This is a simple story that happened in the moonlight. A story streaming from my own life. A story about a small moment that will remain for life in my memory.
Maybe many of you have a favourite band. And I bet many of you have hoped or dreamed To get the unique moment to meet the vocalist they like so much , or shake hands with the guitarist they consider to be the best in the world- maybe it is not so for others, but it is so for them.
My very favourite Romanian rock band is Luna Amara, a Romanian alternative rock/grunge band. The name means “Bitter Moon” in Romanian, and has been borrowed from the Roman Polanski movie of the same name, inspired by Pascal Bruckner’s novel with the same name.The band was formed by Nick Făgădar (vocals, guitar) and Gheorghe Farcaş (bass guitar) in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, in September 1999, in Romania. I had the chance to listen to them first time live in Sibiu, and I have discovered them much more after I left Romania in 2011.
Luna Amara has played on stage over 200 times in the past years, throughout Romania. As a live act, this Romanian five-piece outfit has a style that combines heavy metal with alternative rock. Luna Amara is also the first Romanian band to introduce the trumpet sound into an Alternative Rock style, a struck of genius in my humble opinion.
All the artists in the band try to dedicate their lives to promote and support a modern European society in Romania. Beyond the poetry in the love songs , their lyrics have often a political message, Luna Amară being also involved in ecological projects such as “Save Vama Veche” (protecting the endangered seahorses), “Save Roşia Montană” (protecting the wildlife and natural surroundings of a mountain area from cyanide poisoning caused by companies that extract gold) and other social awareness projects.
“Luna Amară” is one of Romania’s most successful rock bands and was the top selling artist in a national chain of music stores (Hollywood Music & Film) from July until September 2004. Their songs “Folclor” (“Folklore”), “Gri Dorian” (“Dorian Grey”), “Roşu aprins” (“Scarlet”) and “Ego nr. 4” reached number one in airplay charts at local radio stations around the country.
Throughout the years they have released several albums: “Asfalt” (Asphalt), “Loc lipsă” (Missing Place), “Don’t Let Your Dreams Fall Asleep”(where mainly the acoustic side of the band is underlined), “Pietre in Alb” (Stones in White), “Live la Conti” (Live at Conti). The band performed tours all over Romania in clubs and open air locations as well as shows in the Netherlands, Germany, Bulgaria, Turkey and played live at the Sziget Festival in Budapest.
They may be neither angels, nor heroes, but they are some extremely talented people. It is more than their personal love and feelings decanted in their music, it is also their passion and talent for music. I used to detach myself from stress listening to Deftones, Metallica and Incubus, but they are nowhere near Luna Amara. At least to me, because I am Romanian and Bitter Moon sing the longing and the pain in my native language. But it is not only this. I have discovered such beautiful blue sad profound lyrics attached to their music. They contribute with amazing poetry, not only with extremely versatile sound. Their songs are colourful, they bleed and ache, they are just beautifully alive.
Two years ago when I was back in Romania for few days I have tried desperately to buy their “Stones in White” album, yet no music shop or online store had it available, it was sold out. After a long online research I managed to find a link and I was promised to get the album the next night, when I was going back to Cluj in the evening for my next morning flight back to the UK.
The evening came, I took a taxi and we drove in the evening to the address where the recording studio was. It was a very simple encounter, but it has struck me very profoundly: Nick Fagadar, the founder of Luna Amara, met me almost in the middle of the night because he cared that somebody really wanted to have their album. He handed it to me with a kind smile , he shook my hand like a friend , with no pretentious gestures, and wished me to enjoy the music. I have been truly honoured not only to get the long desired album, but mostly by getting to meet in person the legend behind it.
There was something beautiful that I cannot describe radiating through him as we left him behind. I could not help but smile. The moon was shining, yet this time not bitter, but full of hope and mysterious meanings.
800 words, Memyselfandela , 2015
Mesiku na nebi hlubokem
Svetlo tve daleko vidi,
Po svete bloudis sirokem,
Divas se v pribytky lidi.
