sorrow


Year 2009. This window seen on the back side of Our Lady of Guia chapel located in Vila do Conde, Portugal, shows signs of resignation to the passing of time. Built somewhere in the 17th century and having undergone a few reconstructions over time, this very small chapel has always been a simple place of worship located at the mouth of the Ave River as it empties into the Atlantic Ocean. When I was a child and Vila do Conde was still a lively and bustling fishermen’s town with an endless span of fish transformation factories, this chapel was a busy place too. Fishermen’s wives would come to worship Our Lady, begging for the safe return of their husbands before their departure to far distances, never knowing which day of the year they would return or if they would return at all. Resigned widows, dressed in black were always massively present, as if hope was the last thing to die. Their misery was only alleviated by the solidarity of the fishermen community. We shall admire this simple and beautiful reminiscences of those times but we shall no long for those times as they were burdened with suffering. At some point of time in the 50’s of last century in Vila do Conde and Azurara there was virtually no family without a misfortune related to seamen vanishing.

//jb.20december2014