She Stands Alone in Sao Bento Train Station, Oporto


She Stands Alone In Sao Bento Train Station

The Power of One


The masses scuttle by. A single one whimpers to a halt.

Pondering, then mesmerized. Engrossed. Halting amidst the train station rush. Meditation battles helter and skelter. Calm fights confusion.

Why the hesitation? Embarkation or journey’s end? Burdened only with a purse and small bag she is not destined for a long trip. Should she board or retreat from Oporto station? On to her ticketed destination or home?

Her body language suggests a calm reluctance to venture forward.

At a crossroad with no immediate direction. Why the pause? She has time to gaze, reflect while the crowd hammers by in military formation. Organized haphazard marching. No one else is tempted to gaze at art and be late for their meeting.

A train station populated with haste and removal, absorbing nothing beyond one moment in time. All else delineated as before and after, early and late.

Lunging lurid locomotives. Panicky passengers. Agitated agents. Engrossed conductors. Whimpering children. Transportation chaos spews amid organized


Sao Bento Railway station, Oporto Main Terminal. A dead artisan’s lifework seeps into the meditative. A cavern of white and blue porcelain. Azulejos flickering in the daylight that has wandered into the station bowels. Artistic juice has been splayed on the walls, a two dimensional history lesson.

She scours the Portuguese porcelain walls, a frozen focus on blue and white. Glazed fragility commands and art from the past speaks. Artistic admiration invites a pensive mood to sideline her focus and invite a change in schedule. Old world murals become a history book standing vertical on the station walls. The record of Portugal in 20 thousand pictures, each one inspired by a Carlos, master of a long extinct kiln. The entire country in two dimensions lies before her. Crafted, creative, cultural icons of a colonial superpower. She hesitates in the light and shadow falling from the skylight, her limbs straddled between yin and yang. Hesitant in the blazing light, wavering in the foreboding darkness. Tracks lead everywhere from central yet she has been disabled, unable to move on without examination. And then, she moves on.

For more on Portugal, Oporto and on the Power of One, see also:

Alone But Not Lonely Madrid

Portugal Street Photography Oporto

Portuguese Folks of Northern Portugal



Oporto Portugal Portuguese
She Stands Alone, Sao Bento Station, Oporto, Portugal                                   ©

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