25th Dec, 2013. Christmas morning, when people all over the world celebrate and enjoy, Pungesti community was questioning the democracy in Romania (EU member and Schengen Area aspiring country) and wondered when they will be listened to by the politicians they previously trusted and voted for (that so aggressively campaigned against such destructive projects before the elections) hoping they will start defending their rights and care for the country’s future rather than for their own pockets.
As soon as I entered the village I understood what was the general feeling during the communist era in Romania. I was greeted by a police road block that checked every person’s id. I felt privileged my driver and I didn’t have to put on the effort of pulling out our id’s from our back pockets. Sure it had something to do with the fact that I have announce my presence a week in advance , and to add to the communist era feeling ,authorities weren’t keen on making a bad impression. Driving around the only paved road of this village where most of the people have long crossed their 60Th birthday, I was impressed with the police forces deployed there to defend the “mighty and generous” Chevron from the fury of a handful of angry senior citizens.
I was touched by the reaction of my driver as we were cruising along. He was a bit surprised by all the commotion around saying that ” he hasn’t seen such a high number of riot police gathered in one place since the 1989 Romanian revolution against the communist regime of Nicolae Ceausescu”. Trying to have short conversations with the villagers , I was shocked at the fear installed in them by the intimidation techniques employed by the authorities. An old man, fetching water from a well down the road, was clearly scared to talk out loud. ” We were beaten and unlawfully fined by the police, we can not walk on the road in groups of more than 2-3 people, they even searched our houses in the middle of the night and threatened us” he whispered leaning in. A shop keeper, recognizing I am not a local and before I could say good morning, was quick on letting me know, upon me entering to buy a coffee, that he has no clue of what is happening in the village, he knows nothing of whom the protesters are or anything else I might be interested to know about the protests.
The people of Pungesti took matters into their own hands and started protesting against the oil giant Chevron and the shale gas fracking project so vehemently promoted by Romanian government. On 2nd Dec , 2013 and after months of protests, the first scuffle took place between protesters and riot police. The Vaslui district prefect ordered a road to be cleared after being blocked by peasants worried about their treasured land and water sources being polluted by the controversial fracking procedure that Chevron will use in their quest for profits from shale gass. On Dec 17th after the bruises (obtained during the previous encounter mainly from pushing and being dragged on the ground by police) healed , people took stand again against the police forces defending the corporation that was allowed to poison their future. This time the scuffle turned into a brawl with grandparents and environmental activists fighting riot police and managing to destroy the fence that surrounded Chevron’s installation. This opened the road for the head of Vaslui District Police (Pungesti village belongs to Vaslui District) to declare Pungesti a zone of “special security for public safety” (it is worth mentioning that the law states that such measure should be taken when on a relatively small area are concentrated illegal elements like extreme violence, drug trafficking, prostitution etc) . Ironically, the inhabitants of the village seemed to be under threat from the huge number of police forces deployed in the area that used threats and fines, arrests and all sort of wired accusations as intimidation methods to deter land owners, farmers and simple peasants from protesting.
Hunger strike is now considered the last resort as people are decided to continue the fight for their rights and freedom, for their land and precious water sources (which they harvest through old fashioned wells scattered around the village) not be polluted by the greed of a handful of corupted politicians (starting with the the district council president Dumitru Buzatu and ending with the Romanian prime minister Victor Ponta). People like Alexandru Popescu ( who took his protest to the capital city of Bucharest and now he is in his 22nd day of hunger strike) and few Pungesti residents have decided to continue their huger strike till their demands for a democratic, free and just Romania are met, Chevron stops their activities and corrupted politicians and policemen guilty of abuses against protesters are brought to justice. They hope that people will once again come together and fight for what they believe in, for a free and democratic Romania and for a healthy future for their children.
“..Etienne Charles exhibits both an authentic preservation of the music of his native culture of Trinidad as a composer and band leader, while broadening our scope of understanding through the collaborative sound of American jazz as it meets new colours, new textures, and new motifs across the world. It will certainly bring more of our public into the jazz audience” – Marcus Roberts
“An amazing Trumpet player, and Steel Drum player, and Cuatro player…young Trinidadian who has held onto his heritage” – Monty Alexander
“A daring improviser, Charles also delivers with heart-wrenching lyricism” – Jazz Times
“…had strength and a clear, almost classical sense of thematic organization.” – New York Times
“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its labourers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.”
