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Nan

tabaahe_jack_one

I decided to meet Nan again through writing a few days ago, by writing an article about her, after having written a poem to her, which I will reveal to you at the end of this text, like the icing on the cake.

If there is a serene part of my childhood, I owe it to Nan.

Especially the winters were enchanting as she would carry me in my sleigh on holiday seasons while carolers wearing royal helmets and masked men would draw near me, unsuccessfully trying to scare me as nothing could frighten me when I was with her.

During the long winter nights we would cross stitch on etamine, crochet or pluck feathers, both bundled up in two counterpanes. Nan would read „Evening Star” to me in such a way as to make me believe I was that „most beautiful maid” from the poem (during those times I really was beautiful).

The only poem I did not like was „Penes the Turkey” by Vasile Alecsandri. My mom told Nan I must learn poems by heart and, for some unknown reason, Nan made me learn that poem which was unsuitable for my tender age of 5.

As years went by, I developed a strong dislike towards Alecsandri on account of that poem. But Nan would reveal other authors to me as well besides the two above mentioned.

She would invite a neighbour’s granddaughter to our place to read us from the Romanian textbook. Thus I took part in my first rural book club. The girl read „The Baby Chick” to us, a tearful story, and while she was reading, I was weeping and my Nan was crying too. I don’t recall whether the girl was weeping or not.

That moment reminds me of another instance in which I was weeping and Nan told me to stop it and I told her „Let the girl weep”, as if I was speaking about somebody else.

During springtime we would enjoy the pleasant scent of the hyacinths or tulips planted right in front of our house.  We would enjoy them only until our afternoon nap when gipsies would enter the courtyard and steal our beautiful flowers, to my Nan’s sadness.

When strawberries began to ripen I took my bucket in the garden and fill it to the brim, eating them just as „Memories from my boyhood” ’s character ate cherries: raw, ripen, as they were.

In my Nan’s countryside, chickens used to be raised in a beanie, then cats would become their foster mothers. There was this harmony among birds and felines just like in the Garden of Eden.

There was only a dog, called The Queen, which disturbed the dumb creatures’ harmony as she used to bite her cubs by the eyes. I’ve never understood the reason why Nan did not give up on such a degenerate mother as The Queen was.

As far as I was concerned, I was lucky with that dog.

Once, when I was very, very young, I took some colorful cushions with me and  I made myself at home in her kennel. Nan was desperately seeking me everywhere, even in the toilet, until I myself exited the „royal” kennel.

Over the years my Nan raised many dogs, which she would always name The Queen if they were females and Tarzan if they were males. Many years later the reading of the novel A Hundred Years of Solitude, where I discovered many characters bearing the same names, reminded me of that unwritten countryside law of giving the animals the same names.

When she would cut a hen, Nan would give me its best parts — the legs — and I would feed the cats with them, by throwing the legs under the table, while I used to eat the remaining polenta with oil.

Nan was not very good at cooking, she would say she was going to make pancakes, but they looked and tasted like flat cakes. Yet for me, her granddaughter, they were good nevertheless, since they were made by Nan.

In the summertime we would bring the goats to graze in the forest. What Nan didn’t know was that their menu also comprised orange juice powder and pineapple candy. I will never forget the goats’ bold look when they ate sweets from my hand! While being in the woods I would unsuccessfully chase dragonflies.

Nan was happy to have me around and that’s why she would often sing old romantic songs from her youth like „At the white cottage” and „Trurli, Trurli, dear…”

Sometimes there were troubles too, like that instance when I wanted to build a cottage under the windowsill and a stone fell on my head. When Nan saw my bleeding forehead she gave me first aid improvising and patching me up with a pair of underclothing for lack of some bandages.

I used to do a lot of mischief when I was a child, that’s why Nan nicknamed me Satan. Whether I was Satan or not, when the priest came to toss holy water on us, I hid behind the wood stove and remained there until he left.

All these stories cheered me up and made me recall the best time of my childhood.

I finish the text about those magic moments with the English translation of a poem I wrote for my dear Nan whom I see with my mind’s eye knitting woolen socks for her granddaughter.

The little knit slippers are ready!

My nan is knitting my childhood:
Forward stitch backward stitch.

She unravels the yarn in snowballs,
Snowmen

And one horse open sleigh.

She purls so much love
With the needles.

The little knit slippers are ready!

