17 februarie 2012

7 days to... Eternity

The World needed 7 days to be alive
How much time do We need to become immortals?

Day seven:

When I was at age 5, my Grandfather started teaching me to read. A non-subversive newspaper called “Scânteia”, delivered every day but Sundays. Since then, the postman never asked twice „Is anybody home?”, because was me the new official receiver of the grey-communist-(news)paper every morning... Since then, I really need to contemplate only full of colour pictures and I hate the smell of... press. Since then, I started to become... Me.
But in few months, even the alphabet didn’t had secrets anymore, my true love has remained my grandmother’s stories and songs, the green grass in the courtyard... after the rain, the tallest branches of the St. Julian’s tree and, more than anything, the childhood games played with my 3 year old little brother...
When the first dark was coming, I wasn’t afraid. Not at all. That time, my soul’s garden was enlightened only by guardian angels. It was Monday... or, better, My Day.

Day six:

Asking my Grandpa  “What is death?”, maybe was the most painful question ever asked... Perhaps... because I started to feel myself too much “alive” and with no duties. 
But... his answer, relentless, was coming: “Death isn’t the end of life!”
“And it will come when?” I was adding another black point on my scatter-brained but... innocent list.
“We don’t know... Maybe tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow. The essential is... to be prepared”.
“Prepared for what, Grandpa?! I’ve insisted.
“Prepared to remain here... only in our children’s hearts.”

Day five:

Suddenly, I realized I like white. It was early in the teenage(ring) morning, and my two brown windows view was “high-definition”. But... discovering the world’s changeable landscapes wasn’t my favourite investigation. So, with this too much white perspective, I have preferred to become blind face of all outdoors issues and to pin to my journey... mind map another itinerary: books.
My return to letters was meant to be the end of the seconds and minutes and the start of The Real Time. The... “ten-years-before” my grandpa’s teaching enclosed me like a jasmine hedge, and I think that was my very first victory against so... many future attacks of mediocrity. The only one uncommitted relationship, but so innocent...  Books! 
Soon after... the first love has come... And... my boyfriend’s.... the most beautiful black eyes I’ve ever seen, with silk petals reflected in...  reduced to ashes the meaning of dark for me... ‘Till the end of Time I will love the stunning black letters and the devastating... white roses...

Day four:

I really like the Orson Welles films. About „Citizen Kane”, called „the best movie of all time” or „the greatest film ever made” is nothing more to add... And, if some old people will remember, the ’40s global loss of perspective is, no doubt, about the start of this „Citizen Kane” American cinema production with... such unexpected XXI century lightning future...
The Second World War. 1941. All 5 continents in chaos: the capture of Libya by Australian troops; the invasion in Greenland and Iceland of United States Army; the surrender of Yugoslavia and Greece to Germany; the Britain’s 5 o’clock tea (after few days in fire) in Iraq and Syria; many  European countries (Italy, Romania, Hungary, Finland) in war against USSR and... the apocalyptic December 7th: the Jap’s attack against the American naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii... And, do not forget! 1941 was the... bloody damn (literary!)... year with so many deaths and so unusefuls n*double axis, tripartite pacts or fake neutrality conferences... And, it was only one year of the Second World War. 1941. The worst.
But, after all, we will remain with... the picture of Citizen Kane. We can feel it like the second picture of Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray... Same world, another mirror. This time, a black and white one.
I don’t even know if my own generation had the ability to see under the stage and behind the characters... To watch, not only to see. But, my dear friends, we have enough time to observe again! The history repeats itself. Maybe the epoch is other, but the facts... are cloned.
And... We are all the poor disciples of that Citizen Kane. Maybe... not millionaires like he was... but, after death, we will have the same honour to be described: „I hate him! I love him! He's a scoundrel! He's a saint! He's crazy! He's a genius!" Some will call us heroes. Others, heels...

1941. The Second World War, for my Grandfather, too. The Night of Orthodox Easter on Fântâna Albă, in Bucovina. First, eating the red traditional painted eggs and drinking a glass of red wine and after, the blood baptism. For many army comrades, that 1941 Jesus Christ Resurrection Night was the last one in their life.
On June 21, 1941, my Grandfather was there, fighting for the conquest of Odessa, the lost princess of our lands... Only few hours before the invasion of USSR by the German Army... The operation code name: Barbarossa!
He smiles now and he talks about the red-yellow-blue Romanian flags and about the white horses parade... But I know... The war wasn’t just a parade!...  ‘Till December 7th, Day of Pearl Harbor's disaster, for my Grandfather was the hell of Caucaz, Crimee, Eastern Don River and Stalingrad. And, the hell of that terrible winter with endless fields of snow!... And he was scout, in the Romanian Army, my Grandpa’!...
So... The 1941 celluloid black & white image of “Citizen Kane”... it represents nothing, after all...

