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Such a wonderful idea, visiting the mountains

We all have that place where the absence of light allows us to see the stars, the absence of noise allow us to listen to the wind surrounding the crops – or the “deeper silence when the crickets hesitate,” as Cohen says –, where the absence of what is excessive allows us to hear the echo of our own thoughts.

Lots of people run away from that place because that can be an insomnia-inducing voice – such is André’s case – and, as Sophia said, the night is the day of things. And then the wood from the ground starts to hum, the moonlight invades the room and the radio announces cataclysms that we fear to anticipate.

To become home – a concealed spot – there is a paradox in the sense of infinity instigated by this place. It’s easy to imagine its image as an allegory of the relationship of love. In that sleepless house, built and illuminated by Rui Seabra in a way so faithful to the essential, André and Leonor dance under night’s blackness. Revering in the sound of long-gone songs and in Isabel’s imagination. The laughter silences the storm outside. André almost forgets the guilt.

And then Isabel knocks at the door.

It’s two o’clock in the morning and time remains suspended on André’s shoulders.

Isabel enters and brings the mountain’s coldness with her.

Leonor decides to pick some verbena. The tea instils that warm feeling in the stomach, a make-believe that everything is going to be just fine. However, the plate, in a shaky balance point, conveys a permanent concern. It may fall down at any moment.

Why did you come, Isabel? Is it André? So that you can offer your twilights to others? So that Leonor can “give a name to the criminal, a face to the murder”? So that you can watch again what is it like to have someone looking at you as if they were seeing the world? Like on that day, at the end of the street.

Isabel walks away. André and Leonor stay there.

As for that “abyss as a counterweight of the world”, which perhaps is love, we don’t know if it stayed or not, if it will be a balance of three or more forces.

In search of answers, Guilherme Gomes, author and director of this mountain incursion, quotes Cohen, Barthes, Bergman, and even the Bible, while he summons so many others who lay in the memory of everyone, from Béla Tarr to Sílvia Perez Cruz (in my case), but the silence of the characters is where each one can hear what they want. Bernardo Souto, Nídia Roque and Rita Cabaço draw this silence masterfully. Guilherme may have noticed that, when it comes to speaking of love, this is the more authentic way, because, regardless of the houses that get drawn, built and destroyed, closed answers will never be found.

And then the orange titbit, as the sun rises, announce the freshness of a new day. As for the blowing wind, Caeiro says “that it’s wind, that it blows / and that it’s blown before, and it will blow again”. We know that it is never the same.

Guilherme Gomes was the 22-year old Hamlet who, beside Luis Miguel Cintra, throughout four magnificent hours, closed the doors of Teatro da Cornucópia, in 2015. Que boa ideia, virmos para as montanhas is the third creation of Teatro da Cidade, founded in that same year by Guilherme, Bernardo, Nídia, Rita and João Reixa, the latter as a directing assistant in this play. All of them were part of this last show where Cintra said goodbye, feeling the certainty that the stage would be in good hands.

Que boa ideia, virmos para as montanhas will be performed until 29 April, from Wednesday to Saturday at 9:30 pm, and Sunday at 4.30 pm, at CAL – Primeiros Sintomas.

To go is always a good idea.

Zara Ferreira is an architect living in Alfama, Lisbon. She was a researcher in the EWV_Visões Cruzadas dos Mundos [Crossed Visions of the Worlds], collaborated with the architecture studio Tetractys Arquitectos and participated in the Portuguese representation at the 14th International Exhibition of Architecture, Venice Biennale, 2014, also as copy-editor of the Journal Homeland-News from Portugal. From 2014 to 2018, she was general-secretary of Docomomo International (the International Committee for Documentation and Conservation of Buildings, Sites and Neighbourhoods of the Modern Movement) and co-editor of Docomomo Journal. Between Lisbon (IST) and Lausanne (EPFL), she's currently developing her PhD on preservation strategies of housing sites after the post WWII in Europe. In the spare time she dedicates herself to travelling, theatre, writing, photography and whatever the destiny offers her.

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