Writing Round Silences
There’s a skylight ajar
Brick and mortar stop embracing each other
Where no trace of tombstones remains.
Light pours in with the sun
And sliding on the rain dripping from God’s eye.
Fire tumbles down on rose petals
Floating on His Ghost on Pentecost.
All the holy spirits
Rejoice here in His Presence.
55 words, Poem and photos memyselfandela/ Adela Galasiu 2017/2018
Italy, Rome, The Pantheon. On Pentecost rose petals are dropped through the Pantheon Oculus as a symbol of the fire of the Holy Ghost.
Notre Dame de Paris
If you visit Paris, one of the most impressive attractions you could see is the famous Cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris, which is not only a religious destination but also a place of great art and unequaled history.
Notre-Dame de Paris (French for “Our Lady of Paris”), also known as Notre-Dame Cathedral or simply Notre-Dame, is a historic Catholic cathedral located on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in Paris, France. Being considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture, the Cathedral is among the largest and most well-known church buildings in the world. The beauty of its sculptures and quality of its stained glass are in contrast with earlier Romanesque architecture.
The cathedral’s treasury is well known for its reliquary which houses some of Catholicism’s most important relics including the purported Crown of Thorns, a fragment of the True Cross, and one of the Holy Nails.
The Notre-Dame de Paris was among the first buildings in the world to use the flying buttress (arched exterior supports). The building was not originally designed to include the flying buttresses around the choir and nave but after the construction started to show signs of stress fractures as the walls pushed outward, the cathedral’s architects built supports around the outside walls, and later further additions.
A multitude of individually crafted statues was placed around the outside to serve as column supports and water spouts. Among these are the famous gargoyles, designed for water run-off, and chimeras, statues that were originally colored as was most of the exterior.
The cathedral was essentially complete by 1345. The cathedral has a narrow climb of 387 steps at the top of several spiral staircases; along the climb it is possible to view its most famous bell and its gargoyles in close quarters, as well as having a spectacular view across Paris when reaching the top.
In 1160, because the church in Paris had become an attraction for the kings of Europe, Bishop Maurice de Sully decided that the previous Paris cathedral, Saint-Étienne, which had been founded in the 4th century, was unworthy of its role. To begin the construction of the new Cathedral, the bishop had several houses demolished and had a new road built in order to transport materials for the rest of the cathedral. Construction began in 1163 during the reign of Louis VII. The construction of the choir took from 1163 until around 1177 and the new High Altar was consecrated in 1182 (it was normal practice for the eastern end of a new church to be completed first, so that a temporary wall could be erected at the west of the choir, allowing the chapter to use it without interruption while the rest of the building slowly took shape). Between 1210 and 1220, the fourth architect oversaw the construction of the level with the rose window and the great halls beneath the towers.
The Cathedral has been damaged many times: in 1548 by rioting Huguenots, in 1793 during the French Revolution and the worst during the Second World War. Several of the stained glass windows on the lower tier were hit by stray bullets. These were replaced after the war with new modern geometrical pattern stained glass, not the old scenes of the Bible.The cathedral has been even used at some point as a warehouse for food storage.
In 1991, a major program of maintenance and restoration was initiated, which has included the cleaning and restoration of old sculptures. The lighting was upgraded to LED lighting.
Though several organs were installed in the cathedral over time, the earliest ones were inadequate for the building. The organ used now has 7,374 pipes, with ca 900 classified as historical. It has 110 real stops, five 56-key manuals, and a 32-key pedal board. The position of titular organist (“head” or “chief” organist) at Notre-Dame is considered one of the most prestigious organist posts in France. It was reminiscent of the 18th-century practice of the cathedral having four titular organists, each one playing for three months of the year.
The cathedral has 10 bells. The largest, Emmanuel, original to 1681, is located in the south tower and weighs just over 13 tons and is tolled to mark the hours of the day and for various occasions and services. In early 2012, the four old bells in the north tower were deemed unsatisfactory and removed. A set of 8 new bells was cast by the same foundry in Normandy that had cast the four in 1856. At the same time, a much larger bell called Marie was cast in the Netherlands—it now hangs with Emmanuel in the south tower. The 9 new bells, which were delivered to the cathedral at the same time (31 January 2013), are designed to replicate the quality and tone of the cathedral’s original bells.
1185: Heraclius of Caesarea calls for the Third Crusade from the still-incomplete cathedral.
1239: The Crown of Thorns is placed in the cathedral by St. Louis during the construction of the Sainte-Chapelle.
1302: Philip the Fair opens the first States-General.
16 December 1431: Henry VI of England is crowned King of France.
1450: Wolves of Paris are trapped and killed on the parvis of the cathedral.
7 November 1455: Isabelle Romée, the mother of Joan of Arc, petitions a papal delegation to overturn her daughter’s conviction for heresy.
1 January 1537: James V of Scotland is married to Madeleine of France
24 April 1558: Mary, Queen of Scots is married to the Dauphin Francis (later Francis II of France), son of Henry II of France.
18 August 1572: Henry of Navarre (later Henry IV of France) marries Margaret of Valois. The marriage takes place not in the cathedral but on the parvis of the cathedral, as Henry IV is Protestant.
