I find myself often writing
with a trembling finger on the sand:
mortal finger on eternal sand.
the wind corrects my flaws
adding them to the infinite spiral that has
once recorded all His absolute wisdom.
at the end of time
every grain will be accounted for
while recreating another unique pattern in time.
54 words, Adela Galasiu, 2016
Photo: graceinchrist.org, Robert Gray
Many years have passed since his loss, still the one thing she could never understand was why she had seen all the other departed loved ones in her dreams, but never him. It felt as if he had suddenly completely vanished. She had prayed for him and lit candles, hoping he had found his peace. She has always regretted not having told him how much she loved him and not being allowed to say goodbye. The thought of him being alone in agony minutes before he passed away has always made her heart deeply bleed. Maybe in other circumstances she would have come to terms with his sudden departure and would have let go, but all that pain(his, her mothers and hers), has created a cursed loop of sad memories around the date when he had passed away.
Tonight, another year has passed. Silent cold winter night outside. Sitting in her armchair, with grey hair and her finger touching the window, she can still see him with the eyes of her mind, his temple leaning against the cold window of an old train that was supposed to get him home, but has instead delivered his soul to an unknown destination.
Cold winter, a rusty train moving slowly through a vast plain of white, snow gently falling from the frozen sky. He is worried sick about his wife and daughter and prays God that the train could move faster so he can get home and hold them in his arms.
While looking out through the cold window he observes the snow flowers growing in beautiful patterns. But a sudden claw of pain catches his chest. He knows it’s his heart, the same pain like few months ago when he collapsed in the living room. Only now it’s so much more intense. He tries to call somebody, but nobody’s around. He tries to stand up, but his feet are too heavy, he cannot catch his breath. The compartment starts turning around him, faster and faster, a carousel from which he has no strength to step down. The intense pain paralyzes him, and while unable to defeat the pain, he exhales resting his forehead on the window. He understands that this is the end. His thoughts fly far to his beloved family while he slips into a deep silent dream.
As he opens his eyes he finds himself barefoot, leaning against a willow tree, the same tree where he used to play as a child. There’s an amazing glow in the sky. He wonders what happened to the pain in his chest, but it’s all gone. He runs through the grass and gets his feet into the river.
The cool water, the sounds and smells make him feel young, his heart filled with an enormous joy. It feels as waking up from a nightmare where he was dreaming he was having a heart attack alone in a train. He is back now, young and happy, no fear, no memory, no pain. In a distance he hears familiar voices, his mother calling him, his childhood friends coming. Yet he tries to understand why every once in while he dreams of this unknown girl, that seems so very familiar. He always dreams the same thing: she is praying for his peace and that he is happy wherever he is. She is talking to him, asking him where he had vanished. It’s a mystery who she is, still, he feels as if he knows her since forever. Dreaming her makes him feel sad, because every time he sees her he tries to embrace her, to comfort her, but she doesn’t even notice his presence.
One day he asks his mother what this may mean. Smiling she tells him : “Next time when you will dream of the unknown girl, look around you . There must be something you need to do before these dreams will stop, God has His reasons.”
Sat in her armchair, asleep, she dreams of a field full of flowers where in a distance she can finally see her father. She recognises him, young and looking happy, and while seeing him, tears stream down on her face. She smiles and her face is suddenly lit by an unearthly happy glow.
He can hear her talk to him in her mind: “Where have you been all these years? I missed you so much. I never had the chance to tell you how much I love you.”
He reaches his arms towards her trying to hold her, but once again his arms pass through her as if he would not be able to touch her material body. He feels saddened, but as he turns his eyes around in the room he notices on the table several pictures, most of them are hers with her family. Out of all the pictures, one catches his attention: it’s his picture, as a young man, holding in his arms this little girl. Who is she? Then he notices a note written in ink on the picture: “Dad & me, 1979”.
He looks amazed back at her. She is older, but now he suddenly remembers the shape of her little nose and hands while playing with her as a baby. He finally understands and he feels deeply heartbroken at the thought that his child has spent so many years crying for his loss. He was never lost, how could this be possible?
While she leans her temple against the window like he once did, he kisses her forehead and whispers in her ear: “My child, I found peace and I’m always with you. I know how much you love me, I love you too. Now stop re-living the past, live YOUR life, it’s time for YOU to find the peace and to be happy.”
He lingers there for another moment listening to the ticking of his daughter’s watch. He smiles. After so many years, for one moment, he can feel again the passage of time before returning to Paradise.