Grand Canyon, 2013
Oceanside, CA – 2013
This is me…at times selfish, stranger to jealousy, an incurable dreamer (and to quote an wonderful person) with an old soul, forged through life but yet just as frail as any other person, knowing it all and knowing nothing, often confused and always looking for a good argument. With no political views other than politeness and common sense, and no religious views other than kindness and love. I am hated but I can not hate. I have no regrets , just few things that maybe I would have been better not doing . I am not racist but I do make use of the obvious stereotypes if they are funny enough. A joke is a joke, and if you can not take it ,that’s your problem. I try not to offend but I am straight forward. I am just as crazy as everybody else . I believe in second chances and I believe in you, all of you.
I don’t aspire to be a millionaire, but I wouldn’t hate it if I was one.
I can’t get my dog back (long story…) but I will get another dog one day, when I will settle in my dream house with a complete and functioning Bar on the first floor, built on a beach or in the middle of the forest not too far out from the city (I prefer the forest…), just far enough to have some peace and quiet (told you I dream big…). I might be getting a couple of cats as well.
I have learned that you can have all the riches of the world,you can achieve all your dreams and more, but all will be in vain if you have nobody to share it with, if you don’t have somebody that can and wants to sweeten it all.
As I said, human after all !
“I didn’t write this to get some attention or to seek approval. I wrote it because I firmly believe we all should share more of what and how we feel so we know we are not alone and to learn from one another. People don’t talk about themselves anymore because they fear judgement.”
She walks her tempting figure through the shadow of the moment waking lust in the souls of the mortals. Her beauty plays with the impossible and challenges the imagination of the weak. Her smell spreads a gust of desire and temptation and her cracking shell tingles the senses. In her life, this is just a passing moment. Once the shell breaks apart, it reveals nothing. All that existed once is gone ; there is no essence . Nothing…just the temptation of that moment in time when she walked her ghostly body to be admired and desired. Her superficiality disappears without trace in the ever-changing complexity of existence.
Another great night of Jazz at Lincoln Centre in Doha with Richard Johnson Quartet and Brianna Thomas !
“Cred că toţi aşteptăm pe cineva, persoana potrivită, momentul potrivit, aşteptăm să se întâmple ceva, acel ceva de ani de zile aşteptat, să apară şansa pe care ne-o dorim în profesie…aşteptăm. Dar să înţeleg că, defapt, noi aşteptăm arbitrul care să ne judece, să ne indice dacă am greşit, să ne confirme sau infirme drumul bun?! Aşadar ar însemna că aşteptăm ca cineva din jurul nostru să ne spună cine suntem, ce trebuie să facem şi mai ales să ne spună ce viaţă să trăim?!
În acest caz ar trebui să ne scuturăm şi să ne privim mai bine în oglindă; cum să permitem altcuiva să fie noi?! Cine suntem noi, atunci, dacă aşteptăm ca altcineva să ia decizii pentru noi, să răspundă la întrebările adresate nouă?!
Nu mă împotrivesc aşteptării, dar o văd ca pe răbdarea necesară pentru momentul potrivit. Să avem răbdare dar să acţionăm în paralel, să învăţăm din greşeli, să fim atenţi le ce ne înconjoară şi să mergem mai departe pe drumul nostru.
