I just realized that I am one of those persons who actively avoid as much as possible expressing my gender. I am secure in my own gender identity as a man, and it is congruent with my sex identity and secondary sexual characteristics, I even probably have the common defects of a man, for example short attention span, tendency to be predominantly visually stimulated to the expense of other senses, or constant need to problem solve instead of just offering empathic listening. Yet because I am predominantly inclined to be sexually attracted to males and have even embraced my own sexual orientation as being homosexual, in the context of specific social cultural factors and even practically lacking role models I could find to readily identify myself with, (due to enormous fear of ridicule should I have taken the caricatural route, which I totally understand and even applaud from time to time as a cultural and artistic expression, yet not being personally one who might be inclined to be artistic), I just practically have tended to be as gender neutral as possible in my expression…..which is of course also the safe route because it does not appear at all threatening plus offers the way out from the disadvantages of firm commitments. I am practically austere in my own social gender expression, I also feel more in control that way, non-threatening and non-threatened at the same time. Yet deep down in my own soul I long to have the freedom to wear a Hawaii-an silk flowered shirt from time to time, I long for the South Pacific, even if that in itself it’s become such a cliché. But I have my magenta rubber bathroom slippers made in Brazil, a gift from my own childhood BFF, I have Cloudia’s blog in my blogroll on my other site, I know who I am and I allow myself some freedoms, yet in a terribly controlled manner, I agree. It’s funny, even as I feel Mr Paul Theroux expressed himself for me in his Hotel Honolulu, in my own life experience it was practically there, in Hawaii that I experienced being so far away from home, truly disjointed and mostly unwelcome plus immensely incompetent, even while finding myself under the most gracious and privileged of possible circumstances, and although I could never feel entitled to assign blame to anyone or anything external to myself in particular, not even the truly troubled and often tragic or certainly traumatic history of Hawaii, I felt profound and immense weariness and sadness each and every time I was physically there. Maybe it was jet lag to a certain extent, although one reads it is easier when traveling West rather than East. Maybe it was my own conscience bothering me because I had been too hard on myself, too austere…I was almost too certain that from any perspective it all stemmed from me, while the environment had little or nothing to do with it. It was after all a skewed narcissistic perspective, but each and every time I was physically present in Hawaii, I felt so unbearably sad for most of the time. And no, alcohol had nothing to do with it. It all stemmed from me from the moment I set foot there.
There was only one time, just for a short fleeting brief moment that I felt I could really be myself in Hawaii, and felt also at peace with the world around me, on a small street near some totally non-descript and by now abandoned non-functional and not yet newly developed commercial docks, away from the beaches, away from the stores, away from the palace and seat of government, away from Pearl Harbor, away from the Polynesian Cultural Center, away from all the props that remind one of history. Just for that moment I felt truly at ease and at peace with myself while I was in Hawaii. I was alone, I had just seen a Japanese cartoon movie, a masterpiece according to the critics, which I enjoyed and even admired while watching it but totally forgot as soon as I got out of the theater, and which I now remember just by virtue that it immediately preceded my own moment of peace, not because of its universal fairy-tale thematic plot or brilliant technique. The colors surrounding me then in real life were mostly sienna and beige. (I have had a long time an affinity for ochre, sienna, and adobe, I have no idea why.) I couldn’t quite see the blue of the sky although I knew somehow it was there and was peaceful and this offered me safety and security, I couldn’t smell or hear the ocean, it was just me, some dust and wooden planks under my soles, some empty windows, that was all. I don’t even remember what shoes I had on, and this usually I am most attentive about and remember to detail if there is anything to remember about anything, but anyway I felt OK with them as tthey were, safe and protected as well. And totally unencumbered by whatsoever worries, neither anxious, nor depressed, not guilty about anything, totally probably zen I would say. I do not actively search for such moments, I just consider them gifts. Maybe this is a wrong attitude, maybe I should be more pro-activeabout this type of zen, make a disciplined exercise out of it…it’s true, it is not my strong suit to want to be disciplined and being indolent is probably my greatest vice, the secondary one is being profligate, but shouldn’t one allow oneself some indulgence towards oneself, should all be subject to constant duty ? I have no clue plus I have no inclination towards rhetorical pseudo-philosophical questions…and yet gender is one of the most talked about themas in philosophy right now.
