Sometimes I think that the length of my posts might put people off reading them. Is that the only reason that I write?
Perhaps it’s not really about what we write. It’s about what we don’t.
There are other moments though, when it’s not about what we write, just that we do write. Or speak, for that matter.
This photo, without text, suggests the permanence and presence of this location, without revealing its geographical physicality or any mention of I wish you were here.
Sources; (discerned thus far) postcards bought from the “Fair of Thieves”, Al Fama (flea market), Lisbon, Portugal, May 2017. The top selection are all early to mid 20th photographs of city landmarks, including the Torre de Belem, and Mosteiro Jeronimos, as well as a view of Lisboa including Castelo de S. Jorge, perhaps taken from one of the city’s many miradouros (viewpoints).
The last two photographs show the different sides of the same postcard. It is dated 06/04/1961, and the building pictured is named in French as Palais royal de Tetouan. This palace is in Tetouan, though the postcard is signed off from Tangier, Morocco. The card appears to be written in Portuguese, though also includes a few Arabic words.
I happened to be staying in a Moroccan themed hostel in Lisbon, and hope to one day travel there, hence buying the postcard which had nothing to do with my own travels.
None of this analysis explains what the postcard says in either language, nor what it meant to either the sender or recipient. The other Lisbon postcards are all blank, and are currently on display above my noticeboard.
If you would like to read more about Belém , “Salazar bridge”, and a 16th century trading port called Ormuz, you can do so here.
If you would like to read more about Portuguese literature, magical realism, and the repetition of various locations, you can do so in this place.