Mesicku, postuj chvili
reckni mi, kde je muj mily
Rekni mu, stribmy mesicku,
me ze jej objima rame,
aby si alespon chvilicku
vzpomenul ve sneni na mne.
Zasvet mu do daleka,
rekni mu, rekni m kdo tu nan ceka!
O mneli duse lidska sni,
at’se tou vzpominkou vzbudi!
Mesicku, nezhasni, nezhasni!
Moon, high and deep in the sky
Your light sees far,
You travel around the wide world,
and see into people’s homes.
Moon, stand still a while
and tell me where is my dear.
Tell him, silvery moon,
that I am embracing him.
For at least momentarily
let him recall of dreaming of me.
Illuminate him far away,
and tell him, tell him who is waiting for him!
If his human soul is in fact dreaming of me,
may the memory awaken him!
Moonlight, don’t disappear, disappear!
I am the shadow inside and the one behind the moon
Trying to live with passion as I feel that life can end soon.
I am my lover’s lover and the fire within the fire
Looking for answers and paths that go beyond any desire.
I am the lunatic that spins thoughts in the sleepless night
Fallen and broken but always ready for my final flight.
memyselfandela, November 2013
Come dance on countless whispers, in the pure atmosphere
High above, beyond all worries.
The same lonesome trumpet illuminates my night
Come float with me beyond all words.
I won’t forget you, weary soul
In this dimension where we found each other.
If I would turn the distance in a golden thread
It would lead me far away to the moon.
Our clay existence, the cage of our bodies are nothing
In this realm where our deepest thoughts ignite.
Sleepless nights sublimated in the dark shadow under your loving eyes
Will never ever keep you from floating in the air.
100 words, memyselfandela, November 2013
Photos: memyselfandela, November 2013
He had no mercy at all for other sea creatures, not even for his own family, he was only interested in power and himself. Never in his life he gave a second thought about killing another or about showing some feelings and this was the only life he has ever known. All known about him was the countless number of his murders and all were afraid of the day when he was to become a king.
After many years of waiting in line for the throne his dream has finally come true when his father was killed. And so he became king and nobody dared to get close to him, everybody obeyed him in fear.
One night, while chasing a female he liked in the blue shining waters lit by the full moon, the king saw from a distance a skinny creature. It was a human being swimming. It was an old man diving there in the hope to find the shipwreck of a boat that sank long time ago, hiding in the watery tomb the bones of his beloved father.
As the old man was frenetically searching on the bottom of the sea using his special torch, he was concentrating only on the pieces scattered on the bottom of the sea. He was much too absorbed by the search to still be able to observe the huge shadow approaching him.
Nobody could have seen but the old man had the eyes full of tears as he finally found what seemed to be the remains of the long lost boat. And he was crying as he missed his father and he wanted to say goodbye, because only a child knows the longing and emptiness caused by the disappearance of a beloved parent.
Angry that the human dared to pass his way and venture in his kingdom, especially in that special night when he was mating, the manta ray got close to the old man. He was so very close that he could feel the energy of the old man’s beating heart. Understanding that this was the core that was keeping the frail human alive, the manta ray stung him straight in the heart with his 10 inches long barb in a split of a second filled with rage. The sharp dagger has found its path in the heart of the man that didn’t see what hit him from behind.
The seconds that followed were filled with silence. The manta was angry that his world has been disturbed by a filthy human. The old man turned and finally understood what had happened. Knowing that these were his final moments he wished the manta ray to live also without what he loved the most. As the waters turned red around the dying man, he fell on the bottom of the sea, his last glimpse at the found boat, his heart filled with sadness for not being able to embrace his father one last time. His eyes slowly closed on this life as a cloud gloomily covered the full moon.
The very next day, as the king swam serene, a huge fishing net caught him and there was no more escape. He fought his way out but the net was too strong for him to be able to break it. Sharing the same fear like many other sea creatures, the manta ray found himself laying powerless on the dirty deck of an old fishing ship surrounded by a loud crowd of men, all laughing and making bets on what will be sold for a better price. Other mantas were captive too, and of all the king tried the most to kill again, but the hand of a human with a knife as sharp of a sword has cut his barb and left him hopeless.
