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Saudade...

"I am the sunlight on ripened grain.

I am the gentle autumn rain."

~Mary Elizabeth Frye



Sarah writes...

Ana Carolina is a genius when it comes to languages. A while back a friend of hers gave her a pack of untranslatable words. Each card has a word from a language, be it Spanish, Japanese, Italian, that due to its untranslatable-ness-ness it needs several sentences to describe it, as no single word can suffice. The other day we were looking through these cards and she read me her favourite:


Saudade

Portuguese

" A bitter-sweet melancholic yearning for something beautiful that has now gone: perhaps a love affair, a childhood home, a flourishing business .There is pain yet also a pleasure that such loveliness once graced our lives. "


It is the most beautiful word. She said to me that saudade is not so much an adjective as a noun, and can be combined with a verb, "I feel saudade", "I have saudade", "This deep saudade is killing me", and so on...As she read it I recognised saudade in myself, sometimes in places and things, but mostly for people. It is becoming more and more apparent to me the impermanence of our physical relationships, that no matter how long and lovely, our material forms will always part. However, for us lucky ones, which if we are honest is quite a few of us, so many people have come into our lives and brought us happiness, sadness, a rage, a laugh, hugs, a row...care. Usually, regardless of the tougher times, when we when look back at all these people we've met, there is some feeling of appreciation for the time we had with them.


I think that even now if we are feeling alone, or homesick, or missing people we loved that we could see more freely before the lockdown, we are actually so lucky because we have something or someone to have/be saudade for. In this way we are truly fortunate, and in the future, saudade may help us not take for granted the people we have now, and those that are yet to enter our lives. And so, in my own (probably terrible) translation, I think saudade is a way of telling a person in your heart that you miss them because you loved them, and in gratitude for knowing them, you will treasure their imprint in your heart forever.



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