To Chris Middlemiss #W96566
My dearest Chris,
I’ve been painting all year… There’s a room full of paintings now! Sometimes they’re cold and blue, sometimes they’re warm and brown but I couldn’t finish any of them - it’s really hard to paint moments that exist only in my head, especially when the person I’m painting is not here. I think this is what the Portuguese mean by ‘saudade’ - a present absence born of longing. I’ve got stretcher bars, but I’ll leave them be for now: I know your sentence is for life, but maybe we can still finish the paintings someday? I’ll write to you again next week. Until then, please take care my friend.
Yours in saudade,
我这一年都在画画， 如今满屋子都是画！它们时而蓝冷，时而暖褐，但我一幅也没有完成。 只因那存于脑中画面，以及此刻缺席的人物，这般难以表达。这莫非就是葡萄牙人所谓的‘萨乌达德’：一个日日无终的期待，成了日日如有的陪伴。