Category Archives: De-ale vieţii

Schiffbruch

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Wie Teelichter auf einem Fluss der Vergessenheit

entfernen sich die Wörter

sanft schaukelnd.

Langsam aber sicher

entgleiten sie uns;

unmöglich das Verweilen.

Im Streit der Gewässer

eilen sie flussabwärts,

sie geraten ins Schwanken,

manchmal erlischt das Licht, es riecht

nach flüssigem Wachs,

wenn sie umfallen

besiegeln sie ihr Schicksal,

stummer Rauch steigt auf

und sie ertrinken.

Die Vergangenheit hat der Gegenwart

nichts zu sagen.

Allein die Zukunft glüht noch,

brüchig und schön wie das Unerreichbare.

Wie lange bevor sie in Dunkelheit versinkt,

weiß niemand.

Ein Kiel voller Löcher.

Von weit her nimmt man ein schwaches Flimmern wahr,

man sieht ihre flackernden Geister erleuchten

immer noch.

Wir bleiben zurück.

Manchmal kommen die Lichter an einer ruhigen Bucht stehen:

Dort, wo der turbulente Fluss einen Bogen macht

um eine riesige alte Eiche,

dort summen sie noch, die überlebenden,

dort geben sie Laute von sich,

sich gegenseitig suchend und gegenseitig

vermissend.

Ich sitze hier am Ufer und zähle

zähle

zähle

die kalten Sterne am Nachthimmel,

die vielleicht so gar nicht mehr existieren.

So damn useful!…

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Anyone else out there feeling guilty about doing what they like? Anybody else afraid of indulging their needs, constantly second-guessing their decisions and sabotaging themselves? Anybody else under the impression that they have to be productive at all times, useful to all, monetizing every opportunity, mentally enslaved to duty every waking moment, anybody feeling that they need to ace everything to prove themselves worthy of their time on this earth?

Yes? Well, then this articles is for us:

https://psyche.co/guides/how-to-wander-free-and-easy-through-life-by-being-useless


Ok, I’m not saying get being useless down to an art, but can we please break this overpowering utilitarian cycle? (“…at least once in a while…” squeals the timid voice inside my head).

When you chase a goal obstinately, you become its instrument. We are more than tools. Can we remain fully human without leisure, joy, and time to reflect?…

Weihnachten

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Die Kirchenglocken haben eine Weile geläutet.

Jetzt nicht mehr.

Die Leute essen zu Mittag hinter

geschlossenen Türen,

jeder für sich oder

in ganz kleinem Kreis,

kein Gesang hörbar.

Über die Auen und Felder,

die Einsamkeit schwebt wie eine Nebelwolke,

saugt alle Gedanken auf.

Allein ein Vogel durchsticht das Grau,

wie ein Friedenslicht leuchtend.

Heal, heal, heal

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It’s that time of year again,

time to crawl under my blanket and set out

on pilgrimages of forgetfulness.

North of here is the tomb of simple goodness – vandalized.

South of here is the mausoleum of easygoing fun – in a pile of rubble.

I mourn them both with a solemn bow,

angry visitors pass me by with their bows

and their arrows, pointed, pushing.

Their eyes overcast, not a drop of kindness trickling down,

just a grey drizzle of me, me, me

Maybe we simply mourn in different ways, I tell myself

and I turn on an old Romanian Christmas folk ballad.

It fills me with sorrow.

It fills me with loss.

It is like listening in on paradise past.

When was the last time we sang to each other and felt

like living matter that needs

to be kept warm and fed –

– fed as in nourished?…

Nothing but machines, now, between us,

nothing but machines between us and everything,

coldly feeding us

to their anger.

I close my eyelids and let the tears roll,

roll on down,

until I’m drained and the pillow is soaked

I drift into visions of the vanished

I forage through conjured-up hereafters

I dream things of glory

I sleep, sleep, sleep…

Quote of the day – On social support and healing

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“(…) safe connections are fundamental to meaningful and satisfying lives. (…) Social support is the most powerful protection against becoming overwhelmed by stress and trauma.

Social support is not the same as merely being in the presence of others. The critical issue is reciprocity: being truly heard and seen by the people around us, feeling that we are held in someone else’s mind and heart. For our physiology to calm down, heal, and grow we need a visceral feeling of safety. No doctor can write a prescription for friendship and love (…).

Isolating oneself into a narrowly defined victim group promotes a view of others as irrelevant at best and dangerous at worst, which eventually only leads to further alienation. Gangs, extremist political parties, and religious cults may provide solace, but they rarely foster the mental flexibility needed to be fully open to what life has to offer and as such cannot liberate their members from their traumas. Well-functioning people are able to accept individual differences and acknowledge the humanity of others.

