Photos: http://www.boredpanda.com/cat-paper-facial-expressions-montage, Photobucket
Did you smile today?
If not have a look at these furry faces. 🙂
And if you want more smiles, visit my Smile page. Feel free to add in the comments links to other funny things.
Keep smiling and carry on! 🙂
Next time when you feel intimidated by somebody with a big mouth and lots of confidence, remember that success is much more than just appearances. 🙂
Image source: Twitter.
You are a beautiful intelligent being, just remember this and be yourself.
You don’t need anyone’s validation, your own validation is enough.
My dear friends, I am blogging already for 2 years now.
What an intensive experience it was, what a great experience I see ahead.
I thank each and every one of you for stopping by in my humble universe.
Love and Light to you all,
close your yes
so that we don’t lose any atom of us
l hide you in me
leave out all the rest
keep on pulsating my love
inside of our heart
33 words, memyselfandela, 2012
In the white silence
In the trembling kiss on the corner of your lips
In the smiling look in your eyes
In the sound of speaking your name
There I am,
33 words, memyselfandela February 2014
People around the world celebrate Valentine’s Day in many ways, but I was lucky enough to witness a very special day at work.
Volunteers, friends, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, singles and couples, we have all gathered to celebrate love. Our disabled clients have made, with help from many others, very soulful Valentine’s day presents. There was chocolate and flour, baking and decorating, lots of work but above all lots of joy and love.
You can see for yourselves the results in the pictures.
Today is a day to celebrate LOVE.
So Happy Valentine’s Day, my dear friends!
100 words, memyselfandela, February 2014
Photos: Adela Galasiu
I’m tired of pretending
That my soul didn’t pulverise over you
When you betrayed me.
I’m done with dreaming of deliverance
After you’ve been one side and the other
Of my love universe.
Keep my stolen trust
And the dying smile in the corner of my eyes,
I’ve been only one in your big jar of hearts.
Dazzling pain struck me
I should have never loved you, stranger,
You who’ve never been and will never be true.
Withering days will pass, light will pierce this night
In another life where it will be
Your turn to wander in the dark.
Photo: Mal Smart
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
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.
heavy white snows of silence fall like a blessing
covering us when you hold me,
my heart, pressed flower that will never decay
between your secret pages.
dreams flow across my burning sky of night
and all the nightmares fade when you look my way.
rebelling fears fall aside silent, broken, cursed to die
in forgotten corners where anguish dwells.
on heavenly strings my soul plays the unheard ode
of all my universe getting born again and again,
blooming as I close my eyes and melt in the sweetest sleep,
safe in your arms, hidden in soul, home at last.
100 words, memyselfandela, December 2013
Blue jeans, white shirt… When he walked into the room with his loud friends her eyes turned his way. Sitting at the table next to them she could not help but hear the loud conversation they had about beer and kung-fu movies. She smiled. His eyes met her somewhere in the middle of the distance and stopped when seeing the strange passion in her eyes. That was where it all started.
Her cigarette continued to burn, just like her eyes used to burn once at the sight of him as he walked into the room that night. Smoke danced around in a quiet rhythm but as music joined the dance filling up the air the thick smoke lifted like a white ghost levitating above them in the night.
“You never close your eyes any more when I kiss your lips.
And there’s no tenderness like before in your fingertips.
You’re trying hard not to show it baby
But baby, baby I know it…
You’ve lost that lovin’ feeling,
Whoa, that lovin’ feeling,
You’ve lost that lovin’ feeling,
Now it’s gone…gone…gone…”
He was distant yet she didn’t care any more, she had nothing left to lose. She boldly stepped towards him and quietly took his hand for a dance. Why they’ve never danced before she could not tell, maybe because he thought she wasn’t good enough for him. She didn’t know how, but even so she danced. She missed too much that spark she saw once in his eyes. It was gone, she felt it, yet she could not let go, not that night, not that moment. She danced entranced, her arms holding him, an avalanche of feelings invading her heart while looking at him. Her lips could not speak , his heart had long left her, he was gone, gone, gone…
300 words, memyselfandela, December 2013
No matter what life has done to you remember to smile.
