"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

Short Prose


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Letter

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Words streaming from the heart that used to know her, a piece of paper bearing the trace of his feelings. It did hurt her but in her soul she was still in love, she was still there in time, in his arms. It did break her but her mind was still touching his as she thought of him. And no matter what she could still reach him, no matter where he was now. Life has never broken her love. He was away. He was on his own way carved through life. On his way. Maybe on his way back one day.

100 words, memyselfandela, September 2013

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Journey

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Childhood. Life seemed to be the easiest thing,with endless possibilities like the countless shades of color trapped in his iris that curiously expanded at the sight of all the marvels around him. Time had millions of tunes, millions of facets, millions of open doors for the brave heart of a young boy seeking for answers and treasures that he suspected all kept intentionally away from him. Roaming through the immensity surrounding him the days were unveiling more and more mysteries created just to fill up his thirsty mind. Life was his, life was beautiful and full of hope and wonder.

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Maturity. Many of his old childish questions have been answered, yet this did not manage to satisfy his mind and soul. He was convinced that life is more and that asking the right question might bring him the answer that owned the whole universe. In the middle of his existence time meant more, as he realized that he had already wasted too much of it. Life was carved according to his own choices and hesitations and remained a force he was still fighting with while holding on to the few impossible crazy dreams he never gave up on his way.

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Old age. As it conquered his being he felt how he had lost most of the battles. He felt alone and misunderstood for years till one morning when, while sipping his coffee, he had the epiphany of his own fleeting existence. With wide open eyes and with life still flowing through his veins he understood that he meant nothing on his own but an instant, a little wheel in a huge mechanism, a second in which the whole universe was glimpsing at his own image trying to photograph the experience lived in a form of life not yet tried before.

300 words, memyselfandela, September 2013

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A Million Shades of Blue

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

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Beautiful

It was flowing, vivid, all over my back. Warm. Dribbling. Unceasingly. Waking me up from the tiredness. Waking me up from my own death. Lingering on my spine. Giving me the shivers. Flowing , caressing my skin, and from my skin penetrating inside my tired bones, and from my bones penetrating like an echo in my very soul, echo lingering between the end and beginning of me and between the walls of my solitude… The shower revived me, but it was a fading reminder of your hand. Your hand, lingering in my soul. Your hand, touching decaying flesh but ending in the core of what I used to remember as being me.

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Life is a flow. It has been a lot of emotion flooding. It has been a lot of tears drowning me. It has been a lot of paddling alone on a sea of solitude. From the moment I opened my eyes without worries in this world to the point where I was scattered in million painful pieces wondering each if they still belong together or if they should stay forever apart. Life is a flow, just like the time. The time in the sand glass has ended. I have turned it. Now all flows backwards, now my heart fills up with the touch of your longing hand.

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In the dark corner of a lost pub we are listening to seagulls screaming on the quay. The waves kiss passionately roaring behind metal bars imagined to keep us safe. An old couple eats supper while we share the taste of light and color. It smells like chocolate brownies and vanilla ice cream. It tastes like heaven and rain, like beads of sweat on your upper lip melted  by my lips kissing your very soul. It smells like heaven and you smile beautiful like a rainbow.

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300 words, memyselfandela, August 2013

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Divorce (in stereo)

You have given her the best years of your life, yet in the end she never seemed to understand you at all. And being unhappy made you think of all the good times you used to share and wonder why the hell you now feel like trapped in an endless nightmare. You don’t dream much, and even when you do it’s all about the things you’d love to still do, but cannot because of being married. Un-happily ever after.

If you’d have to make the top ten of what you dream to do again it would sure sound like this:

1. Sleep without being waken up every 5 minutes because you snore too loud
2. Be able to buy all you want without arguing with her about prices
3. Being able to watch the football finale and peacefully drink your beer
4. Being able to go only with the kids in the amusement park and actually have loads of fun
5. Spend time with the boys without hearing her complain about the chores not done
6. Leave the pile of dirty dishes in the sink without having a scandal in the end
7. Flirting with the hot chick next door without worrying about your wife
8. Go out in the clubs like in the good old times and get back drunk and happy early in the morning
9. Getting laid as often as you want, no strings attached
10. Finally enjoy the freedom you never had with your parents, never had afterwards, never had with her, and keep it.

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My share of this joint post is aimed to the people that had never considered divorce… murder sometimes, but never divorce.

Railing about nothing. Getting pissed-off over anything and everything. Day by day, year by year, grinding. Goading. Endless goading. It became a cheap contest. And once you got into it, it became habitual. You couldn’t seem to get out. You almost didn’t want to get out. And then you did get out. All the way. Your partner has thrown a plastic bag with some underwear and the toothbrush and put you on the street. Is it your fault, his/her or the government? Doesn’t matter! Nothing really wrong! Hell, you’d even failed with your partner. The groom should not see you in the dress just before the wedding, that’s bad luck. You know what’s worst luck? Is getting married, itself. I’ve read studies. It’s like 2 out of 3 of those end in divorce, sometimes more. 3 out of 2, some. OK. The fact is that you return to live alone. Or with your mother. You got all the freedom, but curiously your morale is at rock bottom. You have back your freedom, and you don’t want it. Your new status:

DIVORCED.

