๐ˆ ๐ฅ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐Ÿ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฌ๐ก๐จ๐ž๐ฌ

I love the sound of falling shoes
they’re softly dancing, paint with time
and stream above the don’ts and does
above the rhythm, screw the rhyme.

Rorrim

Two poems intertwined. The first, by Vlad Razvan Baciu, so dense that every atom of moving music tells a new story, but also so light, like helium gas lifting balloons riding over air, filled with multiplicities of space and feeling. The second, my own ( https://halfspoken.org/2017/10/22/mirror). To hear the two voices of the poem, so masterfully interpreted by Christine Simolka and Renรฉ Woklhauser, is to feel understood, multiplied, enriched. I cannot fully grasp the notion that this perfomance is traveling to many places. Thank you so much for this experience!

Don’t stop

I think I was 5 when I realized that I had a slightly major defect in vision. You see, normal people, when they look at a rainbow, they see the magic of language break apart into a slippery slope of indistinguishable contradictions, as for me, colors are like words in a dictionary, messed up and different: I cannot understand why red and pink are more similar than red and blue. And because of that I grew up knowing that the way I see the world is very different.

When I was 16, my brother, who was 18 at the time, walked with me all the 25 km from the top of the mountain where we lived, to the closest town, where I was supposed to find a job. It was my first time out into the world, so my brother poured on me, as we walked, all the conventional wisdom. โ€œThere are four gods in the worldโ€, he said, โ€œand every day, only one of them is true. We could not find him, unless he wanted us toโ€. My brother went on ranting: โ€œscience is what we know, philosophy is what we donโ€™t, and magic is how we turn one into another. But magic is hard work. And of all spells, the most difficult is a curse. You see, a curse is a spell so long that it can fill a hundred volumes, and takes decades to utter. Unless you take every word of the spell and split it between people in a large crowd, then, you can destroy a life in a matter of minutes.โ€ 

As my brother went on … โ€œto avoid a spell you have toโ€ โ€ฆ all I could think was – what a bunch of nonsense! So I let him talk by himself, and wondered at the large stone buildings raising up downhill, and the metal cars moving in perfect line with the edge of the town.

We went to the city market, and there I saw people walking hurried north-east-south-west, supposedly searching amongst the 4 gods to find the right one. The moment we entered the market – my brother confident, and me, with eyes scattered – the crowd suddenly stopped from their running. They could tell that I was different, and that if I haven’t been cursed yet, I had to be cursed. As if they’ve been expecting me all along, they all came in a circle around me, chanting. In a matter of minutes, the spell was uttered. By the time we arrived home, I could see only 10 meters around me. Beyond that, the world was filled with a thick foam of darkness. I tried to move through the night cloud but it was filled with scary thoughts and filthy smells.

That day, I told my brother – โ€œI will shake off this darkness!โ€ but he yelled with despair โ€œIt canโ€™t be done. No one has ever undone a curse like that. I told you to look straight. I told you not to show any fear. They saw you were weak and now โ€ฆ youโ€™re lost to the world!โ€

โ€œNo, I have a plan. I will shake off the darkness, I will go into the darkness every day and I will write a story about it. Day after day until I will shake it off completely and finish my book.โ€.

โ€œYouโ€™re crazy!โ€ he said, and then went away. Every day he would come to my 10 meters circle of light, and bring flowers and sweets and magazines. And every day I grew more bitter because I could find none of those things in my darkness. And when I asked him to stop coming he brought me books and news of his new job. And when I asked him to stop coming he brought me a TV and talked about his friends and parties. And then I got really angry because he wouldnโ€™t stop and I pushed him against the stone.

There was blood. I looked up at the sky and for some reason, none of the four gods was watching. I couldnโ€™t stay home anymoreโ€ฆ But Iโ€™ve never before spent more than a day in the darkness! 

I donโ€™t remember the first month. It was mostly fear. Finally, I started writing again in my book stories of what I saw. You see, my darkness was not like the darkness of a blind person. It had corners. It had texture. In between the thick fog there were bubbles of fresh air. It was like watching the moon appear and disappear between the clouds except my moon moved like a balloon spitting out air. Now Iโ€™d see in front of me an autumn leaf pop out and then disappear, and later on a mustache suspended in a jiff in the empty air, or a pair of high heels rushing. Or a dog cuddling at my feet, who would go out in the river to swim, and then come back to shake the water off my feet. We walked together for days: the dog was homeless , so was I. One day, as we were walking around, I realized that I could see the grass, I could see the roots of trees, I could see the legs of people, and small children playing. But every time when the dog went away I was surrounded again by darkness. And when the dog would come back, I could see everything up, but only up to my waist – I could see the world through the eyes of the dog. As we walked together, one day I saw a woman who was beating her hands gently against a row of white little boxes that were sitting on the top of a sort of big black board. A most beautiful sound came out of it, and the music touched the ceilings of the building, reached to the sky, caressed the faces of people, and through the eyes of the music I could see everywhere. When the music stopped, the darkness would envelop me again. So I did what everyone of you would do: I went to places where music was everywhere.

