I am reopening an old project which I had no time to finish last year. Saudade still interests me for many reasons – linguistic, sociological, historical and not the least – personal. Saudade is so far the best word to explain the way I felt after I left my favourite place and my home for 7 years – I often think of my life there and sometimes secretly wish that I can go back and be this previous version of me again.
For those who don’t know what saudade is, here is possibly the nearest description by Aubry Bell (1912):
‘a vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist, for something other than the present, a turning towards the past or towards the future; not an active discontent or poignant sadness but an indolent dreaming wistfulness’
Even after 10 years living at a different place in a different part of the world, I am still giving into this ‘dreaming wistfulness’ and my new word falls apart for a moment and I stop being who I am.