(Poem translated by Maria-Nicoleta)

 

Note: „Memories of My Boyhood” is the English translation of the Romanian book Amintiri din copilărie, by Ion Creangă, a reference book for all Romanian children).

 

The Source of the Painting:

https://savvycollector.com/products/2236-grandmother-and-her-granddaughter-outdoors-by-jack-tobaahe-gene

Anunțuri

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I was born with a normal number of fingers and toes. But as years went by, precisely around ten, I gained another „finger” at my right hand in the shape of a pen.

Since then I look at the writing instrument as if it were an extension of my body without which I wouldn’t be myself, but rather a person with fewer feelings and thoughts.

„What happened when you were ten?” you may ask. My folks and I paid a visit to a painter whose thirteen-year-old daughter showed me something magic: her diary. On small, hand-sized white pages with blue borders A. would write about ordinary moments of her life like this sentence I recall now: My dad brought me a cup of tea.

This preoccupation with writing down  more or less trivial events enchanted me on the spot and, when I arrived at home, the little monkey in me began her own diary in which I would consistently write noteworthy things for years.

Over the years, when I read those diaries, I would laugh out loud at the involuntary humour I would come across on almost each and every page.

When I reached my teenage years, in addition to keeping a diary for my favourite singer, I began to write small compositions for him with a diligence I now envy.

This phase passed too and during my university years I got very embarrassed by the mediocrity of my writings and tore them to pieces accordingly.

Nowadays I could not have such an approach towards my writings. I sometimes write in a trance-like state, other times I am disappointed by the poor quality of my articles. But no matter their value, my texts are parts of me and if I threw them away I would feel emotionally crippled.

„Why do you keep writing?” you may ask.

I write to better capture moments dear to me.

I write for those moments in which I feel I have a cherry tree  blossoming under my skin.

I write for the five or six-year old child I once was who was mesmerized by letters even before she even knew what they were.

I write because of a paradox:  to detach myself from people for a while, only to get closer to them through writing.

For all these reasons each thought I write is an occasion to  celebrate as the writing process itself brings about endless love, removes all the negative feelings and reminds me what it means to just be.

P.S.  A few moments ago, when I invited my mother in my room to read this text to her, Kotik, our tomcat, sat between us to listen to the reasons I keep on writing. I assume he liked it as he began to purr. ☺

I would like to give my special thanks to M.Z., who was the proofreader of this text.

Source of the photo:

https://beeinformed.org/2011/06/01/pollen-nerds/

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How did you get to live in paintings for free?

By practicing my daily admiration towards them up to the point in which, if I accidentally cut my fingers, no blood would flow, but drips of paint. In addition to this, I practiced the gift of invisibility. It is crucial because, if you were visible, you would change the look of the painting in a way the artist wouldn’t want.

 

In which paintings did you feel the best?

Monet’s Water Lilies are good hosts, in Sense of Sight, by Annie Louisa Swynnerton, I glanced at the sky so much that I felt my wings grow.

 

Does living in paintings have its disadvantages?

The paintings are wonderful places where you can spend your time, but it is a different story if you want to eat something, because it is compulsory that you enter a painting with nothing else but your own person. Food is forbidden, as well as a mere blanket that could make you feel warm. I had a rough time with  Arcimboldo’s Summer and Autumn. There were so many juicy fruits and vegetables, but they all  had the same taste: of very old paint. This doesn’t mean that it would be a better experience if the paint is brand new…Anyway…Another painting that kept me off guard was Monet’ Magpie. It was very, very cold in it and I was only dressed in a Romanian blouse and denim skirt!

 

Is there a way you can detect between a genuine painting and a forged one?

I have beautiful dreams when I sleep in an authentic painting. If I fall asleep in Leonardo’s paintings, the night lasts as long as The Renaissance. Other times, I take a short nap on one of Monet’s haystacks. As for a fake painting, it gives me nightmares.

 

How do you spot the next tenants of the masterpieces?

They have a special way of glancing at the exhibits. They use their rollers skates in order to see as many painting as possible in a short period of time. It may look like a shallow approach, but it is not because these tourists almost always have an art book on their nightstand.

 

How are your rectangular shaped hosts?

They are pretty much like people: sometimes they are glad, other times are sad and other times are scared… One day, in May, the light was entering the gallery and  it enlivened all paintings, even those which had dark themes felt spring in their souls.

 

What are the paintings’ greatest fears?

