We would run from Lisbon, actually – for the beaches just a quick drive away, filled to the surf’s brim with people toasting under the sun and washing their worries away in the crashing waves of the Atlantic. We would grab a car, or a van, some friends and people we loved and love still and would trek the entire country, from the north to the south or the other way around, from plains to cliffs, from mountains to prehistoric villages, for weeks. Or we’d get on that plane and be off – to our family left behind because of the stories our bodies, eternally on the move, seem keen on telling, sometimes to some faraway place where things elude even the most perfect descriptions.
But it would find us still, in that familiar illusion of eternal Summer – Lisbon would. Its night rooftops drowned in sound and warm lights, the Tagus exploding in scattered sun rays everywhere, the heat that begged for and afternoon at an esplanade… It seemed to be waiting for us, expecting us, telling us it missed us – how could it be? Why would a city make us feel that way?
When we, at Ina Koelln, were discussing our Summer experiences in Lisbon, as the backdrop for a possible (unofficial) guide of its hidden gems, and what the city meant to us, the conclusion we all arrived at was this: the city seemed inescapable, and not just because some of us live in it. Not because we work here, or because we like writing about it; no, it is something else, we realized: something tied to the very nature of the place.
The city doesn’t impose itself on you. It just pulses – with a raw energy that demands nothing from you but your own desires, to feel it at your own rhythm, to experience it at your own pace, to unravel its mysteries without any resistance.
Lisbon seems to negate the telling of all the stories it generates within its white-stone core. In turn, it offers a time stillness of sorts: you will live, and you will feel: you’ll not know how to exactly explain what happened when those Summer days and nights took a grip on your soul, but honestly – will you really need to? Will you really have to?
Each Summer we would go – we’d leave forever, it seemed – but would always return. And this Summer we may go again – away, abroad, who knows. But Summer will return, once more and we will, too, living in those endless days and nights forever, well into those autumn days where it’s Summer still. It’s real, the illusion – it’s palpable, it’s felt. It seems to be the soul of this particular city – being attuned with your own.
Have a lovely week!
Image Credit: @ckanani