Portugal

Portugal

November 14, 2011

Where else could mystery and magic be used in the same sentence?

April 20, 2010

In response to Speaking of Faith’s show about the brutality of regimes around the world and the question of the people who disappear — and their children — I thought I would share with you a scene from my childhood in Portugal during the country’s fascist regime that lasted for almost 40 years and ended in 1974.

I wake up in the middle of the night, as I often do, and walk slowly down the steps of the long staircase. I am eight years old. I come to join my father, who sits in his office listening to a small voice coming from a small radio. The sound is muffled; the words sound detached. I do not understand what it says.

He smiles at the sight of my face peering through the crack of the door.

“So, you’re up,” he says.