10 September 1573: The Cathedral was the site of a vow made by Henry of Valois following the interregnum of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth that he would both respect traditional liberties and the recently passed religious freedom law.
10 November 1793: the Festival of Reason.
2 December 1804: the coronation ceremony of Napoleon I and his wife Joséphine, with Pope Pius VII officiating.
1831: The novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame was published by French author Victor Hugo.
18 April 1909: Joan of Arc is beatified.
16 May 1920: Joan of Arc is canonized.
1900: Louis Vierne is appointed organist of Notre-Dame de Paris after a heavy competition (with judges including Charles-Marie Widor) against the 500 most talented organ players of the era. On the 2nd of June 1937 Louis Vierne dies at the cathedral organ (as was his lifelong wish) near the end of his 1750th concert.
26 August 1944: The Te Deum Mass takes place in the cathedral to celebrate the liberation of Paris. (According to some accounts the Mass was interrupted by sniper fire from both the internal and external galleries.)
12 November 1970: The Requiem Mass of General Charles de Gaulle is held.
6 June 1971: Philippe Petit surreptitiously strings a wire between the two towers of Notre-Dame and tight-rope walks across it. Petit later performed a similar act between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.
31 May 1980: After the Magnificat of this day, Pope John Paul II celebrates Mass on the parvis of the cathedral.
January 1996: The Requiem Mass of François Mitterrand is held.
12 December 2012: The Notre-Dame Cathedral begins a year-long celebration of the 850th anniversary of the laying of the first building block for the cathedral.
The Cathedral is open every day of the year: Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 6:45 pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 8 am to 7:15 pm. The access to the cathedral is open and free.
The cathedral reception is open: Monday to Friday from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Adela Galasiu, 2015
Source: Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Paris, Wikipedia, google.
Photos: Adela Galasiu, 2015
Christ Is Risen! Hristos A Inviat!
Happy Blessed Easter !!!
I wish you all from the heart a most bright , blessed and happy Easter!
Rhapsody in Blue – Be Passionate, Be True, Be You!
Today I offer you a rhapsody from my heart. An effusively rapturous and extravagant discourse. My expression of enthusiasm and praise for a musical piece that I absolutely madly deeply adore.
Whoever has read my blog in the past knows that I am passionate about Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. I have written about it in the past and I listen to it every once in a while when I am happy or when I recharge my inner batteries. Yesterday, as I read one very surprising comment on my blog, I have realised that I have never taken the time to put together all the reasons why I love this musical piece so very much.
The comment came from a BBC Radio 4 producer who is researching for a programme about Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. I was first of all completely surprised that my post about Gershwin even showed up in an online search. But it was even more exciting for me when I had the joy to discuss on the phone with the producer and I was asked what feelings this particular piece of music awakens in my memory and heart.
If I want to explain what I feel about it I need to rewind my whole life. My memories of it start in childhood when I heard this piece on the radio and have simply fallen in love with it. Coming from a family that loved music, I have listened to both classics and modern music as I grew up. I have fed my spirit with opera played on old magnetic cassettes, with Chopin and Beethoven, with Ravel and Vivaldi, just like I have fed my soul later on in my life with the music of the 80’s and the rock music. When I was a child music was a great joy for us, as in the communism we did not have access to all the variety of entertainment that one can experience now. It was only natural that I fell in love with this piece that infuses Jazz, Impressionism and classical elements molten in a 20th Century romantic theme offered with brittle and quirky interruptions.
This appreciation for the Rhapsody in Blue has continued throughout all my life. Every time when I was defeated and low I have sat and listened to it. Unlike other people with linear lives I have been through many changes, I have witnessed a lot of pain, loss, death, suffering, but also love, joy, sacrifice and hope. Wherever things were worst in my family I was present. Throughout this all, whenever I have listened to this piece of music I have added another pearl of feeling to what has become now a very long string. To me it is now not only music, but a masterpiece and pure beauty. And because it has been with me through it all, happy moments, sad moments and great changes, it has become a part of me and a symbol of life itself.
When I say life I don’t mean only good things. Life has many layers, ups and downs, just like the human mind and heart. There are many shades and colours, numerous moments of darkness and light that create the clear image of our multidimensional reality, a rich kaleidoscope of feelings, moments, images and sounds that create a whole.
Many people don’t know that this piece of music was a commission and that it has been written in a train. This may sound uninteresting for some, what is a train you may say. Well, for me a train means volumes. My father has passed away in a train. I have loved travelling by train all my life. Even now the train is my favourite transportation to wherever I go. It brings memories, it revives moments in my past, it is also (for those who believe that dreams have a meaning) a symbol of change, passage and novelty in one’s life. Gershwin says himself: “It was on the train, with its steely rhythms, its rattle-ty bang, that is so often so stimulating to a composer – I frequently hear music in the very heart of the noise… “. He is right, it often happens to me too to hear the tune in the noise…
Rhapsody in Blue was a challenge because it was created in a very short period of time, against the clock, by a young and ambitious Gershwin that didn’t want someone else to steal his idea. This speaks volumes for me again. Under a similar pressure I have left Romania and started a new life in a moment when I felt I must do and I can do more with my life. I was young, ambitious and a bit unaware of what life may bring. But I didn’t care, I had only one thing in my mind- I wanted to make it. I think it is out of such moments of determination that meaningful things get born.
