silver rivers flow
unbeknown to humanity
till the end of time
at the end of the world
turbines stand still.
silence covers it all
the light punctures
the solid darkness.
minutes to sunset
33 words, Poem and Photography: Adela Galasiu, 2016
I have looked death in the eyes few times. For others but also for myself. I have been often told that there’s no God and no afterlife, but folllowing my encounters with death I guess I am too convinced of the contrary to listen to those sceptic voices. I do respect what other people think, but respecting others will never reduce my beliefs to nothing, on the contrary.
Most of the people have an absolutely disgusted look on their face when they hear about death. Some venerate it. Some fear it to the extent that they don’t even want to think about it. We’re all aware it exists. Most of us cannot understand it. But the same death that means decay, foulness, nothingness and still, is part of us just as much as it has been part of our ancestors too.
People turn their face away from death because they are scared or because they have been taught that it can bring disease or that it is unclean. Or because they prefer to concentrate on the life, rather than see the whole process, black and white, doing and undoing, life, death and new life again. For the immediate you and me, what matters is today, what we do, what we have, what we eat, where we go. But we live in a society that is equally one of death as much of one of life, isn’t it? Or maybe even more one of death than one of life? We eat meat, we cut flowers, people hunt, people get cremated and buried or offer their bodies to science. People sell weapons and wars are being fought. Some people thrive while others starve to death.
There is not only the beauty and goodness daily put on display for sales targets, but also the reverse side of it all. There are not only new born babies and blooming flowers, but also dead people laid to rest and entire systems that revolve around death itself. From the undertakers that earn a fortune while dealing with grieving families to the little beetles that eat decaying flesh, all have a little part in it.
Some of the birds that have nested last year have died, and a suite of insects and plants contribute now to taking apart and redistributing every material atom of them. Every little creature and plant that dies gets quickly surrounded by a cortege of creatures, just like a circus that comes to town and gets very busy before the show. Behind the scenes of it all nothing gets saved or lost, but everything is transformed in new matter for life, and so new life can find the raw minerals needed for it to emerge again.
Many years ago, as I was dealing with the water that was trying to find its way into my lungs, I had forgotten who I was or what I wanted from life. What I had eaten that morning or what I had in my bank account had no meaning at all. It was all worthless and the only thing I could gasp for was a breath of air. I was, I guess, not different than a wounded bird that beats its wings one more time before it takes a last breath. A little part of me knew that it could have been the final moment that day. And yes, it was scary. Scary because I had no idea what was about to happen. Horribly scary because I had no control over my own life. There and then I was not ready to give up. Between few heartbeats and a hope for air it occurred to me that I had not appreciated life truly until then. And God how I wanted to live!
In a mysterious way, a hand has been stretched my way. Not only a friendly material hand, but also a divine one. Then, when I finished coughing, with a horrible salty aftertaste and a stomach full of seawater, feeling sick and wet, I thought that it was not the time to go just yet, not until I would have learned the lesson of what life was all about. I think I was determined to take life more seriously.
I think I understand life and death more now, but like any person that has been sightless for many years, I am now awfully blinded by the intense light of the truth. That moment of salvation, the spark of life in my veins and the thought that accompanied them cannot be the result of an evolutionist theory, they are rather a mystery that my human mind is not ready to embrace just yet.
Other creatures are unaware of the realities of our human life. Birds and animals and plants cannot understand our complicated life and needs, our food, our languages, our customs. They do not consider themselves the greatest in the universe like we do. They have no idea what mathematics or science are, yet they are very much alive and lead a simple happy life. There are a limited number of neurons in our skulls, how could they possibly perceive the infinity of the universe? It is impossible. I am convinced that us humans cannot understand the whole complexity of life, all the dimensions that surround us, all the beauties of the universe and even less the mystery and greatness of the Creator of it all.
900 words, Adela Galasiu, 2016
Photography: Adela Galasiu, May 2016
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.
as I leave my marks
on the sand grinded by invisible teeth
I am followed submissively
by the force lying there underneath
do you know what amazing stories
the sea has told me last night?
of sea horses and drifting wood
and of death holding me tight
dancing madly in a waltz
of rippled lace, dragged back and forth
it gently caresses my ankles
slapping me suddenly from south and from north
roaring like an angry monster
that wants to engulf the whole modern time
embracing my being
in a moment where it belongs to nobody, but is all mine.
100 Words, Memyselfandela/Adela Galasiu 2015
Photos, Adela Galasiu, Isle of Wight, UK
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
Who said that people were completely unhappy in Victorian times?
I have done a bit of research and here is the result of it. I invite you to have a look at moments in their life.
Isn’t it amazing that no matter how hard life might be the human soul finds ways to rise above it and be happy?
Memyselfandela – Adela Galasiu, August 2015
“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