Saudade | Teen Ink


December 28, 2018
By desafinada GOLD, Chicago, Illinois
desafinada GOLD, Chicago, Illinois
12 articles 1 photo 0 comments

And once again stumble upon a word that is too relevant and tragically beautiful for the English language. In Portuguese, the word “saudade” is an essentially untranslatable word, but roughly construes to: a feeling of longing, melancholy, or nostalgia that is supposedly characteristic of the Portuguese or Brazilian temperament. 

I think that as applicable that saudade is to the past, it is almost even more so to the future. As a longing or loss continues after, it begins to develop a life of its own; a new longing not only for what has been lost in the past, but a loss for what could have and quite possibly should have been. 

In other words, a grief begins to develop a lifetime of its own and inhabits and haunts someone throughout. 

And a realisation dawns that the conditional tense really is grim, really only implying what could have been. 

One of the special qualities that humans have is to be able to predict and imagine how they would feel if something were to happen. With this ability, we are also granted with an extra painful burden. If we are to know what can make us happy, we also are sometimes forced to watch ourselves live without it. 

So, I guess nostalgia for something that’s never happened or missing someone you’ve never met or homesickness for someplace you’ve never been isn’t really that strange at all. 

It’s just saudade. 

The author's comments:

It’s all too familiar 

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