They are sometimes afraid that an art thief might send them away from the eyes of the tourists. They feed on our admiration, the more admirers they have the happier they get. However, when this danger occurs, tenants of the paintings from all over the world come and all live in the same work of art. The painting becomes so heavy, that not even a crane can lift it. And the danger disappears. Yet, the paintings have this fear ever since the tenants were not so well organized as now and didn’t have a NGO to defend art.

 

Does living in paintings help you have access to the minds of the great artists?

For the tenants of the paintings art is a visceral, emotional experience rather than a cerebral one. We are BA in the paintings’ feelings, not in their thoughts.

 

So, their inspiration cannot become yours.

I cannot create paintings, it is true, but inspiration can manifest itself in other ways, for instance, I can write a poem about a certain painting. An art form can be the starting point of another one. In my case, for instance, Sergiu Grapă’s work called Poems’ Hunting inspired me to write a poem.

 

Can you tell us a funny story about your experience as a tenant of paintings?

There are several funny stories, but there’s one that crosses my mind now. I wanted to live in a storm painted by Turner, of whom I knew he tied himself to the ship’s topmast so that he could better capture the nature’s burst. And I caught a severe cold.

 

Thank you!

Thank you too!

 

I would like to give my special thanks to M.Z., who was the proofreader of this text.

The image: Sense of Sight by Annie-Swynnerton

Source: youtube

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The Source of the Pictures:

1.http://viptalisman.com/frame/3396/

2. https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/young-woman-in-dressing-gown-stretching-in-bed-royalty-free-image/103579833?esource=SEO_GIS_CDN_Redirect

3. http://hdwarena.com/snow.html

4. Google images.

5. https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/2000/1*42ebJizcUtZBNIZPmmMZ5Q. jpeg

6. https://img00.deviantart.net/7a8d/i/2012/053/9/9/pokemon_bus_by_cloverwing-d4qkp6g

7. http://takebackyourtemple.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Shining-Face

8. .https://www.deviantart.com/art/Crayons-36022947

9. https://www.marjoriesarnat.com/creative-cats

10. Google images.

11. Google images.

12.  https://www.deviantart.com/art/Rainbow-Piano-111694977

 

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The Source of the images:

http://browse.deviantart.com/?q=by+the+fireplace#/d4ktckr

http://browse.deviantart.com/?q=sotron#/dzgy09

https://www.colibrigames.mx/LA-LLAMADA-REMEDIOS-VARO-,1440_1479758979

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?https://www.deviantart.com/art/Birthday-Morning

https://www.deviantart.com/art/Our-Town-72536024

https://www.vladstudio.com/wallpaper/?toucan

http://alexandrinahristov.blogspot.ro/ 49096299set=a.488108284286.264796.44869749286&type=3

http://browse.deviantart.com/?q=bubbles+child#/d2ghfdc

http://browse.deviantart.com/?q=kites&offset=48#/dv791k://www.musicalpainter.com/original%20paintings.html

http://browse.deviantart.com/?q=music#/d19ewgehttp://browse.deviantart.com/?q=tulips&offset=24#/deg59x

http://browse.deviantart.com/?q=happiness&offset=48#/d2n8yv1

http://browse.deviantart.com/?q=share&offset=120#/d2uvbg6

 

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There was a time in my life when I had a job I disliked with every fibre of my being and I felt that each day at the office was a torment. In those times I encountered a project created by Uptitude called Piccoli momenti di felicità in which several volunteers spoke about their small moments of  happiness.

Inspired by those volunteers, I couldn’t wait to come home from work and write about my own moments of happiness. This project I share with you helped me keep sane during those hectic times.

 

 

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 To be continued

The Source of the Images:

http://browse.deviantart.com/?q=by+the+fireplace#/d4ktckr

http://browse.deviantart.com/?q=sotron#/dzgy09

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?https://www.deviantart.com/art/Birthday-Morning

https://www.deviantart.com/art/Our-Town-72536024

https://www.vladstudio.com/wallpaper/?toucan

http://alexandrinahristov.blogspot.ro/

http://browse.deviantart.com/?q=bubbles+child#/d2ghfdc

http://browse.deviantart.com/?q=kites&offset=48#/dv791k://www.musicalpainter.com/original%20paintings.html

http://browse.deviantart.com/?q=music#/d19ewgehttp://browse.deviantart.com/?q=tulips&offset=24#/deg59x

http://browse.deviantart.com/?q=happiness&offset=48#/d2n8yv1

http://browse.deviantart.com/?q=share&offset=120#/d2uvbg6

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