Did you know that the original title was “American Rhapsody”? In the end the title of this piece was inspired by two famous paintings of James Whistler of which one, “Nocturne In Blue And Green of the Thames at Chelsea”, has been rejected and misunderstood in the beginning because it was too modern for the moment when it was offered to the public. There are people who, despite of being rejected for their ideas or passion, carry on and believe in their dream until one day that dream proves to be an extraordinary thing. They may not see all the staircase, but they go up step by step, they simply have faith. It is not easy to believe in your own value when maybe nobody else does, yet being consistent in your efforts brings great results in the end.
Gershwin was not conservatory trained, an awareness of which he carried with him to his grave, and something his arch critics would never allow future students of the piano to forget. Yet, no conservatory teaches talent, so nothing can stand in front of Gershwin’s unique style and genius. Pianists have consistently interpreted Gershwin somewhere between the classicism of Chopin and the 20th Century romanticism of Rachmaninoff, but when it comes to Gershwin’s strict rhythms, what is not heard is more important than what is, for it is the magic of the split-second spacing between the notes that brings Gershwin’s Rhapsody to life in a melodic thread woven itself into a masterpiece.
The Rhapsody, with its composer as soloist, was premiered in front of a packed house that included Rachmaninov, Kreisler, McCormack, Godowsky, Sousa, Heifetz and Stokowski. Even the ones that later did not like it when it was first presented to the public and said it would have been “structurally flawed” have categorised it as a “sentimental” piece. It is as melancholic as my Romanian soul and it is full of feeling and light. It is sad at some points. It is happy, rhythmic and improvised too. Through all these characteristics it is ALIVE. If you would listen to only a part of it, if you would take a bit out of it, if you would listen to it all it would be just as alive, and that is amazing. It is a series of stories put all together, a series of songs that match perfectly in a single, uninterrupted composition of continuous and extravagant enthusiasm.
I have listened to it through various moments in my life and I have understood it in different ways. It speaks to me of happy childhood years. The first clarinet trill reminds me of a new beginning, of a new day, of sunrise. I am an animation movie lover, so when I have seen it translated into image by Disney’s Fantasia 2000 I have added even more meaning to it, as I thought that the animation is a perfect illustration for the hope trapped inside this fabulous piece of music. And I will always remember how I danced on this piece with the man I love. In a moment in time, in a quiet evening, in a quiet flat, in a quiet neighbourhood in London he has taken my hand in his hand and we have danced on this wonderful rhapsody. Our souls were dancing too, we were happy, the heart was full, the world was in the right place and we were in the right feeling.
I love Rhapsody in Blue for many reasons, for the sweet sentimental parts, for the crescendos, for the vivid pace, for the epic dimension of it, for the jazz veins and the classical bursts. My interpretation of it is perfectly subjective, I see it through the lenses of my own soul, maybe different than other people. But for me it represents life itself seen through the eyes of an optimist. Unflawed and tightly woven, with its early 20th Century innocence and brilliant musical statements taken in and out of the performers and listeners souls, Rhapsody in Blue is for me a personal stairway to paradise.
Photos: “Blue”, Adela Galasiu 2013
1500 words, memyselfandela, January 2014
More about Gershwin : Gershwin plays Gershwin – Rhapsody in Blue – posted in April 2012
BBC Radio 4 – Soul Music – The stories behind pieces of music with a powerful emotional impact. http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/soulmusic
The Book of Eli
Most people don’t know that I used to be, many years ago, a movie devourer. And when I say this I mean it. My love for movies has started when my late father started to take me to the cinema. In a communist country one could not see much on TV, but what was extraordinary in those times was that people were getting tickets to the “Cinemateca”, a cinematographic phenomenon that has impregnated my memories from early childhood. I remember going with my parents and seeing many art movies, western movies and movies one could have never got to see on TV.
Many years later I have rediscovered the cinematography dream as the communism has died and the Romanians were able to get free access to any movie one could dream of. Throughout the years I must have watched hundreds of movies of all genres. Then life took it’s toll and I didn’t have the time for this passion till recently when I got back to my roots.
One of the movies I have seen not a long time ago (but long after being released) is “The Book of Eli”. And what I made of it is a very personal statement and very subjective thing.
It is a post-apocalyptic tale, in which a lone man fights his way across America in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind. “The Book of Eli” is not a commercial movie. It has griped my attention throughout the story and it has thrown at me some surprise moments that have made everything in the entire movie more surreal.
Eli, a lone wanderer, has been walking west across the devastated landscape of America for 30 years, on his way to the sea. 30 years is a lifetime. 30 years is a metaphor. 3 is a sacred number, a divine number and 30 is almost the age a man should have had in order to be considered an adult in the Old Testament. This speaks to me of the path of a man in a hard life, of the sacrifices one needs to make just to find his way.
