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….

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.

Humanly you

by Andrada Costoiu

Weathering storms by hiding in houses,
Or deep inside yourself….
You’re caught in the game of making and unmaking.

Your human heart,
God’s open wound,
Is master of dramatic effects, both candid and frightful….

Blink….

Every day you save a part of yourself,
From the refined culture of forms and frames,
In which this world is trying to shape you or judge you by….

That’s good! 
You’re fire and not shape!
You have wings and these don’t bow,
Instead, they make you fly,
Away from the sclerotic narratives that want you down below.

Smile….

Out of the shadow of the abstract man or woman,
It’s you,
Bursting out the volcano of your being,
Poisoning the whole world with an eruption of your dreams.

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.

Inner Struggle

by Andrada Costoiu

Friends and foes,
Please gather,
Sit together and speak thy truth.
Perhaps we can settle the swords and the jabs,
Perhaps …

“Sure!” spoke Innocence, beautiful, suave creature,
From the depths of naïve knowledge, she said:
“We can reach togetherness,
After all, we are in this together….”

“Really?” says the Skepticism
“It seems that you glide through time learning nothing!
Innocence, you’re just beautiful passing beauty….”


“Passing? No!”, says Innocence,
“I’m always here, for without me how would you love?
How would you hate?”


“Love? Hate?” says Rationality
“After I made a considerable number of records over a long period of time, 
I consider that….
It’s all a pile of whims!”

“Maybe,” says the Idealism
“But the man should always create another illusion,
I am not ready to give up on dreams!”

“I am surprised you’re still here, Idealism!
In an official universe,
Where relationships, careers, life…. is predetermined,
How have you not succumbed 
To day-by-day unhappiness inertia?” asked Rationality.

“Silence! All kneel! Surrender!” shouted someone from behind,
“Accept my yoke and we will be saved!”
It was Knowledge, demanding to be queen.

They all fell silent,
Innocence became guilty,
Rationality started to bow,
Idealism became aggressive,
Knowledge……did not become queen. 

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.

Ode to life

by Andrada Costoiu

I am

The faith
The loss of it.

The love
For who?

The pain,
The growth.

The wisdom gained from the victory of my heart.

Descend
Into the darkness, world of ghosts
White and black, sliding in their together world.

Let me run to the fields I remember
And chase my soul only if you will pull me up…

I shall not bend….
And I shall fight…
To find my faith,
And love….

We’re never over,
You, I, all.
Light becomes darkness,
Darkness becomes light,
Fairgrounds of souls..
 
We shall not bend….
And we shall fight…
To find our faith,
To love….

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.

Ghost story

by Andrada Costoiu

Photo by Rikonavt on Pexels.com

I kneel
Conjuring ancient thinkers
To ask a simple question: is death forever?

People who played their parts,
Figures of finest wisdom,
Begin seating themselves on the floor opposing to me.

The sound of a suspicious silence
Fills the room,
The consciousness of being both,
The living and the phantoms of this world,
Sends joint, mysterious and significant,  
Explanations of the meaning of life.

The room is bright,
Serviceable candles are steady,
They’re lit by poets….

I can’t pretend not to feel what I feel,
My wings that grew between storms
Spread wide to carry me once more
Towards another day, towards another night.

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.

Down the hole

by Andrada Costoiu

For some time, I have been thinking about some fundamental questions, such as the one of how did our societies became so polarized? Why are people so polarized when it comes to race, religion, why are people so polarized in general? I know that there are many reasons why, but I have recently come across a story that reveals disturbing facts.

I was listening to a New York Times podcast, that talked about the radicalization of a young man through YouTube videos. This was an aimless young man, in his 20s, who had a computer and spent a lot of time on YouTube. He became attracted by a far-right community, because he felt a sense of belonging. Besides the podcast, there is also an article in NYTimes about it. Here is the link for it if you want to read more about his story:

What struck me in this story was the evidence provided by a former YouTube employee, a French PhD, that explained how YouTube feeds you what to watch next….and next…and next. YouTube has an algorithm that controls what you can choose to watch next and based on your preferences (your history of watched videos) would suggest the same kind of videos. They say that this algorithm is responsible for 70% of the time spent online.

Now, not only YouTube, but many other platforms offer access to conspiracy theorists, extremists and all kinds of misinformation. Although YouTube and other platforms are outwardly liberal, they are still a place where all kinds of people that are arguing whatever they may, have reached large audiences. 

What if you fall into one of those rabbit holes? I think it is an efficient method of brainwashing. 

For YouTube and media alike, their business measures in time watched and in ratings.  They would give you the same kind of material, because they assume that you like it and that you would keep roped for long by giving you information on the same subject, from the same kind of sources.  For them, it’s all business. The more you watch, the more time you spend on their platforms, the more money they make. They’re not interested in providing a user with alternative narratives, with alternative points of view. 
For them, is not about the quality of information. It is all business. 

But is it all business for people? No. Not so much. For us, real human beings, it’s our lives. We possess an incredible neuronal plasticity that allows us to be shaped by our experiences. 

There are a lot of people out there, especially during this pandemic, who do not have wide social contacts and spend their time navigating the internet. If you involuntarily hammer your brain with the same, the same, you might not even realize that you are being misinformed, or that you start believing in who know what conspiracy theories. 

I think the best we can do is at least be mindful of this possibility. Be more aware and judge through your own lens whatever information we are fed. I think it is important to stop taking the information we are fed at face value. 

And, on another note, I have previously written a small article about how media controls the narratives. This is not new, in fact, media has been called the “fourth estate” because of its wide influence and its weight in steering one way or another the public affairs. Remember the Vietnam War and the photos of casualties and soldiers wounded? Did we see the same thing during the Iraq war and Persian Gulf conflict in the 90s and 2000s? No. We didn’t. Why? I’ll let you think for yourself and answer that question…..

The media controls what we see and hear. The media decides what we should hear and see.
A lot of things that should be said have been effectively silenced. 

I personally am trying hard not to be dumbed down by corporate biased news. It is hard. But I do seek information on things that are important to me and that are not talked in the media the way they should be because of low ratings ( i.e. climate crisis, community issues). I do seek alternative views on everything that I read and I do not believe everything is out there.  

“The antithesis of obliviousness” published in Visual Verse Anthology

by Andrada Costoiu

Photo by Michael Easterling, for Visual Verse .

I have written this poem for Visual Verse Anthology of Art and Words, it is published on page 24, you can read their current issue if you click here: Visual Verse Anthology of Art and Words. The poem is based on the picture above and represents what I saw when I looked at it.

The antithesis of obliviousness
By Andrada Costoiu

Peeking through the gates of time and space,
I seek escape from the place I am stuck.
I do not belong to this sentimental ecosystem of hollow chests,
With people that smile to convince their bodies that are happy.

In the place where no one cares,
I water the tree of love,
Pluck its leaves and send them away
To the ones who play the same game.
We connect,
If there is a wind, there is a way.

They say that romantics make the most unreliable spies,
But this time I made it.
The whole in the fence is the path,
Not slow, but fast,
I bid goodbye to the place that sings everyday happy birthday to the death of souls.

I feel like a citizen of Hades blinded by the sun.
I stumble,
The heart is a small muscle with a tremendous strength,
It got me here, across the fence, back to the place where it all started.

I am an unbound soul smitten with the eternal light,
I sync with the others, across the flying leaves,
Maybe one day we’ll break the fences of all mundane places,
And save the ones that shrug and fade into the dark.

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.