Category Archives: Concepte

Nick Barlay and Our Common Scattered Ghosts

When the pretty blonde facilitator asked Nick how one would actually pronounce his name, he said a sort of Baerlae, with the stress falling somewhere in between of the last two vowels. He pronounced the name carefully, yet with the bored politeness of a person who has been answering the same questions for the better part of his life. Where do you come from? What did you learn growing up, as a child, as a teenager? What did you do to get here? All questions which undoubtedly he asked himself, even before a material second person was in the room with him, on the other side of the table holding  a pen and a writing pad. And the exact same questions which he asked the ghosts, at the point when he realized that his answers were shaky at best.

Who are you? You can’t know who you are until you know who your parents are, who your grandparents are, who your great-grandparents are, and maybe even who your great-great-grandparents are. Or were, the tense of the verb can have different connotations. I strongly believe that even if a person is no longer alive, this doesn’t erase what they did at their appointed times on this Earth. And a person is not defined by their profession, by their relatives or by their surroundings. What is a person defined by then? Can you even define a person? Barlay seemed to somehow seek however not the answers, but the minds which sparked the questions. He goes smoothly back on his lineage, ending up somewhere in the beginning of the 1800 with the names of one or another of his great-great-relatives.

And yet names and the dates are nothing, they are shades of wind scattered around and played around by winds far stronger: wars, immigration, death, birth. The objective data can pin down a life, can shatter a bit of its illegibility, unfathomability, beauty, but that’s it. It can’t do anything else. It can’t tell you about how their eyes smiled in the sun at the beginning of spring, about the miles they walked back in snow to their family, about the secret taste of a strudel which still remains a mystery. This is where the real beauty of a person lies, in moments and in the memory of those moments. Those people must be shining up in heaven now looking down at these books and their words.

And after all of this, Nick’s answers were still shaky, I imagine, because mine are too right now. I have questions in my head which point to a somewhere far in the future or far in the past. That big question mark hangs in the air over my head like the sword of a Damocles who, unlike the one in the Ancient Greece, has no idea what might occur if the thread is cut. Life is not ended, but the joy of it might be. So let the thread be there, as frail or as solid as it may be. Looking at it makes me feel that my own personal quest is far from over. I want to make my people shine too up there in heaven.

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Cliffhanger: Red bricks

Writing a story. Sounds easy enough. After all, it just means bringing a thick clot of a conjecture of people, places and happenings into the realm of the realistic and probable. Like when your mom asks you why you’re late coming home from school, she is almost ready to indulge into accepting an unplanned late arrival of the teacher as a good and plausible response. Yet your answer is that Continue reading

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La prezent

Am încheiat anul vechi cu ultimele pagini din ”Poveste pentru timpul prezent” a lui Ruth Ozeki, nume necunoscut mie până acum vreo două luni când am dat peste lista scurtă a nominalizărilor la Man Booker 2013. Probabil că e doar o prejudecată de-a mea, dar întotdeauna când aud de autori premiați sau nominalizați, am impresia bruscă cum că ar fi mult prea-prea pentru mine ca să-i pot citi. Îmi place totuși să urmăresc premiile și premianții, măcar pentru cultura mea generală daca nu pentru chiar a pune mâna pe vreun volum. Anul ăsta însă când am văzut numele lui Ozeki răsunând atât de japonez, am știut că ar trebui să-i dau o șansă dincolo de citirea unui rezumat pe Goodreads. Continue reading

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A Study of Fear

Fear. She stares at the white screen and all she can feel in the back of her mind is fear. Everything was so nice and shiny just a couple of hours ago. Making plans, thinking about the future, hating 99% of the people, crawling through the hours and dodging the minutes. But as the dusk approached the too well-known shadows started to creep at the edges of her conscience. Like a thought which is hanged, drowned, shunned and bled until only its ghost remains. If a thought can be pushed over to the edges of the to-do list, the ghost of that thought has the pressure of 20 m of water, 20 kilos of music and 3 blinks of air. It was then when her thoughts crystallized to fear.

Knowing is worse than assuming and the most cruel executioner is herself. Always, repeating, neverending, every day. She twitches and turns in pain, unmoving on the 4-legged chair. She screams in mute sounds. Her eyes dead, looking into the limited void of the four walls. The walls can be only four and the ceiling can be only one, but the mind is infinite. Infinite to whip, infinite to watch, infinite to bear. The chair is in the perfect middle of the room. The centimeters insanely measured, the posture irrationally controlled. Waiting. She’s waiting for the fear to digest her. The executioner is too cruel to strike the clean blow. That she is just smiling knowingly in the mirror.

It’s too dark, the breathing too loud and the squeaks too sharp. Her thoughts are lost somewhere on the way between her and the outside. The fear again, a wave of  coldness fast like a shivering snake biting in her backbone. She wants to kill it, smash the head of the snake between her thumb and her forefinger. To feel the blood crawling. To feel the teeth losing their grip. To feel the fear drawing back in fear. Sweet abandon, sweet venom of numbness, sweet eyes which close to the light of darkness. It’s easy, nobody is left to throw the blame, nobody. Nobody is left to turn away, nobody. Nobody is left to bleed her dry, nobody.