1000 words, memyselfandela / Adela Galasiu, 22nd of December 2015
In loving memory of my dear father Ioan Galasiu, who passed away 26 years ago. I truly believe he has found peace and Paradise.
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
Motto: “If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start…
It’s the only good fight there is.” Charles Bukowski
Today is a gift. I am grateful to be here, feeling alive. I breathe in. I listen to a ring-dove singing in the tree next to me. I take in the air, the light, the smell of yesterday’s rain. Bumblebees come out sleepy trying to make up for the food they could not collect yesterday, hovering over lavender bushes and peppermint flowers that wave gently in the breeze. God smiles over us. The sun shines through the branches of the chestnut tree, my flowers bloom in the garden, their colours vibrating live a song in my eyes. Maybe they are, just like me, a part of God’s dream. Or maybe they are just a form of different frequency than the one of my soul. Maybe they are just strings that God plays with , like one plays a harp. It all makes sense, even though often my mind cannot even grasp the beauty of it all.
I drink a glass of water and contemplate life, like I do every once in a while, like we probably all do. Some people think that knowing that time is precious can make you lead a better life. What would I tell you if this would be my last day?
I’d say I’ve lost many things in this life, and sometimes it has felt like I’ve lost it all. Friends, time, love, children, relatives, sometimes even my mind. I’ve eaten too much or nothing for days. I’ve eaten my own bitterness and I drank the poison of my own ink-black thoughts. I’ve been freezing in train stations and on park benches thinking of why certain things happened in my life, feeling sorry for myself. I thought I was sometimes carrying too much luggage, but I think that was more the burden of my own life. Yet I have found out later that many of those things I’ve never really had, that they were never meant for me.
I have seen derision. And it was not the one coming from strangers that has hurt the most, but the one seen in the eyes of people I have helped out of their own ditch and considered friends. They say in my language that “the ones you don’t let die, will not let you live”. It was painful to find out what character some people really had. it has been gutting at times. Now it does not hurt any more, I have come to terms with all my experience. I have become older and hopefully wiser. I have learned not to regret things and I am mostly good at it, even though I can still catch myself doing it sometimes. I’ve often done my best and I know now that what people give is certainly what people will receive later in life.
Isolation? It is not a monkey thing. It feels sweet. It is not for everybody, I know it can be torture for others. But solitude is my gift. After all the pain induced by many things coming from the outside, my isolation meant discovering myself and finding peace, listening to my own soul tuning in with the one of the universe. And that is bliss.
Rejection? Yes, I felt plenty of that. I was one of those people that can feel like outsiders. Until I realised that I would have never belonged in certain circles of people or in the toxic environment that comes with them. So actually this was not a rejection, it was a discovery. It took me years to see that God had better plans for me , that He was opening me the right doors while I was trying like a stubborn child to open the wrong ones, again and again.
This is my path and you all have your own. Life is a journey. Some people learn from it, others get to the end of it not understanding anything, feeling bitter and angry. It may not be easy to walk on your own path, but it’s your quest. It all depends on how much you want it. And if you want it truly it will be better than anything you have ever imagined. It will equal conquering all your fears, it will mean finding your true self and facing God at the same time. Your days may be hard, but your heart will flame with the fire of all the passion you have in you. It will not be life that breaks you, but it will be you riding your own life.
I am only a tiny soul in an immense ocean of souls. All different, yet all the same. When I think of this I imagine a sky full of stars. The universe is immense, but we all have our own space, our own inner light and our own trajectory. I am trying to grasp what this life experience is all about, maybe just like you all. I’ve seen a lot and I still know almost nothing. But one of the few things I know now is that we should not be afraid, we should not let worry dry out our soul. Life is joy and we should experience the joy of being alive, the experience of our soul having a material body and interacting with others.
There’s no path, make your own. Be bold, be strong, be yourself. Try it, go all the way, it’s the best thing of all.
900 words, memyselandela, August 2015
Photo: Lavender, Adela Galasiu, August 2015
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
Everything consists of
mostly empty space
filling the gaps between
The singing bird,
the traveling train,
the darkness around,
your inquisitive eye
all are mostly not here.
Could we exist
without the invisible
particle of life
all the difference?
God’s breath of life
radiates inside us
creating the moments
that touch our hearts,
giving them substance.
In a life that could close
like a dark eyelid
we defy all logic
and will always remain
81 words, memyselfandela/Adela Galasiu, June 2014