silver rivers flow
unbeknown to humanity
till the end of time
at the end of the world
turbines stand still.
silence covers it all
the light punctures
the solid darkness.
minutes to sunset
33 words, Poem and Photography: Adela Galasiu, 2016
I have looked death in the eyes few times. For others but also for myself. I have been often told that there’s no God and no afterlife, but folllowing my encounters with death I guess I am too convinced of the contrary to listen to those sceptic voices. I do respect what other people think, but respecting others will never reduce my beliefs to nothing, on the contrary.
Most of the people have an absolutely disgusted look on their face when they hear about death. Some venerate it. Some fear it to the extent that they don’t even want to think about it. We’re all aware it exists. Most of us cannot understand it. But the same death that means decay, foulness, nothingness and still, is part of us just as much as it has been part of our ancestors too.
People turn their face away from death because they are scared or because they have been taught that it can bring disease or that it is unclean. Or because they prefer to concentrate on the life, rather than see the whole process, black and white, doing and undoing, life, death and new life again. For the immediate you and me, what matters is today, what we do, what we have, what we eat, where we go. But we live in a society that is equally one of death as much of one of life, isn’t it? Or maybe even more one of death than one of life? We eat meat, we cut flowers, people hunt, people get cremated and buried or offer their bodies to science. People sell weapons and wars are being fought. Some people thrive while others starve to death.
There is not only the beauty and goodness daily put on display for sales targets, but also the reverse side of it all. There are not only new born babies and blooming flowers, but also dead people laid to rest and entire systems that revolve around death itself. From the undertakers that earn a fortune while dealing with grieving families to the little beetles that eat decaying flesh, all have a little part in it.
Some of the birds that have nested last year have died, and a suite of insects and plants contribute now to taking apart and redistributing every material atom of them. Every little creature and plant that dies gets quickly surrounded by a cortege of creatures, just like a circus that comes to town and gets very busy before the show. Behind the scenes of it all nothing gets saved or lost, but everything is transformed in new matter for life, and so new life can find the raw minerals needed for it to emerge again.
Many years ago, as I was dealing with the water that was trying to find its way into my lungs, I had forgotten who I was or what I wanted from life. What I had eaten that morning or what I had in my bank account had no meaning at all. It was all worthless and the only thing I could gasp for was a breath of air. I was, I guess, not different than a wounded bird that beats its wings one more time before it takes a last breath. A little part of me knew that it could have been the final moment that day. And yes, it was scary. Scary because I had no idea what was about to happen. Horribly scary because I had no control over my own life. There and then I was not ready to give up. Between few heartbeats and a hope for air it occurred to me that I had not appreciated life truly until then. And God how I wanted to live!
In a mysterious way, a hand has been stretched my way. Not only a friendly material hand, but also a divine one. Then, when I finished coughing, with a horrible salty aftertaste and a stomach full of seawater, feeling sick and wet, I thought that it was not the time to go just yet, not until I would have learned the lesson of what life was all about. I think I was determined to take life more seriously.
I think I understand life and death more now, but like any person that has been sightless for many years, I am now awfully blinded by the intense light of the truth. That moment of salvation, the spark of life in my veins and the thought that accompanied them cannot be the result of an evolutionist theory, they are rather a mystery that my human mind is not ready to embrace just yet.
Other creatures are unaware of the realities of our human life. Birds and animals and plants cannot understand our complicated life and needs, our food, our languages, our customs. They do not consider themselves the greatest in the universe like we do. They have no idea what mathematics or science are, yet they are very much alive and lead a simple happy life. There are a limited number of neurons in our skulls, how could they possibly perceive the infinity of the universe? It is impossible. I am convinced that us humans cannot understand the whole complexity of life, all the dimensions that surround us, all the beauties of the universe and even less the mystery and greatness of the Creator of it all.
900 words, Adela Galasiu, 2016
Photography: Adela Galasiu, May 2016
defrosting (syn)apses and dreams.
in renewed life
from the ancient mud.
Leaves waltz stormy with the light
Bees rest tired feet for a spell
before conquering another petal.
Sit and listen.
be humble. be grateful.
you are. now. alive.
45 words, Adela Galasiu, May 2016
Photography: Adela Galasiu , April-May 2016
The Isle of Wight has many amazing attractions, from places in nature, to ruins and monuments. From red squirrels to dinosaurs. Countless tourists find beaten or undiscovered tracks and travel the Island enjoying the beautiful views. Yet the Island’s history will always be related to the lives of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, who have created in Osborne House a family retreat and a home filled with many happy family moments.
