My new poem Garden Fairies published by Spillwords Press

By Andrada Costoiu

A poem that I have written had been published by Spillwords Press. Thank you for publishing my work!

The moon was riding in a cloudy heaven,
Nature was not still and neither was he.
He was just a little boy, by the window,
Listening to the spirits of the trees.

The tales of the forest
Whispered unwritten wisdom,
About the first men and women that emerged from the caves
To fan the flames of civilization,
About a wanderers realm
Where even broken-winged birds can fly…..
About acorns that sprouted into flowers,
About a little orphan child that asked a tall tree
To lift up his paper gold wishes 
Up to the sky, to his parents.

And then he saw her,
Please continue reading here https://spillwords.com/garden-fairies/

Love at no sight

by Andrada Costoiu

No, their eyes didn’t meet from across the crowded room,
No, he didn’t see her face on Skype
Nor did she stalk his Instagram feed.
They were not like other people…..

They needed not step into the role of “mirror”,
And tell each other when they looked good or not,
Because they always looked good to each other.

They said love is blind,
But they knew that it wasn’t,
They could see into each other’s souls,
And past colors and shapes,
Their spirits within were as bright as a day.

Thoughts, desires, and longings were not always written across their faces,
But they were always written in their hearts.
She asked him: “My love, what color is love?”
He said: “Love has no color, love is a feeling,
As the feeling of you next to me.”

Her soul was touched,
She felt the sun on her face,
Smelled his perfume…
She thought that the strangest thing was
That there are seven billion people on the planet looking for love,
She hoped that they would find what she knew:
That love always happens out of sight.

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, 2019 with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Pandemic resurrection

by Andrada Costoiu

Hospital beds….
Doctors and nurses,
Moving faster and harder than anytime before…
I think the reminder of these days will always sting like a hornet.

For days your body quivered,
As the underground bunker opened and closed its door around you,
You were completely vulnerable,
As all the other poor souls around you,
But your parachute jerked your body back.

You’re dreaming of blue skies and white puffed clouds,
Or maybe of the ocean shore where we sat every morning,
You’re taking trips
With your eyes closed, but with the gateway of your soul open.

I feel your heart getting warmer,
Searching through the glass window,
As closest as they have let me get to you…

My eyes are crying
And my invisible hands are ripping out all the caution tape,
All the “do not enter” signs 
That held us back from living the life we truly want to live.

Wake up my love,
Life is precious,
Especially the one that is given twice.

Life and how precious every moment is. Not many had life –altering experiences, but if you did, you understand best what second chances are. “Live your life to the fullest” is just a motto until you start doing it. So do it, you may never have tomorrow what you can have today. Love and live to the fullest.  

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, 2019 with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Whoever carries a light

by Andrada Costoiu

The entryway is cozy,
I feel the warmth underfoot and
Soft lighting engulfs me.
Home,
I’m home.

“You’re late again!” my lover said to me.
I blink,
Life is tumultuous sometimes,
The pain of the world is real and there is no sugar coating,
I’m late, yes.

Maybe I was in a dream
Or in some kind of apocalyptic hallucination,
I spent my day between doctors and people
Carrying trays, moving equipment.

A red haired, freckled and washed out man,
Grabbed my hand when I was moving between beds,
“I wish you hurry up,
The dark night of the soul is blowing over us”, he said.

I did hurry up,
So did everyone around me.
Whoever carried a light
Was quickly walking in the darkness,
To rescue the ones who were stuck there,
And we were brining light,
One flicker at the time.

This for all the exhausted doctors, nurses and medical personnel out there. They are brining light to the ones who suffer now, one flicker at a time….

COPYRIGHT NOTICE

© Andrada Costoiu and a-passion4life.com, 2019- . 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, 2019 with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Let’s rewrite the story of this pandemic

by Andrada Costoiu

Amid the avalanche of statistics and scary news about the Novel Coronavirus, one can feel overwhelmed with not so good feelings. And it is normal, when you see the exponential growth of this pandemic.
Across the world the media is spreading the concerns about the evolution of the pandemics, the dark and the gloomy. Day after day we see warnings, we see politicians that are worried, some of them complain, some of them criticize the others.

But I want us to move beyond that. Behind politics and all these statistics there are lives, none of us is just a number. We are people and we are fighters. While scientifically we slowly advance, in daily life we see people shine with hope, with stories of kindness and love. Let’s bring these up.

Write about yourself, about people in your neighborhood or about things that you have heard. Spread the positive, bring up the best in us as humans.

Love finds a way

Yes, quarantine, closed places, and not being able to do the things you usually do, can be disturbing. But!! But we can still find our ways to express the way we feel, can’t we? And through this, there is togetherness and there is power!

Look at this old man, whose wife is quarantined in a Connecticut nursing home. They’re celebrating their 67thanniversary, but he cannot join her inside. So, he is in front of her window. Isn’t it beautiful? Here is the link to the full article.

Here is another story, of a son that goes to see his father everyday. His father is also in a quarantined nursing home.