How does Eli know he’s walking the right way? “Faith,” he says. This simple reply takes on added resonance later in the film. But also speaks volumes to those that think that life is more than just a physical existence. If life has a greater purpose and we all have a destiny, the difficult and dry part of it is to actually find that purpose and fight for it.
Eli is indeed a great fighter as he needs to be in order to survive after witnessing the catastrophe that has wiped out most of the Earth’s population and left behind ruin, desolation, victimized humans and roaming motorcycle gangs of hijackers and thieves. The Hughes brothers, Albert and Allen, film this story in sunburned browns and pale blues, creating a dry and dusty world under a merciless sky. Water is treasure. There’s no exuberance in this world, only survival. There’s no great joy in Eli’s life, maybe only the solemn joy of reading his book and hearing music long forgotten by most others. This wasteland Eli treks at an implacable pace. Set upon in an ambush, he kills all his attackers. He’s got one of those swords that makes a unique noise all by itself, so you can consider him a one-man army.
Washington and the Hughes brothers do a good job of establishing this man and his world, and at first, “The Book of Eli” seems destined to be solemn. But then Eli arrives at a Western town ruled by Carnegie , who, like all the local bosses in Westerns and gangster movies, sits behind a big desk flanked by a tall bald guy and, of course, a short scruffy one. In this town, desperate and starving people live in rusty cars and in the streets. We meet Carnegie’s abused wife Claudia and her daughter Solara, a prostitute in Carnegie’s bar. He controls everybody by fear and manipulation.
Carnegie needs Eli because he has maybe the last remaining copy of a book believed to allow the expansion and rule over many more towns. “RELIGION IS POWER” Carnegie says, and this phrase makes it even more clear that we talk about the last Bible on the face of Earth and about the thirst of domination rising in the human mind.
The third act seems to be taken out of many Westerns in which the hero and the girl hole up and are surrounded. That allows countless beams of sunlight to shine in the dusty atmosphere and work as a metaphor. It can be the hope in the darkness of soul and mind. It can be breaking the rules and going beyond Eli’s limits to make a dream and life mission come true. The image of Eli walking numb by the side of the street after being shot reminds of the incredible resistance of the human spirit in the worst conditions.
Populated by a vivid imagery , the movie has a magnificent ending , unpredictable and almost implausible, breaking apart from the movie and having a life of its own. The human mind and soul can be the carrier of a dream. The dream of transmitting a message to another generation, the dream of a better world born out of ashes. If there’s a message at the end of this movie that can only be that hope never dies and one should never give up his dream.
930 words, memyselfandela, January 2014
mute words speak
for the tears in my soul,
so You take them,
make them a river,
make my heart a stone,
crush me, make me a pot
to burn all the pain.
33 words, memyselfandela – August 2013
I am nothing alone, yet a spark in Your infinity.
Don’t turn Your Holy Face from me in the depth of my lonesome hour.
I have left You, yet You come search for me.
I have lost You, yet You find me.
I have humbled my soul by falling, yet You raise my face again in Love.
All is Yours. Omnia mea Tua sunt. Accipio Te in mea omnia. Totus Tuus.
The Oak Tree and The Ivy
Once upon a time there was a love story between a simple man and an ordinary woman. Little matters how they got to know each other, maybe it was at one of the same social events that they were both attending. It was love at first sight, he used to say that he fell in love with her inner light, but in her humility she didn’t even know that she had it. She loved his spirit and wisdom and everything about him. He was like no other, and the love shining in his eyes was incredible.
Happy days they have lived together, yet they knew that he will need to leave one day for a while, for a final battle. He was determined to make peace with his past, to solve his problems, so that no bad memories could ever again threaten their happiness. But nevertheless, they were happy and they were one heart, so problems didn’t seem to matter.
They have spent time reading and dreaming and sharing the beauty of life in a way that nobody ever did. And for a spell they were completely lost in their universe of absolute love.
One day as they went on the beach he built for her a wonderful sand castle and he decided to close it under a glass cover so that she could have it always close to her in her house until he was back. It’s not an ordinary castle, it was their castle.
“Wait for me , hide your soul inside the castle, and in no time I’ll be back to you my Love”.
The day before he left she took him in the woods. A beautiful light was shining there and there were flowers everywhere as the spring was bursting with joy and color. Walking on paths known only by her they found a quiet place and stood under an old oak tree. And she took a picture of him as he was smiling leaning against that tree. As he saw the tree he said:
“It’s a most extraordinary tree, but I can’t understand why.”
And she told him that it was so because the tree was not alone, but loved and surrounded by the most beautiful green ivy. “The tree has many scars, yet he is covered by the ivy that gives him his strength. They are one, and this is love, they never let go of each other”.
He smiled. Yes, NEVER LET GO. Of course it made sense. And as he got inside the train that took him away from her he fell asleep smiling thinking of her love and the beautiful tree and the ivy…
Days have passed and day by day he forgot her more. The eyes you don’t get to see you forget, they say. She was writing him every day but he hardly found any time to answer her. His problems were solved, his life was secure , everything was all right yet no matter how much she loved him, he failed to hear her anymore.
