The Slowpokes

We decided to slow our roll today, and had another cozy pyjamas day, watching television, reading and writing. While traveling, and especially because I’m writing daily, I feel obligated to do everything, all of the time, so that I might have things about which to write.

It’s intense and can be exhausting, so I’ve given myself permission to learned to (force) a slow down every now and again. This will be especially important once I am fasting during Ramadan, because the nature of the pieces will inevitably shift, and so this quieter days should set the stage for next month, inshAllah.

These photo are all from yesterday. The main one was taken from the top of the panoramic elevator as we were headed to see The Christ. All but two structures along the water on the right hand side are dilapidated. The only two standing are restaurants. Not entirely certain why these have been allowed to fall into the abyss, because they are perfectly placed, with real estate absolutely prime. (I’m further surprised that there are no squatters.)

Some random comments about Portugal – they love hibiscus. It’s everywhere and in everything. Yesterday I purchased dried hibiscus and it tasted a little like dried mango. Will see if I can get my hands on a fresh fruit and report back.

There are fully grown trees on balconies everywhere. I wouldn’t have thought this was possible if I hadn’t seen it myself. Where are their roots? How are they rooted?A lot of women set up stands either right in the middle of the sidewalk, or at their front doors, just inside. They sell shots of some kind of liquor for €1, and I’m surprised that we’ve not yet seen a Shot Ladies of Portugal Stand Crawl just yet. Considering the cheap cost of liquor (and all things, in fact), I imagine that they must make an absolute killing.Decorating windows is very much en vogue. The only rule of thumb being: THE MORE, THE BETTER. Behold – I will place a marker down that the extra may be in preparation for Easter celebrations. We’ll see if there is a shift in window accoutrements post.

Portugal is a majour cork-grower (thanks, Google!), and so you’ll find an abundance of products made from cork – postcards, bow-ties, book covers, wallets, purses, watch straps, etc. Which is why it wasn’t a surprise when I stumbled onto this cubby of cork while walking along the Tejus River. Finally, the weather. It rains, it pours, it spits, it’s super bright and sunny without a cloud, you are fighting the rains down in Africa, but without the chorus goodness. It took less than 24 hours for us to learn how to read the weather, and find shelter moments before the skies open and

Today, I am grateful for:
1. Messages from momma. I love receiving messages from her. They make me happy.
2. Azza’s calm. She has such a serenity about her which is wonderful to be around. She – all of her – is like a walking and talking safe space.
3. A very important conversation had with Pepper last weekend. She is a touchstone for me when I am in need of religious perspective; she is a beloved because we share values systems and are able to understand one another without too many words. Our conversation signaled the closing of a chapter, and the opening of a new one. She helped turn the page. I love her for so doing.

Lisbon | April 7, 2019

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