So now what?

I’m not going to advice you on what to do after you face the inevitable question: is there life after divorce? No, I’m not. My only advice for a person who’s just fallen out of a skyscraper window is, flap your arms…faster. I’d rather share some (ten) ideas about what not to do…

1. Always remember never to use two words: always and never.
2. Married or merry? Single people either get boring, or they stay divorced.
3. Don’t wish the death of your ex. They never die when you want them to.
4. If you found your partner in bed with the milkman, it won’t be a solution that you never take milk in the tea.
5. Avoid negative thoughts as: If a tree falls in the forest and kills your ex, what do you do with the lumber?
6. Don’t plan a divorce party. A divorce party… is that really better than a wedding party?
7. In the future don’t trust your pastor anymore. Pastor McFucking Bride this … Pastor McFucking Bride that. Fuck him!
8. Do not think you’re a unique case, a disgrace with two legs. No, you were unfaithful and so was your partner, just like any other normal couple.
9. Do not drink bleach.
10. Do not wait 15 days to bring laundry to your mom’s home.

Bonus: Don’t believe anything you read on the net. Except this. Well, including this, I suppose.

Divorce (in stereo) – By Ela and Dugutigui ( http://damantigui.wordpress.com)

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Only One

Only OneMany people feel isolated and unable to connect with others because of previous negative experiences, depression, shyness or simply because of not finding someone that shares the same interests. In an ocean of personalities we have all some similarities, but no matter how much we resemble, we are unique.
Taking the photograph of this beautiful foxglove reminded me of this uniqueness. Among hundreds of purple foxgloves, this was the only white one. People that are a bit out of the so called “norm” are often not understood or appreciated. Though in my opinion they are the most beautiful and amazing.

100 words, memyselfandela – August 2013

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100 Words and a Kiss

“The mouth is made for communication, and nothing is more articulate than a kiss.” Dugutigui

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People speak so many words in order to express feelings, yet I gave up on words when I realized that verbalization tends to often be a waste. I don’t believe in words anymore. Sure they’re beautiful, but there is a huge difference between saying and doing things. Like the difference between the cold perfect roses bought in a flower shop only on Valentine’s day and the simple wild rose picked from a fence and brought as a surprise in the evening just to steal a kiss from your lover. You see, it’s true, nothing is more articulate than a kiss.

100 words, memyselfandela – August 2013

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300

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Her arms open like the wings of a butterfly as she draws colors nobody has ever lived. People pass her by, but stop for a moment to see the shade of sadness hidden in her broken gypsy smile. People come and go while she imagines universes turning round and round like ticking clocks spinning in the tip of her lost apostle finger, while she tries to recreate out of color and dust the lost paradise. Lost like her thoughts, lost on an island that she never reached, a place where her heart would find finally a breath of rest.

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Her dress, her black dress, she hated it so. She hated how it made her feel. She hated how he made her feel. She hated all she tried to be for him. She hated that she loved him. She hated to see him write about that dress, using her presence as an inspiration for his stories and phantasies, while she was bleeding inside. She hated him and all the women he was talking to, she hated him with the same passion she has once loved him. Her dress was black that night, mourning for her broken heart and wasted love.

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I have died one night. I have only died so I can learn how to fly. And my greatest dream was to fly over the sea to you. On the beach, where you lay your body and shadow, I rest my head next to you. I try to feel the warmth of your bare feet but I can’t anymore. I try to lay my body next to you, but you don’t even see me there. Yet I look at you, breathing and gazing far away, and the light that fills up your soul flows through me too. And I smile.

300 words, memyselfandela – August 2013

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Rhapsody in Blue – Be Passionate, Be True, Be You!

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.

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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

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The Sound of Missing You

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The sun paints a last trace of life before dying in agony. With it’s last drops of shadow it lingers under my tired eyes.

I carry within the memory of what love used to be. I can still hear our fading steps on the same old roads, on the same grey pavement. I can still feel your arm tight around my waist and your laughter.

Near me other couples chat like we used to, holding hands, blessed to not know how futile and doomed this moment of happiness is, sentenced to only live for a glimpse in time.

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I was a fool to believe that you can make a choice. No. I chose you. The one you really are, not the one that hides his face. The one in which I believe, not the one that never believes in himself.

Darkness rises all around. In thoughts, in the shivering cold, in the unspoken emptiness. My once loving heart bleeds at the thought that you’re gone, yet nobody can take me the smile that you used to have in your eyes.

Maybe in your dimension you dance now with other masked faces and other smiles give you a passing smile. Yet deep inside you will never find your path on your own, there’s no path without love.

**

Rain strikes my cheek like your fingers once used to, falling cold, quenching the marks left by your ardent kisses. My lips whisper the shadows of the same name that never ceased to linger in my mind since I last saw you.

Countless prayers go your way, but you don’t even know it. If I would have stepped off the edge of my life I would still have never found you, for you are far, much further than my thought can reach to kiss you good night.

Memories of a madman fill up the sky as I lay myself to sleep. But even in my dream there will only be this burning love that has never ended.

***

333 words, memyselfandela, January 2014

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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.

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500 words, memyselfandela  January 2014

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This is only a small part of my prose. The journey continues…

Ela

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