Not from the lips, but from the heart.
Have a wonderful day dear friends! 😀
Lasting happiness… Have you ever wondered what makes happiness last? This question has bloomed in my mind again these days.
Lost in a crowd of strangers I was watching them in the middle of a very nice Christmas party organized by a very generous family. Young people, old people, children, mothers, fathers, some showing off more, some less. Standing in my corner, quiet, like a cat, I have analyzed their gestures, their interests, the likeliness for some to gather and some to not to stand each other. I have listened all evening to really interesting conversations in which some have made me angry with their lack of respect and others have amazed me with their fantastic knowledge and passion.
I find it always fascinating to lose myself in a gathering of people. I don’t find it always necessary to completely open in front of people I don’t know. I cannot explain why, but I tend to join the conversation on selective bases, and it may be that I am looking for a passion and depth in the person I talk to. I know many things, maybe different things, maybe I will never fit in the profile many would expect, maybe most would not be able to even perceive the poetry I have seen in this life.
I was looking at that crowd of people and I tried with my curious mind to read beyond the appearances. One could see the couples that were happy, and opposite the couples that had problems. The care some had for each other and the indifference that thrived in others. Some were there just because they were dying of curiosity. Some had followed their partner just to avoid a scandal. Some because they had to come as neighbors. Some because they are related to the owner of the house. Some because it’s nice to take advantage of a good food or great drinks. Some were strangers with far away roots. Some were people who lived there all their life. Some faces were emotionless. Some were preoccupied with several worries at the same time. Some ready to dance. Some dead tired. Some were there only to say hello and be polite. Some came too late. Some left too early. Some invisible. Some flashy.
In all this puzzle of souls, I wondered though how many have been happy. Genuinely happy. And I think that the only happy ones there were those who didn’t come for the food or drinks or gossip or feeding their ego, but for the privilege of being alive. The happy ones were the ones with joy in their heart. The ones that have sacrificed time and effort to make others happy. The happy ones were the ones that didn’t care about how tall the Christmas tree was or how expensive was the food. The happy ones are the ones that had something to celebrate. The ones that have hope and love in their heart. The ones that have lost many battles but never the war.
When you think you would like to be happy forever the answer is very simple. Get back to your passions, to your blessings, to your hope. No two people are the same. Be proud of who you are. Be proud of being unique in the big crowd. Does it matter that you are not the Beauty Queen or the Super Man in that crowd? No, it definitely doesn’t. Deep inside even they have big sad unspoken problems, they just happen to wear beautiful masks.
True happiness is the celebration of your blessings and of who you really are. 😀
"I love your eyes, my dear Their splendid sparkling fire When suddenly you raise them so To cast a swift embracing glance Like lightning flashing in the sky But there's a charm that is greater still When my love's eyes are lowered When all is fired by passion's kiss And through the downcast lashes I see the dull flame of desire." Dull Flame Of Desire, Fyodor Tyutchev ---------------------------------------------- 600 words, memyselfandela, December 2013
It’s a new week, so you have plenty of time to:
but you are working hard on it…
He was sitting on by the water in Mexico when it hit him how much he hated himself. Which kind of sucked. Because he should have been happy. He should have been ecstatic. After years of struggle and poverty and horrible physical pain (getting almost killed by a semi truck sucks too…) he finally had it. He finally had everything he ever thought he wanted. He was 30 years old, in good shape, good friends, professional success, fun toys, plenty of free time . . . Even better he was one of only three guys on a yoga retreat and was spending his days stretching and snorkeling and chugging margaritas with a bevy of beautiful, intelligent, passionate (and flexible) women.
He should have been happy. He should have been doing a victory lap around the mess that was his twenties and screaming to the moon about how he finally made it past childhood trauma and adulthood disappointment to become a “success.”
But he just couldn’t do it.
Nope. Instead of being happy, he was damn miserable. Angry. Emotionally nauseous and, worse yet, viciously angry at himself for not waking up to how good he had it.
