prose

Thoughts


It is absolutely obvious that Prometheus was punished by Gods before fire was brought to humans, eventually by him.
In the same order of ideas it is obvious that poverty and isolation are not sins at all and that the progress of human civilization cannot be stopped, at least until human brains exist.
It is obvious and even a child knows : first the punishment, then the deed.
I never wondered why and how stars die, but I am still confused why they should be created and where. Or until when. And I know for sure that I will never try to find out the truth about this. I was only a humble and innocent woman.
I think that pure knowledge does not exist for humans or humane-like creatures, all that exists is a seed planted somewhere. If you don’t cuddle it, it does not grow. Only God knows. I also think that there is a fine line between gnoseology and ontology.
The Past came too close to my thoughts, the Future cannot hold my words. Someone stole Jacob’s ladder from my ear.
I open my arms as if I were a clock holding time. And I can’t, I feel rusty.
I started to grow old the moment I began to dream.

(hence the differences between gnoseology and epistemology, but regarding this my mind is a little bit confused now, because my body betrays me and spell-check on the net accepts only the first of these two)
signed — just me, known&unknown by everybody

between known and unknown you can find either sunset or sunrise
between useless and beneficial you can find either death or life
between me and you can find either nothing or everything
between all the things that I told you can find either truth or lies
between good and bad you can find all the above
postscriptum — words are meaningless unless God wants to fulfill them

post-postscriptum — anyone can use another word or another name instead of God, I prefer God
Someone entered my thoughts saying that such a thing is unacceptable — what?! Reality or my humble existence? I accept everything and I think that very few things are unacceptable only for some people and I am not guilty that I told the truth. My fate is in God’s hands.

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Memini Meminisse


That day I entered the corpse’s room. As it is customary, the mirror was covered. But I thought to myself: here are so many other yet uncovered mirrors, the eyes of those staying at wake are opened and in each eye you can find the neighbors’ eyes mirrored. Sometimes a teardrop mirrors in itself the image of funeral candles. Mirrors are endless, they grow one within the other, like deep wells inside other wells. Other things have precise borders in space, I can see there is an edge of the rain, an edge of my voice or an edge of the hearing of those who listen to me. If those people wanted to hide all mirrors in the room they should have entered there blindfolded.

And what is time? Does it have a border like all the rest? How much does it take until the light reaches the mirror and comes back to my eye? Do I see my future or my past? Do I really exist or I exist only as far as my senses are processed in some amount of time by my brain’s utilities? People break mirrors or they break up time in tiny pieces that resonate like the clock ticking in their ears or eventually like objects through the touch sense for the deaf. Did you know that hearing is considered to be the last sense lost before parting from this world? But the dead one, once he had lost all his senses, does he live now only in the living memory? Could it be true that our life is only memini meminisse? And is it memory itself a mere mirror? In our brain there is an area named Ammon’s Horn, with significance for the consolidation of human memory. Its name is a reminder of the sun god Amun-Ra, identified subsequently with Zeus for the Greeks, an antique source for a partly monotheist vision of the universe. Since we appear in this world we are prisoners of centennial memories, because the human embryo evolves through different stages, similar to some characteristics found in different other adult beings, from amphibians to primates.

Meanwhile, people gather round the coffin, touching each other and singing the song of the eternal peace and remembrance. It is the circle of senses of those alive close to the departed one, the circle of hearts pumping warm blood, the circle that is still pulsating and alive. I believe that eternity exists, and the moment is only an illusion.

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Socrates and the number 30


Reading Plato’s Phaedo in the light of the Apology, I was struck by the relationship between perceived fate and perceived wisdom. One of the things that captured my thoughts was the symbolism of the number 30. Was that fate, only fate, or was that a more accurate knowledge, the attribute of the sophos? It is related to oracles and dreams and daimones of course and maybe goes beyond these simple facts.

When the oligarchy of the Thirty was in power Socrates almost died, because he opposed unrighteousness and followed the higher moral code of behavior;
In 399 B.C. Socrates is found guilty by a vote of 280 to 220/or 221 (? according to different sources) and he is impressed by the fact that he needed “thirty votes gone over to the other side” in order to have been acquitted;
In his proposal for his own sentence he asks to be fined thirty coins, with his friends being the sureties;
In Xenophon’s Apology (Mem., IV, 8, 2, cf. Phaidon edited in 1994 in my country) the ship sent for the annual pilgrimage (theōria) to Delos took thirty days to return. It was a gift to Apollo. The ship re-enacted Theseus’s mythical voyage.
Socrates obeys to a recurrent dream which always gave him the same advice and first he composes a hymn in honor of the god of the festival. (Apollo’s name does not appear in that fragment). My conclusion is that the number 30 is somehow related to the synodic month, by chance the length of the lunar cycle as seen from Earth. And this is also a kind of theōria/ initiatic travel. Am I right?