Queen Victoria bought Osborne House in 1845. She had spent two holidays on the Isle of Wight as a young girl, in Norris Castle, the estate next door to Osborne. Both Queen Victoria and Prince Albert liked the house and the views of the Solent. But when it became obvious that it was too small for their needs, they have decided to build a new residence in the style of the Italian Renaissance complete with two belvedere towers between 1845 and 1851. Prince Albert designed the house himself together with builder Thomas Cubitt, whose company also built the main façade of Buckingham Palace.
Because of the layout of the estate, gardens and woodlands, Prince Albert made use of his knowledge of forestry and landscaping. Below the gardens there was also a private beach where the Queen had her own private bathing machine.
The grounds include a ‘Swiss Cottage’, which was dismantled and brought piece by piece from Switzerland to Osborne where it was reassembled for the royal children, who were encouraged to garden. Each royal child was given a rectangular plot in which to grow fruit, vegetables and flowers, in order to then sell their produce to their father. Prince Albert used this as a way to teach his children the basics of economics. The children also learned to cook in the Swiss Cottage, which was equipped with a fully functioning kitchen. Both parents saw this kind of education as a way of keeping their children’s feet firmly on the ground in spite of their royal status.
The royal family stayed at Osborne for lengthy periods each year: in the spring for Victoria’s birthday, in summer for Albert’s birthday, and in winter for Christmas.
The domestic idyll at Osborne was not to continue. In December 1861, Prince Albert died at Windsor Castle. During her widowhood, Osborne House continued as one of Queen Victoria’s favourite homes, until her death there in 1901.
The house is now a very attractive English Heritage location, being at the same time museum and hosting various events throughout the year. It comprises also a lovely café and a souvenir shop with many attractive items.
For those of you who did not have yet the chance to visit the Isle of Wight, I warmly invite you to spend few sunny days and discover it for yourself. And if you come here take some time to discover this wonderful house as well. In order to raise your interest I take you on a quick tour. Please enjoy the art objects, the beautiful un-palace-like rooms and the great atmosphere.
500 words, Adela Galasiu, March 2016
Photos: Osborne House, by Adela Galasiu, February 2016, Isle of Wight, UK
Outside your glass walls,
You can hear my world’s calls,
But if you look inside you’ll see
A difference between you and me.
Airborne, fireflies reach my sky
Prisoner, your heart wonders why
Nailed to the ground it can’t simply be free
Without a difference, just like me.
You may belong to a paralel world
Where winter’s scorching, summer’s cold
And the reflection’s a bit duller
Than the innitial vivid colour.
Reach out your finger, come and touch
A world of wonder named as such.
Yet if you break it, it won’t be
Just as amazed as you with me.
100 words, memyselfandela / Adela Galasiu, 2015
“Yes, It isn’t always wise to say
that the muses get silent among weapons..
My words are here and I hold them
as you would hold a spear.
Mother, forgive me, I couldn’t otherwise.
I know you’ve been quiet all life
and I should have , maybe, done the same
but out of our silence
a scream had to gush oneday
and here it is, filling up my mouth with hope and tears
and with a sunny sadness
that is mine, I’m not sure,
mine or my grave’s. But
this has almost
no more importance at all.”
Octavian Paler, Poems
“Da, nu e întotdeauna o înţelepciune să spui
că muzele tac între arme.
Cuvintele mele sunt aici şi le strâng
ca pe o lance.
Mamă, iartă-mă, nu puteam altfel.
Ştiu, tu ai tăcut toată viaţa
şi ar fi trebuit şi eu să fac, poate, la fel,
dar trebuia odată ca din tăcerea noastră
să ţâşnească un strigăt
şi, iată-l, îmi umple gura de speranţă şi lacrimi
şi de o tristeţe însorită
ce-mi aparţine, nu mai ştiu,
mie sau mormântului meu. Dar
aceasta aproape nu mai are
nicio importanţă. “
Octavian Paler, Poeme
Translation: Adela Galasiu
The beauty in God’s dream
slowly blooms, petal by petal,
watched quietly by the whole being
in a breath of silent bliss.
Frumusetea din visul lui Dumnezeu
Infloreste incet, petala cu petala,
privita tacut de o intreaga faptura
intr-o rasuflare de beatitudine fara zgomot.
22 words / 22 de cuvinte , Memyselfandela – Adela Galasiu, August 2015
Photo: Memyselfandela – Adela Galasiu, August 2015