You’d think decades are long enough to forget or heal, but time is ruthless, both in a second and in eternity.
There’s been a lot of pain but I have finally understood that there’ll never be more hurt than love.
Time hardly moved then, but flows rapidly now, the last grains of sand in the hourglass rushing to catch their own tail.
Past and present reunited in our hearts, your laughter still lingering in my ear like a harmony between the two.
Now I see, there are no more stars, but cracks in Heaven, letting your love shine on me.
———————————————————-Dedicated to my Father, Ioan Galasiu, who went to Heaven 32 years ago ❤️❤️❤️
100 words, Memyselfandela- Adela Clancy-Galasiu, 22 December 2021
Many have posted a tribute to HRH Prince Phillip The Duke of Edinburgh and many would not think much of my words, but I must say that he was truly an extraordinary human being.
Not sure what was the most touching detail for me, but there were many. That he founded the WWF – which I never knew. That he had a vision of saving the wildlife long before anyone else became awaye of it. That he remained the same Navy man till the end, despite of being Consort to The Queen. I’m amazed at how humble he was about his huge charity work, touching mostly young people. He refused a big state funeral – which he would have deserved. He has chosen – despite all his possibilities – to have a Land-Rover for a hearse, telling us all that he remembers the WW2 times and that he was British in his heart. I had a knot in my throat when I’ve seen how he thought of sugar lumps for his ponies and the Russian Kontakion of the Departed at the end of his funeral service, to remind us all that he was born a Christian Orthodox after all and he was truly Royalty himself in his own right (not losing his identity by marrying into the British royal family).
I know many people don’t belive in monarchy, but how could you not bow in respect in front of such dedication? Have you seen many politicians care as much or try to use their resources for good causes like this? What a legacy!
The world needs more people with a great sense of duty, strength and humble kindness. God rest his soul in peace, he has used his nearly 100 years wisely!❤️
Memyselfandela, Adela Clancy-Galasiu, April 2021(more…)
It may sound like a cliche that one should live life as if every day was the last one, but I think we all go through life wasting time, money, wisdom and mostly lots of possibilities to learn and enjoy who we are and what we do. We often forget to be grateful for what was given to us and choose to see what we don’t have, and so life goes by in stress, bitterness, sadness or denial.
I used to deeply mourn the passing of my father and for many years I remembered the pain, loss and anxiety related to that particular moment in time. Each one of us has experienced concentrating on the wrong things I guess, it’s part of the journey. But the other part for me was understanding that a life is not measured in its loss, but in its love and the way it has touched others. It’s not measured in tombstones but in the memories. How we touch others has nothing to do with the length of our physical existence. Nobody disappears, we are all part of the same fabric of time and universe as we know it and as we cannot even fathom it.
I used to feel so sad on this day but in recent years my heart is filled with a very serene peace. This morning the sun woke me up with a surreal shine and I have genuinely felt my father is here, with me, always. I am grateful for his life and love and he is with me in my heart, in my blood, in my soul and in the memories.
Have you lost a beloved one? No, you have not really lost them. Their life is a gift and blessing, rejoice in knowing they are with you, always!
For my dear father Ioan Galasiu with love.
300 words and photos Adela Galasiu, December 22nd 2018
Death and life are a circle
None starts, none ends
They just continue one another.
Hope raises from pain
Growing out of darkness
Like a flower blooming.
Nobody and nothing gets lost
We are all One. We grow, we transform,
All breathing atoms of the same universe.
My hand holding yours
Through relative time and space:
Once I loved you, I’ll love you forever.
63 words, Me, Myself and Ela- Adela Galasiu, 22nd of December 2020, photo Adela Galasiu
Dedicated to my father, Ioan, who went to God 31 years ago, and to all the people I love, have loved and I’ll ever love. We are all One.
I am a bridge over the river,
Towards you, always
Supported by nothing
Only on my soul.
This heartless river
Will smash me into pieces,
I understand my condition,
But you also have to understand it.
I am a bridge over the river,
On my sad pillars,
Towards you always
But you do not exist.
