Sunday, 8 July 2018

Cătălina Florina Florescu – Theatre



I was present at the launch of the ‘Theatre’ volume written by Cătălina Florina Florescu, an event that took place in Carusel. It was wonderful. Three actors, two ladies and a gentleman, brought to life for a couple of sublime moments the characters from two plays written by Cătălina. I really enjoyed the fragment ‘put on stage’ from the play ‘Mia’ (and the idea of bringing actors to read for the launch is absolutely brilliant), but I was going to fall in love with the play as soon as I got home and started reading it. I was bewitched with the way it was written, with the topics presented within it, with the overt approach of realities (for there are more than one in this life – and not just in Cătălina’s plays – the reality within a couple, the reality of the society that weaves expectations around us, the reality within friendships, family and even that which we set between us and total strangers that we met only once but the experience deeply carved into our souls – whether through the goodness or viciousness they had shown us).

One of Cătălina’s invitees highlighted the fact that it is rare that we find ourselves reading/ seeing/ talking about plays written by women. And so it is. I do not want to search for more meaning into this, but the utterance striked me as revealing.

The other two plays also provide us with an interesting approach. The ambiguity of the framework within which the play ‘What is left there after life?’ enrolls reminded me, from time to time, about ‘Waiting for Godot’. But, in the same time, this ambiguity seems to have a ‘human’ side to it – if the lack of precision can be seen as human – a side that is searching for answers, for resolutions, but does not force the process of it.

A talking dog is the main character of the play ‘The suicidal dog and Laika’. A dog that seems very gentle and has a keen spirit of observation and so I understand the authoress’ mention that it seemed to her that certain things can be uttered more gently and with more tact by a dog than by a human being. The play is also interesting for it has provoked me into thinking about Laika in a different way than I have ever imagined I would.

The authoress’ stage directions indicate her skillfulness and also her love for theatre. In a world that is constantly looking for new values to align with, a world that is searching for its identity but also wants to reinvent itself, theatre is among the few forms of art (or literature) that can easily direct us towards the answers we are looking for. It is, if you want, a different type of mirror in which we can take a glance.
Define your reflection in the mirror held up by the theatre written by Cătălina Florina Florescu. You do need this!

Thursday, 14 June 2018

The Myth of the Eternal Return - Mircea Eliade


The title is provoking enough and the book won't definitely let you down. This coming from a profane, with no studies in the domain or pretentions to understand much.
When I was a child, I never asked myself about the issue of repetition. It was nice how the Easter Bunny kept coming, bringing me new shoes, and Santa Claus pampering me with gifts, among which the chocolate was queen. Years after that, I found myself wandering about the purpose of this cyclicity. Well, there was a sense to the seasons, but why did we have to go through with the whole festival with the bunny and Santa Claus?! And finally, any Christian must suffer psychical and spiritual torments regarding the birth, the death and resurrection of Jesus. What's the point in that?!
Mircea Eliade beautifully described this urge of the humanity, written in its DNA, to find purpose and meaning for anything in this world. To make the time seem less ephemeral, less implacable and more at our disposal - for it always comes back; again with the Christmas, again with the Easter and again with the New Year. And more, he exquisitely explained and described as it appeared for the Indians, where karma comes from. The idea that no matter what you have to endure, one day you will be recompensed. Or that you will be punished for your misdeeds. This serious need of the human being to find an explanation for everything. Or a balance. How scared we are of the things we cannot explain!
While reading this book, I realized that 'an eternal return' is found in the relation child-family. We desperately search in the new member of the family something that will represent us in the future, to live on, to live another life through them... to go back.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

I am looking for a job. Amaze me!


I do not know how it works for others, but my experience is so vast that I can brag about it. Among all the statuses, the one being a candidate looking for a job is the most remarkable. It goes from bizarre, to hilarious and to serio-comic.
Being a professional in the domain of letters, my searches have always orbitated the following jobs: teacher, translator, copywriter or content writer. Both in Romania and abroad, life has blessed me with something to recount.
Teacher
When you are living in a country whose language you do not speak, but English is in high demand and you have a somewhat knowledge of that, you seize the occasion. The funniest part is when you realize you are introduced to other people as native English speaker, even though you know – and hope the others know, too – that English is not an official language in Romania. Then, still, when you realize that the reason you are introduced in this way is to get more money from the parents for your English classes, the thing is not so funny anymore.

