Saturday, September 1, 2012


    Praia da Amoreira sunset

I find very hard to order my mind what to think about and in what terms, but at least I started fighting my tendency to panic. It's hard to accept that I cannot control circumstances,  what tomorrow may bring, for better or worse, hard to avoid feelings of rage, self-pity, fear. Nowadays my mind is playing with me yo-yo style, getting on my nerves on every possible occasion. My imagination runs crazy, like enraged wild wild horses. So many ups and downs, fear, plenty of worst case scenarios, based on the alarming news I am getting from Romania.  Not that culture would do much better in Spain or Portugal. It's hard not to feel humiliated when you see that you've been left aside when it comes to matters regarding your life. 

So what if I lose my job? This job that I wanted so much, that I longed for since 2009, or maybe before that, that I feel it's so right for me, and I'm so right for it. My dream job, that made me leave the beautiful and beloved city of Barcelona, another good working place, and a life that just settled, with great friends, an interesting performing poetry group, nice trips and experiences, enjoying the beauty of Catalunya, this blessed land hanging between the mountains and the Mediterranean, offering so much to the eyes and the soul. Not that I don't love Lisbon, especially it's warm amazing golden glow that precedes and accompanies sunset. It just makes me feel welcome and sheltered here. 

My mother and my friends tell me to keep calm, that something good should come out of it anyway, that we don't know what the outcome of a seemingly negative event might be. So I'm trying to practice calm, but it's hard when you're alone in a foreign country on the other side of Europe, where you hardly landed six months ago. The other strategy would be to keep enjoying the present moment, living it deeply, disconsidering the past or the future. I remember that my ex used to tell me that I hardly start doing something that I am already thinking about the next thing to do. He might be right actually.

I understand that I should let the positive vibes rule my soul and soothe my mind. Enjoy the simple things as the great Lisbon weather, the sun, the breeze, tasty food and the act of preparing it, my friends, things I enjoy at work. And stop my catastrophic imagination from working. Accept the unexpected, the mistery of existence, let it enter my soul and surrender to it. Understand that this is beyond understanding, beyond my intelligence that I am so proud of. 

There are signs around me, lights in the dark, that I forget about most of the time. Last Friday evening I was in the beach town Cascais where I sometimes go for a quick swim. I had a candle in my bag, the purpose was to get inside some church and light it, but I forgot to do it before leaving Lisbon. So I entered a small chapel that was on my way. To my great surprise and disbelief the mass was in Romanian (by the accent I understood the father was from our sister country, Moldova). All of a sudden I understood that my steps were guided there and from my eyes started pouring tears of joy and relief. I knew I was not alone and that church was precisely the one I had to enter that day. 

The following Wednesday there were seven years since my father left this mortal ever changing world, and I felt very sorry that I could not be in Romania celebrating his memory with family and friends. I went to see the priest the day before and I made "colivă", an Orthodox ritual sweet that we only prepare in order to honour the memory of our dear departed, It is meant to be shared at the church, the cemetery, and between neighbours and friends *. It was the first time for me, and I felt very emotional about it, as I was thinking about how I was reproducing the gestures of my grand-grand mother, Maca, my grand-mother, Florica and my mother. They were with me in a very special way. Wednesday morning I went to the church with two heavy bags, with bread, red wine and two small colivas. I wept abundantly thinking of my father, but at the same time I was happy that I was granted the opportunity to honour his memory the traditional way myself, all alone on this side of the world. I shared one coliva at the church and one at work, where we happened to have a good-bye party. So some Portuguese, a Chilean and a French-Japanese appreciated it too.

Today I went to the beach in the afternoon with two Portuguese I met recently, two lovely ladies of my age, a journalist and a event organizer. New friends I hope. On the way back there was this Chinese man on the train, sitting in front of us with his wife. He stroke a conversation, although his Portuguese was very basic, and succeeded involving also the Afro-Portuguese that were standing next to us. He was so cheerful, funny and sweet that brought broad smiles on everyone's face, creating a wonderful energy around him. I think he would make a great actor or guru, he seemed to be the type of person you want to have around as much as possible. And back home I found this message my mother forwarded me about good and bad energy. I understood then that this man was carrying a great amount of positive energy and was able to share it with us. I also understood why I instinctively avoid some people. On the other hand I realised that if I complain, moan and am miserable, I also transmit my bad energy to others. I am tired of being a fighter, but it looks that I have no other options. I do have the option though to fight adversive circumstances in good spirits. 

*In terms of the Greek Pantheon, the wheat symbolized the earth goddess Demeter, while pomegranates stood for her daughter, Persephone, queen of the underworld. Almonds were sacred to Aphrodite and raisins to Dionysis. Sesame seeds were considered to open the doors of consciousness. (Wikipedia)

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