You do not understand that it’s hard for me,
That I’m cold and it is ugly
That I am heavy and fixed
I am a bridge and that is all.
Where I get to go
I am forced to remain
Whether it smells like iron
Whether it smells like hay.
And at once I understand
That I am sad in vain
On my sad pillars
I embrace myself and shiver
You feel what I feel,
More seriously, moreover,
Your permanent crying
I take from you and listen to it.
And I seem to give echo
And resonate in another way,
Stepped over by feet
Like a man, like a bridge.
I am a bridge over the river,
I am a bridge over the walking,
How many winds have written me
How many rains have deleted me.
But you’re not on the shore,
But you’re not with them
But you do not crush me,
You hold me and you drink me.
I am an elevated bridge
Over an uncomfortable river
I am a bridge, you’re a river,
Are you a river, I am a bridge.
Sunt un pod peste rau,
Catre tine mereu,
Pe nimic sprijinit,
Doar pe sufletul meu.
Acest rau nemilos
Ma va sparge-n bucati,
Starea mea o-nteleg,
Dar si tu seama da-ti.
Sunt un pod peste rau,
Pe pilonii mei tristi,
Catre tine mereu,
Insa tu nu existi.
Nu-ntelegi ca mi-e greu,
Ca mi-e frig si urat,
Sunt greoi si sunt fix,
Sunt un pod si atat.
Unde-apuc sa ma duc
Sunt silit sa raman
Ca miroase a fier,
Ca miroase a fan.
Ca sunt trist in zadar,
Pe pilonii mei tristi
Ma cuprind si tresar.
Tu simti tot ce simt eu,
Ba mai grav, ba mai mult,
Plansul tau permanent
Il preiau si il ascult.
Si dau parca ecou
Si vibrez in alt mod,
In picioare calcat
Ca un om, ca un pod.
Sunt un pod peste riu,
Sunt un pod peste mers,
Cate vanturi m-au scris,
Cate ploi m-au tot sters.
Dar tu nu esti pe mal,
Dar tu nu esti cu ei,
Dar tu nu ma strivesti,
Tu ma tii si ma bei.
Sunt un pod ridicat
Peste-un rau incomod,
Sunt un pod, esti un rau,
Esti un rau, sunt un pod.
Adrian Paunescu, Romanian Poet
Translation: Adela Galasiu, 2010
This is a simple story that happened in the moonlight. A story streaming from my own life. A story about a small moment that will remain for life in my memory.
Maybe many of you have a favourite band. And I bet many of you have hoped or dreamed To get the unique moment to meet the vocalist they like so much , or shake hands with the guitarist they consider to be the best in the world- maybe it is not so for others, but it is so for them.
My very favourite Romanian rock band is Luna Amara, a Romanian alternative rock/grunge band. The name means “Bitter Moon” in Romanian, and has been borrowed from the Roman Polanski movie of the same name, inspired by Pascal Bruckner’s novel with the same name.The band was formed by Nick Făgădar (vocals, guitar) and Gheorghe Farcaş (bass guitar) in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, in September 1999, in Romania. I had the chance to listen to them first time live in Sibiu, and I have discovered them much more after I left Romania in 2011.
Luna Amara has played on stage over 200 times in the past years, throughout Romania. As a live act, this Romanian five-piece outfit has a style that combines heavy metal with alternative rock. Luna Amara is also the first Romanian band to introduce the trumpet sound into an Alternative Rock style, a struck of genius in my humble opinion.
All the artists in the band try to dedicate their lives to promote and support a modern European society in Romania. Beyond the poetry in the love songs , their lyrics have often a political message, Luna Amară being also involved in ecological projects such as “Save Vama Veche” (protecting the endangered seahorses), “Save Roşia Montană” (protecting the wildlife and natural surroundings of a mountain area from cyanide poisoning caused by companies that extract gold) and other social awareness projects.
“Luna Amară” is one of Romania’s most successful rock bands and was the top selling artist in a national chain of music stores (Hollywood Music & Film) from July until September 2004. Their songs “Folclor” (“Folklore”), “Gri Dorian” (“Dorian Grey”), “Roşu aprins” (“Scarlet”) and “Ego nr. 4” reached number one in airplay charts at local radio stations around the country.
