Thursday, June 23, 2016

to lisbon

This has felt like the fastest year of my life. I really cannot believe it was a year ago that Pedro and I packed up our belongings and looked toward our new life in Morocco with such optimism and excitement, unaware of the challenges that were awaiting us. As I have previously and so briefly mentioned, it was a difficult year— one that had me fighting hard against giving up and quitting my job. In the end however, my efforts seem to have paid off, as the feedback I received from many of my students was some of the most touching and rewarding in my teaching career.

When the last bell finally rang, I locked up the class room I had transformed from a drab, dusty, and cluttered mess into a bright, orderly space with colourful murals (which I hope will inspire my students' creativity). I walked home, and packed my bags for Lisbon.

Lisbon, the city that glows even on the greyest of days, where white limestone-cobbled pavements and tiled facades play catch with the Atlantic light— where I can indulge in the most exquisite of greasy pork sandwiches or fine seafood and beautiful wines— where I can wear what I want, walk where I want, and look at whomever I want in the eye.

I can chomp on a pork steak and sip green wine while sketching a man on a paper table cloth. I can hold my husband's hand and give him a kiss in public.

I can be me.


Suzi said...

I want to eat with you and Pedro just so that, at the end of the meal, I can sneakily roll up the tablecloth to spirit it away with me. Hope you both are having a WONDERFUL time! Sure seems like it! XOXO-Suz

dinahmow said...

I understand. When people talk about "freedom" they(well, most of them) don't really know what it means.Freedom to choose, to not be constrained by a tradition.

Vicky said...

It's wonderful to see your lovely sketches. They seem to reflect the feeling of freedom and joy you are feeling.

szaza said...

Thanks Suzi! I would love it if you two could join us! Think about it...

Thank you Vicky and Dinahmow, I realised that I have done so little sketching in Rabat in part because I have been so busy this year, but also because I feel uncomfortable drawing attention to myself— something that public sketching naturally does. Freedom to choose and to be oneself is so important— at least, to me. I am hoping to find happiness and peace in Morocco, but to be honest the adjustment has been challenging. It is a beautiful country with a lot to offer— especially an artist! I just have to adapt to the rhythm here. In time :)