45 years passed from that time. Iโ€™m sure none of you will believe me. No one ever believes me when I tell them about my age. Most people give me 25 years, unless Iโ€™m sad. Then only they can see my true age. The truth is, Iโ€™m 70 now. And if it werenโ€™t for something that happened 2 weeks ago, I wouldnโ€™t have dared to tell this story.

I went back to the mountain I grew up in, to the church where the preacher was telling the same old story โ€˜There are four gods in the world and every day, only one of them is true… โ€œ. At the end of the service, the preacher came to me, an energetic man of 72, who talked with lots of joy and enthusiasm. His wife, who was sitting next to him, couldnโ€™t take her eyes off him. I could tell they were still in love. And he told me about his kids and grandkids and grandgrandkids and how the two of them have metโ€ฆ But there was something strangely familiar about him. And then he told me how when he was 18, his younger brother fled far away home, with only a notebook in his hand. I felt a jolt in my heart, and wanted to run, he was my brother! โ€œThis is not possible – I killed you!โ€ I said. His eyes became large, he hugged me and said – โ€œnone of the 4 gods was watching us that day – when the gods donโ€™t see something, it doesnโ€™t happen!” “I have something for you”, I said. And from my bag I drew out a book. โ€œYou remember the day I was cursed? I told you I will shake off the darkness, and write a book about it, and you said I was crazy. This is the book!โ€. He opened it up. He read story after story, his eyes gaping. After a long time, he stopped and asked me โ€œwhat is this?โ€, pointing to a squibble drawn at the end of every story, a word that looked like a rainbow where all the colors were messed up and different . โ€œDo you remember what you told me?โ€ I said. โ€œThere are four gods in the world and every day, only one of them is true, we could not find him, unless he wanted us toโ€. That squibble, that is the name of the true god, I found her. Her name is โ€˜hopeโ€™.

Scent of beauty

an alien ghost, the shade of apples,
fresh smoke of mint, burned, spoiled by pale sweat,
crawls twisting on the fractal aether.

time blurs, repeated ends, disturbs the vapid vapor,
behind your curls on air’s weight,
your shadow never left.

lyrics written for the lied with the same title by Vlad R. Baciu https://vladrazvanbaciu.com

The taste of time

When I was a kid my mother told me that the sky was a piece of cloth hung up by God, to dry. Most of the water would wither in the sun, but some of the droplets would crawl all the way down to the edge of the cloth, and there, just like a lover who meets his love after a lifetime of waiting, undecided where to start, there, the droplet would split into a billion pieces, and kiss the earth everywhere at the same time. And it would rain โ€ฆ 

We are thrown out into the world like in a game which we have to play to discover the rules. First thing I discovered as a kid, was that I could decide what things were.  

I could decide that water tastes like milk, and apples taste like bananas. So imagine how surprised were my parents when they saw me lick my fingers after eating that ugly mesh of boiled vegetables I always hated. It was the day when I discovered I could decide that everything tastes like chocolate. Happily for my teeth, I got sick of the chocolate taste after just one week. And then, I had a potatoes phase, a tuna fish phase, and one whole year where everything tasted like tomatoes with cottage cheese. 

When I was in school, to make things easy, I decided that French and English are the same language, so I had to learn only one. I decided that Physics was the night dream of people who liked to wear white coats, and the only true science was that of the keys pressed on my keyboard, where I could decide what everything was. 

Many years passed but thatโ€™s a story for another time. Fast forward to January 2020. I was in front of Duomo di Milano, in an open plaza, with doves flying tourists under the sky blue, and rocks crawling up and down buildings competing to see their king, the high tower of the church. And I, I was in this beautiful game where I could decide anything, and I was sad. And I couldnโ€™t understand why… 

My sadness grew strong. I felt like I was fading, disintegrating,

As if Iโ€™ve grown a million eyes,
To watch the present,
And live forever in the now.

I watch it all,
My day, my night,
A tireless big brother.

For every single thing,
That goes under the sun.
Must have some meaning,
For another.

Iโ€™m keeping now a record,
Of the facts.
That I myself forget,
For the next day,
Itโ€™s all anew.

The past,
Is obsolete.