Throughout the years they have released several albums: “Asfalt” (Asphalt), “Loc lipsă” (Missing Place), “Don’t Let Your Dreams Fall Asleep”(where mainly the acoustic side of the band is underlined), “Pietre in Alb” (Stones in White), “Live la Conti” (Live at Conti). The band performed tours all over Romania in clubs and open air locations as well as shows in the Netherlands, Germany, Bulgaria, Turkey and played live at the Sziget Festival in Budapest.
They may be neither angels, nor heroes, but they are some extremely talented people. It is more than their personal love and feelings decanted in their music, it is also their passion and talent for music. I used to detach myself from stress listening to Deftones, Metallica and Incubus, but they are nowhere near Luna Amara. At least to me, because I am Romanian and Bitter Moon sing the longing and the pain in my native language. But it is not only this. I have discovered such beautiful blue sad profound lyrics attached to their music. They contribute with amazing poetry, not only with extremely versatile sound. Their songs are colourful, they bleed and ache, they are just beautifully alive.
Two years ago when I was back in Romania for few days I have tried desperately to buy their “Stones in White” album, yet no music shop or online store had it available, it was sold out. After a long online research I managed to find a link and I was promised to get the album the next night, when I was going back to Cluj in the evening for my next morning flight back to the UK.
The evening came, I took a taxi and we drove in the evening to the address where the recording studio was. It was a very simple encounter, but it has struck me very profoundly: Nick Fagadar, the founder of Luna Amara, met me almost in the middle of the night because he cared that somebody really wanted to have their album. He handed it to me with a kind smile , he shook my hand like a friend , with no pretentious gestures, and wished me to enjoy the music. I have been truly honoured not only to get the long desired album, but mostly by getting to meet in person the legend behind it.
There was something beautiful that I cannot describe radiating through him as we left him behind. I could not help but smile. The moon was shining, yet this time not bitter, but full of hope and mysterious meanings.
800 words, Memyselfandela , 2015
Memory. One of the strongest muscles in our being. It can contract and ruin your life crushing you underneath or it can gently lift your soul in the light, no matter what life throws at you.
When I was a child my grandmother used to have in a corner of her garden a columbine that used to grow again and again every year. I remember how fascinated I used to be as a little girl by the filigree shape and the delicate yet robust structure of this flower. I could study it day after day when it bloomed or when it’s petals were falling. I used to be very caring with the flowers. And when I say flowers, I mean beings, living creatures that I respected deep in my child’s heart. It never ceased to amaze me and make me happy whenever I saw it, because only there, in that corner of the garden, hidden in shadow under a lilac tree one could have found my columbine. There were no others, it was unique and the neighbours had none. It’s incredible how simple things that adults don’t even notice can be such an awesome thing for a child.
Many years I grew up with the beautiful columbines, studying them as they opened their purple-blue flowers. Columbines meant holiday, freedom and childhood. Not in so many words, but with a warm cosy feeling deep within. Words meant nothing then, only the heart was full of feelings and of a light that an adult is losing somewhere on the way.
This year I was contemplating my bare garden, frozen and with no trace of life. Then suddenly an incredible invisible force, a singular touch of grace has awaken the life in the sleeping buds and wrinkled flowers that rose their heads and stretched their beings in the warm sunshine. Then mesmerised I have discovered hundreds of columbines.
Is it God’s message that life is beautiful and full of diversity on a multitude of layers at the same time? Or is it just a cosmic coincidence? No matter what it is, it has brought back to me that warm cosy feeling in the midst of a busy life full of stress. The morning when I saw the columbines bloom I felt how one must feel when they win the lottery. To others this means nothing. To me it means the return to innocence.
