The Portuguese word saudade has no direct English translation. In its simplest sense, it describes a feeling of longing for something that is now gone, and may yet return, but in all likelihood can never be recaptured. In Saudade: The Possibilities of Place, traveller Anik See traces her attempts to reclaim this loss in a series of informal essays that take us from the salt plains of Wood Buffalo National Park and the mountains of British Columbia to the fishing ports of Sri Lanka and the rough roads of the former Soviet republic of Georgia.
Whether at a fishfry in the Northwest Territories, at the post-9/11 Canada-US border, on the ultimate road trip through Australia or at a summer carnival in Santiago de Cuba, See is on a continual quest for simplicity, interrogating the perceived distance between privilege and want. Quietly, insistently, these thoughtful essays ask what we might accomplish if we said no to entitlement; if, instead, we used our privilege to help us better understand human nature. By examining a multitude of landscapes, and by uncovering characters whose most important possession is the landscape around them, these essays examine what it takes for us to feel alive in a time when we can have everything, when our needs seem limitless. Throughout this psychogeographic diary, crowded with rituals of faith, death and renewal, See asks, again and again, 'How much will be enough?'