Dripping with stars from the skies,
As if snowing with white rags
Patiently gathering in piles
Of flickering blinding snowdrifts.
Overnight the windowpanes
Became replete with curious flowers
Urging one to many a wonder
And sweet moments of daydreams.
The flurries are quickening
Making hope grow in one’s soul:
Should our winter be more like winter
Perchance summer will be warmer.
Chimneys from many a rooftop
Lengthen via smoking plumes,
Which rapidly lose momentum,
According to how the wind blows.
The gray of the weary fall
Forced to submit itself
To a blanketing of light.
by Petru Racolta, published January 7th 2015
TODAY I SAW PEOPLE
I was once ice, but the Sun god blessed me with warmth. So I was reborn into a mountain lake. I grew up there interacting with others like myself and other creatures of the water. Many say that I am the source of life on Earth, but I am still not convinced that this is so. I did nothing special to be what I am and I really can accomplish nothing that might change that. Nature is my mistress and of those others like myself. She decides how long and how I will live. I like to think that I, like everyone else, am only a small cog, part of the great machinery of life. I, like you, have aspirations, desires and feelings. I’m happy when I meet someone who thinks like I do, or suffers when they lose a loved one. I had never met people until today. Today Nature showed me the world.
I evaporated. I left the body in which I had been accustomed to live. I left the lake behind, with the promise that in the distant future I will have the chance to reunite with my loved ones, if not in the same place I grew up in another ever more so beautiful. I do not remember much of my journey to heaven. Burned by the Sun god, I felt that this journey of disintegration the elders call Rebirth is nothing else than simple death. The long and painful journey transported me to a place that I had previously imagined to be totally different. The old tales spoke about it with fascination, which is why my previous image of it was fairytale like. I had been wrong, because where I arrived evaporated was more akin a battlefield, nothing enchanting about it. I recomposed myself.
There, above all, a bitter struggle for survival goes on. I was part of a rain cloud. Amazingly, there are no friends and no holds barred. Everything is gray. I did not recognize anyone and I got the impression that no one knows anyone. I acquired a new body that became colder or warmer independently of my will. Nature remodeled me for combat, it seems. Although I could not adjust my temperature, I had regained full freedom of movement. I learned that I can increase or minimize my size with amazing speed, but without discovering what could be the use of it. The fact is that that place still haunts me. I had no time to think about what was happening to me. The environment became increasingly darker, noisier, worse. My peers were dying bumped of by stronger ones. Wherever I looked I saw drops dancing in a gruesome battle. I accepted my fate, I let my guard down feeling that this for me is the end. And then everything went white.
A bang that made me vibrate woke me up. Now I am falling, I’m spinning very fast. I am falling without being able to see my way. I’m not dead, it seems. I cannot take control, I cannot move, I can do nothing. I think I fainted when the white sea embraced the cloud which had become my new home. In a way I’m glad I broke out of it. But at what price? If I had stayed there, I would have died; I escaped and now I am heading at great speed towards nowhere. I am falling uncontrollably, piercing clouds of different colors. I am glad though that I regained my liquid body, but this is but a meager consolation. My end will find me in my rightful body which is howerver slowly failing. I look behind me with great effort and observe terrified that little pieces of me are left behind. I am fall apart, I am almost frozen and I cannot do anything about it. It may have been better to have chosen to remain in the cloud and to die like a proud warrior; not a coward, running away.