400 words, memyselfandela, June 1st 2015
Photo: Adela Galasiu, May 2015
It was a cold winter afternoon when the news of losing her husband had struck her worst than the lightning. Shocking. Scary. Heartbreaking. Cruel. This news never comes easy, but there was a sense of cruelty in the easiness with which the words have been spoken by her brother in law who did not even realize that it was not his father John that had been found dead, but his brother John, who happened to have the same name but who has been living at a completely different address. It was ironic that he did not understand the obvious when he received that fatidic phone call, but when she heard about it, she was the only one who did understand. In that moment of truth, in the presence of her daughter, her whole universe has crumbled in a moment. Her child has stood still by the sound of her excruciating loud scream, a voice of despair never heard before. A scream announcing a lot of suffering.
Then came a long time of waiting for the confirmation of her loss, most probably the longest night in her life. They had gone to bring back home his dead body and she was helpless, she had to wait with her child for the moment when she would see him dead with her own eyes. Her heart was broken in two. Her mind was telling her that he was gone, yet her soul refused to accept it and hung on any glimpse of hope. She tried to phone and find out more, she tried to get help from people around, yet nobody seemed to care and all others seemed to stay out of this tragedy that was left only on her shoulders. When there’s pain, nobody seems to want to know it, all seem to turn their back and refuse to be close to it. A solitude understood only by the hurt ones.
With her family hundreds of miles away, she had spent a whole terror night hiding in a corner of the flat, finding comfort only in embracing her daughter while whispering through the tears “it cannot be him, no, he is not dead…Yes, it is him, it can only be him living at our address… no, it cannot be him…” An agony that would have gone unknown to anyone but God. Sounds of bullets fired outside the building, in the near proximity and in a distance, have tormented the whole night. A night of such an acute solitude and emptiness that she nearly lost her mind.
Making it through the madness of what is now known as the Romanian Revolution in 1989, her brothers and sisters have defied any fear and have taken all the same train, coming to bring the deserved consolation for the soul that did not have the strength to express the loss and pain anymore. Their embrace was similar to the wing of an angel covering a broken soul.
His soul was still floating among us while we were crying by his side while we were saying goodbye. In a little village church lit up by many candles, on Christmas day, in that small room full of a whole community of relatives and neighbours, he must have seen his wife kissing his forehead for the last time and his daughter being taken away while reaching her hand for the last time towards him as they were nailing the top of his coffin. He must have known he was loved and missed. He must know he is loved till the end of time.
It is all very vivid in my memory. People say time makes memories fade, yet this memory stays the same, it opens in my mind with the same brightness of a light that suddenly illuminates a very dark room. It was and still is painful. Yet it is also the loving memory of my beloved father. It is also the love for my dear precious mother, a woman who has been through so much in life. I was the witness, I was the child, and somewhere in my heart , at this time of the year, I still am. Back there, 25 years ago.
She had not written for many days, weeks, months, it felt rather like eons. Struck by a fierce silence, she didn’t find the words any more. Painful silence, coming from deeper than the words can say. From deep within where thoughts do not have time or do not dare to descend in normal days that gallop worst than wild horses. Life seems to have stopped and unfolded in front of her eyes with a sort of cruelty that she did not know how to swallow. Cruelty or acute sarcasm. As if life itself would have smiled at her with half a face and smashed her badly with a slap coming from the opposite side.
Yes, life is sarcastic and unfair. Who told you that there are happy ending stories? There may be many fairy tales, but not many real happy endings. She did her best to make things happen but at some point she understood that she has no power over life itself, that life is a far bigger force than she can even understand with her mind and that all she can do is to accept with humiliation that in some ways she has lost the battles long before they have even begun.
Shredded often between her beautiful imagination and the cruel reality, she had learned that the most powerful thing one can do in this life is to survive. And the most crazy to dream. She has never dared to lay on paper all her thoughts, out of fear that if she would have done so, maybe the whole reality would have cracked over her. Yet in moments when nobody noticed her, she has dared to close her eyes and without a word to imagine a parallel world where everything was different than in this one.
There was in the end no lesson she could have cascaded on others. No great wisdom and no big prise. She had only learned that she knew nothing and as such, she stopped talking about life. She stopped complaining and equally she stopped rejoicing. She had reached a state of acceptance that was similar to the shell of a tortoise, trying to keep the very core of her far away, deeply hidden from any pain.
