To my daughter, with love

by Andrada Costoiu

We always hear others talking about life and how it goes by so fast, but we don’t seem to understand that it truly does. It goes by in a blink. 
That is why we have to enjoy every moment, the good and the sad ones. That is why we have to create memories, because in the end, we are not the material things we gather but we are the sum of all our memories, all stored within ourselves, deep in hearts and souls.

Today, time slapped me in the face. It did. Not in a bad way but in a way that made me see “it”. I guess the run of everyday life, living life itself masks everything, it masks its passing….

Today my daughter graduated middle school. Watching her walking on the stage from a chair in the audience, I had teary eyes.  I wondered when this happened. I felt that it was just yesterday that I was holding her in my arms, a little baby with a pink bandana on her head.

Life…..
Life and its wonders…..
Life and its beauty…..


From a baby to a young lady….
Her spirit is blooming, and I am smiling. I think it feels like the world’s spring around her, one with butterflies and beautiful flowers – flowers that spring everywhere and represent the endless possibilities that life will bring….

 I guess a mother’s love demands a space with ungraspable borders, isn’t that strange?  I am here, watching …and watching over her.

Nothing is perfect in this world, but I want her life to be the most wonderful she could have. 
She doesn’t have to follow the expected path: job, marriage, kids.  Whatever will be will be. She should explore ……and make the best of every moment. Time flies in the blink of an eye….

Joy Davidman

by Andrada Costoiu

I just finished reading a book about Joy Davidman, the woman that married C S Lewis (a famous British writer that wrote, among other works, The Chronicles of Narnia). 

I guess in a world where you are supposed to hide your emotions, I should not admit that I cried…. but I did, I wept for Joy. 

This is the story of a brilliant woman, of a woman who fought for herself. She lived in a time when women were ascribed mostly the housewife role but she but did not bow to that. Escaping an unhappy marriage, she moved to England with her two sons. She became a confidant, a collaborator, a close friend and ultimately a lover to CS Lewis. 

The love story between the two of them is eviscerating and beautiful at the same time. I know it sounds like a paradox, but this is exactly how it feels. 

Joy died of cancer, she was only 45…..

I feel that she could have accomplished so much more, but in the end, I think she was happy when she went to embrace the unknown.

This is a wonderful book, I heartily recommend it.

As I finished it, I feel that I want to spend more time in their story. I am intrigued by their spiritual journey, by their love….how it grew…..what it became.

I found that their love story is also immortalized in the Academy Award-winning film Shadowlands.

I did not read any of Joy’s worlds, only Lewis’s. But now I will, because I want to know more about Joy….

Happy day to life

by Andrada Costoiu

It’s Mother’s Day here in the US. 

I started the day with a walk on the beach, which is something that I always try to do when I have time. It is a beautiful cloudy day here, a bit unusual for Southern California where is always sunny. But the clouds will disappear, they always go, without leaving us a drop of rain….

But the weather is not what I want to write about in this post. I want to say a few things about life, as I thought about it on my walk.

The path to go down to the beach is always steep. There are so many ways to get down, you can either take stairs or go down on different paths, some paved and some are just dirt paths.

But whichever way you go, you’ll always start at the top, and from there the views are incredible.

I took some stairs and while I was going down, I did what I always do: scan the beach, look for dolphins and whales. I haven’t seen any whales in 2 years, and I have only seen dolphins 5 times this year – but I still look for them every time!

There were no dolphins today either, but there were more people than usual.

Out of all these……a group of people caught my eye.

They were facing the ocean, and when I got closer, I realized it was a mother (elderly – with white hair). She was on a wheelchair and on each side, there were 2 adults, a man and a woman (I think her children). This almost brought me to tears. I wondered what was her story, what were their stories? I passed them thinking how wonderful for them to build memories like this. I also felt a bit of sorrow, thinking how quickly time passes…and with it, our life.

Then there was a younger mom, she might have been in her late 50’s. It looked like she was having a picnic with her 3 kids, teenagers all. When I was walking towards them, she started smiling, I knew she couldn’t possibly smile at me like that, so I looked back. Guess who was coming with a bouquet of orange rosses? Her teenage daughter…..
What a wonderful day she will have!

I guess what I am trying to say with these little scenes of life, on a Sunday morning, on a beach in California is that we all have our life stories. We all have a story!
For some the story is just beginning, for others it nears the end. Whatever the end means! Maybe there is no real end and is just transformation.….
But we each have a story, here, now, our own story to build, to cherish and to live….. So let’s do that!

I want to recognize one more thing. 

