"Here is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.."- Antoine de Saint Exupéry

Octavian Paler

Definition of Bad Luck

“There are paths looking for us for a long time

That are reaching us when we’re away

Looking for them on other paths.”

by Octavian Paler, Romanian Writer and Journalist

Translation: Adela Galasiu – memyselfandela, August 2015

Image; Photobucket

Yes / Da , Octavian Paler


“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

Photo: Photobucket

Life on a platform

I live waiting on the platform for my destined train. Sometimes I overslept in the waiting room and missed it, but most of the times I was here on the platform when it arrived. I have travelled for a while, I have learned new things but when I got off the train I have realized it has brought me back to this station with a name that I am still trying to decipher.

It’s just a normal train station like all others. With a huge clock, with huge windows, with many people carrying around small and big luggages and baggages stuffed with their own existence. Many run after trains they almost miss, others wait a bit restless for their journey, but the most rare kind of passengers are the ones that radiate happiness when they see their train arriving. Not many smile as they step in their train.

Above my head, on a wall, is scribbled Paler’s Decalogue, for some a blasphemy, for some food for thought:
“1.Wait, no matter how long.
2. Wait, no matter for what.
3. Don’t remember quite anything instead. The only good memories are the ones that allow you to live in the present.
4. Do not count the days.
5. Do not forget that any waiting time is temporary, even if it lasts for a lifetime.
6. Repeat yourself that there is no such thing as a desert. There is only our incapacity to fill the void in which we are living.
7. Do not put in the same pot both the prayer and God. Prayer is sometimes a form of hope of the one that does not dare to hope on his own.
8. If this thought helps, do not seek to admit that you hope because you don’t have something better to do or even in order to prevent the outcomes of doing nothing.
9. Bless the opportunity of completely belonging to yourself. Solitude is a whore that doesn’t blame you for being selfish.
10. Remember that Paradise was , most certainly, in a grotto.”
No days or nights are the same. They are all different and this is a blessing in itself.
Sometimes moths circle around the glowing beauty of a single light in the night, in a dance that fascinates me so much that I forget how much I still have to wait to see my train coming. Their mesmerizing dance takes me out of my world for a while.
Sometimes the dirty light reveals the faces of all the unknown people still waiting by my side, some worried, some cheerful, same frowning, some left with only few more drops of life.
Life goes on on the platform. The days grow, the nights slowly fade, the time sometimes pauses. The most beautiful light of all is the sunrise invading like molten gold the quiet platform, flowing between trains and passengers, flooding the huge waiting room in which some just enter and some still wait for an eternity to finally get born.

Waiting_for_a_train500 words, memyselfandela  January 2014

Photo: Photobucket

In The Nights


” In the nights, when I again remember us,
in the dark always and always threatened,
embraced always under the guillotine,
forever obsessed with time and night,
haunted by shadows in which we recognize ourselves,
always as in the first night of the world
and always talking about the end of love,
remembering always the seas and the sun
and always on this black sand of the night
without knowing if tomorrow we’ll be together,
always waiting for the blade of the guillotine to fall,
always the separations,
the love always threatened by others
and by ourselves,
always under this black sun
that enlightens us, when our hands touch,
always scared that our hands
will reach the end of our love
and always dreaming that we love each other without knowing
if we are the first people in the world or the last,
if the world begins  with us or it ends.
Always loving in the shadow as Rembrandt’s wise people,
she who does not need wisdom, but hope
yet if we ever die, our love
will not die because of the night
but because we ourselves have threatened it too much.”

Noptile/ In the nights, by Octavian Paler


Translation from Romanian: memyselfandela, 2013

Solitude, Octavian Paler

Solitude, by Octavian Paler

“You who return back home
and after closing the door
say “good evening”
you do not know what it means
to enter the door not saying a word.”


Singuratate, de Octavian Paler
“Voi care va întoarceti acasa
si dupa ce-ati închis usa
spuneti “buna seara”
voi nu stiti ce-nseamna
sa intri pe usa tacînd.”


translation: memyselfandela, 2012

Decalogue, Octavian Paler

Dedicated from the heart to Benjamin, expressed in drawings by Ada Muntean.

“1. Wait no matter how long.

2. Expect anything.

3. On the contrary, do not remember quite anything. The only good memories are the ones that help you live in the present.

4. Never count the days.

5. Do not forget that every waiting is  temporary, even if it lasts for a lifetime.

6. Keep repeating yourself that there’s no emptiness. There’s only our impossibility tu fill the emptines in which we live.

7. Do not put in the same place prayer and God. Prayer is sometimes a form of hope of the ones that do not dare to hope alone.

8. If this thought helps you, do not try to admit that you hope because you don’t have anything better to do or even to avoid the consequences of the fact that you’ve done nothing.

9. Bless the ocasion of belonging completely to yourself. Loneliness is like a whore that does not blame you of being egoist.

10. Remember that the Paradise was, most likely, a cave.”

translation: memyselfandela, 2012

Definition of a scream

Definition of a scream, Octavian Paler

“I would tell you something,
about us,
about the snow outside,
about our love.
I would tell you something,
only to stop the grass of silence grow between us.
I would tell you something,
that you knew,
or that I know,
but the grass of silence has started to grow between us
and the sounds in the late word got lost”


Definitia unui strigat, Octavian Paler

“Ti-as spune ceva,
despre noi,
despre zapada de-afara,
despre dragostea mea.
Ti-as spune ceva,
numai sa nu creasca iarba tacerii intre noi.
Ti-as spune ceva,
ce-ai stiut,
sau ce stiu,
dar a-nceput sa creasca iarba tacerii intre noi
si s-au ratacit sunetele din cuvantul tarziu.”


Translation: memyselfandela, 2012