Tuesday, 8 April 2014


A reason to walk around, taking photos, in the Alfama district of Lisbon, where I live until May 4, is to mark the place--give myself visual reminders for later writing purposes. Another reason, never mind the future, is to reinforce my connection to where I am in the moment I am.
A reason not to: every else who doesn't live here is doing it. In my visiting (even for as long as a month) and roaming and photographing, I'm complicit in turning Alfama from a community in which people have lived for a couple of hundred years (just to mention the last couple)--and in which the great folk music known as fado developed--into a tourist destination in which absentee but well-meaning landlords renovate old building into apartments they rent to the likes of me. The community opens, fragments, disappears (like our hometowns on the Canadian prairie?). The guidebooks advise us to visit an Alfama that no longer exists.
Perhaps I exaggerate. I'm writing this in a small triangle of cobblestoned space that features two benches, a tree, a drain, and yours truly (more or less). I can see laundry hanging. People carry groceries or stand in their doorways chatting. I can hear children. And the sun reaches my bench, half past noon. And my, doesn't that grilled cod smell good.

1 comment:

Tracy said...

I can't keep up anymore, with anything, but why do I want to? Change is inevitable, and that's why as we age, our eyesight (and our hearing) diminishes, so we don't notice so much of the landscape altering around us.

Also, am having much difficulty reading the "prove you're not a robot" stuff. Yeesh.