This month I found the best book of the year so far for me: Syllabus, by Lynda Barry—a mentor and a teacher who, without even knowing it, is guiding me by the hand through all sorts of unknown territories and creative explorations. In the last weeks I slept next to this book, hugged it, hold it, took it to planes, conferences, talks, meetings, restaurants and parks. It’s a wonderful creative masterpiece.
Among countless of other things, Lynda Barry proposes a different approach to journaling and life. She encourages her students to listen to lectures, videos or talks without really looking whatever they are listening to. Instead, they have to scribble or color stuff in a notebook while they listen with attention.
I have been doing this in all talks I listened during Web Summit and realized something amazing: that the talks that have most meaning and impact for me are those from which I can capture the biggest amount of images.
For long time I have been collecting random images, words and experiences without really thinking about what an image is. Lynda Barry’s teaching is all about images, and my life has recently turned into a more vivid collage of them thanks to her.
Here is a small collection of images from my recent trip to Lisbon:
Big underwear hanging from wires outside the windows of some buildings.
Neighbors conversating to each other for a long time from one window to the other.
Many beds ready for airbnb guests, seen from several viewpoints inside the city.
Pigeons climbing a wall.
A dog going down the mountain, and later on drinking from a small water hose in its owners backpack.
My travel mate’s yellow flip flops.
My roommate stretching her arms with a stretcher while talking to me.
A group of scouts inspecting a map trying to find the best route to climb a mountain.
A big cross near the lighthouse, lit by the stars.
Colorful laces on an old lady’s shoes.
One woman fixing the back of the dress of another one, while they were laughing out loud in the bus and everyone was laughing with them.
A dog with its tail between the legs.
Old lady selling ginginha while listening telenovela in her bluetooth headset.
A cemetery sign saying that it’s only opened between 10:00 and 13:00.
A royal tomb.
A guy dressed in a big poo costume. Also, a pile of colorful toilet paper.
People piled up like in a can of sardines inside a small old tram.
A 2 year old girl kicking a wall with energy.
A crushed banana in the street.
A man of about 45-50 years old skating like a pro in the street. He looks at me and says “Boa noite!” while waving his hand.
Couple fighting in the street. He speaks portuguese out loud and holds a child in his arms. She watches him tense with closed tight lips.
Pigeons getting their feet wet in the sand and then flying scared.
Luggage wheels going through the cobbles in order to reach the mirador and get a selfie.
Clueless face of airport’s security stuff when they couldn’t guess my gender.
People asking for money in the public transport → which doesn’t mean that there are not.
Feel the warmth of the sun stroking my face again, my arms without winter clothes.
See the sea but I could not smell the ocean.
Go for a hike on the beach and got lost in a mountain.
Climb a mountain in the middle of darkness without lanterns.
Go to this coffee place twice where the waitress has always a very sad face.
Talk with a lot of people everyday at the conference.
Got very sick the day before of the conference, went to the pharmacy and asked them to give me any drugs that would keep me talkative.
Orchestrate a feminist rebellion.
Find new allies.
“The only word I can use to describe this church is Kardashian”.
“Giovanni took me to that talk about racism.. I don’t go to these talks anymore. There were two white guys in the poster and the black guys were not.. and the talk was actually about racism”.
“I prefer not to vote, the worst of all is radical left, I lived 16 years of communism, which is no longer communism, it is dictatorship.”
“The military are the ones who killed my university colleagues.”
“She told me that she had found a much better life, that this was not the life she wanted to have, and she left me, I had never fucked anyone else, never partied… what I regret is that I left my friends, everything for her”.
“I have a communist friend.
Ok, then I’ll stop following you.”
“I always wanted to be a rockstar, and then ended up being an artist”.
“A vida não é fácil, tem que trabalhar”.
“When we are cold we say buhuhuhuhuhu, hahaha!”
“It fucked me, you know, and for 2 years it was a nightmare. She couldn’t deal with the fact that I was getting married”.
“How long did you guys dated before getting married?.. Two or three years. She wanted it”.
“I think the bed is a very good one.. not for the lovers, haha”.
“If you want a rich trip, travel like a poor person”.
“Place yourself over there for the picture.. yeah good, now put a philosophical face”.
“Hi! Would you like to go up? It’s much more fun with me”.
“Did you know that this girl was 30 years old and still a virgin?”.
“This anxiety is inside all of us, you know?”.
“I am really into heavy metal and porn.. ” (a couple of seconds pause) “…well I am actually more into heavy metal”.
“It takes the double of time it took you to get a beating to get over it”.
“Agora todo viro em restaurante para turistas”.
“Guys let me take the picture, the picture por favor. Ahhh I hate people.. Ok, I love people again”.
“Next time you should be speaking in Web Summit. I am going to put you in that stage next year”.
Posso sentar aqui? Tem lugar? Então vou querer isso … o que é isso?
Sim, isso e um chá preto sem açúcar por favor.
Tem comida sem carne?
Onde fica o banheiro?
In other news, Fever Ray released a new album ❤💕