"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

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Life

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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.

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900 words, Adela Galasiu, 2016

Photography: Adela Galasiu, May 2016

 

 

Blossoms

Spring blossoms
crushing (neu)roses,
defrosting (syn)apses and dreams.

Flowers explode
in renewed life
from the ancient mud.

Leaves waltz stormy with the light
Bees rest tired feet for a spell
before conquering another petal.

Sit and listen.
be humble. be grateful.
you are. now. alive.

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45 words, Adela Galasiu, May 2016

Photography: Adela Galasiu , April-May 2016

 

 

Purple Rose & Light

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Photo: Purple Rose & Light , Adela Galasiu, March 2016

Osborne House

The Isle of Wight has many amazing attractions, from places in nature, to ruins and monuments. From red squirrels to dinosaurs. Countless tourists find beaten or undiscovered tracks and travel the Island enjoying the beautiful views. Yet the Island’s history will always be related to the lives of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, who have created in Osborne House a family retreat and a home filled with many happy family moments.

Queen Victoria bought Osborne House in 1845. She had spent two holidays on the Isle of Wight as a young girl, in Norris Castle, the estate next door to Osborne. Both Queen Victoria and Prince Albert liked the house and the views of the Solent. But when it became obvious that it was too small for their needs, they have decided to build a new residence in the style of the Italian Renaissance complete with two belvedere towers between 1845 and 1851. Prince Albert designed the house himself together with builder Thomas Cubitt, whose company also built the main façade of Buckingham Palace.

Because of the layout of the estate, gardens and woodlands, Prince Albert made use of his knowledge of forestry and landscaping. Below the gardens there was also a private beach where the Queen had her own private bathing machine.

The grounds include a ‘Swiss Cottage’, which was dismantled and brought piece by piece from Switzerland to Osborne where it was reassembled for the royal children, who were encouraged to garden. Each royal child was given a rectangular plot in which to grow fruit, vegetables and flowers, in order to then sell their produce to their father. Prince Albert used this as a way to teach his children the basics of economics. The children also learned to cook in the Swiss Cottage, which was equipped with a fully functioning kitchen. Both parents saw this kind of education as a way of keeping their children’s feet firmly on the ground in spite of their royal status.

The royal family stayed at Osborne for lengthy periods each year: in the spring for Victoria’s birthday, in summer for Albert’s birthday, and in winter for Christmas.

The domestic idyll at Osborne was not to continue. In December 1861, Prince Albert died at Windsor Castle. During her widowhood, Osborne House continued as one of Queen Victoria’s favourite homes, until her death there in 1901.

The house is now a very attractive English Heritage location, being at the same time museum and hosting various events throughout the year. It comprises also a lovely café and a souvenir shop with many attractive items.

For those of you who did not have yet the chance to visit the Isle of Wight, I warmly invite you to spend few sunny days and discover it for yourself. And if you come here take some time to discover this  wonderful house as well. In order to raise your interest I take you on a quick tour. Please enjoy the art objects, the beautiful un-palace-like rooms and the great atmosphere.

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500 words, Adela Galasiu, March 2016

Photos: Osborne House, by Adela Galasiu, February 2016, Isle of Wight, UK

March

A gentle thought to all the women in the world

Mothers and sisters,

Young girls and grandmothers.

March is the month that celebrates you all,

Your kindness and love,

Your beauty and your smiles.

Our life would be nothing without you.

May the ones in your life love and cherish you

As you rightly deserve.

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Photo: Camelia, by Adela Galasiu, February 2016, Isle of Wight, UK.

Reflection

 Outside your glass walls,
You can hear my world’s calls,
But if you look inside you’ll see
A difference between you and me.

Airborne, fireflies reach my sky
Prisoner, your heart wonders why
Nailed to the ground it can’t simply be free
Without a difference, just like me.

You may belong to a paralel world
Where winter’s scorching, summer’s cold
And the reflection’s a bit duller
Than the innitial vivid colour.

Reach out your finger, come and touch
A world of wonder named as such.
Yet if you break it, it won’t be
Just as amazed as you with me.

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100 words, memyselfandela / Adela Galasiu, 2015

Photograph: http://www.texnoworship.com.ar/2014/07/14-mind-bending-reflection-photographs.html

Flux

Motto: In the beginning, the thinker, the feelings and the thought were one. It was bliss.

After a very long conscience sleep, he woke up wondering how he was spending his days. He was mostly trying to predict positive outcomes for his actions, but sadly that was not happening often anymore. As he opened his tired eyes, a heavy headache was hanging in his brain, writhing like an agonising phantom. His mind, populated by thoughts of the way he was spending his time, wondered if actually this was the way he was living his life. Was he living or wasting his life?

Aged 47, he was no longer a young idealistic lad, he had spent almost all his life indoctrinated that only producing and scoring matters. This has dried out his soul, that child soul he used to have that was able to taste, to smell, to feel joy and to abandon himself to the moment of happiness. All that mattered now was who you become, what you have, how much you can produce or how much you know. In the depths of his soul, he could not let go of the memory of being free, feeling, living, enjoying the experience called life. Yet, most of the time, there was no time to enjoy, feel and be happy, there was only time to rush, strive to be better and work. It all felt like chasing up a forever retreating ghost.

He could not help but think that there was a sort of innocence that was taken from him. An awareness and a consciousness that only illuminated people could reach at this time, and there were fewer and fewer of them. Generations of them have died trying to defeat powers beyond their strength.

The reality was cruel. Getting ready for work he feared that again he will have to face the cold domination of the metal race. Hardly any human had a chance to manage all the tasks laid ahead. Hardly any human could take decisions as fast as required or work without a break for 20 hours a day as requested. Exhausted, one by one humans were falling asleep standing and falling apart, while being replaced with clones, with no hearts but with powerful circuits. Soon even the few pushing the buttons in the control room were to be replaced, and a whole race was about to become obsolete. All people had become inhabitants of the same machine, batted constantly around by the same wheels that turn around faster and more painful than ever. The world had become abstract and cold, and the very brain that had created this reality was about to become obsolete in a universe of constant movement and flux.
Just like his ancestors, he had always fought for some reassurance and certainty in life, but generation after generation had failed to find the holy grail of peace. They have all died trying, tortured in a world that had become more and more aggressive, that had forced them to perform and produce more and more. A world that has robbed them of all innocence and all joy. A world in which one could not be present in reality anymore, because of the anxiety, inner torture and stress generated by the survival game. A game that looked very much like the experiments with rats racing desperately through mazes 500 years ago, hoping to find an escape. Yet he realised that he was only alive in this present moment, and by not being able to feel it and experience it he was robbed of all his existence.
That day he was unable to concentrate and work like he used to. The machine has quickly observed the abnormality and has taken him out of the assembly room. In a matter of minutes another, fast and cold, has taken his place. Nobody cared, there was no second chance, all that mattered were the numbers changing fast on the screen of a supervisor.

Broken and defeated he returned to the place he called home. Not a house, but rather a little capsule in a huge hive called now the city. Leaving behind the clay and divinity that created him, the memories of may successive lifetimes flew in front of his eyes for a second. With all the sensitivity encapsulated in his soul, lethargically and agonising , he was slowly dying. A new race , cold an ruthless, was taking his place. Future was there. Metal and circuits have crashed Adam.

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Memyselfandela / Adela Galasiu, January 2016