See the guy? Not the one standing center stage…but the one just beyond him with a microphone and black guitar case at his his feet. Yellow flowers are behind him.
To me, he’s the Busker of the Square. He has secured a spot in the plaza in front of the University of Porto. Prime location indeed!
He knows his music. He has a great voice (he can echo the nuances of Dylan’s:
“No, No, No. It ain’t me Babe.
He stands out there at least three of seven days. Always on weekends. He has mastered Simon & Garfunkel. I heard “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” at least three times a day. He does a wonderful rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”. Three times a day?
His repertoire includes:
John Lennon’s “Imagine”, “Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” and others we’ve forgotten. But, he’s always there and sometimes he sings me to sleep in the mid-afternoon.
I always drop a few Euros in his guitar box. I appreciate his love of music and his desire to share his talent.
I’m in Porto, Portugal. It’s not Florida and it’s not northern Dorset, and I’m not shoveling 4′ of snow in the Adirondacks.
But there is an interesting church across the square facing our apartment. Actually it’s two churches. On the right is the Igerja do Carmo, used by the monks of the Carmo. On the left is the das Carmelitas for nuns of that order. The interior walls are a mix of faux gold decoration and beeswax candles.
If you look closely, you will see a slender building with white window frames. That building is slightly over 1 meter wide. According my guidebook, it’s the narrowest building in Portugal.
So why is this tiny building there? At some point in history, a law was passed that stated that two churches could not share the same wall.
It may sound witty, but I find it heartbreaking. The narrow building was, perhaps built to separate nuns from the monks. This seems to be the prevailing theory.
Requited love? Unrequited love? Lust? Desire? A moral struggle? Legendary liaisons?
Only the interior walls, the statues of saints, and the God they believed in can judge those generations of souls.