What is “Saudade”? Nomad Notes, Easter Sunday in The Time of Corona

Nomad Notes, Easter Sunday in The Time of Corona, April 12, 2020

What is “Saudade”?

Yes, it’s Corona Time. No wandering for this nomad. I was lucky to make it back home on March 3.

I’ve been sequestered since Friday, March 13, following wise orders of our San Francisco Bay Area and California leaders. I am fine.

This period, this Time of Corona, has brought benefits as well as challenges. I think for many of us, it has given the opportunity to feel gratitude, and I do feel it.

I also feel that The Time of Corona will create a cataclysmic change in society; that the world will never be the same.

The song “Look for the Silver Lining” was popular around the time of the Spanish Flu of 1918, the last major pandemic of the modern world, before now. There is always a silver lining to be found, or shall I say, made? Our actions now create the silver lining. The choices we make and the preparation we forge now will help us in the new world.


In the summer of 2018, returning from Portugal, my partner and I stopped in New York and visited cousins. A walk on an Atlantic beach gave me a “sense memory” that swooped me directly back to childhood. The feel of the sand, its temperature and texture, made my feet remember my Long Island childhood.


I know my parents sheltered me; of course they did. That’s what parents are supposed to do. My parents avidly read the newspapers and we always watched the News. We discussed what was happening in the world at the dinner table every night. They had survived a Depression, World War II, and McCarthyism. Selma happened, Kennedy was shot, and Vietnam was in color on TV.

Yet it seemed a much simpler and sweeter world to me, the world I lived in then. “Or was it just my childhood, shielding me from what I could know?” This is the question I ask myself in my new original song, Saudade.

The lyrics came pouring out of me that day on the Atlantic beach in 2018, when my feet remembered, and it has taken almost two years for those lyrics to manifest in a music video, one that feels more meaningful every day.

In The Time of Corona, the word “Saudade” is having a comeback, so I’m grateful to be able to release this work now. The song is in English, but there is no single word for “Saudade” in English. Influenced by my visits to Lisbon’s Fado bars, this title chose me.

From the website of Portugal’s celebrated Fado goddess, Amalia:

What is “Saudade”?

“Saudade” is an untranslatable Portuguese term that refers to the melancholic longing or yearning. A recurring theme in Portuguese and Brazilian literature, “saudade” refers to a sense of loneliness and incompleteness. 

The Portuguese scholar Aubrey Bell attempts to distill this complex concept in his 1912 book “In Portugal”:

Saudade is a vague and constant desire for something that does not and probably cannot exist, for something other than the present.”


The act of producing of this new music video has been sustaining me creatively during The Time of Corona, even as this word “Saudade” is becoming more widely known, as the world is mourning together for what might have been.

“Saudade” is the second original music video in a long-term effort I’ve entitled Voyager Project .

The first original music video of the Voyager Project debuted in 2018, Our Common Humanity. In it, my character is a sort of nature goddess or desert priestess, who reminds us “Everybody needs the water, everybody needs the food.”


The protagonist of “Saudade” is another manifestation of that nature goddess. She is of the sea, but like her desert counterpart, she wants a world where we can all work together in trust.

It would be impossible to produce this original work without the longtime collaboration of the multi-talented Jason Martineau. Jason has an immense breadth of skills and talents; a true Renaissance Man, and the multi-faceted projects that pop into my mind find in Jason the means to manifest in the concrete world.


JASON HEAD SHOT“Saudade” has really been a duet project for us; together we have handled everything except Hair and Makeup, which must be credited to the skilled, creative, and fabulous Rebeca Flores.


On our music video “Saudade,” Jason Martineau has been responsible for Music Production, Music Transcription, Video Editing and Animation, Videography, Art Photography, Sound Editing and Graphics, as well as researching and creating the Restorative Mandala sequence. With skill, drive and vision, he has been my co-creator for 15 years, since 2005, and has given me artistic support and trust that cannot be expressed in words.


“Saudade” will be free to view on Lua Hadar’s Youtube  along with my other music videos and performances. The digital audio single will be available soon online as well.

How will you know when we release “Saudade”?

You can subscribe to the Youtube Channel 

Join the Mailing List and visit us at luahadar.com
Like us at Lua Hadar with Twist on Facebook

Thank you for reading. Stay Safe.


2 thoughts on “What is “Saudade”? Nomad Notes, Easter Sunday in The Time of Corona

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