incongruous definition in·con·gru·ous (in käŋ′groo əs, -kän′-) adjective not congruous; specif., lacking harmony or agreement; incompatible having inconsistent or inharmonious parts, elements, etc. not corresponding to what is right, proper, or reasonable; unsuitable; inappropriate.
This complete past week I have been in Salvador in the State of Bahia, Brasil. Today I travel home, returning to Rio and to Nova Friburgo on Saturday morning. I did not bring my computer but am using Camillo's. I find myself handicapped by this, I count on my external drive and my photo archives to bring you some photos that represent our topics when not at home or the world is not right.
Yes I cheat, all the photos I use in the shoot-out are mine but often not taken the week of the topic. After all we can't always count on sunny skies when we shoot 'outdoor food' or a family gathering when it is time to 'relax' at the local park.
To tell the real truth, I have been uncomfortable with this topic. My purpose, as I have explained at other times; my purpose in taking photos and showing them on this blog has been to convince myself of what beauty exists in Brasil. To show this topic would be to show the discordance, the inharmonious parts of Brasil that I find so uncomfortable. To walk on the street in one of the riches barrios in Rio, Ipanema, to step around the beggar sleeping wrapped in an old cardboard box, to stop and take a photo of this unpleasant site is just not within my comfort zone.
This week I have talked of the blight in the cities and the garbage on the street - these incongruous sites - so at odds with the beauty of the oceans, the clear blue of the sky and the beauty of the shoreline and the mountains - but I've not taken any photos of garbage on the beach, I just don't want to save this on disc.
Yesterday I walked north from the hotel with my little camera and the idea of taking photos of a couple of things I had seen from the bus the day before. I'd seen a house facing the sea - let me show you -
I only took this one photo. While taking the photo a woman stopped on the other side of the street and started to jester and yell at me. What was she saying? I think she was frightened and concerned that I was using my camera out on the street. I was less than a block from a walled army base. My back was to the ocean and it was empty of people, the sidewalk two hundred yards each direction was empty. I had felt safe, now I was filled with fear - what signs of danger was I missing?
I walked back to the hotel, looking over my shoulder every time I heard footsteps behind me. I got back to the hotel and ate a complete bag of chips....Damn, regression. I hate this feeling of fear of my surroundings. I had felt this way back 6 years ago when I first arrived and thought myself past it. I hate this feeling of the world being out of balance, of not being as I thought it, the feeling that I am incongruous - out of place in this country. I was proud that I had been out walking each day, not hiding in the hotel and now I will need to talk myself out of these feeling of fear again.
Brasil a country of contrasts; of religion and of deities; of the super rich and of grinding poverty; of the top private education and of those unable to read or to count; the mountains of granite and the mounds of garbage - incongruous in the sum of its parts -
("Jesus Christ is the Lord" - unknown art work intent)