Day three:

Do you know what’s the most difficult thing in this world? To choose. To choose not to burn but to be alight. This is the difference, that makes the rule. I understand now, better than ever, the meaning of God’s words... No one who is half-hearted will remain alive, in the time of times. Only the one capable to be on fire, to burn down... will be immortal.
I was always thinking: keeping a clear conscience is the only one way to remain a human being, to have a soul in one-piece. And this is maybe... the assurance of Eternal Life, of Salvation. But I must admit, too: my life was pretty much in a fireworks party. And this... not to celebrate something, but to burn so... easily. Just... to burn.
It was like yesterday, but now I realize: most of my party candles were sold for death. With no normal and right and legitimate price. With no price at all. Some people may call this confusion. Others, may define it... as a form of nihilism.
What is now for sure, it’s time to choose a side. Another War is coming...

Day two:

Once, one of my students asked me: „How do we know what was the author’s purpose and message, when he wrote the poem, the short story or the novel? And... why we must have this insolence of interpretation? We have no right to judge someone’s dreams, ideas and illusions... using our own convictions!”
After a few self-reflexive moments, I have answered: „We don’t know for sure, we can suppose what was the author’s message for us, the readers of his words. But we analyse the social and the cultural facts of that time, and we may have a clue about the meaning. After all, this is the object, the function of literature as... art. Mimesis and catharsis: to create a double, an imitation of reality and, after, to reach the purification trough the creation... ”



"Peace" (facebook album)

But then... I was so... wrong! That was a pagan and a dangerous answer. Today, I have another. A good one, because now I know: all life is a parable. A lesson. A God’s sign for humans. To learn how to make every step on His Way. We don’t know the Truth, but He is above us, and He teach us. Isn’t important walking in the sand fields, on the rocks or on the water; the history will judge us by the metaphysical footprints we have left behind. Our... doings!

So... Don’t waste your time making critical examinations on someone else’s words! The Others’ experiences may not have... signification for you! Live your own life! The Truth is one, and every interpretation goes far from Him! Just live, with no stylistic purposes, with no metaphorical wanderings! The life isn’t a flourish!... In fact, I am sure now, the LIFE is a white cerement, a shroud which must be, at the end, without wrinkles...

Live your life! And forget about... literature!

Day one:

My goddaughter, Ana-Maria (7), asked me: „Nana, my ear hurts!... Why?” I didn’t understand her question, and I’ve made another: „Which one?”

How stupid I am! How do I explain to a child the nature of pain?! And... what’s important: the place of pain or the pain itself? What severe and pathogenic ignorance on my part! Maybe I will never get healed...

...Hope’ it isn’t now too late... to offer an answer for my beloved little girl, I will say: „Because your soul’s garden is enlightened by many guardian angels, you have only this ear pain. When people grow up, the suffering become awful and they may even... lose their minds. Off the record... the adults may lose their minds all time... and they got no reason... (Perhaps, except the... regrets).”

Maybe tomorrow I will say much more to you... There is no pain in this world that we can’t overcome. Just remember the 1st Corinthians 12:12 sentence: ”For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.” The time we understand we are with Christ, there is no pain on the earth to suffer from... and not to be healed by Him!

As for my godson, Constantin-Leon (5): „Nana, can you see what I’ve done? A little Lego robot... He is cute, but I’ve lost one of his two head antennas and I can’t let him have just one”...

I’ve said: „But is no problem at all... It will be an only-one-antenna-robot, different from the others and even... more nice-looking... I know so many people who have <only-one-antenna>, not two, like the others... And they look very happy living their own... only-one-antenna life”... Leo started to laugh... and after, I saw him preparing the little robot to begin his life’s journey with the only-one-antenna guidance. By his own standards!

But for me, this sweet event took another meaning...

