SAUDADE - One Estonian trying to explain it..

When being in Portugal, one definitely feels saudade. Extranzeiro can even feel
it, ´cause he or she is far from his country. That is the feeling late at night, when you can not sleep and reflect and think back at your life. When Portuguese reminisce their past times, lovers, friends and events in the rainy Coimbra night, other people do the same. They also can not sleep, crying for sun that is forever hidden behind the panorama of University campus, all the jolly breezes and chanting old men disappeared from dusty tascas. Of course, we, foreigners can not speak about saudade, explain its origins and meaning. We do not usually even have a word for that. For many languages „ saudade“ is indefinable. But sometimes feelings do not need words, they need heart. They need past experiences, they need memories of greatness.

It is utterly beautiful to see the rain drops touching the dusty buildings in this grey night. Everything is sad, somewhere is chaos and somewhere are losses. There are people restless as Fernando Pessoa, but this pain, october-time sadness gives them so much power. Those emotions are beautiful, vivid, god given. Those emotions are colorful, forever -lasting. One lids a cigarette and watches how its smoke raises to the cosmos. From cosmos you could see Lisboa. From the Lisboa you could see miradourus, where, in Meddieval Times, small boys and girls looked how caravels went to new rich, unoccupied, unknown lands and islands. All the city was filled with hope of better, success of the winds and the certainty that they will come back. Every morning those boys were there, imagining all the richness, weird nations and jolly boat rides on turquiose sea. But as the days went by, they start miss their beloved ones. Missed their touch, their beards, their perfumes and the way they said their names. They missed their fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, family at the kitchen table. Most definitely there was bacalhao at the table, while the wines never ran out!

5 -year-old Miguel was anxiously waiting his grandpa to come back. He wanted to see him near the oven, smoking patiently his strong tobacco and sipping port wine, while telling the stories of love, hope and better future. Miguel remembered how he spilled sometimes tobacco on his coat and that he never minded to look like that, he would look deep into boys eyes and say:

You always have to embrace the past.“

Miguel used to listen those stories, sometimes even crying. Crying 'cause they were so alive, so vivid, so touching. But since he was a small kid, he did not want to think of the past so much.

What about future? Why I can not look to the future?“ asked the small boy. At the same time mellow breeze from Tejo freshened the small dusty house.

„ You can,“ said grandpa very softly, then took strong puff from the cigarette,“ but you always have to remember. You always have to remember to live your present, future in a way or  in a manner that makes its' passing always so painful, so touching, so hearty.“

But this is so complex, difficult feeling, grandpa!“ answered Miguel

This is just saudade!“ answered grandpa.

With this memory in mind, Miguel waited his grandpa to return from the distant lands. He stayed in this miradouro for ages. He aged and grew old, but he never stopped going to miradouro to look for the sea. He never stopped ageing, he never forgot his childhood and his grandpa. He never forgot the beauty of the saudade, the poetic soul of this nation, the gracious tenderness of missing something, someone so much that it starts emotional firestarter. With tears come laughter, and with euphoria comes the pain, all mixed together, all mixed in one. All mixed in to the bloodstream of true portuguese.

When this blood mixes with port wine, portuguese are not afraid to be poetic. He is not afraid to be himself. He starts gradually to talk about her, her red-dotted dress and cocoa smell. Or about her high - heels clanking and clipping on the cobblestone streets of Coimbra. He takes another sip of the sweet port wine, lights a cigarettes and murmures,

„ Oh damn, I can not even describe feelings, things, sounds and memories I am right now feeling, when thinking back to this girl.“

And he does not have to describe. Because he is feeling saudade, it is a undescribable feeling.

Babel Radio show is very vulnerable to share their saudades in the rainy nights of Coimbra. It rains like crazy, but we feel beautiful. We feel as forever-lasting souls, true humanbeings. Even if the passed times hurts us, the pain makes our heart sing. Shall we be poetic?


Oh, I remember when me and my Cousin were young. We were every summer trying to fix grandparents road with our small hands.
We were there every day, next to this old farmhouse and golden fields. We believed naively that we could really change its condition.
At that time we even believed that we could fix all the roads. We could take on the highways and bridges, our wild hair singing in the summertime breeze.
We sat on the top of grassy cellar and ate our Nutella sandwiches, after that we took our dishes to grandmother. As good boys. At dawn we helped her to pick strawberries..
I do miss those days..

And who does not remember his first kiss! It is nothing that touches your soul. There are no magic painters who could bring down the stars to color your heart golden. She was sloppy, and I was drunk.. And I was stupid, dumb and excited. Now I realize this is the best way to deal with life..Thats the key to happiness.

I miss building snowmen in the frosty night, cold, severe Estonian harsh weather, me and my cousin throwing snowballs at eachother.
Grandpas nose red as Rudolph´s. And damn.. the carrot did not stick... but the memory remains..

I miss my first slow dance, hands sweating, moving glumsy, eyes looking down to the ground not to her eyes. To her soul. To her heart.
She was a girl with dotted dress, big breasts and Valentino perfume.. I was just a boy, a dreamer,  an unruined soul..

I long for those quiet autumn nights, rain hitting the windows, me excited while reading great words. I miss the euphoria, the bookworms virginity in this silent, comfty room. Just me, Erich Maria Remarque, cup of tea. And a dream. Once write great words..

Oh, I miss my grandmother, her morning pancakes with rasperry jelly, a lot of sugar. A time where a boy did not have to do anything. Or you could just relax or collect Pamela Andresons pictures as I did. The cold Estonian weather could not be killjoy enough to me under the blanket. I was having Baywatch session. Damn, why do you think that I am describing male half-fertilizement practice, for crying out loud, I was five! Underneath the blanket with flashlight, happy as Christmas.
That was my first love..

I miss my grandmother telling me and my cousin bedtime stories..Actually there was only one story. Red riding hood. But we never got sick of it,'cause this is a good story.

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