“Calçada de Santa Clara” Street

The steepness of the street does not belie the climb. At the top, under the tile-lined tower, the roofs stretch out, scraped by the punishment of five centuries. Santa Clara, the acropolis of a beginning, endures on the surface of the new century – pure contradiction, like a child running in the shadow of his mother’s objection. In the succession of shutters, wanderings line up, intermittences of people in suspension as dandelion seeds in the morning breeze.

To ascend the street is to make a pilgrimage to the beginning of all things, to encounter the voice of the preacher and the fife of the scissor sharpener, to point, arm outstretched like Zarco, the will that raises cathedrals and topples hills. The cloister surrendered itself. It hoisted the white flag at the barred window of the postponed hours. Now, all that is left is the headstone image of an endless goodbye, winding its way through the pauses of the tolling of St. Peter’s bells. Today, at the convent’s door, the passing cars raise to the skies the satin prayer of the pigeons’ wings.