One night he found himself sitting on the shore alone watching the waves come in. Everyone else had gone on to a bar to order large amounts of drinks in broken Spanish, but the bile in his throat and the voice in the back of his head wanted him to be alone. Alone and vulnerable.
It was pitch black but for the shine of the moon off the water and all he could feel was the pathetic bottle in his hand, the drink in his gut and the tension in his jaw threatening to break his teeth.
He wasn’t man enough to admit it, but he had tears in his eyes.
“Why?” he thought to himself in a silent whisper. “What the hell is wrong with me? Why can’t I just enjoy this?”
It was a rhetorical question, so he was pretty shocked when he got an answer. It came in a voice as dark as tar and as toxic as venom.
“Because you don’t deserve it,” the voice in the back of his head grumbled. “Because you’re evil and dangerous and anyone foolish enough to love you deserves to be harmed.”
He closed his eyes and could finally see it: what he really thought of himself. Not a man or even a boy, but a creature with claws and teeth and a cruel, cruel grin. A creature who’s only glee came from clawing at his heart and pulling him down and reminding him to never, ever feel even one moment of happiness.
He flew home a few days later feeling like he’d gotten into a duel with Godzilla and damn it, bloody Godzilla won. The entire time on the plane home his brain stormed and he counted down the hours until he could go see his therapist.
“How are you?,” she asked as he walked in, her eyes half squinting as she searched his face.
For an hour he let the words flow out like a dying breathe, rambling at Speedy-Gonzalez-pace, desperate to get every hatred and criticism and imagined crime out of his heart and into the world. Finally, after minutes that felt like days he looked his therapist in the eyes and said:
“I’m so sick and tired of hating myself , beating myself up , punishing everyone around me … I’m wondering what would happen if I just decided to stop and actually LIKE myself for a little while instead.”
The therapist looked at him with kind eyes and a half smile and said “Well, that would be interesting, wouldn’t it?”
And so he did.
Right then and there he decided to try liking himself – maybe even loving himself – for a while.
And at first the creature in his head and his heart raged like a angry lion and dragged its claws against the inside of his skull.
But instead of arguing he did something kind of weird.
He pointed and laughed. He dressed it up in silly shoes and ugly makeup and mocked it . And suddenly a weird thing happened: he felt this glowing freedom rising in his chest and this crazy, irrational smile pulling hard at the corners of his mouth.
Suddenly he felt . . . happy. Ecstatic.
For the next two weeks he walked around on a love-high. His friends asked him what the heck had happened. His enemies got confused when he was actually nice to them. And that beast in the back of his brain shrunk and shriveled and cried.
Of course, it wasn’t exactly as easy as that, for every time he would fail or feel ashamed about something or feel like some woman was getting close he would feel that creature rise up. He would feel that bile on his tongue.
But now . . . years later . . . here he is with nothing to hide.
And years and years of anger and pain turned into . . . something simpler. Nicer. More wonderful. He’s not into the “woo woo” stuff a lot of his friends are, but he is into this one simple fact:
“Happiness is a choice. Liking yourself / loving yourself is something YOU choose to do, no one can make you miserable or happy but YOU.”
900 words, memyselfandela, November 2013
I watched you sleep
Like only one that passionately loves you ever could.
I was there awake watching over you
When nobody was around
And no sounds were disturbing your deep sleep.
I was there when you opened your smiling eyes
And when hungry pigeons came to feed at your feet.
Sibiu. My city. My stone. My root. My love.
Te-am privit dormind
Cum doar cineva care te iubeste cu pasiune o poate face.
Am fost acolo vegiind asupra ta
Cand nu era nimeni in preajma
Si sunete nu deranjau somnul tau adanc.
Am fost acolo cand ti-ai deschis ochii zambitori
Si cand porumbei infometati au venit sa manance la picioarele tale.
Sibiu. Orasul meu. Piatra mea. Radacina mea. Dragostea mea.
Photos: memyselfandela, November 2013