Thursday, 11 March 2010

a request

somebody asked me:
"i'd like to see you write a post about life and what you find beautiful. i know you won't do it (and despise me for asking such a thing)".

i must confess i was puzzled (also slightly amused about such a mis-representation of my - otherwise undeniable and unshakable - cynicism) : about life and what i find beautiful? what on earth have i been posting all this time? no matter how hard i looked at my pictures, all i could find there was: amazement at life and what beauty does to my heart.

i had been pondering for long and was about to give up my (inconceivable, as it seems) intention of fulfilling that request when this revelation struck me: i would make a post about Sunday mornings at my mother's.


a moment of fullness, not yet tinted with melancholy: the first moment when i open my eyes, only half-awake, the vision still blurred. neither wild passion nor ecstasy of happiness: the simple and quiet joy of breathing. above nothingness and below the conscious mind, the zero point at which a self starts taking shape. i am the first breath and the first vision, long before a word falls down into my flesh and makes me aware of silence. i am at the center of the world, because i am at the center of nothing: i can quietly slip back into my sleep, cradled as i am in the warm safety of night. or i can keep my eyes wide open until what has been only possible becomes firmly rooted into the ground: the only real. yet i delay the moment of choice. indefinitely, i savour the richness of this "not yet" - which was not a 'not' and not a "yet' back then, since time hadn't been invented, neither mine, nor that of the world.



this woman hadn't yet been invented who, years after, reading a sentence about the first brush stroke of a chinese painter, lifts her head and quietly gazes at the play of snow by her window, the book forgotten on her lap, vanishing away into the dim light of the afternoon:

"At the junction between the two, it is both the stroke of emergence and of ascent, at the starting point of every variation of later lines, and of submersion and return, with all previous lines culminating in it, becoming confused and losing their individuality."

is every moment of her life this starting point of all variation of later lines - yet also the ending point of other countless lines which could have been, or are just tired of being? why does she have to choose?

yet implacably she chooses. she chooses now. to look at this walnut tree which is the same as it was back then, when its huge branches used to tap the high window of her room.

muffled sounds come in from the courtyard and the light sharpens. soon, she will be wide awake.




she doesn't know how old this porch is.

it was not here when i was a child. my grandmother also had never seen it, that much i know. every time i push the door handle, i have to pause for a while, as if my gestures, too slow to follow through the history of my blood, were still amazed and reluctant to begin. there, at that precise point of time and space, memory refuses to be born. an enclosure, this porch, for sure. yet whose body is secretly kept inside, nourished as if in a wooden box?


oh, but not so in the kitchen, not so.




i remember her in the long winter evenings, her white hair a radiant halo in the shadow of the gas lamp. you think you know whiteness yet you don't, if you haven't seen her in the small kitchen, light gathered in her hair as if the rest of the world had all been carved in darkness. a cake was being baked, we were waiting. then it wouldn't turn out as she had wished, oh, her love was forgiving but who could ever have measured the precision of her attention, and she would immediately take it out into the night and throw it into the snow, muttering angrily all to herself and how delighted we were, and how we secretly wished, every time, that the cake would be burned again and again, and we got to witness her white upon white, once more, and listen to the melting song of snow.




you do not know what is behind this curtain. oh but i do. only i do. the wooden floor upon which i found her lying one day. i took her in my arms, wondering at how small she was. she is so light, like a doll, i thought. crepe paper feet. she had always had beautiful feet and i was happy to resemble her. they said i did. i put her back into her bed, she had already lost her voice by then. she had no gestures left, only her smile.

the floor is bathed in the same light, now as it was then, almost aglow, flooded with silver and so smooth, i almost wish i put my face against it. only the curtain is different. we had a brown one, with scattered green petals which would change into flowers if looked at from a certain angle. you see the red one now, yet i still see the brown curtain, and all my angles are now flowers.


once, a man wrote a poem about a calla lily between my breasts. all callas smell like him since then. i don't remember when my mother has started to grow calla lilies. surely, it must have been before that poem. or have i just invented it myself, gazing at this flower long ago, unaware of the future hand scribbling down a few words on a piece of paper, as white as my breasts? this flower i haven't imagined, that much is sure. or have i? what is its time then?



which moment is the true one? which hand and which word? which white?

ribbons of past float around me, my past, the invented past, the past that could have been mine, that could have been ours, all of them torn apart from myself, swirling freely through the hazy air of this winter afternoon, as if they had never belonged to me. as if they had never been lived by me. by her. by anyone.



