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Thread: Hello, Portuguese John Here

  1. #1
    Junior Member Portuguese John Here's Avatar
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    Hello, Portuguese John Here

    Greetings,

    My name is Joćo, in English John, I'm 27, I live in a small village in the northern region of Portugal.

    Here are some pictures I took on my morning walk.

    I like message boards because they're often a close community, and this seems to be a good one.

    I don't have many hobbies, I like peace and quiet, nature, and to discover interesting things online.

    Right now I'm on extensive vacations since I'm unemployed, the company I worked for closed doors.

    I'm spending my afternoons in my back garden, either searching for interesting jobs prospects, or searching the web.

    Thank you for reading, I hope I stay here long.

    Joćo

  2. #2
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Welcome, Portuguese John!

    Thank you for the introduction, and for the great pictures!

    I have been to Portugal (Lisbon)--it is a beautiful country. Also, my in-laws speak Portuguese, as they are Brazilian. I try to learn a little here and there, but unfortunately, I haven't gotten too far beyond "obrigada".

    I hope you enjoy our forum!
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  3. #3
    Junior Member Portuguese John Here's Avatar
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    Obrigada for the warm welcome catherine.

    They say Portuguese is difficult to learn, you're already one word ahead.

    I've only once visited Lisbon, and I'm only three hours away, I'm like the Hobbitses, I never leave the Shire.

    That's a very beautiful quotation on your signature, reminded me of what Krishnaji used to say:

    Can you observe without the observer?
    I was checking your blog, I liked it very much by the way, I also like Anthony De Mello, my favorite poem is Deliverance from the book Wellsprings.

    To see life as it truly is, nothing helps so much as the reality of death.

    I imagine I am present at my funeral.
    I see my body in the coffin,
    I smell the flowers and incense,
    I witness every detail of the funeral rites.

    My eyes rest briefly on each person present at the funeral.
    Now I understand
    how short a time they have to live themselves,
    only they are not aware of it.
    Right now their mind is focused,
    not on their own death or the shortness of their life,
    but on me.
    This is my show today – my last great show on earth,
    the last time I shall be the center of attention.

    I listen to what the priest is saying about me in his homily.
    And as I scan the faces of the congregation
    It gives me pleasure to observe that I am missed.
    I leave a vacuum in the hearts and lives of friends.
    It is also sobering to think
    that there may be people in that crowd who are pleased that I am gone.

    I walk in the procession to the graveyard. I see the group and stand silent at the grave
    while the final prayers are said.
    I see the coffin sink into the grave – the final chapter of my life.

    I think what a good life it was,
    with all its ups and downs,
    its periods of excitement and monotony, it’s achievements and frustrations.
    I stay on beside the grave
    recalling chapters of my life
    as the people in the crowd go back
    to their homes, their daily chores,
    their dreams and worries.

    A year goes by and I return to earth.
    The painful vacuums I left behind
    are steadily being filled:
    the memory of me survives in the hearts of friends,
    but they think about me less.
    They now look forward to other people’s letters,
    they relax in other people’s company;
    other people have become important in their lives.
    And so it must be: life must go on.

    I visit the scene of my work.
    If it still continues, someone else is doing it,
    someone else is making the decisions.

    The places I used to frequent only a year ago:
    the shops, the streets, the restaurants… they are all there.
    And it doesn’t seem to matter that I walked those streets and visited those shops and road those buses.
    I am not missed. Not there!

    I search for personal effects like my watch, my pen, and those possessions that had sentimental value for me: souvenirs, letters, photographs.
    And the furniture I used, my clothes, my books.

    I return on the fiftieth anniversary of my death
    and look around to see
    if someone still remembers me or speaks of me.

    A hundred years go by and I come back again.
    Except for a faded photograph or two in an album or on a wall
    and the inscription on my grave, little is left of me.
    Not even the memory of friends, because none of them exists.
    Still, I search for any traces
    that are possibly left on earth of my existence.

    I look into my grave to find a handful of dust
    and crumbling bones in my coffin.
    I rest my eyes on that dust
    and think back on my life –
    the triumphs, the tragedies,
    the anxieties and the joys,
    the striving's, the conflicts,
    the ambitions, the dreams,
    the loves and the repugnance's
    that constituted my existence
    -all of its scattered to the winds,
    absorbed into the universe.
    Only a little dust remains to indicate that it ever was,
    that life of mine!