We represent a generation with no direction and with no sense of orientation. Yes, it’s true! We live in a XXI century who destroys the individual and proclaims the power of globalization. But... the one who allows this intrusion into his own intimacy and... even into  his own personality, is the MAN himself. The 21st C. is The Robotic Age and the man is for sure unseasonable in this now writing... and maybe... this non-historical time. And it happens to be the picture of all +16-year-old people. Without exceptions!

We run down, in the night, a... one-way-street. And the opposite side is... The Way to Truth.


Today, is a time to ask again my Grandfather, after 30 years: „What is death?” and he gives me the same answer “It isn’t the end of Life!” But, considering I’m not a child anymore and ... in the meantime... I was growing up...  he completes: „It’s just the Beginning...”

Now, on my Grandfather’s 95th Birthday, I have a new question. But this time, it is for me, not for him: „Why He is still my unchanged childhood icon, even I am not THE SAME?”

Today, for the first time in my life, I understand the meaning of  “And it will come when?” Now, that 30 years ago early answer „Maybe tomorrow, maybe the day after... The essential is to be prepared”... makes me feel Complete.

Do you know why? Because God gave me... my Grandfather, as one of the most precious gifts! And... his "day after tomorrow"... is not here... yet.

And I will have no fear anymore... Even if... all questions will be empty, all answers, wrong and all analysis, vain. Even if... every white petal will die, little by little, in the dark eyes of my memory, and my babyhood sweet black cherry tree will become a shadow, I will know at the end: Is no War on the world to make us forget what means “Prepared to remain here... only in our children’s hearts.”

This is the first week of the 96th year in my Grandfather’s life. Definitely, a few days ago, the word „tomorrow” had one signification for the Romanian father of 6 daughters, and another for the US actress and singer, the winner of 6 Grammy Awards. The first, started his early 96. The second, finished her later 48’s. On the same day...
But... Does Time really exist? And... what Existence is...? All I know... Everyone has his own Bell. The essential is... To Be Prepared! Yes, the World needed 7 days to be „alive” but the poor man received from The Almighty and All Powerful...Life in Eternity.



This week, I’ve been dreaming, on two different nights, about my Grandmother (returned to God 6 months ago, the 30th of July 2011, at age 84)... I don’t know if these two signs were coming as an Answer to my enduring questions but, in my dream, I saw her smile and I heard her words: “You write... You write...” I’ve wanted to take her in my arms, to hold her tight... and to say “I’ve missed you so much!”... But suddenly... her talks made me feel guilty and ashamed... Then, she continued: “Write, my child, write... Your words are well...”
I started to cry, kissing and holding her right hand... Through my tears, close to me, I saw my Mother... looking her Mother’s eyes with... so much love and endless pain ...
After, my Grandmother said: “Ana, I brought someone...” I didn’t recognize the 4th woman in our group. But she appeared to me very young and very beautiful... her head crowned in a tress of hair, hazel eyes (goldish-brown) and white porcelain hands... I thought is my Grandmother’s sister, Maria, who died 8 years ago... But... my Mother, surprised and very happy, called her with a childish velvet voice: “Grandma’!!!”
In that moment, I realized: the beautiful woman was my Grand-Grandmother... returned to God 7 years before my birth... Trembling, I’ve fallen down on my knees... With the right hand, she gently touched my head, and I was feeling... all evil leaves my life, it breaks into a thousand pieces and... it disappear...
With love and fear, I kissed my Grand-Grandmother’s right hand; afterwards, I heard my Grandmother... and her voice was coming from far away: “She’s not my sister, She is my Mother, The Other Elena... You wanted so much to meet her... Now, she is here for you...”

I can’t find the language to describe how... I was confused... these last few days... I asked again my Mom: “How was my Grand-Grandmother?” and... “Why this... Elena-name-thread is... torn by me, the 5th generation?
From so many questions I still have on my mind, all I can ask now to myself is: “What I wrote here, is it right?” and “This will be a tribute or... a sin, deciding to publish my thoughts and my words... in this form?”
I don’t try to teach lessons... Not now! Therefore, my demand for you is... don’t take my lines as a class!... I have no reason to excel Here!...

12th-17th February, Anno Domini 2012
®Ana Vîrlan


*** Thanks to my students for helping me with The 14th February Photo Shooting Project ("Peace" facebook album, Eternity Cemetery, P.N.).

® Not approved for coping, reproducing and using in other forms! This must remain exclusively the Author’s privilege! [ORDA] 



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