He sits outside the window and talks to his dad through the phone . Here is the link to their story .

Hope: old people are survivors too

We know that old people are affected the most. But among them, there are stories of survival.

Geneva Wood is a A 90-year-old woman who contracted coronavirus at Life Care Center senior care facility in Seattle. She’s doing well and she’s recovering. Here is a picture of her eating her favorite potato soup!

In Italy, there is a 95 years old woman, Clara Orsini that has recovered as reported by Gazette Di Modena.

These women are beacons of hope for the elderly people and those with chronic diseases.

We stand together

Spain, Norway, France, Scotland and many other places, started national applause campaigns. People are clapping from their balconies and from wherever they are for the nurses, doctors, and for all other healthcare workers who are working hard and help those who are ill.

Here is Madrid, Spain

Here is another one, from around the world, provided by Washington Post. Copy and paste this link in your browser : https://wapo.st/2Uo5b0h

And these are big pictures. But small stories of solidarity are in each and every neighborhood. Young people offer to shop for the elders, neighbors report full shelves in the grocery stores instead of focusing on the lack of different supplies. 

Faith has no boundaries

We are all different, aren’t we?  Race, ethnicity, religion, these all have managed to draw boundaries around our little planet. 

Here is chart from PEW (a research institute) about how total world population is divided across different religions.

How many conflicts the religious divide has fueled in the world? How much violence and hostilities?

And here is what is happening today. Doctors and nurses around the world are praying before entering their shift, each in their own way. 

In Pakistan (albeit they are too close from each other!:))

Hospital staff pray before joining their shift, outside a hospital setup for coronavirus infected patients in Quetta, Pakistan, Thursday, March 26, 2020. The virus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Arshad Butt)

In Palestine

this is a disinfecting crew in Palestine

The Pope prays, people pray everywhere….each of them in their own way.

So, here we are, with these humble displays of humanity.

There is love, there is hope, there is faith and there is “together”.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE

© Andrada Costoiu and a-passion4life.com, 2019- . 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, 2019 with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Letters to Juliet and Romeo

In this trying time, we are all affected somehow.  The tragedy in China and now Italy is unimaginable. Some of us are far away from the ones we love, some people have lost their loved ones. So, I am opening a part of my blog to you.  

Inspired by the story of Romeo and Juliette, and from a book I read, I encourage you to write letters to your loved ones. Write to your own Romeo, your own Juliette, your mom, dad, or whomever you love.

You could send them to me at sunshineandrada@yahoo.com and I will post them here.  You can write anonymously or you can say few words about yourself.  I think we should spread love and hope, because it will help us all.

Here are few letters, written by others, that I have found in a book.

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.

Hellen Keller

Take me home

by Andrada Costoiu

Today I sat next to an old man on a bench,
He was amusingly bedraggled,
As an anthropologist forever looking
For foreign species on Earth.

His eyebrows were huge,
Eerily covering his beady blue eyes,
I think his mind didn’t wander as much as mine,
Because when he saw me he starred!

He thought that I am some observant time-traveller from another place
And he felt obliged to educate me into the matters of his world.
He asked if I ever had muesli with sheep’s-milk yogurt,
And what do I think about the muscular men, 
Which were running by our bench in the park.

I didn’t want to skew his beliefs and his image of me 
So I told him that Earth is a funny place,
I didn’t try the muesli,
But I did shaved my legs 
And I did have a beach-blanket boozy night with a statuesque male. 

He smiled and asked if my world is furnished with mirrors,
I told him that yes,
And that they reflect who you really are inside.
He said: ”good, then make sure to laugh and smile every moment.”

I smiled and took a deep breath,
And that’s when I saw his Alzheimer “take me home” bracelet.
One life lesson says:
“Don’t always take yourself so seriously”
I’m glad I didn’t.
All that really matters in the end is to love and to be loved,
Somewhere, somebody was waiting for him……
And I will take him home.

I think that there are so many souls out there that cry for help and we just pass by. In a world full of distractions it is easy to do that. But maybe if we listen more, see more, that would save someone. 

COPYRIGHT NOTICE

© Andrada Costoiu and a-passion4life.com, 2019 . 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, 2019 with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

George Sand – a flamboyant, romantic writer

by Andrada Costoiu

Photo: “Portrait of George Sand” by Charles Louis Gratia (c. 1835)

George’s Sand real name was Armandine Aurore Lucille Dupin; she was called by her family and friends “Aurore”. Born in Paris in 1801, she was the most popular writer in Europe in mid 1800s, more popular than Victor Hugo and Honore the Balzac. Her work was appreciated by many famous poets and writers: the American poet Walt Whitman cited Sand’s novel Consuelo as a personal favorite; Dostoevsky translated some of her work; she inspired Virginia Wolf, Marcel Proust and many others.