And his absolute love crumbled like a handful of sand flowing between his fingers. He had a stable life yet his soul was empty and he was not happy , never happy as he used to be by her side. But maybe he was scared that he could not make her happy or maybe he forgot all the happy days. Sometimes in his dream he used to see her smile and hear her calling his name, he felt her kiss on his lips and her forehead leaning against his. And he kept telling himself again and again:“I need a bit more time, but one day, soon, I will go see her, and I will make things right and one day we’ll be happy.” And today became tomorrow , and that became one day soon, and then this became someday, and the day never came and his heart left her more and more.
She felt him far away and it pained her just as the blood draining from one’s heart must hurt. And she felt cursed and abandoned yet she was true to her love. “NEVER LET GO”. And she thought to herself that maybe something horrible happened to him and so he can’t make it back to her yet. And she waited, and wrote him how she missed him and how much she loved him. Yet no more answers…
Not many years have passed and the news of her death arrived to his ears. It was only in that moment that he remembered her eyes and smile. A veil was suddenly lifted from his eyes and he realized that even though he took her love for granted she was now no longer there. And he saw the piles of letters in a corner of his library, abandoned, forgotten and never answered…
He got scared and felt sick and desperate. As he felt the pain creep in his heart he decided to attend the funeral so he went to at least see her a last time.
In her house, that now was unchanged, he saw on the wall the picture she took of him. “Never let go” he remembered, as his heart crashed in pain… And he realized that he got so lost in his own idiocy and crazy life that he let go the only soul that ever truly loved him. Willing to see her again he entered the room where the wake was being held. God, he hated wakes, but he wanted to see her, touch her, maybe it wasn’t true… maybe he still had a chance…
As he entered there he saw a simple closed coffin, a red rose fading on it and on a side table, under a glass cover, a crumbled sand castle…
“Oh how I love you… “ he mumbled, his tears flowing as rivers all over his face… “My Love, how could I have been such an idiot as to leave you?”
His knees couldn’t sustain his weight anymore and he was helped by few people to have a sit next to the coffin. As he touched the cold surface he leaned his forehead on it just as she used to lean her forehead on his years ago and he screamed:
“Oh my God, please, please make a miracle, please take me instead. My Love, please forgive me for what I’ve done, please forgive me, I would do anything to turn time back, I would do anything to make you happy…Anything, anything… Please forgive me”…
As he cried so badly he felt a ghostly light hand touching his shivering shoulder. The room turned around him and all turned black. Then, feeling his heartbeat in the temples and ears…
…. he finally opened his eyes and saw her loving eyes crying in front of him…
At first he could not believe what happened and he looked around. They were again in that wonderful forest where they have been years before. He was leaning against the oak tree and a wonderful light was shining over them.
“Love, how come you are here, where are we?” he mumbled.
“The day you left you’ve had the most horrible stroke my Love , and you’ve been caught in a nightmare for many years. And when I saw you dying I was in such a pain that I asked God to have mercy on me and take me also. I think I died of a heart attack. But I know that God smiled and decided I deserve to be here with you, so He turned back the time…”
Suddenly his heart exploded with joy and as he held her in his arms and kissed her he whispered:
“We really have a second chance Love?”
“Yes my Love. Just remember, NEVER LET GO.”
1300 words, memyselfandela, 2013
Photos of the forest: memyselfandela, 2013
“Eli Eli Lama Sabachthani?”
Today’s thought goes to all those that are going through pain or live with pain. Physical pain, psychological pain, loss, grief, despair. Pain is the voice of unbalance, of missing something/someone vital for our body or soul. Pain can be the result of external influence coming from life, other people, events we cannot control, feelings we cannot cope with.
It’s a great privilege in life to have someone with us in the moments of deepest pain and anguish. Just as it’s a great privilege to be able to be there for someone in pain. Usually God, in His mercy, allows someone close to us, be it a member of the family, a friend or even a stranger, as it is said, that nobody is given more to suffer than they can endure. I have seen often in life the test of pain given to people but also the merciful holding hand, similar to Saint Veronika wiping off the sweat for Jesus in the darkest hour.
Whether it is a stranger or a friend that goes through pain and torment, please remember to be considerate, caring and loving, this meaning much more in those moments that in normal days and under normal circumstances. Whether you give your compassion or love out of goodness or grounded on religious beliefs, the only thing that really matters is that you care, not why. Don’t turn your back on someone next to you because it feels funny to talk to them. If you find nothing to say at least hold their hand. It is often in gestures like this, often even without words that we can comfort enormously others.
I write all this because I witness every day love being given and denied, care being offered or refused. We, humans, supposed to be the most evolved living creatures on Earth, can often learn from out little brothers, animals, when it comes to compassion. They are pure at heart unlike most of us. They don’t ever think “IF” to love or give compassion or offer a hug, they just do it. Whether it’s your dog or cat comforting you when you are crying, whether it’s a wild animal never leaving another that is wounded, whether it’s a dog jumping in the fire to save a human. We have all seen it. But do we ever learn from it?