These last couple of years dawned on me with a realization regarding Romania: moving from one region to the other may equal to a stressful attempt to adapt. Or to readapt, according to each case. The most precious moment of them all, when I was looking for a job as a teacher, was when I was interviewed by the manager of a private school. Her mere curiosity regarding my family name started a whole deal of personal questions. When she found out that my husband is French, the next question she addressed to me was totally unexpected – And how is it to be married with a French? At first, I though it was a joke, that she did not actually expected an answer from me. But she kept insisting. Not knowing what to tell her (for I had no other marriage to compare it with), I stated that it must be the same as if I was married to a Romanian. The lady was not at all satisfied with my answer. She corrected me, because – let’s face it – she knew better than I did that it must have been different. That everything was more romantic, for example. And we never get back to discussing my professional experience.

Copywriter/ Content writer
Everybody prepares before an interview. The best prepared ever were those who worked in a company and who, after greeting me, and receiving me in an office, let me recount for 10 minutes about my professional track. When I was in the middle of things, they stopped me and asked me about the position I applied for. I told them that it was for the position I was called for a day ago – copywriter. Oh, we’re sorry, but it’s been a long time since we did not have this position available in our company. So I stood up and then directed myself towards the exit. I gently smiled at the people and opened the door, expecting to be greeted by the ‘you were tricked’ team and a cake. I am still waiting for that!

Test. This word has lost its meaning to me. It’s almost a swearing. Or equivalent to an abuse. Just like me, I am sure there are many people that have been subjected to this abuse. People that are searching for jobs in a creative domain. One may say that I have written novels of tests. But the stupid people grow wiser. Eventually! As it happened, I declined the magnanimous offer to solve a test that would have lasted 13 hours. A pro-bono work, of course. Yes, and it was not me who estimated the time it would take to solve the tets. Thank God, I did not do it! Maybe if there were more of us to refuse such proposals, claims like these would no longer exist.

In the meantime, others play hide-and-seek with the candidates. After you have sent them your resume, their answer is swift. You have to solve a test by writing a text of 700-2000 words. With no other disussion beforehand. Yes, of course. We don’t have so much time. But because we live in the century of speed we should show more respect to the time a candidate spends in a recruiting process.

Is there a mondus operandi in the recruiting process? Of course there is. When one invites a candidate to an interview and one does not ask about the candidate’s interests in the respective job, one does not describe what one wants from a potential employee, but only puts the candidate in a room, in front of a computer and asks the candidate to spend around 4 hours in order to solve a test, one assumes that the employer has at least made a selection through the resumes. I, the candidate, was wrong. After a while, being called to be informed that I had passed the test (ahh, the test!!!!) and that I should come for an interview with the potential manager, I came with the hopes one has when going to a second interview. What a pity! After five minutes, I was told that the interview had to stop there. The reason? I did not have enough experience. Dazed, I asked why did they call me for the second interview, in the first place. They told me that they were impressed with the way I had solved the test. But still, not good enough, given that my lack of experience disqualified me. To my mind, they should have started the other way around.

Having read so many job ads, I learned to recognize just by reading it if the employer does not have quite a clear idea about the expectations regarding a possible candidate. Even better, a candidate could really be taken off guard when she/ he goes to an interview and finds out she/ he has to work in shifts, during the weekends, and for the first two weeks she/ he has to work as a casheer, cleaning lady, baker, doorman and to make the inventory – even though none of this challenges were mentioned in the ad. Again, time is money. For both sides. But why does the one of the candidate seem to be of a less value? Had I known, I would not have applied and neither would they have wasted their time interviewing me.

When I was led in an office with the shutters down, so dark that I could not see anything, I could only think that the person interviewing me had a sleepless night and did not want to scare me with her/ his dark circles under the eyes. Still, it turned out that the interviewer was a young and lively miss. I was surprised to see that, after five minutes since she entered the office where I was waiting for her for more than twenty minutes, she went towards the switch and turned the lights on. Just in time to see the amazement on my face when I was told that besides the typical work of a copywriter, I was also supposed to come up with ideas of a botanical nature regarding the creation of food supplements that would sell big-time in the far-off America. I was very happy to realize that my mother had, actually, a well-equipped kitchen. Not only did she had the amazing book written by Sanda Marin (a recipe book), but also the one written by Maria Treban (a book about plants and their healing properties). 
Primula veris alleviates the respiratory distress. Oh, and how well it does that!