Life is not the same for everybody, some people have it easy, some others have it hard (I pray for the people in India right now). Some people battle depression. To you, the ones going through rough patches I want to say this- you are not alone. But when you’re feeling down, remember that somebody brought you here on this earth, so please stay for them if not for you. Stumble, but please, no matter how hard it is, keep moving forward. To those feeling like quitting, don’t.  Play Scarlet O’Hara instead. “Tomorrow is another day!” There is light at the end of the tunnel…..

To all, young, old, mothers or not, happy day to you…..happy day to life……

Happy Christian Orthodox Easter

by Andrada Costoiu

I hate death, the one that comes into people’s homes to take their loved ones. I hate death, the one that chases all of us in our thoughts, every once in a while. The one who says he’s not  afraid of death, he’s lying. Do you know why? Because we’re all afraid of the absolute unknown, and this is what death is, an absolute unknown.

According to the Christian religion, Jesus suffered crucifixion. I imagine him next to Roman soldiers, with nails in his hands.

I think he was scared too, even for a moment or more, but what helped him was his faith. And that’s what left us, and that’s what we’re celebrating now, with Easter holidays.

I don’t know what to say about the afterlife, except that faith in the afterlife exists in one form or another, in every religion. And I think…… I believe that there is nothing more beautiful for a human being who is facing death at least once in his life (that is for those who did not lose anyone and whose confrontation with death is their own death), than the hope and courage to believe in the limitless opportunities of eternity……

Tonight, and always, believe. Believe in yourself, believe in life. Let the light and hope shine in your souls. 

Tonight, light a candle for your friends, for your loved ones who have gone before you, and say a prayer from the heart.  Someone….. if not them…..will hear it  …..

I wish you all a happy Easter.
Love, Andrada

Note: For the ones who do not know, I was born in Romania, a country that is homogenous in terms of religion and race. In Romania most people are Christian Orthodox (81.04% of the country’ population). I was born a Christian Orthodox. Other religious denominations include the Catholics, both Latin Catholicism (4.33%) and Greek Catholicism (0.75%–3.3%), Calvinists(2.99%), and Pentecostals (1.80%).
Today, Romanian Christian Orhodox celebrate Easter.

Identify Podcast: Episode 2 (The Other Side). — Lucy’s Works and Co

Below is the information about a collaborative novel in which I participated. Many thanks to Lucy for including me in this project!

Identify Podcast: Episode 2 (The Other Side). — Lucy’s Works and Co

I do not know how to proper reblog the post, but this is from Lucy’s Blog.

“Written by Andrada Costoiu (chapter two) and B.V. Stratton (chapter three), this joint chapter delves a little into the sibling’s past but questions still arise. Resigning himself to trust his “newfound” sister, they make a break to the other side of the island as a last minute escape (as Tom blew their original plan). Lauren is more resourceful than she looks, and all Tom wanted to know was the truth. What is the cost of learning it and would it be safe for him to know?

Though how unfortunate for the sibling iconoclasts that someone lurks in the shadows.

Here’s the link to the latest episode on Anchor and Spotify

Please be sure to give some love and support to such amazing and talented authors, Andrada and B.V. Thank you both again for your collaborative efforts in this ongoing project, it means a lot to me. As well, the podcast may likely be on a short hiatus as I’m currently recovering from an elbow fracture.

I hope, however, you can enjoy this podcast episode and if you do, give a follow on Spotify or Anchor to be updated on new episodes. Please also feel free to leave a voice message as well for feedback, support, or even commentary, if you feel inclined. 🙂

Shakespeare’s Globe

by Andrada Costoiu

I miss London and I want to share more of my experiences in the city with you.

Last year, walking the Thames River path, near Blackfriars , I saw a white building, with a roof covered in moss. I didn’t really know what to make out of it! Was it a small castle? Was it an arena?
These were the questions that were running through my mind when I noticed that many people were seating on the ground, in a cue, as they were waiting for something. I went and asked ….and it turned out to be a theater. Not just any theater, but Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, which is a reconstruction of the Globe Theatre for which William Shakespeare wrote his plays!  

The original theatre was built in 1599, destroyed by the Great Fire of London in 1613. The theatre was rebuilt in 1614, and then demolished in 1644. This modern Globe Theatre is an academic approximation of the original one, it is considered quite realistic, though it accommodates only 1,400 spectators compared to the original theatre’s 3,000. It was opened to the public in 1997.

I’m a lover of arts, so of course, I wanted in! There were no tickets for that night, but I did buy a ticket for “As you like it,” for the following night.

I had no idea what to expect, but let me tell you this: I have been inside hundreds of cultural landmarks and this one is one of a kind. When I entered, I felt like a portal to another era has opened. Shakespeare’s era!

The theater has an arena where people stand and then there is seating across the arena, in balconies and galleries. All these have benches, wooden benches! I got one of those seats and I’m so happy I got a pillow, because….let’s put it this way, you need a cushion when you’re seating on a wood bench with no back rest for couple of hours…..