Right now, continuing my study, I found that the Theseus’ ship had thirty oars (Plutarch, Thes, XXIII) a thing that was known to Athenians in Plato’s times. I think this is also an important example in this context. Nowadays Christians, whose religion is also based on ancient rituals in its beginnings, know well that Jesus was sold for thirty pieces of silver…

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The Portrait of a Traveler


The ashtray of my great aunt P was silver-plated alike the old mirror sitting on the shelf under the window; it was an ashtray with a nude fisherwoman hauling a net for stubs and ashes with her strong arms, and, who knows, perhaps a goldfish would have appeared there to fulfill three essential wishes in everyone’s life.

Aunt P gave up smoking a long time ago. She used to smoke the finest Romanian cigarettes available in her youth. But she was a poor woman all her life, as well as the great majority of my relatives. Then she grew old, going through some interesting transformations for a single woman in the city: her large dark brown face warts went discolored, her legs became hairless, her hair became brilliant white with a tint of blue-violet gentian tincture used by many old ladies, her nails got curved and thickened, even though she still used her precious manicure tools, because in fact my aunt did not forget the way of life she adopted in the hair salon where she had worked. In the last ten years of her life, my aunt gradually lost her sight, but she was still able to wash herself under the shower alone, even though she did not quit for 15 years her room strangely built with six walls instead of four.

Times were spinning around my aunt’s house like a toy globe in a child’s hand, meridian after meridian. In the 60s her third husband died, leaving her to care for the three elder relatives. Her husband had roots among White noble Russians (he was a white émigré), and he found refuge with modest financial means in Romania. Coincidentally, my aunt’s brother was a different kind of adventurer, a former worker in the construction industry and traveler in the Arab countries, who had spent several years in a concentration camp in Russia, because he was a prisoner in the Second World War. Aunt P too had traveled in her youth around the world, as a stage dancer, together with a friend. She had pictures with her in beautiful ballerina white dresses. In addition to the hair salon, she worked as a public servant in a state institution. In the ‘70s the trolley wires circled my aunt’s home, and then they disappeared. In the ‘80s my aunt often walked around the city to visit her sisters and brothers and in the suburbs area too, to take a breath of fresh air and stretch her pretty legs on a lounger in the sunlight. She loved very much herbs of all kinds, to refresh her blood, but she was a perfect hostess for her younger relatives when they congregated around her round and small table for a card game named Ace of Spades, staking on very low value coins. In her later years she began to stitch and make superb needlework and to decorate cushions according to her Hungarian origins traditions, with incredible craftsmanship for the hand of an apprentice.

In the ‘90s, my aunt, aged almost 80, had traveled with some fear on a plane over the ocean in the U.S.A. to attend a wedding of one of her nieces from an elder sister. She was always the same lady with impeccable manners and a small head standing with her curled hair and her pink lipstick on her mouth over her thin and quite tall body, more and more fragile. My aunt’s house was neighboring the government’s building, and on the ground floor they set up kiosks for petty merchandise. Only the framed pictures of my aunt were the same: her husband, brothers and sisters, and relatives from afar.

I visited her from time to time and she joked that she was the doyenne of age in our family. I still have a few old books received from her. In her youth she loved rumors about celebrities, in her old age she listened to the radio sitting on her bedside. When I was young she said about me that I was like Lapusneanu, a Romanian ruler, who said “if you don’t want me, I still want you” and I could not agree to that. I loved my family with all my heart. Before she died, she synthesized the wisdom of life in a few words: “It’s better on the ground floor than in the basement, that’s what I think, and while my Lord still left a living time to me, it should be lived”. This woman was shrouded in a fragrance of mystery, but in reality she was simple like jar pickles. She kept the flavor of times gone by, but she was spiced with herbs and resistant, yet open minded. She has given me a few things before she died, but I only preserved her simple, cheap Romanian coffee cups and saucers. Yes, she had liked coffee and she died on New Year’s Eve, probably as a result of the aggravation of her aorta aneurysm and other age-related illnesses. Because the staircase to her apartment (which she no longer could descend for a long time), was twisted to a maximum, they came down first with the coffin and then with her in a blanket. I thought that’s exactly what her life was: twisted like ivy around some men, twisted, but fragile, rambling on devious paths in mysterious ways, where not all people sleep between four walls. And at the end of her journey my aunt offered once again a proof her proverbial capacity of adaptation. At the graveyard gate it was snowing, it was a very peaceful and thin snowfall, gracious like her ballerina days…

There are many other stories about aunt P which I regret I did not write in time before forgetting them. There are stories about her adventures with unknown men in cheap motels, whose advances she had surely rejected and the memory of her own youth in photos with Greta Garbo looks.

Categories: Memories, prose | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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