Friday, 4 May 2018

On the occasion of Vlad Musatescu's birthday


Today we celebrate 96 years since the birth of the Romanian writer who marked my adolescence and, later on, my writting style. Another year went by and I was able to enjoy his works, his jovial and forever young spirit. I cannot imagine what my love for books, for humorous people and adventures would have looked like, had not been for Vlad Musatescu's books. But I know how all of these are because he took the time and opportunity to write them. Is there a greater joy?! And thus, my pledge is to give that joy to you, too. And keep his memory alive.
Vlad Musatescu lives on!

‘You stress yourself in vain, master! You won’t wake up mister teacher even if you fire off a gun… It’s the same for me, too!’
‘What do you mean, you’re just as difficult when you drink?’, I angrily asked.
‘Me? Ever since I’m reformed, I don’t drink anymore. I was talking about mister teacher. I know him for a while, now. It’s the same for me, too. He falls asleep in the carriage, and I can’t wake him up…’
‘And you don’t know his address?’
‘No! Since he doesn’t talk… How can one find it out? I only work during the night. And I take mister teacher in my carriage only when his drunk, ‘cause he only drinks at night. Otherwise, he’s a great man. I take him up to my home, I put him in the same bed as my wife, but I sleep between them so no fuss is created, and on the next day he pays me off. Even the rides I did not make… ‘cause he’s a fair man.’
(excerpt from “Approximate Adventures”)

Thursday, 5 April 2018

The Divine Order, 2017

(Photo source: IMDB)

Having a brave and provocative script, the movie "The Divine Order" is more than a simple presentation of the Feminist fight for women's rights in society.

Usually, people are ashamed to talk about Feminism - and this because the whole idea of Feminism has been shaped in the back of their minds as representing agressive women that hate men. Others prefer to silence me by pointing out that nowadays women have access to anything they want and that the situation has very much changed, or even that nowadays women are positively discriminated (check the month of March in Romania, with its traditional Mărțișor and the related flowers).
It's true, things have changed a little. But the prejudice lingers on. I must admit that I have thought about it for days, after seeing this movie, and was somewhat scared to take in the information that in a certain canton in Switzerland, women received the right to vote only in 1990. 1990 was yesterday, of course the prejudice lingers on.

Should I give you an example from 2018?! I recently recommended a book on Goodreads to a man. It was a book written by a Romanian contemporary woman writer (on Goodreads, if you rate a book with four or five stars you can recommend it to your Goodreads friends). The reaction I got was absolutely ghastful. The man wrote me a message and asked me what was it in his looks that made me think 'he was gay'. Moreover, he considered it acceptable to alter the title of the book with a diminutive suffix so he could indicate the smallness of the importance of the book. I'll let you draw your own conclusions!
We need more of these types of movies. Not because we hate men. But for the mere reason that women should not be referred to by means of diminutive suffixes.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

The Emilia Muller Brand

A couple of days ago, somebody asked me how I would describe myself, as a brand. It was noteasy, but I managed to draw a concise picture of it. Here it goes:


A smile is always on Emilia Muller’s lips, and she brims over with creativity, musicality, laughter, willingness to recycle and a longing for friendship. Even though she is an organized person, Emilia Muller does not only carry to-do-lists along with her, but also verses, ideas for articles, ideas for books and even ideas for making/ remaking clothes.
She has a special hunger for reading books and is capable of giving reading recommendations. When she does not write, Emilia Muller watches movies. A lot of movies, actually, and she writes reviews for some of them on one of the four blogs she manages.
Emilia Muller laughs. She does that with a lot of strength, being aware that it is one of the most efficient exercises for the facial muscles. And so we arrive to the musicality issue. Emilia Muller sings. Beautifully, according to her sayings. Others, though, have hesitations.
Friends?! There aren’t many places left in the world where Emilia Muller does not have friends. She understands, quite clearly, the value of friendship and she knows that everything is done with people, by people and for people.
Emilia Muller is fond of recycling. She recycles everything. Though she had more projects involving clothes (of hers, of her friends or her family’s), which she patches or gives them another use. The most astonishing recycled work (which was not an item of clothing) is a round wooden scale. When it broke, Emilia Muller did not have the heart to throw it away. She kept it, painted it, and then made it a gift to a dear friend, to cheer up his living-room.
Emilia Muller writes. And she is also published. She has arrived to the exact number of four and a half books. A novella. A children’s story, which she also illustrated (oh, I forgot to mention – she also likes to draw). A short story collection. The bilingual edition of the short story collection – in Romanian and in English – (this is the explanation for that half). And a novel. Her first novel, which actually carries a picturesque name – “The Sewing Club”.
And if a song should be chosen in order to show the musicality of the brand, this would be it:


Thursday, 22 March 2018

Zully Mustafa - "The Third Traveler"



I read the novel “The Third Traveler” written by Zully Mustafa in a very conscious slow-motion. I wished for it not to end too soon, worried that I might miss out on moments while reading it too fast. There were a lot of times when I closed the covers of the book and stared aimlessly. I think this is the case for any reader that finds out the book she/ he is reading is written in her/ his secret language.

“These constant pressures to give the best of oneself, as fast as possible and in due time; this crazy rush, killer of spirits, a rush for perfect words, when all I wanted was the leisure of writing. And to have enough money to buy myself colored skirts, dressed in which I could see the world, or to buy myself some popcorn.” 
(excerpt from "The Third Traveler")

During the year I first read the novel “The Grapes Have Ripen without Her Being Present” (another novel written by Zully Mustafa) I was searching for a Camino de Santiago, I just did not know it existed. Once I finished reading the novel, I realized that the experience had changed me so much that I was amazed how simple things were to look at afterwards. Actually, I did not feel the need of a pilgrimage; my dilemma was that I had too many answers for questions I did not have courage to ask myself.

Years after that, the same happened when reading the novel “The Third Traveler”, and this time, the action occurred, mostly, on Camino. A revelation, two, three … Who kept the score?! The idea is that I made the questions click with the answers I had already known and thus, I closed the circle. What can be more comforting than that?! It seems to me that Zully’s books have the effect of a pilgrimage on my spirit.

And because I do not like to give away the mysteries of a book, I will only mention the points that clicked with me – the crave to go on a trip with a friend, the endless laughs between friends that have no explanation in the heads of those around, the power play, the lying, the bitter taste of disappointment, the rising sign, the frustration of working as a translator and not being paid by the beneficiary, gloomy people that have nothing to do with a domain that should be bringing light and inspiration, frustrated and aggressive people that are ready to tear one apart as soon as one turns one’s back, complete strangers that awe one by means of their kind and humble deeds, the shadow of someone dear long departed.
I recommend you to read the novel “The Third Traveler” by Zully Mustafa not because I had a beautiful experience while reading it, but because I am sure you will have one just as beautiful.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

The Town in Emilia Muller's Literature

Recently, it was held "The Town and Literature Festival". After participating to one of the events, I started pondering on my books. I was born and lived my life in a city, and very rarely I went to the countryside. It is true, life in the countryside has its charm, and if I remember my childhood, we were more free there and our grandparents were more indulgent and willing to satisfy our every whim; we had as many fruits as we wanted - we could even pick them from the trees - and we had a dog, that was ours for the duration of our stay. But still, I wouldn't live anywhere else but in a town for many reasons, among which I have to mention the lyric from a famous Romanian song, 'give me cinema'.
I searched throughout my books, and here it is what I found:


Friday, 9 March 2018

Reading from the novel 'The Sewing Club'

The apparel and the accessories were provided by Squirrel.

The text in English:
(Excerpt from 'The Sewing Club')

I went out of my apartment building just on time to catch the rain. The parka I was wearing was surely going to show its utility. I put the hood over my cap to make sure that I wouldn’t arrive soaking wet to Eliza’s house. The month of March was kind of moody, or maybe I was feeling that way about it giving that I was coveting summer and spring seemed to want to leave me with a brutal impression. Raindrops were furiously splashing over the causeway and, from time to time, the drops would hit my black pants. There, the drops looked like mercury drops easing their way into the fabric. Then they would quickly vanish, leaving behind an even blacker spot.
On the streets, people were armed and fighting using their umbrellas, which were very eager to throw themselves forward, just like a top of an epee. Some had already given up and were walking with fast and small steps, keeping their heads bowed. At the end of the street, the flashes of a car blinded me, and for a while I could only see a yellow background over which silvery needles were madly coming down from the sky. I turned right and went down the hill. Soon, I arrived near Eliza’s house. Across the street from her house there was a block of flats. There, nobody could notice me, and more, I was sheltered from the rain. I stopped in front of the entrance to the block of flats and took down the hood. The lightbulb from the light pole illuminated the street on which cars were passing by. They were fighting the waters while trying to mount; waters that were menacingly coming down towards them. What a show! And how tricksome are we, the human race, as we fight armed against the nature.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

