About Existence and Thought – Wandering Reflections in a Riverside City



In Porto, a city of charms and stories, where the banks of the Douro River embrace the ancient buildings, I delve into the depths of thought. As an observer of life's subtleties and of the human condition, I embrace the task that is as exhausting as it is rewarding – to exist.


In Porto, this city that welcomes me with its time-worn cobblestone streets and buildings that seem to shout stories of days gone by, I am merely a solitary observer, a traveler in search of answers to life's complex questions. In my sixty-something years, I find myself at a point where the wrinkles of time begin to map my journey, and each of these lines etched on my face is a memory of the joys and sorrows I've lived.


Here, where the tiles narrate achievements of the past, and the fado resonates in the lingering gazes I come across, I find inspiration for my inner journey. Porto, with its rich political history, provides fertile ground for moral and philosophical reflections.


Through the narrow alleys of the city, where longing intertwines with destiny, I raise questions. As individuals, we are responsible for the choices we make, but to what extent is our freedom real? Or is it merely an illusion?


I am passionate about literature, having spent a considerable portion of my life immersed in dusty books. I enjoy exploring the depths of human relationships and the relentless quest for the meaning of existence. Perhaps that's why I have a special fondness for Pessoa's poetry, the great Portuguese poet, and the verses that emanate from all the ones who inhabit his soul, his heteronyms, echoing within the depths of his soul.


Like any solitary traveler, I find solace in the words that accompany me and the music that nourishes me. However, from time to time, I also appreciate the occasional company of strangers who become friends for a night, with whom I share stories and reflections by candlelight in cozy cafes and forgotten taverns.


The shadows of the city's past, marked by resistances and revolutions, are reflected on the walls of the old buildings. Porto, with its liberal spirit, invites reflection on the nation's political history. The ideals that shaped this city find resonance in the present as the world oscillates between different political narratives.


I stop at a century-old café, historically frequented by students, where nowadays, the voices of Erasmus students attending the University of Porto, coming from all corners of the world, blend naturally with the aroma of fresh coffee. Here, we are both locals and foreigners, explorers of new horizons, seekers of truth. Amid discussions on European politics and existentialist theory, we share personal stories, united by curiosity and the desire to understand the world.


The urban landscape of Porto serves as a backdrop for endless philosophical and political dialogues. The Douro River, at the city's feet, silently witnesses reflections on time, change, and the impermanence of life. In every corner of the city, there is a reminder that we are but a minuscule part of a larger narrative.


In this refuge I have found, I allow myself to ponder not only the meaning of life but also the intricate pathways of the human heart. Over the years, I have experienced intense and fleeting loves, romances that unfolded like the pages of an unfinished book. I have encountered ephemeral passions among the shadows of old neighborhoods, where glances crossed and then got lost in the same night.


In this country, where political history is like a book of twists and turns, I see myself in its struggle for freedom and democracy. I hear about the dark times of dictatorship when voices were silenced, and the people longed for a fairer future. Today, I see the scars of that history in the eyes of the older generations and witness the youth's tireless desire for a better country.


Social and political questions continue to shape society. Inequality persists like a shadow challenging the quest for justice and equality. As I follow the news of the day, I cannot help but wonder how the world arrived at this point and what the future holds.


Despite life's uncertainties and dilemmas, I find comfort in the voices of philosophers and thinkers who have expertly explored human nature in their works. In the midst of this city where stories intertwine like threads of an intricate tapestry, I continue my journey, hoping to find clarity in the blank pages of my own destiny.


Sometimes, I recognize other solitary travelers in Porto's cafes and bars. We talk on occasion, and our exchanges flow like a river of concepts and reflections. We discuss the past and the present, explore the complexities of the human condition, and meander through discussions of self.


Porto is a city that embraces diversity, where the voices of different generations blend in choirs of experiences and perspectives. In this place of dreams and memories, I continue my journey, absorbing the stories that traverse the city's centuries-old walls. Each day, I let myself be carried away by the currents of thought, in an unrelenting search for the meaning of life and humanity.




*This text combines AI and human skills to recreate the literary style of the renowned writer Milan Kundera, emphasizing his philosophical way of thinking about life and politics. Literature is the art of exploring issues that cross humanity, and Kundera is a master of the grand task of reflecting on and pondering existence.