It’ll be a green day, I told myself as I set out on a walk to Alfama, the oldest neighbourhood in Lisbon.
William Burroughs apparently called this a “colour walk”. But I do it a little differently from what he recommended because I use a camera.
Here’s how I go about it.
After I step outside, I choose a colour, like Burroughs said. While walking, I look out for, and try to capture only that colour. Suddenly, details I wouldn’t ordinarily see are entrenched in my memory. Stories form.
Paint dribbles on the street.
Beautiful door knockers resting on doors, waiting for a visitor.
A neon sign announcing food.
And electric scooters ready for their next adventure.
Shy leaves tucked away in mossy cracks in walls, hiding. Other leaves bold and bright against a sienna wall.
My green ‘colour-walk’ spills over into the next day. There’s so much to see.
Green daze or green days?
Here’s the strange thing, though. Perhaps it’s my imagination; maybe it’s real – either way it doesn’t matter (not to me anyway!). When I take a ‘colour-walk’, I see that place differently. I have no way of knowing if this is true but it feels like that experience is saved in a different part of my brain. Compared to regular walks, these feel different when I recall them. They’re crisper, more nuanced and somehow in these memories, impatient or pushy people and honking cars in traffic don’t exist.