For The International Women's Day, a little gift - Vlad Mușatescu

(From the Signs and Evrika Moments section)

‘The History of Romanian Literature – A compendium’ written by George Călinescu fades confronted with “Approximate adventures” written by Vlad Mușatescu. Not to mention that it does not have the same charm. Reading recommendations, writers, poets, literary critics, everyone – whether famous or not or people who would have had all the chances to become famous but luck decided otherwise – is mentioned here. My first reading of “Approximate adventures” found me not totally ready to understand the literary value of these jewels of books. Today, I read them once again and take notes. I write the names of those mentioned in these books, and then I will search and read their works. Vlad lives on! Not only through his wonderful work, but also through the inheritance of literary recommendation he has left us.
Enjoy the fragment below:

“He was not alone. Beside him there was an old, pale and anxious man, covered by the fumes of old age, a little bit crooked despite the height that exceeded the normal and who was resting his hand on the shoulder of a gentle little girl with bright eyes, which color I could not determine.
Acknowledging his rudeness, Tătălici hurried to introduce me to him, differently than how it should have been:
‘Petre Bellu and his niece!...’
I am not sure if I remember correctly; if he said niece or daughter. Well, it has no importance now, after so many years. As soon as I heard his name, my motors started to work. And had the visualization of the covers of some books from the ’15 lei collection’: “The Defender may speak now” and “The Case of Mrs.Predescu”. At the date when they were published, they caused quite a commotion, and Petre Bellu swiftly became a celebrity.
Being a little moved by the situation, I warmly shook hands with him and I stated with infinite admiration:
‘Master, Mr. Bellu, you can’t begin to imagine how happy I am to meet you! And still alive… I thought you were gone. For so many years, quite an eternity, nobody has mentioned you. Well, it’s normal considering your honorable age!...’
‘Oh. So how many years do you think I am, dear sir?’, asked me the popular novelist, showing some surprise.
‘In any event, not more than seventy, seventy-two, the most!’
Actually, I cut some years from the age I thought he looked like.
‘Oh my! Do I look that good?!, exclaimed Petre Bellu. Well, good for me, dear sir! This year I’ll turn fifty-four years old. It’s good, isn’t it?!
In that moment, I felt my vocal cords paralyzing. And, obviously, I couldn’t utter a word. Bratoloveanu had turned yellow, I turned red, and the little gentle girl was panting, ready to start crying. I had dropped a brick.
Petre Bellu, noticing the ridicule of the situation that I had so unskillfully created, with my own sensible and appreciative antennas, threw me a rope. He uttered a sour chuckle and kindly invited me.
‘Well, come with me, sir, and I’ll show you to the villa assigned for your publishing house. Even though I seem to you to be a million years old, I will help you with your luggage. Where is it?’
‘I left it in front of the composers’ villa!’
‘Perfect! They do not steal. Or maybe they do, but rarely. And only songs they hear on the radio. I realize that every time I switch the radio for London, Paris or Rome broadcasting stations. And lately, for Moscow, too.’
Guided by Petre Bellu, Tătălici Bratoloveanu and the girl, I finally arrived to the resting villa assigned for The State Publishing House.”

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

About a house

While listening to Radio România Cultural (Romanian Cultural Radio), I found out about a project dedicated to the Romanian Centennial
On Mondays, during the "The City Talks" show, a house in Bucharest tells its story. So it happened that on a Monday I passed by a house in my neighbourhood; a house that I have been starring at for two months.
The first time, I caught a glimpse of it at sunset. The vacant lot in front of it and the block of flats behind it made it easier for me to notice it. But not only the contrast gave it an advantage. The patina of charm did the trick.

The brick wall may had been functioning, at a certain time, as a support for a grape vine with perfumed grapes.
It seemed that the new has taken over. Otherwise, I can't explain the air conditioning and the satellite dish.