I have passed myself through heartbreaking moments in this life. And just like Jesus I have asked God in my mind “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?”/”My God, My God, Why have You forsaken me?”. Yet He has always opened my eyes later on that He never did forsaken me, but He was holding my hand through it all, silent. God is not far away in the cloudy Heaven, distant and indiferent. God is here, sometimes invisible, sometimes hidden in a friend’s face, sometimes disguised as a beggar at the corner of the street. He comes in our life and often we don’t even see Him, don’t welcome Him, don’t thank Him. Yet He loves us like nobody else because He is our Father, the eternal Love and Forgiveness. And if He is silent in our life it’s only because that is the only way He can allow us to make our experience and learn our lessons in this life and journey.
For those of you who go alone through the test of pain sometimes, please remember that He is there, invisible, with you, because nobody knows better then Him the absolute solitude of those moments for our human soul. He said it so clear Himself when He was on the cross: “Eli, Eli, lama Sabachthani?”
1 “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?
Why are You so far from helping Me,
And from the words of My groaning?
2 O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear;
And in the night season, and am not silent.
3 But You are holy,
Enthroned in the praises of Israel.
4 Our fathers trusted in You;
They trusted, and You delivered them.
5 They cried to You, and were delivered;
They trusted in You, and were not ashamed.
6 But I am a worm, and no man;
A reproach of men, and despised by the people.
7 All those who see Me ridicule Me;
They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
8 “He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him;
Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!”
9 But You are He who took Me out of the womb;
You made Me trust while on My mother’s breasts.
10 I was cast upon You from birth.
From My mother’s womb
You have been My God.
11 Be not far from Me,
For trouble is near;
For there is none to help.
12 Many bulls have surrounded Me;
Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me.
13 They gape at Me with their mouths,
Like a raging and roaring lion.
14 I am poured out like water,
And all My bones are out of joint;
My heart is like wax;
It has melted within Me.
15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
And My tongue clings to My jaws;
You have brought Me to the dust of death.
16 For dogs have surrounded Me;
The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me.
They pierced My hands and My feet;
17 I can count all My bones.
They look and stare at Me.
18 They divide My garments among them,
And for My clothing they cast lots.
19 But You, O Lord, do not be far from Me;
O My Strength, hasten to help Me!
20 Deliver Me from the sword,
My precious life from the power of the dog.
21 Save Me from the lion’s mouth
And from the horns of the wild oxen!
You have answered Me.
22 I will declare Your name to My brethren;
In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.
23 You who fear the Lord, praise Him!
All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him,
And fear Him, all you offspring of Israel!
24 For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted;
Nor has He hidden His face from Him;
But when He cried to Him, He heard.
25 My praise shall be of You in the great assembly;
I will pay My vows before those who fear Him.
26 The poor shall eat and be satisfied;
Those who seek Him will praise the Lord.
Let your heart live forever!
27 All the ends of the world
Shall remember and turn to the Lord,
And all the families of the nations
Shall worship before You.
28 For the kingdom is the Lord’s,
And He rules over the nations.
29 All the prosperous of the earth
Shall eat and worship;
All those who go down to the dust
Shall bow before Him,
Even he who cannot keep himself alive.
30 A posterity shall serve Him.
It will be recounted of the Lord to the next generation,
31 They will come and declare His righteousness to a people who will be born,
That He has done this.”
The Eyes of Love
I found love in my mother’s eyes
Keeping her baby asleep
In the shelter of her heart
And in my father’s eyes
When came back home
Late at night
I saw love in the eyes of the newly weds
Snow flowing from heaven
Dressing them in white
And in the eyes of children
Running free, smiling
I saw love in the eyes of the soldier
Holding at his chest like a treasure
His killed comrade:
Tears falling endlessly
From the eyes of the living
On the cheeks of the dead
But the Eyes of Love, I have found them only once
In an old Church with heavenly doors wide open:
Endless eyes, with the irises of the sky full of stars
And endlessly healing
The wounds of our wide open eyes.
Christ is Risen!!!! – Hristos a Inviat!!!
From the heart Hristos a Inviat !!! Christ is Risen!!!! for all Christian Orthodox people who celebrate Holy Easter today!!! ❤
Peace and Joy to you all!!! May God’s Love and Blessing follow you always!!!
Happy Easter Dear Friends
Today many of you celebrate Easter. I am Christian Orthodox and we celebrate Easter in May, but nevertheless everybody else celebrates today.
Easter is the most important Christian Holiday, filled with the hope of life, the joy of goodness and the unconditional love offered by God to all of us. It teaches us about the value of love, sacrifice, commitment, faith, patience, wisdom, forgiveness.
May your day be blessed. If you have family be happy with your family. If you have children, make them feel loved. If you are alone feel that you are loved. If you have no friends, take my hand to feel my friendship. If you feel like a nobody, I am here, just another nobody like you, you are not the only one, just smile and embrace the day.
I offer you in this day of light the smiles of my girls. My girls are my flowers, my quiet friends and companions, the ones that share the feelings and the air here with me in my quiet corner of the world. Enjoy their smiles, they are as sincere as mine or as the ones of children. All pictures are from today, this sunny morning.