Many stories ran through his mind. Old stories of humans being afraid of the sea monsters, of their quiet approach, of their majestic presence. Old stories heard from his father and from the father of his father. Old stories telling how stupid humans were, how weak and vulnerable in the depths of the endless sea. Laying on the sand in the dying light of the day, the manta ray king faced the same death like others, butchered into pieces and sold to a leather handler who made the best out of his skin.
Every little piece was wisely prepared just to be sold on the market for luxury materials.
And so the king’s skin was cut into 10 pieces, as many as the years when the old man has been searching for the boat of his father. One piece was sold to a tattoo artist, who used it to cover his tools with a special skin. Other two pieces were sold to a designer who created a belt and a purse for the same cinema star, a gorgeous blonde famous not only for her movies, but also for her love affair with a president.
Two pieces were sold to an Arabian shah who asked his people to make a sheath and cover the handle of his favorite dagger. Three pieces have become three famous wallets given as a present to the three finalists of a Formula 1 contest after sharing with the public a champagne bath. And the last two pieces, the very best, were sold to an exclusive shoe designer who cut them into shape and transformed them into a unique pair of custom made shoes for a modern king, ruling over an empire where the sun never sets. And so, the manta ray king got what he wished for, he was closer to power than ever before. So insanely close, but as it has been wished by the sad dying man, never having the chance to ever embrace it himself again.
Shades… A million shades… The afternoon was made out of so many shades between the black and the white.
The sky was not perfectly blue, the heart was not perfectly light, the hope was not really a hope.
If it would have been love or no love at all, all would have been so simple, but the heart was flooded by all those shades of colors and feelings and electricity boldly lingering in their touch. It was a delirium of things and images passing before her eyes while she was processing the remains of the previous days.
“Why is life not simple like in those romantic movies where all is fine?” was the thought lingering in her mind while watching him stop in front of another little shop, with the amazement of a child that has just seen something he was hoping to discover for a lifetime.
Entering the shop she realized that it would make a beautiful present to compensate his birthday. She missed it, it’s true, but not because she didn’t care, but because she didn’t know him yet back then. But still, she would have loved to have been there with him that day, and in her heart she was.
He loved them all. It’s true, they were all beautiful ties, hand made, real, just like he loved to feel authentic and sharp and real…
With a smile in the corner of her soul she sent him to have a look in the back of the store while she took the tie he had admired in the very first moment. 69 pounds, that was the price. It was perfect. The colors were perfect, shades of color, shades of life. The price spoke volumes. To him it would have probably meant an erotic thing, but to her it was a tangible translation of the moon dust trapped inside their bones, of their breath as they were kissing and talking about the muses watching over their love, of the raise and fall of their entwined souls, or the incarnation of all the things that were present in that very second when she wished him happy birthday, now, better later than never.
In the back of her mind there was only a song lingering talking about the raise and fall of the same moon dust that was still shining in his eyes just like that night when they have met the first time, not even knowing if tomorrow will ever come or if there will be a chance for another minute together.
The day was fading, in the corridors of the city, in the tunnels covered in graffiti, as the two lovers were getting back from a city adventure that meant all and nothing, while lights were shining on the side of the road, like fireflies dancing songs known only to themselves.
And the light was dying in millions of shades of obscurity, while the moon, all alone, saw the loneliness crawling back in the souls of the eternal loners.
500 words, memyselfandela, September 2013
It’s dark and I really don’t care. I feel your hand holding mine and we have all we need. We don’t even talk and we have all we need. I have the taste of your lips on mine and I cannot stop smiling uncontrolled. It’s long after midnight. The moon smiles with a white powdered face glowing at us. On the way home your arm holds my shoulders and I put my arm around you. Tipsy and happy we return home. Home is a place in Heaven. We are.
memyselfandela, July 2013
” Three matches one by one struck in the night
The first to see your face in its entirety
The second to see your eyes
The last to see your mouth
And the darkness all around to remind me of all these
As I hold you in my arms.”