The brick chimneys and the wooden utility pole emphasize the sensation that I went back in time, without any fantastic machinery. The arches of the windows continue to give the house a noble spirit, even though the neglection is advanced.

If this house could talk to me, it would probably have many interesting things to recount. And I do not just mean balls, beautiful costumes, enchanting music and distinguished people. It would probably explain to me how the world has changed since it was built and how, still, it remained the same. I dare to believe that if I feel happiness by looking at the house, the same thing must have happened with those who have built it. With whom, thus, I have a lot in common, for I rejoice just as them at the sight of beauty. Sometimes it's hard for us to remain connected with the past. We consider that it has passed and nothing of it could find its place in the present.
But still, it does. Something still remains. Beauty.


Tuesday, 27 February 2018

"Barefoot" by Zaharia Stancu


"Don't you forget, Darie!"
An urge that I have carried with me throughout the years. I read it the first time while I was browsing through some English grammar workbook. Then, it resounded once more from a novel written by Maria Arsene ("Just keep in mind that your memory is to be left as inheritance so that it does not perish along with you. Remember that! Remember that!).
Today, I have followed the urge, but without mediators. While reading the novel, I realized that it is better that I have discovered it only now. For I have a different mindset today. All angst and distress presented in these pages, that seemed to come to life and cry themselves the truth we had forgotten or we wish we had forgotten by now, echoed differently in my soul. From time to time, the novel made me remember the novel "Raised from the Ground" written by Saramago. How odd to be able to better understand the Romanian literature by seeing it through the eyes of a Portuguese one! Maybe the peoples are more alike than they know. And the language barrier is totally nonexistent when it comes to those who have lived the same experiences. Actually, Zaharia Stancu states this fact in the novel, by mentioning that 'the hungered recognize themselves just by a mere look', and they do not need to say a word.
Truth is what abounds within the novel "Barefoot" by Zaharia Stancu. Unfortunately, one truth still endures with us:
"
'A woman that has not been beaten is like an unchained mill...'
'But you've just said you love her!...'
'That's why...' "
The ending of the novel endued me with another urge to carry along with me from now on:
'Try to see in them all their true and deep meaning, Darie!'

Sunday, 25 February 2018

The Invisible Guest, 2016

Secrets, secrets and some more other secrets. The unforeseen, the human nature, fidelity, love, fortune, fame and family relationships. Here are a few of the ingredients to this exciting movie. Scene after scene you will be dazed by new clues, making you doubt your opinion about the culprit's identity.
In a nutshell, a succesful entrepreneur is accused of murder and, under the pressure of time and the appearance of a new witness, he must offer as much information as he can in order to strengthen his case and innocence.
A must-see movie!

Thursday, 15 February 2018

We are different, and this bestows charm upon us and our world.


A beautiful campaign has started in Romania. A campaign that has education at its center. I was invited to write and proudly accepted the invitation.
I pondered about the perspective; whether to write from a teacher's point of view (given the fact that at a certain time in my life I was proudly called Miss - teachers know the meaning of this) or a pupil's. I chose the second perspective. We were all pupils once and we know better than anyone else the issues in education. Especially because now we get to understand some from a different approach. I am amongst those who believe that experience can make opinion.
And my opinion is stated below:

When you are a child, you do not understand why people stress on the importance of plain writing. If one is ambitious, one tries and tries until managing to obtain something acceptable. If not, one remains with a heavy heart, knowing that one has not fulfilled the expectations. One tries to master the letter a, but something does not add up. It's true, the letter written by one is a little bit edgy, it has irregularities and some erasures. But one can understand it. I have understood it, my mother has understood it, and even my class mate, Mircea, has understood it. 
Mircea is appreciated. He has a plain writing. But the numbers give him headaches. Sure, he can write them, but he finds it hard to calculate them. I have tried explaining my method to him, but I clearly saw on his face that he did not understand me. Hm, maybe the ability to make calculi is just like the plain writing! People having this skill boast about it; and the people that do not, hide as much as they can in order not to be discovered.
My name is Ana. I have both skills. I have a plain writing and I am great at calculi. It's harder for me, though, to rest silent. I like to talk. Actually, I have just found out about it, from a friend. But talking calms me down and helps me focus. When the class is silent, and we have to write and make calculi, I find myself reprimanded. Would you believe me if I told you that I don't even realize when I start to talk?! It happens, somehow, without me. Just as it happens to Miruna when she tries to write plain. She puts her tongue out. I have told her that it is not nice to do that. Ok, theoretically, no rule of good behaviour is breached, but it is not nice to put one's tongue out to someone. The notebook does not mind. How could it mind?! Well, maybe it does mind when she covers it in ink stains.
The ink is blue. Actually, it also comes in red and black, but we, the pupils, are only allowed to use the blue ink. Sometimes, the heaviness of this rule makes us rebel. And during those times, we find red ink and write with it on the last pages of our notebooks. The bravest of us all keep those pages. So what if the teachers or parents find out that we have used another color of ink?! We wanted to see how it is to write with the ink reserved for adults only. We wanted to feel adults. It did not last too long, but we liked it. We, the pupils, we reckon that it is not a great offence to want to write like an adult. If we write like an adult, maybe our suggestions would be taken more seriously. Maybe even encouraged. We, the pupils, are hard-working and we want to learn. And we write now in red ink so that you can take us seriously: we are different, and the differences between us should not be used in order to make us compete with each other. Maybe you could encourage us to obtain results out of pleasure and not because 'Maria has a writing that is plainer than yours'. We do not like this. We have signed in red. We, the pupils.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

'Fifty Shades of Feminism'


To openly state nowadays that one is a Feminist seems to me a deed of great courage. And that because one must face public contempt. When hearing the word Feminists, people envision angry and harry women that hate men.
The book 'Fifty Shades of Feminism' tries to debunk prejudices regarding Feminism. Not only that Feminism takes various forms, but it continues to self-update itself year after year, whether we realize it or not. Fifty women give their opinions regarding this movement, idea or way of living, if you wish. Fifty opinions that make one realize that one did not know, actually, everything about Feminism. Opinions that make one wonder and start cleaning the dust upon one's own prejudice.
A book that must be read by women and men, boys and girls, teenage girls and teenage boys and everyone being under the impression that they have understood the entire spectre of their existence.

Friday, 26 January 2018

A Writer's Journal

The Handwriting Day was celebrated a few days ago, and I have been thinking ever since about its significance for me. I grew accustomed to hitting the keys of my laptop (as if they were one of Vlad Mușatescu’s Erikas – typewriters), but I still enjoy taking notes on paper. When inspiration takes over me, I do not hurry to write in my laptop; instead, I prefer to take notes on a piece of paper.
Surely, I have ideas that were written down. I even boast about a journal. Or an agenda. 
A very special agenda, actually. It was bought from a stationer’s in Tulcea. A stationer’s that was located near the printing house were my father used to work. Now, in that building there’s a supermarket that brags about small prices. I wonder if that stationer’s still exists. Maybe this is the reason why I am so selective about the notes I make in my agenda. I try not to fill it with my bagged and hieroglyphic writing. So that it could last longer.
I opened the covers to see my notes. And here’s what I found.

No, I don’t have a drinking problem. I just collect quotes that seem to have a mantra value. 
And the squirrel … . Well, the squirrel guides me as much as it can. 

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

"The Sewing Club", Emilia Muller's First Novel


Communication issues nowadays, taboo topics, denied needs and philosophical discoveries. All are chained in the action of the novel “The Sewing Club”.

It is the story of a man who disguises himself as a woman and finds out, by joining a secret club led by his former girlfriend, unsuspected aspects of life.

When reading the title, one might think that it is a novel about and for women. It is definitely not. Actually, it is a novel for men, too. Namely, for those men who are still looking for answers to the questions “Why do we love women?” or “What is going on in that head of hers?".

And because I am also a fan of crime novels, I must recommend “The Sewing Club” because it also piques the reader’s curiosity with mystery and a murder.

