; the most terrible thing that can happen to a person). I don´t pity sadness; I pity someone who has lost his/her innocence.

Take everything but not my innocence! – I tell Life, with whom I have frequent 5 o´clock tea chats, in the hope that it´ll hear me and follow my request.

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Day in the snow. At the top of a mountain, after leaving my personal note at “The Bluff” postmail box, a treasure arch that gathers messages from travellers. Angel with stick in its mouth by my side.

Innocence allows us to start from zero with absolute humbleness and detachment. It´s often mistaken by stupidity but that couldn´t be further from the truth. Stupidity is the (blind) pride in knowledge; innocence is the absence of pride. I can´t think of anything more intelligent than that.

It allows us to see the Good in people (that includes ourselves) and in life.

It allows us to LOVE as if we´ve never been hurt, to believe, to kiss with our eyes closed.

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Special day in the snow. Angel by my side.

I allowed the University of Egypt to touch many things in my character but not my innocence – that´s a sacred garden I protect with all my heart. And, beware, there´s nothing more powerful than an open heart.

Alaska, in USA, as some other Creative Portals (like Oxford, in England), is one of those places that caresses Innocence. It doesn´t defy it, test it or makes fun of it – it embraces and expands it. I felt it the first time I landed there, last year, and I felt it more so this year, during our “What if…” event which gathered workshops, show, lecture and other dreams in the making.

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Shaabi moment. Performing at “What if” show in Anchorage, Alaska.

Dwarfs are everywhere in Alaska (no, I haven´t eaten hallucinogenic mushrooms; not yet); snow is sprinkled with fairy dust (I said this to Shawnie, one of our amazing organizers, and she agreed); the air takes you in – literally because it´s usually freezing but also metaphorically because that place throws deep you inside your chest. It pulls you in directions you´ve never considered and, what is more fantastic, it does so without instilling fear. If you´re afraid, you become fearless; if you´re not the fearful kind, hello dear club member!, you know without a shade of a doubt that YOU CAN fly.

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Performing at “What if” show in Anchorage, Alaska.

Dreams become larger in Alaska – they multiply themselves. I don´t know why and I don´t need to know. I just know and that´s the whole point. Of innocence; of life.

In Alaska, you realize that falling in love, like men and women do in those cheesy Nicholas Sparks movies (I hate his books but I love this movies – Come back, Mr. Freud, we need you here!), is not only possible but around the corner.

Dancing in the street, a hobby I hold dear to my heart, is not strange in Alaska; nursing baby wolves at home is not uncommon; finding your favourite pair of shoes (Alaskan brand) which happen to Made in Portugal is a fact over there; running away from bears is a possibility, not a scene from a cartoon. People find huge, oil painted like, moose at their doorstep!

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Performing with Issam Houshan at “What if” show in Anchorage, Alaska.

My weird way of feeling – and, for me, life can only be perceived through FEELING – is celebrated there. No one, and nothing, seems to find my innocence exotic. The power of Alaska resides in that same innocence, a virgin territory where disappointments and darkness have not erased the scent of the rivers and the fish – salmon, in this case – that dance in their depths.

Everything that is not REAL to the soul gets instantly buried under the snow. They call it the last frontier but I, alongside the fairies and the dwarfs, know it´s the first The Door. The Door to what/where/whom? Ah, that depends on how innocent you are.

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Teaching (“Bint il Balad” with mellaya)

Important note: gratitude and an endless hug to Shawnie Anderson and Grace Ann Cerny-Pierce for making this Magic possible. If Alaska is a Portal, they are the Portal Keepers (Openers). Love you, Women!

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Me and Shawnie, aka Wonder Woman. She and Grace-Ann made it all possible. Two women/children who get exactly what I mean by INNOCENCE. They have It.

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Me and the fabulous Hisham Houssan, together in a show that will be remembered as a landmark for something (innocent) MAGICAL.