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Filed under Anti-tot, Concepte

Apă

Picătura se întinde grea, alunecă uscat și vâscos, la o viteză permisă de înclinarea oaselor rupte sub piele. Prima mi-a căzut pe încheietură. A doua pe falanga degetului mic. A treia pe umăr. Și pe a patra n-am mai simțit-o.

Plouă.

Râsetele se sparg de caldarâmul înecat și miroase a liliac târziu și câine ud. Câinele își mai plimbă încă omul în ploaie, pe om nu-l așteaptă nimeni la cină. Nu mai este praf în urmele pașilor din parc, pașii înșiși sunt lichizi, drenați de uscatul din baltă. Omul nu lasă urme în baltă. Câinele nu lasă urme în baltă. Doar cerul de antracit.

Plouă.

Aerul de plumb, mirosurile de catifea, amintirile de mătase. Atârnate de o frânghie, goală sub biciul furios al tăriei. Frânghia de stuf nu are voce să urle. Aerul își lasă toată greutatea pe piele. Ca un singur bloc de granit. Mirosurile crude otrăvesc, vindecă.

Plouă.

De prea mult deja. Simt că vara e inexistentă, undeva într-un univers paralel. Soarele a putrezit după nori, pământul a putrezit sub apăsarea ploilor. Doar iarba de mare mai crește. Tot pământul e un ocean și soarele s-a rostogolit din ceruri, verde și bolnăvicios.

Cine găsește soarele este rugat să-l lipească înapoi pe boltă și să aprindă becul.

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Veritabil vs. autentic vs. sincer

“Entschuldigung, haben Sie ´ne Zigarette?”

A plouat ieri. Cerul s-a intunecat pe la 3 jumate, aproape ca era noapte. M-am simtit mai aproape de Tokio, de el. Intotdeauna cand ploua cad intr-o melancolie adanca. Atunci e momentul cand ma gandesc cel mai sincer la ce am mai facut in ultimul timp si ce am de gand sa fac in continuare. Daca as avea apa sau aburi, as lasa cerul sa ploua necontenit pentru a-mi trimite gandurile in taramul abstractului. Daca creativitatea si melancolia sunt abstractizate, rezulta cuvinte. Daca aceste cuvinte sunt asezate in ordinea potrivita, rezulta o opinie, un paragraf semnificativ, un dialog veritabil. Intreabare si raspuns, intrebare si raspuns. Se presupune ca intrebarile sunt oneste si raspunsurile exprima intr-o oarecare masura dorinta ingenua de a sapa mai adanc in piatra constiintei, de a provoca starea de veghe. Indoiala apare doar atunci cand iti pui problema daca acele cuvinte exprima adevarul sau nu. Adevarul cui si pentru cine?

Intrebarea m-a trezit din contemplatie. Tocmai ma intorceam de la cursul de fitness. Am considerat acum o luna ca statul nu face bine si imediat sunt 20 de grade afara si e de iesit in cat mai putine haine, si in consecinta m-am decis sa imi fac abonament la o sala. Azi am lucrat la abdomen si la picioare, dar sunt o lasa. Daca simt ca fizicul imi zice bye-bye chiar trebuie sa-i dau o pauza. Desi antrenoarea era buna, continua sa dea indicatii, sa spuna sa nu renuntam. Inca 5 repetii! Inca 2! Da, degeaba, eu renuntasem deja de la numarul 6. Era antrenoarea sincera in ceea ce spunea? Sentimentul de a-ti pasa este sincer atunci cand este exprimat, dar nu si in cursul de fitness. Bineinteles, e corect sa numeri de la 4 la 1 in succesiunea 4,3,2,1. De netagaduit. Dar ma indoiesc ca banii pe care ii platesc in fiecare saptamana o provoaca sa fie sincera cand preda cursul. A fost totusi o scorpie autentica atunci cand nu m-a lasat sa-mi fac siesta in timp ce colegele de curs numarau ultimele abdomene din serie.

“Nein, gerade hab´ ich keine, sorry”. Sa fi continuat sa-i povestesc tipului cu palarie gri ca nu fumez cand fac sport si actionez impotriva mea prin a-mi lasa tigarile acasa ar fi fost probabil nepoliticos. Trucul de a-mi lasa intentionat tigarile acasa nu ma face o nefumatoare sincera, dar spune despre mine ca prefer sa lupt impotriva mea intr-un mod deschis si veritabil, sa rad de mine in oglinda. Asa cum rad de mine in oglinda de fiecare data cand trece o jumatate de ora si incep sa-mi pun la indoiala cuvintele. Adevarul din spatele lor. Adevarul se afla intr-un univers paralel, el exista, dar momentan reteaua de neuroni incearca sa apeleze un abonat care nu poate fi contactat. Incercati mai tarziu.

“Na ja, danke”. Cum sa nu, cu placere. Cred ca i-am salvat doua minute din viata in modul cel mai veritabil.

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Filed under Concepte, Gânduri, Povești 1 la 1