In an untold resilience her spirit has lost many other souls, even the ones she has loved the most. Their voice has faded just as sudden as it has made itself heard. Their presence has stopped shining a warmth of goodness and joy in her existence. Yet she was adamant she did not lose them completely and she will once again have the blessing of meeting them all. In her fantasy at least.
On the corner of a little table hidden in a tea room where nobody stopped today because of the horrible weather, she broke her silence, but allowed the secrets to remain in the deep hidden corners of her soul, brewing there, unknown to others, yet ready to emerge one day, truly full of magic.
500 words, memyselfandela, November 2014
You can reach from your distant world
my caged sea of dreams
and my head resting on your sands, in a thought.
Hungry eyes gaze full of unspoken stories
lost in this wind, flying, diving, jumping
in this phase of time that belongs to us.
Memories, white and blue
embrace your bones, fill up my breath
dissolving in this finest infusion of light.
Poți atinge din lumea ta îndepărtată
mare mea de vise incuiate
și capul meu rezemat pe nisipurile tale, într-un gând.
Ochi înfometați privesc plini de povești nespuse,
pierduți în acest vânt, zburand, scufundându-se, sărind
în această fază a timpului care ne aparține.
Amintiri, albe și albastre,
îmbrățișeaza oasele tale, umplu respirația mea
dizolvandu-se în aceasta minunata infuzie de lumină.
63 words, memyselfandela/ Adela Galasiu June 2014
Photo: Adela Galasiu, May 2014
After 2 months of waiting here is the episode where I had the honour of sharing my story too. My contribution is dedicated to my beloved father, Ioan Galasiu and to Gershwin’s beloved Rhapsody in Blue. Many thanks BBC Radio 4. Adela Galasiu, 2014
Yesterday lovely Nicola Humphries, BBC producer and wonderful woman with a big heart, has given me the opportunity to tell a story.
It has all started with my beloved Rhapsody in Blue and Gershwin, but for me this represents the tip of my soul iceberg. I have dived very deep in my past to the times when I was a happy child. I have spoken about life in the Communism, oppression, the tragic death of my father which has coincided with the beginning of the Romanian Revolution on the 22 of December 1989. I have tried to describe life as it was, but time was short and words don’t come always easy. I have had moments when my mind has frozen and when I could not find my words as in the back of my eyes I have kept my tears, because I cannot get back in some moments in time without feeling again all that intense pain.
I am in love with music because it has always been for me a gate to freedom and a window of hope in the darkest moments. I have remembered the most intense moments that I have lived and witnessed, the blood on the streets of Sibiu, the fear when people were shot, the agony of not knowing what was happening with my father when he did not come back home, the death striking my family when we have least expected, the love and the absolute loss.
I may be different than other people given the intensity of situations that I have lived, things that could have made other people get insane. I have been through things that normally do not happen to other people. Those have been moments that have not destroyed me, but made me stronger. This is one of the reasons why I write and I have started my blog. I believe that despite all pain, beyond all loss, life is both a path and a fight. We can all create a better path and win our battle. I truly believe that none of us should give up, that we should all have peace of mind and hope in our heart for the day to come. I believe it because I have been myself on the edge of despair and I have looked into the abyss of depression many times in my life.
As I came out of the BBC I have entered the Church of All Souls. I believe nothing is accidental. I have been not given the chance to speak about me alone, but the chance to recall and mention my mother, my father, my love, my loss, my hope. Maybe it was a way of setting myself free and closing a deep pain of the past, a bleeding succession of losses that I have lived with for a long time.
500 words, memyselfandela, February 2014
Photos: Adela Galasiu, February 2014
Many thanks to wonderful Nicola Humphries and BBC 4, Soul Music.
The absolute solitude embraces the caryatids but has not forgotten the smile in your eyes.
I spend my days with my rebel freedom, with the stone kings and the frozen time.
Life continues to pulsate in the depths of my heartless veins.
On the same stairs where you were holding my hand
The rain has replaced the sound of your footsteps beside me.
Your wish for happiness has not yet extinguished my soul.