  1. The picture of the teatowels (and the one directly above it) - gorgeous...just gorgeous. What eyes you have.

  2. Simply. Beautiful. As ALWAYS. ALWAYS. -Jayne

  3. One begins
    one reads
    one looks
    reads again
    reads a bit
    reads and wonders
    stares for hours
    descends again
    reads some more
    basks in glow
    of photos
    reads a line
    or two
    eyes filled
    with colors
    blurs of
    one does not
    want it to end
    not ever
    one could
    lost here
    for an
    for hours

  4. this is so beautiful, roxana

    and intensely personal

    it is an honor for me to know you (a little bit)

    i am eternally grateful to have found you

  5. So beautiful and so you...
    strong hug Roxana!!

  6. Comment te remercier, Roxana, de tout cet amour et générosité...
    tous ces moments de Vie et d'intimité si genereusement offert...

    Un simple "Mulţumesc" me parait bien pauvre...

    Pe curând,Te sărut.

  7. no matter what you're saying.. :p

  8. so your lovely forehead & eyelids were endowed from your mom.. :p

  9. te imbratisez - atata frumusete aici ca nu pot sa o take it all at once, voi reveni mereu. scriu curand si cine stie, poate ne vedem curand?? :)

  10. those last three lines. i'm loving that!

  11. i hate you for this...because what you have written, roxana, is so piercingly beautiful that it makes everything else look dark or wooden (in particular, what I wrote seems simply awful now!).

    i don't know about the others here, but i get the feeling that what started out as a bridge is rapidly becoming a labyrinth!

    the first two pictures are so wonderfully full of ordinary mystery themselves...and this first vision, the word before the word, the silence before the silence, the 'look before the look'...


    have a good weekend,

  12. You have posted some wonderful shots Roxana, thank you for letting us share them.

  13. I am crying, my Love.

    This writing is that beautiful, and that poignant.

  14. Comme un témoignage de profonde et affectueuse reconnaissance.

    A la recherche du temps perdu.

    Bravo Roxana:-)

  15. "Je suis au centre au monde parce que je suis au centre de rien"...
    Ces photos que tu nous offres là et ce texte si fin, subtil, sorte d'hommage et d'offrande à celle que tu aimes est vraiment extraordinaire...
    J'y ai vu des tableaux ravivant la mémoire et appelant des souvenirs de mon enfance...
    Des parfums flottent autour de ces images et me transportent vers le monde de l'enfance, de ce qui n'est plus et qui n'est pas !
    Etre au centre du monde comme dans le ventre d'une mère portant son enfant et se laisser porter par sa générosité à donner et offrir la naissance à ce petit être qui devient le cenre de rien et de tout à la fois !
    Tes clichés sont d'un autre monde... et pourtant, c'est toi qui les a fait !
    Je suis conquis par tant de générosité, de talent, de subtilité qui attise mon désir...

    Ce récit est poignant car il semble intime et à la fois si universel ! Tu as trouvé "l'essence" de ce qui nous interpelle chacun dans notre histoire et ce, en nous faisant peut-être partager la tienne !

