Quando cheguei em Denton, fiquei no apartamento do departamento de Análise do Comportamento (sim, eles tem um apartamento… e a gente brigando por cartucho de impressora!). Lá tinha um diário que pedia para escrever sobre minha estadia lá. Eventualmente escrevi, e não deve ser surpresa o fato de qual o tema que escolhi pra escrever…
Como a idéia é explicar a alguém que não fale em português o que significa “saudade”, com todas as implicações que ela traz, pra além de um simples “sinto sua falta”. Vou deixar em inglês aqui tb…
[When I first arrived in Denton, I spent some time in the Behavior Analysis Department Apartment (internal joke). There, there was a journal that asked to write about the time spent there. Eventually I wrote, and it shouldn’t be any surprise the theme I chose to write…
As the whole point of is to explain what the word “Saudade” to someone who does not speak portuguese, with all the implications of the word (that can’t be explained just as “I miss you”), I’ll leave the post in english here too…
I was asked to write something about the time I’ve been in this apartment. It was a new idea, and I would be the first to write down something. I am a little bit scared with being the first to write here, but that should not keep me from trying… I’m telling this just to make sure you, that is reading this know that (1) I am not sure this is the way to go; and (2), that I am sorry if it’s a little bit difficult to understand what I wrote here, as my handwriting is not so clear and English is not my first language.
I have spent two weeks in this apartment. I arrived January 11th, knowing here only the one that would be my advisor. As I’m writing this, I’ll be leaving tomorrow for the apartment I’ll be living here in Denton for this year of 2010. (Actually, the original text was written on that day… I’m actually in the new home for some time, just taken some time to write everything down and revise it).
It’s difficult to talk about the time I’ve spend here, because the most powerful and strong emotion I’m feeling is difficult to describe. There’s no actual word in English that quite grasp its meaning (actually, there’s no word in almost no other language but Portuguese). Maybe you that are reading this journal may be feeling that too, even if do not have the word to describe it. We call it “Saudade”.
“Saudade” is similar to miss something. But when you miss something, It seems it’s just that you would like that thing (person, place, whatever) was near. Saudade is something more.
When a Portuguese speaking person talks about saudade, it’s referring to the fact that you feel not only the longing or desire to be close again; it also expresses that there is something missing in yourself, a nostalgic incompleteness that will not go away. Someone described saudade as “the love that stays”. I think it is a good definition.
Saudade describes a feeling that rises when you think about people, places or those moments that are not near for some reason - and, maybe, can’t be near at all. You feel saudade from places you are fond but can’t be there. You feel saudade from the childhood, from the childhood of dear people. You feel saudade from people that are gone, and feel saudade from times that went and will never come back. Most of all, you feel saudade of people. Your relatives, your parents, your children, your love: Those that, in this moment, are not close to you. And this very moment you lost with them will never come back. You feel saudade of thing that could have been, and because of choices or contingencies of life, will never be again.
I read a poem that may be the best description of saudade I ever read. I can’t say who the author is in reality, but as tried to find out, most websites accredited to the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. (as i did not find a Pablo´s Neruda Website with this poem, thought, I am not sure it is his). In a rough translation, it goes like this:
Saudade é solidão acompanhada,
[Saudade is accompanied loneliness,]
é quando o amor ainda não foi embora,
[When love is not gone yet,]
mas o amado já...
[But the beloved has…]
Saudade é amar um passado que ainda não passou,
[Saudade is to love a past that has not passed yet,]
é recusar um presente que nos machuca,
[Is to refuse a present that hurts us,]
é não ver o futuro que nos convida...
[Is not seeing the future that invite us…]
Saudade é sentir que existe o que não existe mais...
[Saudade is to feel something exists when it is no more…]
Saudade é o inferno dos que perderam,
[Saudade is the hell of those who have lost,]
é a dor dos que ficaram para trás, é
[Is the pain of those who were left behind,]
o gosto de morte na boca dos que continuam...
[It’s the taste of death of those who carry on.]
Só uma pessoa no mundo deseja sentir saudade:
[Only one person wants to feel saudade:]
"aquela que nunca amou."
[the one that never loved.]
E esse é o maior dos sofrimentos:
[This is the greatest of all sorrows: ]
não ter por quem sentir saudades,
[Having no one to feel saudade for;]
passar pela vida e não viver.
[To go by life without living.]
O maior dos sofrimentos é nunca ter sofrido..."
[The greatest of all sufferings is never having suffered at all.]
As the poem show, feel saudade is not a bad thing. It’s actually good. It’s marvelous, wonderful. To feel saudade is to be sure you love, and a good chance that you have been loved back. To feel saudade is to feel that you had – or have – something good. To feel saudade is to think that something was and is good in your life. No wonder Brazilians are so “saudosos”.
So, if you’re in this apartment as a guest, and think you’re feeling saudade for someone or something (be a person, be a moment, be just “easier days”), be glad. You are not among those the poet talks about.
Have a good stay in here, and may the days you spend here give you chance to look back here and feel saudade from here too.