I write like a lunatic on the corner of every table I happen to find,
In the silent places where I have once been with you.
Lunatic. Yes, I am a lunatic. The absolute lunatic for loving you.
111 words, memyselfandela, February 2014
Entwined on spiritual levels.
Our aetheric bodies
We are souls inhabiting here
Physical bodies for a glimpse.
Beyond all this experience
We are all
Photo: Adela Galasiu – On the Stairs of the Church of All Souls, Regent Street, London
At some point in my past I made a bet that I will be able to see more than 100 cinema movies. The bet was meant for this year but I think I have seen more than 100 movies every year anyway. So as the time goes by I will honour this bet on my own and I will share with you my movie experience and thoughts.
Here are the movies seen this year so far:
1. Rush (2013)
2. Escape Plan (2013)
3. Carrie (2013)
4. Walking with Dinosaurs (2013)
5. The Hobbit (2013)
6. Paranormal Activity (2014)
7. American Hustle (2013)
8. Frozen (2013)
9. Blue Jasmine (2013)
10. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)
11. Epic (2013)
12. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
13. Delivery Man (2013)
14. Last Vegas (2013)
15. Mr Peabody and Sherman (2014)
16. 12 Years a Slave (2013)
17. I, Frankenstein (2014)
18. Out of the Furnace (2013)
19. Saving Mr Banks (2014)
20. Jack Ryan : Shadow Recruit (2014)
And the journey continues…
New page dedicated to the cinema: The Movie Bet
Tonight I could write the saddest poem of all, yet I choose not to.
Lights draw constellations for muses and the skies have stars in their eyes.
I loved him and often he loved me too.
Just as love is eternal, he once belonged to my ardent kisses.
On nights like this he held me in his arms.
He kissed me so many times under infinite blues.
Tonight I write this poem left glowing in the dark:
Not one of pain, but the one of a love full of passion.
90 words, memyselfandela, 2014
Behind the fences of my soul
Where foxes did not need to hunt
And hares lived in bliss
I had grown you my garden of roses.
The wolf and the lamb in my heart
Were living always together,
No affliction or fear had come upon them
In the quiet shelter of this world.
You have come and then left like a thief
Greedily taking my defenses
, merciless crushing my peace.
Now that I’m broken and cold like a dying stone,
Away from all sanctuary, my heart blooms your last rose.
Photos: Adela Galasiu
90 words, memyselfandela, 2014
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
Most people don’t know that I used to be, many years ago, a movie devourer. And when I say this I mean it. My love for movies has started when my late father started to take me to the cinema. In a communist country one could not see much on TV, but what was extraordinary in those times was that people were getting tickets to the “Cinemateca”, a cinematographic phenomenon that has impregnated my memories from early childhood. I remember going with my parents and seeing many art movies, western movies and movies one could have never got to see on TV.
Many years later I have rediscovered the cinematography dream as the communism has died and the Romanians were able to get free access to any movie one could dream of. Throughout the years I must have watched hundreds of movies of all genres. Then life took it’s toll and I didn’t have the time for this passion till recently when I got back to my roots.
One of the movies I have seen not a long time ago (but long after being released) is “The Book of Eli”. And what I made of it is a very personal statement and very subjective thing.
It is a post-apocalyptic tale, in which a lone man fights his way across America in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind. “The Book of Eli” is not a commercial movie. It has griped my attention throughout the story and it has thrown at me some surprise moments that have made everything in the entire movie more surreal.
Eli, a lone wanderer, has been walking west across the devastated landscape of America for 30 years, on his way to the sea. 30 years is a lifetime. 30 years is a metaphor. 3 is a sacred number, a divine number and 30 is almost the age a man should have had in order to be considered an adult in the Old Testament. This speaks to me of the path of a man in a hard life, of the sacrifices one needs to make just to find his way.
How does Eli know he’s walking the right way? “Faith,” he says. This simple reply takes on added resonance later in the film. But also speaks volumes to those that think that life is more than just a physical existence. If life has a greater purpose and we all have a destiny, the difficult and dry part of it is to actually find that purpose and fight for it.
