Thursday, 8 November 2018

Accordian blues

The sun is setting over Porto...

The sun shines gold on architectural relics, and silver on cement apartment blocks. The clouds are rippled, like a disturbed pond frozen in time. Each time I blink they are a new shade of tangerine and rose. At first brilliant and eye-catching, then soft and faded, with lavender smudges.

There is an accordion being played in the distance. I saw its player as I walked back to our humble abode in the Cedofeita barrio of Porto. She had a cable-knit sweater on, loose around the neck. It's deep, umber colour brought out her matte, burgundy lipstick, which looked striking against her porcelain skin. She sat on a wooden box, curly hair tossed into a bun. Her denim legs were crossed, capped by black boots that probably used to shine. A cigarette dangled from her full lips. She began to stretch the accordion. She seemed reluctant about it, almost apathetic. In fact, she appeared to care more about getting what she could get out of that cigarette than about what was coming from the yawning instrument in her lap.

Although profoundly melancholic, the whole scene cheered me considerably. It reminded me of how I felt when I first saw the film, Amelie. A sad-sweet feeling. Perhaps she was playing a song about life. Life, after all, is both sweet, and sad; full of joys and sorrows. Just as the push and pull of the accordion creates music, the ebb and flow of happy moments defines our lives. With that thought, need she play a song about life, or need she just play? Thinking about life, it's nature, and its elusive meaning always cheers me a bit. As does blues music. The croon of a broken heart backed by a wailing guitar does wonders for my soul. Maybe I need a therapist.

Or maybe I need to learn the accordion.

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