sâmbătă, 20 septembrie 2014

Autumn love

Each year autumn gets me singing my love for it. It is a second choice love, if may say so, as it always comes after the sunny, luminous summer and the exuberant spring. But when I feel tired of all that excruciating energy, I always come back to autumn bringing in all my love. It is every year alike and different every year.

Here's my autumn love moodboard this year:

1. Chestnuts boiling and burning, the Romanian expression "to get the chestnuts out of fire with someone else's hand" with its manipulative twist, the promise of a marron glacé before the coming winter... Remembering all the evenings when I shared chestnuts with family and friends.

2.  Autumn bicycle race, courage, getting out of your comfort zone, daring when you are not sure of yourself, "oser ça change tout" on the backdoor of my desk long time ago and Sylvie Guillem in the Rolex promo "Une femme qui s'interesse a ses limites que pour les depasser"

3. Miracles, finding a sense in everyday's appearantly unsignificant events, serendipity and hoping for the miracle again

4. My lovely red Moleskin and the tiny sticks in it, the plans I have, the plans I forgot I had and the entire inspiring energy that comes from them

5. Empathy, small talk, big talk, rediscovering who you are, what are the tiny pieces you're made of, so inaccurately articulated sometimes as if a 5-year old assembled them... , (re)discovering others, asking all the good questions, not having all the (right) answers

6. Coffee, tea, the mood that goes with...

7. Rain, the smell of rain, the smell of teen spirits :)

8. The incredible slide of the ultracision device on the vessels during lymphadenectomy, the feeling that you have go for it, make it better than last time, 'rendre service', daring again. Surgery per se, happy to feel the thrill again, longing for perfection

9. Admiration, admiring a few others as a life exercise while giving the best of yourself, remembering their thoughts, their words, the incredible intonation that during only a few seconds changed some small, hidden but decisive part of oneself, loving them for that, thrusting them for that

10. Books, music, high expectations, words, the hug on my wall I always take a look at when I need to breathe again...

vineri, 19 septembrie 2014

Leapsa cu carti

Umbla de cateva zile pe Facebook o leapsa cu carti de iti e mai mare dragul. In ciuda faptului ca unii vad in asta prilej de snobism intelectual si de 'spart in figuri', recunosc ca mie mai degraba mi-a picat bine. Mi-am adus aminte de prieteni dragi si i-am redescoperit, am incercat sa o dau mai departe cat mai multiculturalist cu putinta si mi-am chinuit gandurile in incercarea de a afla ce spun despre mine cartile mele.

Iata lista mai jos (sa ramana pentru eternitate)

1. Legendele Olimpului (The Olimpian legends) - N.A. Kun
un volum stufos, ilustrat cu statui antice, care mi-a indus o dragoste persistenta pentru mitologie

2. Poezii & Fiziologia poeziei (Poems & The physiology of poetry) - Nichita Stanescu
pentru ca mi-a creat o stare pe care inca o mai experimentez din cand in cand

3. Ambasadorii & Varsta ingrata (The ambassadors & The awkward age) - Henry James
pentru ca m-a invatat cam tot ce stiu despre societate si viata sociala

4. Mandrie si prejudecata (Pride and prejudice) - Jane Austen
pentru ca mi-a conturat idealul de masculinitate sub forma inteligentului, subtilului si generosului Mr. Darcy

5. Ravelstein & Iarna decanului (Ravelstein & The dean's december) - Saul Bellow 
pentru ca mi-a transformat pentru cateva sute de pagini mintea in cea a unui intelectual american si pentru ca asa am inceput sa ma interoghez asupra comunismului

6. Un veac de singuratate & Despre dragoste si alti demoni (A hundred years of solitude & About love and other deamons - Gabriel García Márquez
pentru toate motivele din lume...

7. What I loved - Siri Hustvedt
pentru o scriitura complexa si o subtilitate desavarsita in constructia personajelor, pentru ca este aproape sufletului meu si pentru constructia identitatii

8. Sotron (Rayuela) - Julio Cortazar
pentru ca uneori ma simt ca un personaj din carte

9. Patul lui Procust (Procust's bed) - Camil Petrescu
pentru ca 'o femeie cu picioare subtiri isi poate permite orice' si pentru ca "Atenţia şi luciditatea nu omoară voluptatea reală, ci o sporesc, aşa cum de altfel atenţia sporeşte şi durerea de dinţi. Marii voluptosi şi cei care trăiesc intens viaţa sunt neapărat şi ultralucizi. "

10. Poeme (Poems) - Pablo Neruda
pentru ca aici ma intorc cand nu mai vibrez.

luni, 18 august 2014

The unexpected connection between beer and the first date

Am citit din Newsfeed-ul meu un articol in TIME magazine despre discutiile care ar face ca dupa o prima intalnire sa urmeze si o a doua. Discutati calatorii nu filme, Aruncati mingea inapoi in terenul celuilalt, Impartasiti un secret, Preferati controversele lucrurilor monotone si... daca sperati sa fiti norocosi, preferati persoanele care prefera gustul berii :) Se pare ca exista o corelatie intre cei care iubesc gustul berii si cei care accepta sexul la prima intalnire.
Mi-am permis sa fac un sondaj printre prieteni ca sa ii gasesc pe cei carora le place gustul berii. Nu prea cred insa in calitatea statistica a corelatiei asa ca nu vom trage concluzii :)))