Bessel van der Kolk – The Body Keeps The Score – Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma (Penguin Books, 2015)

Do we suffer from too little reciprocity? From too much selfishness? Is the hyper-individualistic lifestyle of autonomy at all cost, isolation, and “every man for himself” making us miserable and sick?

How many of us feel truly seen, heard and understood? How many feel forsaken? Trapped between anger and absence? How many of us self-medicate (or are medicated!) just to cover basic human needs like safety, forgiveness, acceptance and connection?

How many live a life without rapture, life as rupture, as opposed to the healing powers of love, kindness, joint experiences, of breathing, movement and touch… What does it take to feel agency, to overcome duress?

This book has been a revelation and I cannot recommend it warmly enough. You’ll understand your body and brain like never before.

The Levee

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a man, a dog and the pond at the bottom of the levee:

brown reeds, an egret and a few muted gulls, scattered.

winter lurking.


a man stopping, crouching, gazing into the distance,

holding on to that taut leash

for dear life.


his eyes across the water

weighed down

heavy

whole

with the solitude of the world.


in my headphones,

Adele belting out:

Remedy.

#creativewriting #poetry

Discoveries on Via Transilvanica

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Here comes the final act of my adventures through the ancestral hamlets of Cernei Mountains (S-W Romania) this summer, summarized in a travel article slated to appear on liternet.ro on October 11:

https://atelier.liternet.ro/articol/28115/Andreea-Sepi/Catunele-din-Muntii-Cernei-sau-cum-am-ajuns-sa-batem-Via-Transilvanica-fara-sa-stim.html

Only available in Romanian for the time being. But, hopefully, the pictures will speak for themselves. 🙂

Enjoy!

#creative #writing #travel #romania #viatransilvanica

What language do you dream in?

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The brain is a funny thing. And funny things happen when your brain goes on vacation. I consider myself bilingual (Romanian and English) and I’ve been living in Germany for more than 15 years now, but never would I have thought that the German language would end up infiltrating… my dreams!

My dreams, yes. For the first time ever, I had a dream in German while I was at home in Romania, which makes it even stranger. And that’s not all. Not only did I dream in German, but I dreamt a whole poem in Goethe’s language! It ruined my sleep, of course, because I was so in awe, I had to make sure I could remember it well enough to jot it down in the morning. I managed to, but – alas! – only the second stanza. The first stanza (up to “Die Schienen…”) is a later addition (which, needless to say, has cost me a lot more effort and a couple of visits to the online dictionary), but the rest is entirely the creation of my subconscious.

So, here it is, I hope you like it:

Auf den Schmalspurzug wartend

Es wird Nacht in den Tälern

und ich muss wieder los.

Ein letzter Blick zum Himmel:

rosarot, erstarrt –

dann der Abstieg,

eine Haltestelle

und ich, alleine in der Unermesslichkeit,

auf den Schmalspurzug wartend.

Die Schienen sind alt, alt und holprig

wie die alten Steinwege der Bauern.

Hinter dem Abendnebel, der Berg,

schneebedeckt,

rutscht in die Abwesenheit.

Es ist spät.

Gott lässt sich nieder

auf der bettelnde Handfläche der Pinien.

Stille.

#poetry

Best of Romania 2021

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“It is said that some Bolsheviks, deeming that a love based on choice and exclusivity was only a prejudice infiltrated by the bourgeois spirit, tried to abolish it, treating love as an instinct, an instinct like all the others, falsely adorned hitherto with a passionate halo. (…)
The big mistake was that they thought love resides in free mating… But two individual people on a beach, where there is a clutter of hands and feet, think and feel themselves completely different from all the others (…).
Love is preference and, even possessed by an entire platoon, a woman cannot be prevented from preferring in her mind and smiling with her eyes, just as no one can restrain the pride of knowing yourself the object of someone’s preference or your tender gratitude for it. For if preference itself can be forbidden, the thought of preference escapes all obstruction. Love requires no more than this.”

Camil Petrescu – Patul lui Procust (The Bed of Procrustes), 1946

#viatransilvanica #banatulmontan #cernadomoglednationalpark #timisoara #romania #august2021 #travel

Children saying scary things

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My daughter (10), elated that she got into the class she wanted and avoided the all-girls class: ‘All-girls classes suck!’

Me, naively: ‘Why?’

My studious 10-year-old: ‘Because they’d be all prissy and there’d be no boys to fall in love with.’

Ladies and gentlemen, the main purpose of public schooling, right there… in case there was ever any doubt.

(And I say this sarcastically, of course, because when the knowledge content has been thinned out and dumbed down beyond recognition, what else is left but socialization…)