Să nu uităm de noi în această aşteptare ci să ne descoperim , să ne lăsăm suprinşi de ceea ce ni se oferă şi să facem din aşteptare un mijloc de a zâmbi frumos vieţii.” – (by Mite)
“Putem numara stele de pe cer din nebunie ori din plictiseala. Uneori din ambele motive. Insa de cele mai multe ori uitam sa ne numaram si pe noi… singura stea… singura planeta, singurul soare care conteaza !… Privim Universul cu o ciudata neincredere, de parca nu am putea concepe ca mai exista si alte lumi, si alte realitati, si alte locuri in care alte forme de oameni iubesc, urasc, ucid, traiesc… Astfel ca, realitatea ne izbeste necontenit cu partea ei ascunsa in umbra: Ceea ce nu vedem ne vede. Ceea ce nu simtim ne simte. Ceea ce nu ne lipseste ne apartine. Treptat, insa, lucruri pe care nu le vedem devin vizibile iar lucrurilor pe care suntem obisnuiti sa le avem incepem sa le simtim lipsa. Natura noastra ne spune ca omul este un sistem dinamic in care o infinitate de lucruri pe care le avem face schimb de materie si spirit cu o infintate de lucruri pe care nu le avem. Atat timp cat va exista un echilibru in acest sistem va exista si armonie. Insa omul este o fiinta haotica ce va tinde sa-si asume rolul cunoasterii si va claca in fata noilor infinituri de necunoastere pe care le va intrezari. Omul nu a fost creat pentru a fi fericit ci pentru a oscila intre nebunia descoperirii si plictisela de armonie. Fericirea este doar momeala ce-l va tine in cursa, pana la sfarsit….” – Octavian Paler
“Before you know it you’ll be asking, “How did it get so late so soon?” So take time to figure yourself out. Take time to realize what you want and need. Take time to take risks. Take time to love, laugh, cry, learn, and forgive. Life is shorter than it often seems.
Here are few things worth thinking about, before it’s too late:
- This moment is your life. – Your life is not between the moments of your birth and death. Your life is between now and your next breath. The present – the here and now – is all the life you ever get. So live each moment in full, in kindness and peace, without fear and regret. And do the best you can with what you have in this moment; because that is all you can ever expect of anyone, including yourself.
– A lifetime isn’t very long. – This is your life, and you’ve got to fight for it. Fight for what’s right. Fight for what you believe in. Fight for what’s important to you. Fight for the people you love, and never forget to tell them how much they mean to you. Realize that right now you’re lucky because you still have a chance. So stop for a moment and think. Whatever you still need to do, start doing it today. There are only so many tomorrows.
– The sacrifices you make today will pay dividends in the future. – When it comes to working hard to achieve a dream – earning a degree, building a business, or any other personal achievement that takes time and commitment – one thing you have to ask yourself is: “Am I willing to live a few years of my life like many people won’t, so I can spend the rest of my life like many people can’t?”
– When you procrastinate, you become a slave to yesterday. – But when you are proactive, it’s as if yesterday is a kind friend that helps take a load off your back. So do something right now that your future self will thank you for. Trust me, tomorrow you’ll be happy you started today.
– Failures are only lessons. – Good things come to those who still hope even though they’ve been disappointed, to those who still believe even though they’ve tasted failure, to those who still love even though they’ve been hurt. So never regret anything that has happened in your life; it cannot be changed, undone or forgotten. Take it all as lessons learned and move on with grace.
– You are your most important relationship. – Happiness is when you feel good about yourself without feeling the need for anyone else’s approval. You must first have a healthy relationship with yourself before you can have a healthy relationship with others. You have to feel worthwhile and acceptable in your own eyes, so that you’ll be able to look confidently into the eyes of the people around you and connect with them.
– A person’s actions speak the truth. – You’re going to come across people in your life who will say all the right words at all the right times; but in the end, it’s always their actions you should judge them by. So pay attention to what people do. Their actions will tell you everything you need to know.
– Small acts of kindness can make the world a better place. – Smile at people who look like they are having a rough day. Be kind to them. Kindness is the only investment that never fails. And wherever there is a human being, there’s an opportunity for kindness. Learn to give, even if it’s just a smile, not because you have too much, but because you understand there are so many others who feel like they have nothing at all.
– Behind every beautiful life, there has been some kind of pain. – You fall, you rise, you make mistakes, you live, you learn. You’re human, not perfect. You’ve been hurt, but you’re alive. Think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, and to chase the things you love. Sometimes there is sadness in our journey, but there is also lots of beauty. We must keep putting one foot in front of the other even when we hurt, for we will never know what is waiting for us just around the bend.”
“Ne pierdem în amănuntul dimineții, în căldura amiezii și mai ales în pașii grăbiți spre casă, spre ceea ce suntem obișnuiți zi de zi să facem.
Oare vreodată ai avut curajul să te oprești și să realizezi că defapt, în viață, te grăbești? E vorba de o grabă parcă impusă, undeva notat și apoi remunerat. Altfel nu îmi pot imagina de ce, dimineața, mă grăbesc să nu mă împiedic de scările tarziului și uit să observ că miroase a salcâm. Uit că e ziua de naștere a celei mai importante persoane din viața mea, și asta pentru că e o nouă zi de rutină obositoare.