Monday, 8 January 2018

Inspiration


A lot of people believe that inspiration is a gentle feeling that takes hold on one while sipping a hot coffee or while watching the raindrops trickling down the window in front of one. All is calm and favourable around one and it is then the inspiration appears. Quite possible, maybe. For some. I, instead, have a different relation with inspiration. The best way to describe it – a raptor and its prey. Me being the prey.
Many people believe that the things I make or the majestic sentences I write appear before them as they initially were, in their finite state. If you were inspired, here’s the result – they say. I disagree. And not because I got out of bed today on the wrong side. Certain things must be polished. And since things are things, they get stubborn. Sometimes, more even than the artist.
How does inspiration appear? Like it follows. I go to sleep at night. I read a couple of pages, before sleeping, from the book sitting on my nightstand. Then, I close the book, I turn off the light and silence unfolds. I close my eyes and I try to thin the number of thoughts rebounding upon my forehead. So much silence around! Sometimes, this silence deafens me. Once the triage is done, I only have to deal with a couple of small insurgent thoughts, determined to show me who’s in charge. There, I chased them away. The coverlet swooshes. It’s a sign that I’m falling into sleep. My head sinks a little bit more into the pillow. And my eyelids no longer flicker. It’s quiet, very quiet. Bang! The beast has thrown itself upon my pillow. I feel it around my pate. I lay still. It is going to feel that I take no regard to it and it will leave. Yes, yes, it will leave. Stillness. A couple of long moments that make my pulse rise. Maybe it left. Oh, it would be wonderful if it left. In this case it would be easy for me to fall asleep. Yes, I am free. I try to keep my lids closed. I won’t open them. I never make this mistake. Yes, it left. I manage to push the door over the leg of a thought wanting to use this moment of carelessness and pour in. But no! I am lost. The beast’s paws advance, causing unevenness in the pillow. I feel it. It slowly blows over my cheeks and gently lowers its muzzle in order to catch the exact moment when I open my eyes. A great force attracts it to the door where I just succeeded to cast away that impish thought. Very easily, the beast breaks open the door. It got in. But it’s ok. I hear the growl of the beast and it seems to be something I can resist to. The growl repeats. And then once more a little louder. And then louder. Yes, I see. It’s clear to me. I’ll think about it tomorrow. I repeat the growl a couple of times, just to make sure I can reproduce it the next day. I fall asleep while repeating it to myself. I wake up the next morning. Nothing. Nothing has stayed with me. And it was so simple. So clear. But no, not even a trace. What a pity!
When the same think happens again, I no longer repeat the growl in my head. I run through the house, searching for a piece of paper and a pen. I must take notes. Otherwise I am going to forget. I’m sure I will forget. After writing it down, I can go back to bed and fall gently into sleep.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Age is just a number. For others!

Lately, I’ve been having fun discovering. Or, better written, rediscovering. A start to a new year can be stressful. Plans for the new year, ambitions, fears. But especially, fears. Fears regarding the passing of time. As we grow older, we become more aware of the passing of the time. I had forgotten about that!
I forgot that, when I was myself a child, the people around me had an age that defined their identity. Uncles, aunts, grandparents, parents, they all were big. And in my vision, as a child, they had always been like that.
I remember the first time I realized that even adults had, at a certain time, been younger. It was right after I had pulled a trick that left me with my head rolled in a bandage. While visiting an old lady, I sat in an armchair slurping from a very fizzing bottle of Brifcor. Mom and the old lady were talking, and I – not totally swept away by the wonderful refreshment – was looking around. Suddenly, my eyes were caught by a framed black-and-white portrait on the chest of drawers. A young lady with the look of a movie star was smiling charmingly.
‘Mom, who’s she?’ I interrupted their conversation, pointing to the photograph.
‘It’s not nice to interrupt people while talking’, my mom said and continued by telling me that it was the old lady, in whose house we were then, when she was young.
I couldn’t believe it. The old lady did not look at all like the woman in the photo. It was a bit too thick! What could have happened to her? Why didn’t she look like the woman in the photo anymore?
‘I was beautiful when I was young, wasn’t I?!’ the old lady asked me.
‘Yes! Very’, I had replied in a rather gracious manner.
Actually, maybe mom had not lied to me. She used to show us pictures of her from the old times, but we always failed to see a great difference. For us, back then, mom had always been and continued to be young. With an implacability similar to the one of the feeling that we were never to grow old and remain children forever. Maybe this is the source to the children’s great wish to grow up. Today, I know that age is just a number. But only for the child. The adult has another perspective. For it is the adult that gives age such importance. On the contrary, the child plays with numbers as it knows best. On an abacus. The child moves the beads around, from right to left and from left to right and hopes that all its wishes will come true. At the age of fourteen, to receive a Husky dog as a birthday present. At twenty, to become an aviator. And at thirty, to become the president of the country. And after thirty, the numbers become unavailable. It’s the peak of maturity! And the peak of calculus.