The play itself was a transformative, radical experience. Ever seen those movies where they show how old theater was done? Those ones where the audience becomes rowdy and occasionally some unlucky actors get pelted with rotten tomatoes? It’s funny, but it was just like that! The audience, including me, often exploded in ovations and laughs.  But of course, there was no tomatoes or food produce throwing! 
This is me, happy this place where past meets present.

After the play I went to their small library, which is filled with souvenirs and great books. I couldn’t leave without buying some, one book for me and two for each of my kids :).

I think during the pandemic the Globe is closed. They have performances online, but nothing is the same as watching a play inside the venue. I think the pandemic will be over soon, wishful thinking! So…when it opens and if you are around that area, go and experience. You’ll feel as you entered the somewhat more complicated emotional world of Shakespeare.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE

© Andrada Costoiu and a-passion4life.com, 2020- . Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Andrada Costoiu and a-passion4life.com, 2020 with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

My new poetry book “Love poems: insights into the complicated mystery of love” is available on Amazon. You can get it here. Please write a review if you get around it. I would really appreciate it.

From London , with Love

by Andrada Costoiu

I live in memories lately, wishing that I could have my old life back, whisking that I could take a plane to a different part of the world. I’m not tired of mine……but I am bird and I like to fly.
Like most of us though, I think I am now only capable of mind flights…around the world.
So, I am going to share with you few pictures and insights from a trip I took to London, the summer of last year.

London. For any it is the city where they live, where they work, where they go to the grocery store….or the restaurants. For me, it was a wonderful adventure.

Westminster Abbey 

I always wanted to visit this abbey, because of its impressive history. I don’t know what it is like now, it might be closed because of the pandemic, but last summer I learned that if you want to visit the abbey you should buy tickets online:). I remember getting there around 12, and the lines were huge.
The Abbey is beautiful inside, the history floats in the air and is under your feet. I liked it so much that the next day I woke up early and went to the mass. I thought it’s going to be in the church but the sermon was held in the small chapel. Bummer! It was funny, because there was a girl next to me that had angels ears. She kept laughing and seemed a little bewildered. That’s when I lowered my gaze and noticed the priest’s shoes – he had style! I tried not to think about priests’ fashion and concentrate on giving thanks and praying for a better world! I still have these memories….:)

Westminster Church

If you walk few streets from the Abbey, there is another church, Westminster Church. This one is impressive too. Cannot stop but thinking that the church was and is so powerful! They had and have a lot of money to build such impressive buildings. In this church there were many chapels, each with their history. Among other things I was impressed by the body of St John Southworth, a man that was killed in 1535 because of his faith. This made me feel sad, his body looked so small; it was enclosed in a glass shrine. His mummy was fully clothed and had a mask on his face.

Last……this is a random picture I took on the streets of London…..

Everyone should enrich their life with around the world travel…..I think I have complied with that today :).

The twig

by Andrada Costoiu

Ok, no offense to anyone but here is a conversation between my two kids today 🙂. I thought it was so funny😄

My son says : “Rich people will buy anything”

My daughter she frowns first and says : “ Hm! Right …anything anything ?” Then she starts laughing at him and she says ” Anything? Like a twig?”

My son, looking so serious:” Yes, if it’s expensive they’ll buy it . An expensive twig…. yea ….like a 300 dollar twig from Louis Vuitton.”

Note: I could add my own thoughts, but I will leave this post just for my kids:).

Thank you

by Andrada Costoiu

My dear fellow bloggers and readers,
This is not a poem, it is not a post that shares my insights, opinions or my personal research.
This is a post dedicated to you. It is a note of gratitude to you.

As I am approaching a year since I started writing here, I want to thank you all for reading my work, for being supportive and for inspiring me. Some of you have been here from the beginning and you have witnessed my ever-evolving perspectives.

Every day I receive messages and comments on my writing. I want you to know that every “like”, every comment and every minute that you spend reading my work is greatly appreciated. If I had made one of you feeling more understood, less alone or if I bought some kind of new knowledge to you, then to me, that is a success. It makes me happy. 

Social media often creates a culture of self-promotion. But that is not what we are doing here. We write about different topics, we write about our everyday human experiences, and about our feelings and our emotions.

We create. And that is what matters.

While in quarantine, I have finished writing a novel. It is about life in communist Romania during the 80’s. Much of it is inspired by my life and that of my father. I am very excited about it. I think it is a really good book :)> (sorry for being so confident, but I feel truly feel that it is a really good book:)). And with that, I also want to thank you for helping me grow as a writer.

Thank you all for who you are, and for being part of my journey,

With love,
Andrada