A not so common 19th century French woman

She grew up in the French countryside, in Nohant, near La Châtre in Berry. At age thirteen she was sent to a convent in Paris. Her grandmother was afraid that Sand will become a nun so she brought her back to Nohant. She became the mistress of the estate after her grandmother died. At 19 she got married with Casimir-François Dudevant and they had 2 kids together.

I guess she was bored or grew wings because at 27 she decided that she wanted more and she moved to Paris in search for independence and love. She first worked for Le Figaro. 

It didn’t take long for her to create her own identity: George Sand the writer. At that time, when a woman that demanded respect was supposed to be a dutiful wife and mother, she broke social barriers by becoming a writer. 

She wore male attire in public….yes, pants, shirts and men’s hats!  She also smoked in public. You might think, well, what’s so special about that? It is, because in France back then women were required to have a permit in order to wear male clothing! Some women applied for permit but Sand was one of the women that wore men’s clothes without it. 

She started wearing men’s attire when she wanted to go to the theatre and didn’t have enough money. She loved entering intellectual and artistic venues where women were forbidden. AH, if I was to live during these days I would have done the same!!!

Also, the fact that she was smoking in public was scandalous. While more than a few raised their eyebrows at her rebellious behavior, others found her admirable and were not bothered by it. 

Victor Hugo for example said that:

“George Sand cannot determine whether she is male or female. I entertain a high regard for all my colleagues, but it is not my place to decide whether she is my sister or my brother.”

– Victor Hugo

Writing

She was a romantic soul that always found consolation in her writing. I think that George Sand might be the most prolific woman writer in the history of literature. She wrote 130 volumes of fiction, political and other writing and 25 volumes or more of letters are coming to light. That’s impressive! I wonder when she found time to do anything else…..

All her novels are love stories in which her romantic idealism unfolds in a real world.

Her fist novel, Indiana, brought her immediate fame.  This novel was a passionate protest against the social conventions that made a wife dependent on her husband and a plea for a heroine who abandons an unhappy marriage and finds love. Sounds familiar? Of course it does! The story is very similar to her own life story…..

 The cover of Indiana by George Sand – WikiCommons

Yes, she was a “dream lover

She was and did many things: she was a writer, a mother, an unhappy but trying hard to make it work wife, a lover, a caretaker, a “politician”. But she also had a sensible soul. She was forever searching for love, moving from one lover to another “ searching endlessly for a way to stop searching”( “The dream lover” by Elizabeth Berg). I wish she didn’t have to have that many lovers……but each of us has his/her own story. From her relationships, most remarkable to me were the ones with Alfred de Musset, Frederic Chopin and last….Gustave Flaubert. She loved each of them and each man loved her in their own way.

Her longest relationship was with Polish pianist and composer, Frédéric Chopin. He wrote much of his work during their 9 years together.  I cannot imagine what would have been like to hear this man playing piano everyday! I love his Nocturne op.9, No.2; it’s my favorite. I also love Spring Waltz and so many other of his compositions. You can listen to both if you click their names because I attached the youtube links for each.

George Sand and Frédéric Chopin by Alquiler de Coches – Flickr

She and Gustave Flaubert meet after the publication of his book “Madame Bovary”. She was 53, he was 35. Some say that they were not lovers but friends. They wrote letters to each other; their correspondence lasted for 10 years, until Sand’s death. You can now read their correspondence if you check out these books The George Sand – Gustave Flaubert Letters and Flaubert-Sand: The Correspondence.

Books and movies about her

There are a lot of books about her, but the one I have read is “The Dream lover” by Elizabeth Berg.  One must appreciate this writer because of the sum of all feelings and insights you get while reading her work. Berg includes  a lot of dates, places and famous people in Sand’s life. I have read some reviews and many people didn’t like this book, but I did! To me it had a lot of depth and feeling. 

Movies:

Impromptu (1991), with Hugh Grant and Judy Davis, is a very special movie. A young Hugh Grant and Judy Davis play Chopin and Sand.

The Children of the Century (1999) with Juliette Binoche. This movie focuses on Sand’s relationship with fellow author, Alfred de Musset. 

Chopin: desire to love (2002) is a Polish movie. It is definitely one of the truest-to-life depictions of Chopin on the screen.   Danita Stenka is also hands-down the best George Sand I’ve yet seen.

Movie poster for the 2002 movie by Jerzy Antczak titled Chopin: Desire for Love

Some final thoughts

George Sand lived her life as she pleased, which was very rare for any woman at that time. May we all learn from her courage. And may we all strive to be as creative as she was and be even half, a third or a tenth as productive as she was.

What about love? With all the distractions, tv’s, iPhones, internet and such, our fast pace of life makes us feel that we are racing to the unknown without deep feelings. We are forever rushing through. It feels like we are citizens of a land of banality, brushing shoulders with each other, chasing money, power, success….. But no! This is just an illusion, because deep inside each of us there is something that asks for love, and that is what motivates us to go on and on. 

COPYRIGHT NOTICE

© Andrada Costoiu and a-passion4life.com, 2019 – . 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, 2019 with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.