Fiction

Wandering Lisbon: An echo of Saudade

After one too many coffees I finally got up and went for a walk around town. I smiled… bit by bit, I had been falling even more in love with Lisbon’s spirit. It was a unique spirit…. Lisbon… The air is filled with a mysterious feel, and at every corner is a kind of urban traditional life unraveling. Churches are scattered around everywhere in the old part of town. The new contemporary life, mixes with the old in ways that are unique and charming; the more degraded and old parts of town, echo the spirit that so well describes the Portuguese: ‘Saudade’. A word that is untranslatable to any other language, and so well echoes the mood of the air and of the people. It’s meaning is a mixture between ‘longing’ and ‘missing’…. It is a sort of deep missing, from the soul. A missing of what, one may ask? Of everything… of the glorious times that were and have been, petrified in the monuments of the past, and in the corners of the lonely neighbourhoods; of the times of greatness and fulfilment that so well described the Portuguese spirit, when they adventured to discover the world. It is a deep longing, a hopeful longing… for better times to come, but also and mainly for the times that were, and that now will never come again.  People are filled with this spirit, as much as the architecture, and the narrow roads that lead up to viewing spots over the whole city. Lisbon is the city of the seven hills, and its geographical condition allows for such unique sights of the river and of the city that have taken my breath away endless times. This spirit called on me…  during those weeks. And when it did, that’s where I would go… to drift anonymously around the old part of town, to gaze at the windows, in those maze like areas… to watch the people walking in the streets, talking to their neighbours, and feeding their pets. That day, I ended up heading up to the Castle and to the viewing spot I loved so much. I stayed there for hours and hours… just writing and drawing and watching the world go by, caught in some kind of half reality, half daydream…

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