Have a blessed day.
Much love to you all,
Oh God of all Lights
Give me the blessing to find in my heart again
That lost child I used to be
To see every little thing around me like a miracle
To only see the beauty and goodness in all
To forgive and forget all the evil.
God of all Powers
Give me the strength I need for my Heart and my Love.
God of all Truth
Open my eyes and give me the wisdom for this journey.
I am lost, You come find me.
I am sick, You heal me.
I am humiliated, You raise my lowered forehead and restore me.
I am weak, You hold me as I fall.
I am exposed, You cover me with Your mighty wings.
God of all Love, receive me in Your Love.
for in every grain of wheat or sand
there’s hidden more wonder than you can imagine
Open your eyes and see
that we are no cosmic accident
that we are part of a huge universe
that we cannot understand with our limited mind and senses
In this endless journey
we are small colourful pixels
vibrating under the hand of our Creator.
Stand Your Ground
Life is great, what are you waiting for? You are your own hero.
Endless choices, dreams can be lived, today is your one chance.
This is your journey, live it fully, let your hopes rise like a kite.
You can make a difference, believe in yourself, step outside the shadow.
Don’t wait for a fragile tomorrow. Welcome the new, create yourself a better future.
Keep your head high no matter how hard life is. Don’t live in fear and hesitations, live with passion.
Stand your ground , be brave, you are strong! Now is the time to pick a fight!
“Stand my ground, I wont give in
no more denying, I got to face it
wont close my eyes and hide the truth inside
if I dont make it, someone else will stand my ground …
All I know for sure is im trying
I wïll always stand my ground “
The Journal of Happiness, Nicolae Steinhardt (6)
What does it have to do with that fact that I broke it or not? It has. Something tells me strongly that it has.
Persistent, but in the background. I understand too well – better and better as the
long confrontation goes forward with bandaged gloves – that now will be taken the decision, that from now all will be triggered. And the devilish thing is that no matter how I toss and turn I still remain trapped. Wether the path of truth or the fog of slipping in futility, I am still lost, I will still have to admit it. Just that I am more tempted by and it seams more mercyful on the path of oblivion, the path of confusion, where all are equal, and nonsensical and lack importance.
Lost? Ah! No. Look as from the depths of Panteleimon and Cluceresa – the
slum and the village – suddenly dawns another thought, a third solution.
Ah! no, not the humility of giving in comes from the devil. Around me there’s not fog, in me no delirium: I am in full reality, what I see is true. Panteleimon and Clucereasa whisper to me: – just like great scholl colleagues that whisper the answer precisely: why get caught by phantasmagoria? Come take your senses. Yes, she is. Yes, all is true. To be calm and cynical and skilful. Repeat after me : skilful. Yes, it exists, there is an unthinkable third solution. Your duty this very moment is to be in a vulgar way calm , skilful, careless. Be a peasant, you little jew. Be as coming out of the slum. Old Sickness, who was robbed by the maid; Old Feud that was to be deceived by the neighbor; Old John that is not mislead by his wife; Uncle Pandele that tangles the whole world. I am not on the Venusberg and this is not the Valpurgia night. I am in a Security Investigation office, on the Plevnei road (needless, putting me dark glasses, you drove me round and round in the barracks yard of Malmaison), and this is T., who passed on their side … Why? How is that? No way! Why, I don’t know and do not care. And as for the impossibility, well look, it’s possible. Let me not be scholastic, oil freezes, whatever Aristotle says.
The glass? Of course I did it. Of course I broke it. (An awkward gesture and how
ashamed I felt. Ah, shards bring luck only in German.) But my only duty now is to be calm, smart and stubborn. Tough. Headstrong. Crabby. Laconic. Miffed.
The third solution: Not to recognize that I broke it, nor to let myself caught in dizziness.
Nor the stupidity of fear, neither the spell of dizziness. But something else: the lie. The peaceful and skilful lie.
This remains for me, that’s the third way; to be clever peasant and
cunning gossiper. Calm and Steadfast. At their height. Hers and theirs. Not above. I don’t remember, point and end of story. And I do not know. And I am quiet. And speechless. I do not admit. I do not give up. I don’t know, sir. I do not remember anything. Like a stupid goat. Neither in bed, nor under the bed. Neither the carriage nor in the cart. Like the beans on Easter day. Like old Lache at the fair: does not negociate any dime; like old Simache in court: he does not allow others to block him. Like old Gruia at the bargain: no , no and again no.
– to be continued
translation: memyselfandela, 2012
Music for the Soul
Christmas is a holiday of great spiritual meaning for me as a soul, it’s a time of reflection, memory, tear, prayer and joy. It is also a time to listen again to the same music of the soul that I have always loved. And when I say music of the soul, I am speaking about genuine Christian Orthodox music/ Eastern Orthodox chant/Byzantine music and about Romanian carols. Listening to this fantastic music provides me an extraordinary peace and joy. I find myself in the middle of my spiritual journey and experience and I am greatful for every moment of it for I know that the meaning and purpose of this life is far higher than just live in the material world and enjoy worldly pleasures.