Wonder. I came out of the cloud and began to warm up. Although I am falingl at the same speed I fail to control, a sense of well being is flooding my senses. I might yet come out of this alive. I get to see the curve of the horizon, so the Earth is really curved. I begin to recognize the green of the trees, I begin to recognize the irregular forms of the lakes, I see huge gray snakes streaked with white, interrupted stripes on which other creatures of different colors are moving. I see moving rivers, I see huge ossified spiders, I see ants moving to and fro, I see weird, inert trees, I see life. That gives me strength. As the earth becomes more visible, I realize that the snakes are actually roads, the spiders are electric wires, the ants are … well, humans. Some are hidden under some colored mushrooms which are protecting them from the rain, others have other coverings on their heads. I manage to forcefully steer my landing on the nose of one without a protecting mushroom. I do not linger more than a few seconds that I am flicked away in a small puddle. Almost immediately someone steps on me. How will I ever find my way home?
by Razvan Ianculescu, 03/25/2914
The most fragrant of all flowers
Are the lilies of the valley
Loved by all around the world
From the Danube to Hong Kong.
We know them also as May bells
In most popular parlance
And each year in the springtime
I’m dying to sense their wondrous smell.
In my earliest childhood days
I often ran around the dewy forest
But it was not always as intended:
In lieu of May bells I found bears’ garlic.
Because it is so with those May belles:
They often leave you all deceived
You’re looking for them with feverish eyes
And you must get by with ramsons instead.
It is those most sensitive bells
I’ve been looking for since I was child
They are so fragrant, they are so lovable
And they bring warm sunshine in my soul.
by Loopoo, April 15, 2014
Min ven, Claudiu Constantin, skrev:
Denne sidste weekend, har jeg ikke levet forgæves :) Vi gik camping i bjergene med en plan til at bestige det højeste bjerg, Moldoveanu (2544).
Ruten vi valgte var den Bad Valley (Valea Rea). Fra byen Slatina (ingen relation til byen Stellenbosch) kørte vi omkring 40 km på en grusvej til hvad jeg tror kaldes “Burneis fårefold”, hvor vejen ender helt. Denne vej er ganske god, den blev repareret / restaureret sidste år med europæisk finansiering. Vi nåede enden af vejen på fredag aften kl 04:00 (!), Vi oprettet vores telte, vi tændte et bål, spiste noget, og vi forberedt vores senge til at forsøge at benytte os av noget søvn i mindst et par timer, indtil ordentlig daggry. Fordi vejen er godt indser du, at den er en vej rejste af mange mennesker der kunne lide at feste. Over floden fra hvor vi opholdt os var nogle støjende revellers, der var råben og jodlende på en folkemusik soundtrack. Men det var ok, vi var også træt at blive generet af vores søvn.
Lørdag morgen pakkede vi lys og startede op ad bakken. Ruten fra dalen, hvor vi var indtil Moldoveanu er ikke meget hård eller lang, og kan opnås på en enkelt dag. Vi formåede at nemt at bestige det i omkring 3-3,5 timer og kom ned i omkring den samme tidsramme. Du kan opnå en bedre tid, hvis tid, hvis du går med en livligere skridt. Stien begynder med en alvorligt stejl skråning, som ender i en bund. Derefter passer den videre langs “Iezerul Triangular” (“Trekantet Sø”), og strækker sig tilbage til “Vistei Gate” (Poarta Vistei). Hvis du er heldig nok til ikke at støde tåge, kan du, fra dette høje punkt, se hele Transsylvanien landet. Din ånde vil blive fanget kort, især da netop i denne særlige stedet blæser vinden voldsomt, plus især hvis tilfældigvis ser du ned på den anden side af højderyggen.
