The afternoon sun is scorching. With barely a cloud in the sky, the only respite from the searing heat comes from an odd gust of breeze that randomly circles around the square and disappears just as quickly.
And there he stands; brush in hand, bold of stroke.
Framed either side by a row of majestic palms, I stand mesmerised by his poetry. The colours are bright and the paint, thick. He seems oblivious to everyone who dances in and out of his periphery. The only thing that exists is the Catedral da Sé in front of him. It captured his imagination and is now being brought to life through the canvas. They have a connection that I will never have.
He switches brushes. I watch as he coats the hair in yellow and continues on, adding more detail to his creation. Passers-by stop momentarily to watch. And then I suddenly notice the people in the painting, frozen in a moment. I wonder where the man in the red top is now. And the child in the buggy. And the woman in yellow. Did she make her way up the stone steps into the cathedral, or did she disappear down into the Metro and is now standing on a crowded train homeward-bound?
As I eventually say goodbye to the man and his canvas, a thought occurs to me: we encounter so many people on the journey through life, our paths cross for only a second. Sometimes we share words, sometimes just a glance.
But regardless of whether people live inside a painting or in our heart, everyone has a story to tell, and underneath it all, we are family.