Eli is indeed a great fighter as he needs to be in order to survive after witnessing the catastrophe that has wiped out most of the Earth’s population and left behind ruin, desolation, victimized humans and roaming motorcycle gangs of hijackers and thieves. The Hughes brothers, Albert and Allen, film this story in sunburned browns and pale blues, creating a dry and dusty world under a merciless sky. Water is treasure. There’s no exuberance in this world, only survival. There’s no great joy in Eli’s life, maybe only the solemn joy of reading his book and hearing music long forgotten by most others. This wasteland Eli treks at an implacable pace. Set upon in an ambush, he kills all his attackers. He’s got one of those swords that makes a unique noise all by itself, so you can consider him a one-man army.
Washington and the Hughes brothers do a good job of establishing this man and his world, and at first, “The Book of Eli” seems destined to be solemn. But then Eli arrives at a Western town ruled by Carnegie , who, like all the local bosses in Westerns and gangster movies, sits behind a big desk flanked by a tall bald guy and, of course, a short scruffy one. In this town, desperate and starving people live in rusty cars and in the streets. We meet Carnegie’s abused wife Claudia and her daughter Solara, a prostitute in Carnegie’s bar. He controls everybody by fear and manipulation.
Carnegie needs Eli because he has maybe the last remaining copy of a book believed to allow the expansion and rule over many more towns. “RELIGION IS POWER” Carnegie says, and this phrase makes it even more clear that we talk about the last Bible on the face of Earth and about the thirst of domination rising in the human mind.
The third act seems to be taken out of many Westerns in which the hero and the girl hole up and are surrounded. That allows countless beams of sunlight to shine in the dusty atmosphere and work as a metaphor. It can be the hope in the darkness of soul and mind. It can be breaking the rules and going beyond Eli’s limits to make a dream and life mission come true. The image of Eli walking numb by the side of the street after being shot reminds of the incredible resistance of the human spirit in the worst conditions.
Populated by a vivid imagery , the movie has a magnificent ending , unpredictable and almost implausible, breaking apart from the movie and having a life of its own. The human mind and soul can be the carrier of a dream. The dream of transmitting a message to another generation, the dream of a better world born out of ashes. If there’s a message at the end of this movie that can only be that hope never dies and one should never give up his dream.
930 words, memyselfandela, January 2014
Come back Love, I have waited for you an eternity. I will wait till I’ll have no more reason to be…
Where I sit,
my windows burst with agony
only traces left of the sunshine.
Screams of pain,
from the bleeding heart within
from my dying fire,
life in a crude acknowledgement
and in the oblivion of my aching mind.
but all is left is this day,
What is dull for others
is a deep dive in the consciousness for me,
my long-lost confession from deserted lives,
memories filling the deep blue sea
as a storm,
scratching lines on my face
and crevasses in my soul,
harbours of quiet
where sometimes only a lost echo
It is through this singular beauty,
the spark inside the chaos,
that I now witness
the only path that represents
I am consciousness.
Hanged like a shroud
the sight of a life lived
an escape from this colourless dimension
through the fire that burns deep inside every breath.
Madness it is, yet it is life
above just a carcass, into the soul
erasing all negative just to give life to life itself.
When I will finally open my windows
my silence will flood the outer universes
and my ardent heart
will cast far away the song of this ephemeral moment
so that my reflected souls outside
will know that we only had this day
Thank you Andre, Vandana and Luna Amara.
222 words, Memyselfandela, January 2014
God, have mercy, let it rain today,
My heart is so black, like my mind in ways.
Oh , there was a time when I could feel his taste.
His smiling eyes before me, tears down my face.
Sin for sale. Lover, will it feed your need?
Tell me, why you planted all these devil’s seeds?
What is now the truth? Can we get it back?
It’s was on the inside but you lost it’s track.
What was clean and pure is now left outside
On these paths of living we walk without guide.
What you knew and hid kills our frail tomorrow.
Bring your love back, lover, I may die of sorrow.
Bring life back, reborn, wash my love with tears
Be not scared to feel, love above all fears.
memyselfandela, January 2014
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.
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