I’ve been living in Porto for eight years, and yet I only recently heard of the garden where old fountains go to retire. I promised myself that I would go there (it is in my “new” neighbourhood) as soon as the rain let up. It rained for a long time this year. Today the sky was fresh linen hung to dry, and so I went to Jardim de Nova Sintra, and discovered…
amidst moss and eucalyptus trees
the sound of birds, the wind and a passing train
fountains that have no need for wishes
they have been around for a long time
they have always been
graffiti (on) art
lately at night
i’ve been dreaming
of waking up
in a different city
of here and there inverted
of de-tours and re-turns
on these rambling sojourns
i stop not to ask for directions
instead i try
to spell out my name
Today, it’s been eight years since I’ve moved from South Africa to Portugal.
I don’t quite know what to make of that number -
such a wobbly figure, and if it falls over, it’s an eternity.
(If made to stand again, it’s an empty hourglass.)
Two small globes, one on top of the other: my world here; my world there.
The O of surprise and the O of sighing that mark a migrant life.
A precarious balance, sliding mercurial balls holding each other in tension.
But holding each other, still.
And so I hold on too,
the ones I love on both sides,
the endless longing,
the story of two rings and two adventurous hearts
kept and woven into 8′s cross-armed embrace.
her stoic presence
the stillness of her thoughts
and the trees
I came across these sculptures in the garden of the Fine Arts Faculty of Porto University… on another walk (re)discovering the neighbourhood around my office. Interesting how quickly the strange becomes familiar, the road a routine…even so, some days one awakes to the sky, a newspaper kiosk never noticed before, your face in an antique mirror left on the sidewalk.
…that at least these will be home for Christmas.
*May your days be light and love-filled, wherever you are (home).
Things have been unsettling. And I have this feeling that there are pebble-on-water-like ripples of change reverberating through (my) past, present and future, shifting beyond my grasp, nuances I can not yet name. But there has been at least one move I can pin (pen) down: after a long time of searching for space and alternately bemoaning and extolling working from home, I now have a new office (I would like to refer to it as “my rooms”, in dandified writerly style; or “my studio”, a place of creative “action!” – in the sense of a verb in the imperative form; or use the arty and French-sounding term the person with whom I am sharing does: “the atelier” … but somehow I keep leaning towards the official).
This means a different routine, a relatively unfamiliar neighborhood, another responsibility and other possibilities: exciting, but also quite daunting. Like I said, there are changes that turn my stomach (and could over-turn my world)….
But I hope this is a move I can settle, and I’ve never been one to shy away from new windows.
*How do you deal with change (under un/certain conditions)?