Este o grabă impusă de artificialul și “normalul” societății și culturii . Dar păcat că ajungem să ne însuşim această grabă și în lumea noastră interioară, contopim visarea cu ora, cu timpul, uităm că răbdarea este un principal atuu al succesului și vrem TOTUL acum, imposibilul nimic să ne aparțină într-o secundă.
Cred cu tărie că această grabă își pune amprenta și asupra sufletului nostru… Și de aici nu e decât un pas către dezamăgire, pentru că nu realizăm că liniștea și visarea se contopesc cu adevărat spre împlinire. Și nu întâmplător am câștigat mult mai mult când nu m-am grăbit și nu am reușit când graba s-a impus!” – (by Mite)
“If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.” (E. O. Wilson)
This guy is a warrior…one leg and one antenna missing and his still kicking !
“Two-legged creatures we are supposed to love as we love ourselves. The four-legged, also, can come to seem pretty important. But six legs are too many from the human standpoint.” (Joseph W. Krutch)
This is a hard question. I really don’t know where to start ! It is harder to find an answer when it comes to the material world just because we are in a continuous change. We are changing our minds too often to pin point what we want. And that is normal, it should be this way. What do we want from the material world should be nothing more than we need to make our dreams come true and to make us truly happy. And if that requires to change our minds often, we should. We need to put in the effort of really reflecting on this for it is easy to mistake what we think we want with what we feel we truly want. It isn’t very difficult to find arguments for something to swing in the totally wrong direction if we put our minds into it. But the truth lays deep within us and comes out just a split of a second in that first moment. Is like when you meet somebody for the first time and as soon as you lay your eyes on that person, you just know you don’t like them. They don’t really have to tell you much, they just have to be around you , many times just minutes, for you to feel that something is not quite right . An yet, if given the time to think, we fight this feeling, this instinct, and too often our feelings are proved right. It is the same when you see something or someone you like and you mind kills that feeling with superficial arguments. (I say that is what self confidence is all about….when you don’t let the fear of making a mistake control you into questioning that first moment when you feel something is right or wrong )
I can not deny I want some of the luxuries and comforts of the 21st century life. We all (at least those who are aware they exist) want them and there is not doubt about. But without trying to be modest, I want just enough of them to help me in my quest of making my dreams come true. I want to earn more so I can travel more. I want to buy a new camera and some more equipment so I can take better photos, more creative, more inspiring and unique. I want a car so I don’t waste more time than I need with my daily commute but rather do something more interesting . I want nothing different than any of you though my reasons might be questionable in certain cases , to say the least.(and I will leave it here)
To bring up the non-material ( which one may call dreams or ideals), first that comes to mind is wanting not to be bored. Sure that isn’t too special and it can be easily considered just a small day to day desire, but at times it is rather hard to achieve it, especially in the company of boring people. I do enjoy a good conversation, possibly with a drink or two only to enhance the moment as I sincerely dislike letting alcohol blur my mind to the point where I can not appreciate more than the horrible drunkenness.
I want people to really contemplate on the fact that they are dying.The final destination of our journey from birth is death. If we really give death a serious thought, and I mean really deep thought, we will find it will put life quite well into perspective.(As an example, very often the people that barely missed “passing through to the other side” have changed their outlook on life). You suddenly appreciate every moment more, you love more and hate less, you stop worrying for what you can’t control, you live a more fulfilling life and every second becomes more valuable as that might be your last. So I want people to consider spending some time and contemplate on this inevitable passing into nonexistance.
I want to have somebody to say “good evening” to as I enter through the door in the evenings.
We are social beings and we can not live alone. Even the loneliest person has a friend, being that real or imaginary. If you lack this desire it is widely accepted you are sick, but yet I seriously doubt there is any human being without having, at the very list, his imagination as a friend to share his happiness and sorrows with. And finding that friend in the one you share profound feelings of uncontrolled and unconditioned love with is worth more than anything else you could ever dream/
And the last but not at all the least, to cite Horace Mann’s injunction “until you have done something for humanity you should be ashamed to die”, I want to do something even if that is the last thing that I could do which is to become an organ donor .Though I like to brag without modesty that I can consider I’ve already done something in that direction, I would really be ashamed to die without doing it for as many times as I possible can.