    As I contemplate that dust
    it is as if a mighty weight is lifted from my shoulders
    -the weight that comes from thinking I matter.

    Then I look up and contemplate the world around me
    -the trees, the birds, the earth,
    the stars, the sunshine,
    a baby’s cry, a rushing train, the hurrying crowds,
    the dance of life and of the universe-
    and I know that somewhere in all of these are the remains of that person I called me and that life that I called mine.

  4. #4
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    John, your garden is a sweet space.

  5. #5
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Portuguese John Here View Post
    Obrigada for the warm welcome catherine.

    They say Portuguese is difficult to learn, you're already one word ahead.

    I've only once visited Lisbon, and I'm only three hours away, I'm like the Hobbitses, I never leave the Shire.

    That's a very beautiful quotation on your signature, reminded me of what Krishnaji used to say:



    I was checking your blog, I liked it very much by the way, I also like Anthony De Mello, my favorite poem is Deliverance from the book Wellsprings.
    Thank you! The auto signature is from my favorite play, Our Town by Thornton Wilder.

    Wow, I can't believe you are familiar with Anthony De Mello! I love him! And see the photo below--Wellsprings is on my "Favorite Books" shelf. That poem truly is beautiful.

    IMG_3828.jpg
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  6. #6
    Junior Member Portuguese John Here's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    John, your garden is a sweet space.
    Thank you, Iris.

    I don't think I appreciate it enough, I find that to be one of the greatest tragedies in life.

    I am reminded of a video on The Atlantic page, which I like very much, about a very old man, that knows his time is near.

    He's seated in the deck of his house, watching the trees, the breeze, and he says all that movement is almost a transcendent experience.

    He then says that what makes his death more difficult to accept, is that, he had those in that garden all his life, and he never appreciated it.

    I've never lived in a way trying to seek experiences, going to this place and record a memory, but trying to be aware of everything, no matter where.

    Here's the video if you're interested.

  7. #7
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    Welcome John!

    I love to listen to Fado music, but I do not understand a word of Portuguese. The voice of Amalia (1920-1999) is incomparable!

    During the long, isolated winters in the northern highlands of Wisconsin, one of my escapes is to watch videos of the trolleys in Lisbon.

  8. #8
    Senior Member KayLR's Avatar
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    Welcome Joćo!
    It is a real treat to see the beautiful photos from your walk. How often do we see Portugal?

    I am an intermediate Spanish speaker. I attended a conversation group where one of the participants was Portuguese. I loved listening to her speak! She struggled with Spanish, but her English was very good.
    My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished two bags of M&Ms and a chocolate cake. I feel better already!

  9. #9
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    Welcome Joao! Thanks for sharing your photos and I also really liked the poem, which was new to me. I look forward to hearing more from you.

  10. #10
    Junior Member Portuguese John Here's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dado potato View Post
    Welcome John!

    I love to listen to Fado music, but I do not understand a word of Portuguese. The voice of Amalia (1920-1999) is incomparable!
    Thank you for the welcome.

    Fado is sad, they are all sad songs, we're a very melancholic people. Fado came from our history, essentially.

    Our history is about suffering, it's about hope of having what we loved back, we have a word for it, saudade, doesn't have a translation.

    There's a famous song about it, by the clip you can see the sea, people went there, the unknown, and the loved ones didn't know if they would return.

    I don't really like fado very much, but I like the Portuguese guitar though, there's a funny story about it:

    Tales say Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin once visited Portugal and bought one, he declined the manual the seller was offering.

    Later, he was asked about the guitar, and he replied: "I couldn't play with it."

    Carlos Paredes was the real master, that is still possibly my favorite Portuguese song.

    There's a group Madredeus, they made fado differently, they were the best thing in terms of music that ever came out of Portugal, I believe.

    Quote Originally Posted by dado potato View Post
    During the long, isolated winters in the northern highlands of Wisconsin, one of my escapes is to watch videos of the trolleys in Lisbon.
    It's funny, because in the warm summer's my escape is videos of an isolated cabin in the snow, a fireplace and some tea, I like the cold, we might need to exchange locations.

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