I spent that whole afternoon, under Duomo di Milano, following the passers-by as they walked, and wishing them to be happy. But somehow, accepting that I wasnโ€™t the only one who could decide things, that anyone could make the rules of the game, didnโ€™t make me happier. The sadness was still there, deeper and thicker. And then, all of a sudden, I knew why I was sad …I had no idea what apples taste like. 

I mean, I have had apples my entire life. But every time I ate them they tasted like something else. I wanted to know what apples really taste like.

It was February 2020 when I called my mom, and asked her what do apples taste like ?  

On the phone, she reminded me that the sky was a piece of cloth hung up by God, to dry. Most of the water would wither in the sun, but some of the droplets would crawl all the way to the edge of the cloth, and there, just like a lover who meets his love after waiting a lifetime, undecided where to start, there, the droplet would split in a billion pieces and kiss the earth everywhere at the same time. The droplet never knew that the earth cheated on it so many times, and the earth would always forget. So every tree, and every apple was the fruit of a new love. And for some reason every time God hanged his cloth for drying, it was another one, the sky was never the same as the one before. At the end, my mother warned me, with the words of William Blake – “If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite.” 

With that thought in my mind, I thanked my mom and went to Albert Heijn and fit in as many apples as I could fit in one of those big bags. I really wanted to taste infinity. It was February 2020.ย 

I got home, closed my eyes, and bit into the first apple. It felt like it was the beginning of spring, the grass was hard, and the grass was not sure yet what color it will have. I looked around, and I found myself in this labyrinth, pressing hard against stone walls. My sweat smelled like mint. I pressed for hours until I reached the middle of the labyrinth, and there, in the middle of it, there was a little bird chirping. I let the bird live, and then, keeping my eyes closed, I picked up the second apple. 

It was like a castle red with stones. In every room, molecules were dancing a different dance. It took me a long time to find the big hall of the castle. In the center was the biggest disc of solid light Iโ€™ve ever seen, surrounded by 8 black holes, that contained everything that was, and everything that will be. I was getting closer and closer to them, drawn by their power and then … 

I opened my eyes. The phone was ringing. I had 652 missed calls. The year was 2021, a whole year has passed. Apparently, everyone has been locked in their houses for an entire year. No one could understand why I didnโ€™t answer the phone. No one could understand how I spent my whole 2020 biting through two apples. 

I was afraid that if I dig into a third apple, I will miss so many precious years โ€ฆ There was only one way out โ€ฆ I had to decide once and for all what the taste of apples was. 

Pendulation

I rediscovered this poem while researching an emotion for a writing project. Each line absorbed the rhythm of the surroundings. In between stanzas words were said, people moved… And in the conscious comedy of confronting a fear, I saw a glimpse of Henley’s “unconquerable soul”.

Categorically waiting too much
Like a numnut dumb watermelon
Near the comma of my dot
A subterfuge for the structure to carry on.

Minus dot dash dash
Morse code unending compassion for the anticipation to be had
I am so sloow
Not undecided
But hesitating afraid.
Unafraid.
Checklist.

The ground has never failed to hurt me when I was falling
Failing
Trembling
Of unease.
Inside the spontaneous gargle beneath the handwriting
Underlined a carryover.

It is frankly never no more
Curved lining.

Cloud categorization system.
Cumulus all the layers.

Wish list

I wrote my wish list for last year on a plane back to Amsterdam (Jan 1st 2020):

I want to move weightless
Even when the whole world strains my back
To fill the space between words
With boundless time.

I want to rise mountains,
With a whisper;
To learn to wait
Not counting timeโ€ฆ
Just one stretched moment.

I want to feel everything without being touched
To live between many perspectives and none.

I want to want nothing,
For a day or two,
And thenโ€ฆ
I want to want everything again.

They say that goals should be specific and measurable ๐Ÿ˜…, but I’ve always been the stubborn type, who likes to walk against the horizon. I don’t know how to move weightless. Yet. But I’ve learned how to cook ๐Ÿ˜…. I cannot rise mountains with a whisper, but I bought so many plants that my room has its own weather system ๐Ÿ˜‚.

Out of the box – story of a song

I’m soo excited to share the first video in my storytelling podcast ! Spoiler alert – there are lots of surprises :D. Really happy with what came out, hope you like it !

Times being as they were, I had to think … literally out of a box ๐Ÿ˜….

You may want to press the youtube button (watch on youtube) – to watch it in fullscreen.

Inception

Today…

I tried

A
G
O
Y

For the first time,

I sp lit
a pair of twins,
conjoined as they were
by the roots,

And saw a brownie
Turn into a tree.

(Baked 40 minutes)

Nowhere did it say that
trees grow darker
at twilight.

So I threw โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ the crust โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ โ€‹ away.

 

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