Leiria is the city of Inês Amado’s childhood and youth, a place that has changed, expanded, and evolved, retaining however aspects and characteristics that are still present or bare the marks of yester-year. The city had at its centre a market, this was its pulsating heart; its arteries were formed with shops, restaurants and cafés. Whilst housewives busied themselves in between stalls selling the freshest of local produce, mothers with their daughters would be busy buying calico, cotton or wool by the metre. At the end of a purchase there was always a small gift normally a handkerchief to be given by the shop owner to the young girls. Men would sit in cafés, have a cigarette and coffee, and discuss the latest football match.
As a student, days were spent in cafés drinking ‘bicas’/coffees reading, studying and discussing all the subjects that were most relevant for a young mind in search of some other way, some other ‘truths’.
Today walking the streets, being the flâneuse, pondering on that past, and reflecting today, contemplating the remnants of yesterday, whilst considering the now, trying to understand this urban space from two different perspectives, unveiling the city and following the margins of river Lis, for that is where I find myself and find what I seek. It is in its continuous flow that I travel, dream and feel that there is no time…but temporality as Herman Hesse states in his book Siddhartha: “There is no time since the river is everywhere at the same time, from its source to its mouth, not in the shadow of the present nor in the shadow of the past”.
“Teu Lis saudoso, teu castelo em ruína…
Deixei-te muito cedo, porque é sina
Em cada pedra tua, em cada ervinha…
Quantas vezes comigo tu sorriste
E, só porque eu chorava, tu choraste”
Extratos de um poema de Acácio de Paiva
“Your longing Lis, your ruined castle …
I left you very early because it is destiny
In each stone of yours, in each grass…
How many times did you smile with me?
And just because I cried, you cried ”
Excerpts from a poem by Acácio de Paiva