Category Archives: Writing

The Observer With A Lens

Mslazyboots in Himalayas wrote something that resonated with me. She said that:

“The more you document your life, the more you check in, you tweet, you blog, you capture moments, the more you do all of this stuff, the more you make stories out of it, and if you do that much, you became a spectator to your own life.” (Mslazyboots in Himalayas)

I like the proposition of using this blog to document my life. Not everything but most of it, especially the fun parts. The blanket of wandering and wondering, made up of photos, thoughts and musings.

Then there is the part of becoming a spectator in my own life. The 1st position of being a part of it and also observing it, from 2nd position. That is an enticing prospect because of the insights from the past that I will get, and applying the learnings from that into what I do going forward. That is why I blog and post photos.

Many times the words are inside me, roiling around, lost in my critical notions of what should see the light of day and what must remain in the dark, locked inside me.

When this happens no words come out and instead I post photos, like a silent 3rd position, the observer with a lens.

Blanket

Saturday 1 November 1755

Saturday 1 November 1755.

Many people were in church, celebrating All Saints Day.

Without warning the earth began to shake. Buildings swayed catching people unawares. Children began to cry. Men and women looked up, fearful of the growing rumble. Fissures rent the earth apart. Buildings began to crumble and fell in on themselves, rafters and masonry burying worshippers beneath their colossal weight.

Six minutes is all it took to raze one of the most modern European cities of the time to the ground. Those who survived these six infernal minutes ran outside, down to the docks, for fear of being buried beneath falling buildings.

They watched in fear as the water began to recede. 40 minutes later a wall of roiling water rushed up the Tagus River, the tsunami engulfing the city and taking the lives of those who’d survived the earthquake. Two more waves drowned the already destroyed city killing any survivors. Fires raged in the city for five days after.

The number of dead is disputed to this day. Reports say between 10,000 and 100,000 people died in the earthquake and tsunami of 1 November 1755. According to today’s seismologists, it measured a 9.0 on the Richter scale, making it one of the most severe quakes in history.

Most of Lisbon was decimated. Many historical buildings and libraries were destroyed, including the stunning Gothic Convento do Carmo. The ruins of this structure still stands today, untouched, as a reminder of that day.

The reconstruction of Lisbon led to seismically constructed buildings, probably the first such buildings in the world at the time. The Marquis of Pombal who led the reconstruction of the city tested wooden models before construction began to ensure that they could withstand another earthquake of that severity.

The earthquake of 1 November 1755 has affected the psyche of the Portuguese people and is part of the national identity, still, to this day. It was one of those events that redefined a people, who still talk about it today.

Simulating the Lisbon earthquake at the Lisboa Story Centre, an evocative and realistic simulation
©2017 Regina Martins

The story of the earthquake is evocatively told at the Lisboa Story Centre in the Praça do Commercio, at Terreiro do Paço. It showcases the history of Lisbon from pre-medieval times, through the earthquake to modern day. In a darkened room the earthquake is simulated, a movie projected on three walls and sound booming from hidden speakers, to try and convey an idea of what it was like all those centuries ago.

Saturday 1 November 1755.

Many people were in church, celebrating All Saints Day.

The day a city was reborn.

 

Timely

The other day I stopped for lunch at a cafe close to the Cais do Sodré.  As I turned to remove the rucksack from my back it swept the empty glasses from the next table onto the floor with a loud crash.

People looked up from their food and the manager glared at me with a very stern look on his face. Well, if only the tables weren’t so close to one another…

The arrival of the wine could not have been more timely

©2017 Regina Martins

 

Hideout

A haiku for you, in response to today’s one-word prompt from WordPress – Hideout.

A furtive escape

to the hideout of my thoughts...

Blissful solitude!

Haiku” is a traditional form of Japanese poetry. Haiku poems consist of 3 lines. The first and last lines of a Haiku have 5 syllables and the middle line has 7 syllables. The lines rarely rhyme. (Kidzone)