Længere henne, begynder en mere vanskelig, måske endda farlig vej, der fører mod toppen kaldet Viştea Mare (2527m), og derefter til den højeste top, Moldoveanu. Forsigtighed bør udvises, et øjebliks uopmærksomhed kan sende en slynge ud i rummet. Jeg troede mit hjerte ville eksplodere, når en fyr ved siden af mig gled en smule og midlertidigt mistede balancen. Erfaren, formåede han at hurtigt genvinde den, men alle omkring lagt hændene på deres kister og gispede med skrækslagne overraskelse. Han tvang et smil, og sagde stille, meget stille og roligt “det er okay, jeg gled lidt […]”. Crazy mand, bange os alle til døden.
Efter et stykke tid endelig nået vi det magiske bjergtop. Vi var meget heldige, at når vi fik til toppen, var tågen helt væk, og sigtbarheten var så rart. Visionen skal virkelig ses af alle. Det er en af de ting, du skal gøre, før du dør, du går på Moldoveanu og se alle derer at blive set, alle bjerge og dale og hele Transsylvanien. Alt dette land, der så mange angiveligt kæmpet for over tid, og som vi nu spotter eller ignorerer, med vores nuvarende fokus på smålige og ubetydelige ting. Så mange, der har krydset Karpaterne at genforene os med en anden, eller at genvinde, hvad det er virkelig vores. Så mange, der har udholdt modgang med tanken til os fra deres fremtiden, os fyre, der er for dovne til at rekonstruere veje og bygværker, og indser, at vi har så mange ting uden selv fortjener dem … men om det måske en anden gang.
Udsigten er, som jeg sagde, fantastisk. Jeg stod der omkring 20-30 minutter, derefter topen blev overfyldt. Vi tog nogle billeder og begyndte ned ad bakken på den samme vej. Inden for et par timer var vi igen tilbage ned i nærheden af bilen. Vi har oprettet igen vores telter og sov en velfortjent søvn.
Den næste dag var søndag. Jeg vågnede selv på 9, en tid, som jeg ikke kan sove mere end på nogen måde, nogensinde. Drengene sov stadig, og gav ingen tegn på, at de ønskede at stå tidligt op, så jeg sagde til mig selv Udfordre accepteret, og planlagde at gå på den vej, vi ankom før, og troede, at de ville i sidste ende hamle op med mig, når de besluttede at våkne op nogen tid senere. Jeg vidste, at dette ville tage flere timer, så jeg havde tid nok til at gå, for at sightsee, at marchere. Og jeg gik, sprudlende og støvede vej flankeret af bjerge og deres skove, og derefter af bakker og deres skove, langs Raul Doamnei (Damens Floden) med en vand så klart, som jeg aldrig har set før. Og jeg gik og jeg tog billeder, og jeg stoppede for pauser, og jeg spiste et æble og en småkage, og jeg fyldet mig med vand, og så videre. Tiden fløj forbi som en fugl, og det gjorde 7 timers gå næsten uafbrudt. Mine såler begyndte at stikke, mine ben at spjæt, men min energi var langt fra at blive udtømt. Og så opsummerede jeg op nogle tredve kilometer langs Bad Valley, fra op tæt ved slutningen af vejen ned til denne by, Slatina. Det var den længste tur jeg nogensinde har gjort, jeg er så stolt af det, og kan ikke vente med at slå denne rekord: D Du kan ikke slå den følelse af tilfredshed, når man ser på kortet over Rumænien på en monitor, og vide, at du formået at snuble på tværs af en synlig tomme af det i et enkelt stræk!
Mod aften tog med mig de andre, og vi drønede tilbage mod hovedstaden. Hjemme igen, spiste jeg et varmt måltid (som jeg havde savnet) og jeg fik nogle gode hvile. Det var smukt, jeg elskede det og kan ikke vente med at gentage oplevelsen. Der er så mange steder, at se og så mange smukke stier til at rejse, alt for dårligt der er aldrig tid nok, og jeg er bundet til hovedstaden som så mange andre, der ikke har tid til at gøre, hvad de vil. Måske i en fjern fremtid vil jeg genvinde min frihed, og vil være i stand til at gå op ad bjerget så mange gange som jeg ønsker. Mindst, håber jeg :)