I had the unique chance to visit authentic monasteries that spread their spiritual light. In Romania, Serbia and Macedonia there are many such sanctuaries of soul and heart. Annonimous monks and nuns spread their light and love by prayer, unconditional help, dedication and by their unique music. One must stand in a church and listen to the echoes of a choir of pure voices to understand what I mean. Music is pleasure for the outer world, but for them music is prayer, an energy of the highest vibration that allows you to touch the peace and joy of Heaven for a brief time. It is the clarity of sound, the pure music expressed by human voices, the unity of a choir that creats those moments of spiritual revelation for those open to receive them. But in order to hear all this one should forget for a moment the echoes of the stressful life from the outside.
I will share with you three fantastic examples of music of the soul: Divna Ljbojevic/ Serbia, the Madrigal Choir/ Romania and Mizar & Harmosini Choir/ Macedonia.
“Blessed Virgin, rejoice/ Cuvine-se cu adevarat sa te fericim”
Divna Lubojevic is an outstanding Serbian Orthodox singer. After her voice was discovered by a very talented nun in the Monastery Vavedenje, Divna was initiated in the art of religious music. At 17 she was worldwide recognized after performing as the youngest conductor in the history in front of the oldest Serbian choir in the Saint Sava Cathedral in Belgrade. After years of study and cultural exchange with many musicians, Divna has created her own choir, called Melodi.
“You we praise, You we bless, to you we thank, Lord, and we pray to You, our Lord”.
The Madrigal Choir is one of the most famous Romanian proffesional choirs, belonging to the Music University in Bucharest. It’s name comes from a type of song called madrigal, a secular vocal music composition, usually a partsong, of the Renaissance and early Baroque eras and traditionally polyphonic. Under the lead of the famous Marin Constantin has become a worldwide symbol for Romania. Their music is a brilliant fusion of Romanian musical traditions and culture, merged to create a most pure rafined cultivated form of sound.
The Song of Christ’s Birth : “The Virgin today gives birth to the One above being, and the Earth brings the cave to the One Not Near. Because for us was born as young Child, God before eternity.”
Mizar (Macedonian: Мизар) is a Macedonian rock band from Skopje. They achieved a status of a cult band, especially in Macedonia and across the former Yugoslavia. Mizar was formed in 1983 in the then Socialist Republic of Macedonia, a constituent republic of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Because of the band’s avant-garde sound and image, its Orthodox Christian leanings and support for Macedonian self-determination, they were viewed with certain degree of suspicion by the former communist regime. Mizar’s musical style is post-punk, darkwave and gothic rock. Beside influences such as Joy Division for instance, Mizar also uses elements of Traditional Macedonian folklore and Byzantine music. Another main part of their music is Goran’s (both Tanevski and Trajkoski) vocals which are based on Eastern Orthodox church chants. Most of their songs are in Macedonian. The last album’s vocals are performed by a male choir, Harmosini, which sings in traditional byzantine style.
Mizar – Zdiv / Breath
Take a moment to listen to this vibration regardless of gender, colour or religion.
May it elevate you. And if it’s even for 1 minute, the message has reached your soul.
Manastirea Camarzani – Leru-i Doamne ler / Hallelujah, Lord, hallelujah
Choir of Monastery Camarzani, Romania
“Hallelujah, Lord, hallelujah, from the high sky
Gabriel descends to the Holy Virgin
willing to tell her what Son she will give birth to
the Son of Man, the Son of God
Hallelujah, Lord, hallelujah, from the high sky
the Son descends to the Holy Virgin
and through the Holy Ghost comes on Earth
willing to suffer, to save us
Hallelujah, Lord, hallelujah, from the high sky
the angels descend to the Holy Virgin
and to those shepherds by the sheeps
that have listened and rejoyced
Hallelujah, Lord, hallelujah, to those under the sky
Virgin Mary gives birth to Messiah
Bethleem accepts on straw in a crib
that Maria today gives birth to Messiah
Hallelujah, Lord, hallelujah, on Earth and in the sky
great joy through the Holy Virgin
the angels praise, the kings dance
the shepherds run to see Christ
Hallelujah, Lord, hallelujah, to those under the sky
through the Holy Virgin great joy
from her Son, from God
over you to be till eternity
from her Son, from God
over you to be till eternity
Hallelujah, Lord, hallelujah, on Earth and in the sky”
translation: memyselfandela, 2012
Choir of Monastery Camarzani, Romania
Three kings from East
“Three kings from East with the star have traveled
and have traveled as we read all the way to Jerusalem
and there if they arrived the star in cloud has hidden
and they started searching at the houses asking
“Don’t you know, did you not find out
where is the Baby King
the Shepherd of Peoples and the Lord of harvests
that today was born, for we saw His star
and we came to bow, Christ to praise.”
“Go and search ,ask further
if you happen to find Him tell the world
for the world to bow to him as to the Son of God
as to the Lord of the Sky and the Emperor of Heaven.
And put in front of Him the holy gifts
incense, gold and myrrh as for Great Kingdom
and from now to eternity God’s mercy may be with us
may be as it was at Christ’s birth.””
translation: memyselfandela, 2012