To close this poorly structured post, I wish to tell you that I do not stretch and embarrass myself here with my writing skills just to look for some recognition or just to look interesting. I do it as I see that people stopped talking about themselves. Maybe if we will express what we really feel and want more often we will find that most of us, regardless of all other sociological differences ,are not so different after all. Maybe we will show more compassion,maybe we will fear less, love more and why not, on a personal level, have more self confidence and closer and more intimate relations. And if ever all of this will just make one and only one person think about it, without necesarly agreeing, it means that I achieved more than I have hoped to achieve. (I will stop here as I just realized ,re-reading , that I definitely lack inspiration and imagination. Hopefully the idea is clear and makes some sort of sense)
What do you want?
Who am I ? … I will never believe those who say they found the answer to this question. For if you ever really search for an answer, you will find that it is impossible to ever know as you are never the same, you are in a continuous change. You are what is around you mixed with what you make of it. And you are always different. Even if just by a very small fraction, you are always different from whom you were a minute ago. Our brain can process 1 million bits of information per second while we can be conscious only of about two thousands bits per second (this is debatable, numbers may vary, the idea is important ). That makes it even harder to ever know who we truly are. The only certitude of who I am is now, when I feel my fingers pressing different keys on the keyboard, trying to express my thoughts in words, pressing my back against the chair, sipping some water to wet my dry lips. This is who I am now. But after I finish this? After my brain processed few more millions bits of information and after I become conscious of few more thousands of the same, I have no idea whom I will be then!
People might think they know, and often people say they are good, they love thing, they love others, they don’t like one thing or another…they have friends, they enjoy reading….and this is who they are. But is it really true? For example…being good !…if you were ever put in the extreme situation of having to save your dearest ones, your children, your life by having to murder another innocent person , would you do it? There are people who will do it without blinking , most of the people will do it but will be marked for life , and very few people who will not do it. But would you do it? You don’t know. And if you would do it, would it be a bad or a good thing? Whom would you be then? A cold blooded murderer or someone full of love (for his close ones)?
I hate bitter taste…and often it makes me gag…but yet I love coffee without sugar, and I don’t know what else that tastes bitter I would like as I didn’t try everything out there. Can that be me, the guy who hates bitter, but yet he likes few bitter things? if that were true and I was that guy, that won’t define me very well. I do or I don’t like bitter? I don’t know…I know I don’t like some things I have tried already that were bitter and that is all.
So my answer to this question is – I HAVE NO CLUE ! All I can do is educate my mind for my inner self to know who I am at every given moment. Not control my soul, my heart, my body or my instincts with my EGO, but be as conscious as I can of everything that my existence throws at me and have faith my subconscious self will make the best out of everything else. I can stop trying to control everything and wake up every morning to start a fresh new day, with new challenges, pleasures, disappointments and whatever else might be and enjoy them all , but don’t hold on to them, as there will be another day coming where I will miss the new for holding on to the old. Love with passion and fall so I can get up more aware of were I step. I can Dream big, I can hope and I can desire.
I am what my life is !
(I hope this makes some sense to you and your comments are always welcomed…just don’t mind my poor writing skills. And just so you know, in the last image I was about 14kg heavier than now )
E trist…sa vrei sa fii neputincios in fata fricii.
Sa-ti lasi sufletul sa urle ingrozit de trecut si de viitor.
Sa fii prins intr-o cusca…sa-ti tii cheia in mina…si sa te temi de ceea ce este afara
De frumusete, de sentimente si trairi.
E trist sa te ascunzi…si sa nu iti lasi fiinta sa zburde libera.
E trist sa nu te daruiesti cu pasiune dragostei si suferintei.
E trist sa traiesti intr-o stare latenta de comfort ce totusi nu te satisface.
E trist sa nu visezi, sa nu speri, sa nu lupti…
E si mai trist cand esti constient de asta…si totusi lupti sa ramai asa
Si stai inchis acolo, cu sufletul ingrozit de trecut si viitor
Urland de durerea singuratatii…intr-o cusca de superficialitate si zambet fals.
E trist sa nu vrei sa TRAIESTI.