I was reading an article in Time magazine about what discussions on the first date should be about in order to be followed by a second one. Please read the full article at the link but the short list is: Talk travels, not movies, Bounce the ball back, Share a secret, Choose controversial over dull every time... and if you want to get lucky, choose people who like the taste of beer. It seems to be some sort of correlation between those who love the taste of beer and those who have sex on their first date. I dared to make a poll among my friends to find out who likes the taste of beer. But do not worry: I do not really buy into the quality of this statistics so I will not jump to conclusions! :)

duminică, 17 august 2014

Céret, art, tauromachia

Some friends recently encouraged me to write my posts in English or French. I guess I did not sistematically do it any earlier since Romanian is not only my language, but the language of most of my friends and my readers. However I decided I should give it a try from time to time... It might improve my English, stimulate the development of a style that would not  reveal to me in my mother language and give access to some international content to us all. Furthermore it will not let our brain fall asleep and it will delay the onset of Alzheimer disease too :))) So here I go...

I recently visited a small southern Mediterranean village called Céret. It's been a while since it was on my list mainly due to the fact that the town had been an artistic residence for several well known artists at the beginning of the XXth century. This summer, the Céret Museum of Modern Art hosts an exhibition about tauromachia - From Goya toBarcelo. I have dedicated a lot of time between the lines to the art of bullfighting: I read Death in the afternoon and several bullfighting articles as well as interviews with matadors, I tried to discover the basic moves and I wrote on this blog about Juan José Padilla. Whenever I think about it, I am amazed about my own interest in it as I find very few rational reasons to support it. Whenever I take a good look at us, the public, I see a frightening crowd in search of raw blood loss, in spite of all the laces, fans and ruffles we wear. There is something choreographic and empathetic in the show, it is true, as well as a sense of courage and sincerity, but could this peculiar mix be the entire explanation of us standing practically unmoved in the arena?

Whenever I can, I try to understand. The time will take its part in the process. The corridas, their underlying world of senses will slowly reveal themselves to me. But most of all I want to be able to understand what others see in it. From that point on, the exhibition in Céret was really helpful to me. 
Jean le Gac - La mort du torero

Michel Leiris (photo above) has one version of it. It is the second that kills one or saves one and that ability of glorifying the second has always marveled me. Pierre Alechinski has another version of it, extremely visual and intense: it is the encounter between an horizontal line - the bull - and a vertical line - the matador. Francis Bacon had long had a reductionist view: to him corrida was a pre-erotic show. Its only purpose was to make of the torero a more desirable man. The offer Leiris made him to illustrate a book about bullfighting opened a new perspective to Bacon: the matador is alone in the spotlight, face to face with the bull before death. It was Leiris himself who pretended that corrida was the exercise of sincerety since there is nothing that can be hidden from the public when man and bull are facing each other in the sand.

Eroticism is also part of the story. In our archetypes, the man stands the danger in order to conquer the woman. Matadors are part of past and present legends about desirability, eroticism and power. There is subjugation and spellbound. There is Eros and Thanatos (thank you again, Mr. Freud, for that image). Desire is not a stranger to death and fear of death. 

But I find there's also intense pleasure to see the suffering elsewhere. Why else would we keep on investigating  and playing again famous cornadas?

In the meantime, if you want to discover with you own eyes and you happen to be in the South of France, do not hesitate to go to Le peintre et l'arène - L'art de la tauromachie. Before that, just dare to leave me a comment about what you think there is in it... Thank you!

duminică, 10 august 2014

Prietenia dupa 30 de ani

A aparut la un moment dat in NY Times un articol care m-a intrigat si m-a facut sa reflectez: Why is it hard to make friends over 30?...

N-am avut senzatia ca, odata cu viata de adult, ni se schimba fundamental modul de raportare la ceilalti. Dar nu este mai putin adevarat ca, de indata ce incerci sa creezi propriul nucleu de familie, el devine prioritar.

Cu toate acestea, nu stiu daca nu cumva ma raportez altfel la notiunea de prieten, mai degraba decat la relatia cu ceilalti 'adulti'. Tot ce a insemnat formare in viata mea de pana acum a fost foarte 'time consuming'. Exercitiul profesional este cronofag si acum, dat fiind ca in mod regulat petrecem minim 11 ore la spital.

N-am reusit niciodata sau poate prea rar sa fiu o prietena 'prezenta' in viata celorlalti. N-am avut niciodata intalniri regulate cu fetele, nici macar discutii regulate la telefon (cel putin nu ani de-a randul ca in filmele cu acest subiect). Sunt mai buna in scris decat la telefon :) si sunt mai capabila ca prietena intre patru ochi decat in grup. In plus, am avut adeseori mai multi prieteni baieti decat fete. Sunt mai priceputa pentru dilemele existentiale decat pentru alegerile vestimentare pentru ca sufletul imi capteaza mai mult atentia (chiar daca n-ati spune asta cand ma intalniti machiata zi de zi)... Cand stiu ca e nevoie de mine, ma mobilizez. Nu reusesc insa sa sustin un ritm constant pe perioada indelungata in orice alta parte in afara de munca si familie, orice as face... Si cred ca este pur si simplu o problema de aritmetica a orelor din zi.