    Beautiful Roxana, comme j'aimerais tant être au centre de rien et de tant et tant de choses à la fois...! ! ! Mais il faudrait avoir plusieurs vies pour exister autant...;)
    Mouaih ! Là... je m'égare !...;)
    Ton post est d'une extrême beauté... un des plus sensuels, tactile et odorant, excitant les sens de la pupille pour aller direct au cerveau et parler à notre intime...;)

    Bises belle Roxana...
    Tu as du talent, c'est certain... et merci de m'avoir éclairé ce jour sur tant et tant de choses me concernant !...
    Tu es si bonne... que j'en mangerais...(8]... mais tu ne te laisserais peut-être pas faire... sûrement...;)))

    Ciao bella !
    Ouvre les yeux encore... et donne-nous à voir, regarder et entendre...:)

  16. Mon commentaire va certainement te sembler bien pâle, mais que dire de plus que ton texte est sublime et nous parle à tous ?
    Tes photos et ton écriture sont de véritables œuvres, d'une rare finesse et beautés.
    Je dis encore !

  17. Mais pourquoi t'ai-je écrit que j'en mangerais ?...
    Parce que tu sembles bien bonne... voilà tout ! ! !


  18. it is impossible for me to say very much ... sometimes it takes so long for the words to catch up with the wounds you give me, and this time i don’t know if it is even possible ... such wonder and beauty and grief, such longing for the world as it dissolves into mist, for many worlds, such love for her and the ache of loss, of time – all of these things that must have each other in order to be

    “beautiful” isn't enough --- it is beautiful, yes, but life aches here, this is the soul thrown into the absurd beautiful marvelous terrible world, and looking looking with wonder....

    these pictures burn into me – these words tear through my marrow – I can't stop looking, reading, I don't remember the world outside --- I am stricken and lost lost lost

  19. I love the narrative you tell, 'all my angles are now flowers' - that blows me away. I love the strangeness of the images, the strange shapes. I don't even look to comprehend what they are, all I see is colour and shape and that is enough.

  20. chère Roxana....
    je ne sors jamais indemne de mes visites chez toi...c'est chaque fois ou presque le même viens ,je regarde je m'impregne de tes images et de tes puis je repars en emportant avec moi toutes ces sensations ,tous ces non dit ,toutes ces emotions chargées de quelques chose de puissant,de fort ,comme l'amour ,ou comme la detresse,comme la joie lumineuse ou obscure...
    c'est difficile a ne suis plus amie avec les mots depuis bien longtemps...
    j'ai du mal vraiment a exprimer ce qui m'etreint ou m'emporte...
    la beauté de tes mondes interieurs me submerge....
    sur le pont flottant de tes reves on regarde passer le temps ,les images et les mots....
    on a parfois comme une envie de se jeter a l'eau et de se laisser emporter par le courant de l'imaginaire ,de cette froide réalité que tu métamorphoses en moments magiques...
    merci pour tout ça...
    c'est tout simplement BEAU....
    je t'embrasse...

  21. i am more grateful than i could say, for all your thoughts and shared emotions...
    i am a bit out of words these days, but i'd like you to know how much your beautiful and warm friendship means to me...

  22. je vous remercie de tout coeur pour votre présence ici, pour votre chaleureuse amitié, elle me touche énormément. j’ai un peu de difficulté à trouver mes mots ces jours-ci, vous allez me pardonner pour ne pas écrire davantage, j’espère...

    je vous embrasse et pense à vous.

  23. Médecin je donne la vie et bien non! je prolonge pas souvent! ; je donne que de l'amour avec mes mains je parle de moi c'est très rare ; par ce que tu es douceur une soie pure qui nous offre chaque instant de son cœur. Tu me parle de la neige des enfants... il y a longtemps je n'ai pas toucher à cette blancheur. Les dof clicher une ouverture de l'espace; voilà Roxana.

  24. Chère Roxana,
    Si tu n'arrives pas à trouver les mots (j'en doute, tu as tellement de talent), tes photos parleront à notre cœur, à notre sensibilité profonde, comme tu as toujours su le faire.
    Ta sensibilité et ta vision fine des choses transforme le quotidien en poésie pour reprendre les mots de Clo.
    Tu n'as qu'à te laisser porter...

  25. the wisdom of beauty, does it grow the thorns?

    such is this. thank you\