Pentru mine, prietenii sunt aceia pe care pot sa ii revad sau carora pot sa le scriu dupa o pauza importanta si totul sa fie ca si cand discutia s-ar fi terminat in seara dinainte. Incerc sa nu ii incarc cu angoasele mele pentru ca stiu ca, de obicei, raspunsul este in mine, nu in ei dar uneori le vorbesc sau le scriu despre ele pentru ca e bine sa iti vezi ideile puse in ordine si e bine si sa schimbi perspectiva, sa te vezi prin ochii celor in care ai incredere. Prietenii sunt cei cu care am avut uneori momente de 'indragostire' in sensul ca as fi putut petrece timp nelimitat sorbindu-le ideile dar viata ne-a adus mai mereu pe calea pragmatismului. Pentru ca se termina vacanta, sau weekendul, sau pentru ca trebuia sa facem alegeri cu creierul care ne teleporteaza intr-o alta geografie. 

Nu confund relatiile sociale cu prietenii. Avem viata sociala dar ne lipim sufleteste de foarte putini dintre cei pe care ii intalnim. Si din cand in cand imi fac bilantul si imi amintesc de oamenii care au avut un impact important asupra vietii mele fie ei prieteni, mentori sau pur si simplu cunoscuti. Imi aduc aminte de oameni cu care au existat doar fulgeratoare (si poate efemere) momente de sinceritate... si atunci realizez de ce e greu sa iti faci prieteni dupa 30 de ani.

Pentru ca nu mai intram in casa lor cu sufletele proaspete si ferestrele deschise. Pentru ca uneori avem rani si purtam bandaje opace, un fel de ziduri tromp-oeil. Pentru ca vrem sa parem mai frumosi, mai inalti, mai importanti. Pentru ca ne intalnim unii cu altii ca sa ne creasca autostima si nu ca sa auzim ce avem fiecare de spus. Pentru ca pana si la miezul noptii ne e teama sa ne dezbracam armura si intram incaltati cu bocanci ce ne protejeaza vulnerabilul calcai.

Cateodata am instincte bune si atunci mai sar cate o etapa, doua. Cateodata sunt pur si simplu ascultatoare si urmez instinctele lor. Am senzatia ca, daca recunosti in celalalt persoana al carei suflet te intereseaza, lucrurile sunt in general reciproce si nici nu e nevoie de prea multe explicatii. Sigur, conventiile sociale, relatiile ierarhice, distanta impacteaza capacitatea noastra de imprietenire. 

Dar as spune ca la 30 de ani e cam la fel de greu sa iti faci prieteni noi precum este sa te potrivesti cu cei vechi atunci cand viata ti se schimba. Daca baza era exterioara, poate fi grav. Altfel, istoria prieteniei continua...

sâmbătă, 9 august 2014


E vara. Avem alt ritm. Avem alta poezie. Avem seri tarzii intre prieteni, ploi torentiale cu fulgere care iti fura inima, leandrii infloriti si pe Ella Fitzgerald cantand Summertime...

Am avut intotdeauana o legatura speciala cu vara poate si pentru ca este anotimpul meu. De-a lungul anilor probabil ca firul nostru de legatura a avut chipuri diferite. Macii au fost intotdeauna acolo dar si parfumurile - de iasomie, de lavanda, de regina noptii, de mare, de fan cosit si ... de ulei de plaja.

Printre altele vara este anotimpul lecturii. Acum citesc autobiografia lui Peggy Guggenheim si ma amuza fiecare moment al vietii ei, poate si pentru ca am trecut prin unele din locurile despre are povesteste, poate si pentru ca numele ei are de mult timp o rezonanta speciala pentru mine. Femeie calcand - pictura mea preferata din perioada albastra a lui Picasso - se afla in muzeul de la NY, in cladirea lui Frank Lloyd Wright. Cand am ajuns sa o vad 'face to face' prima data am avut una dintre senzatiile acelea ca lumea e a mea.

In aceeasi ordine de idei a raportarii la propriile experiente, ma amuz sa vad printre mondeni o campanie cu hashtagul #ilovemylife. E ceva atat de suficient in asta. Nu critic ideea in sine, cred ca trebuie sa ne iubim propria persoana si sa incercam sa facem din propria viata constructia cea mai reusita cu putinta. Insa nevoia de a demonstra asta celorlalti, "publicului" tau imi da mai degraba senzatia unei reprezentatii triste, a incercarii de a masca sau de a deturna privirile de la ceea ce conteaza cu adevarat.

Si interiorul conteaza... cel putin pentru mine. Asa ca astazi, intrand intr-o librarie, am cumparat hrana pentru interior. De citit, de pastrat si de daruit. Happy Saturday evening!

miercuri, 6 august 2014

Poemul de miercuri - Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?

SONNET 18 - William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? 
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date: 
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd; 
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course, untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st; 
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.