I write to you so I won’t forget…
I’ve started this not knowing where it’s going to take me or what I want to say. The process of transforming thoughts into words proved to be challenging and at times disappointing. English is not my mother tongue and my attempts to write in English were difficult.
So, what I tried to do is read as much as I can in English, underline or write down the words I didn’t understand and then look them up in the dictionary. I used to have different apps of various dictionaries. It helped a lot but after a while I realized I was being left behind and that this is taking longer than I wanted it initially. And not just that. Things were happening too fast and I was way to slow to catch up. For someone who wants to get better at this I was not learning fast enough. Mistakes were many and my writings sucked for the most part. I get better when I’m terribly anxious, disappointed, saddened or depressed. Happiness doesn’t trigger many good ideas. Not that this is a problem, but you would think that being happy is what makes writing easier, flawless. Not the case here.
I’ve started taking notes when I was 11 ore 12, usually after a drama, my drama or after different episodes of scandalous fights, or simply when I was thinking I’m falling in love for someone or something. My first papers were very childish love letters that I was going to send to my imaginary lover. I liked to copy all love-related lines from poems, short stories or novels and stack them in my notebooks. I probably have hundreds of those. I remember reading “Queen Margot” by Alexandre Dumas, a must-read for that age. It was fabulous. Then after a while I’ve discovered the love, drama and tragedy from Henryk Sienkiewicz’s “Quo Vadis” or Boris Pasternak’s “Doctor Zhivago”. When I’ve started “Quo Vadis” I was travelling to Bucharest by train, always by train. For some reason that book put me in a bell jar, no sounds and no whispers from the people around could reach me.
In high-school we had to read a lot of literature for our Romanian classes. This introduced me to our great Romanian novelists. For those who have no idea who Marin Preda, Mircea Eliade or Camil Petrescu are, all I can say is that they should find some of their works in English and sit down. And read. They are my favorite, but they are so many others, writers and poets who unfortunately didn’t get the appreciation they deserve just because they were born in Romania, they were too poor and not many people of arts had the interest in supporting their talent. Mircea Eliade is probably the most famous. He could write about love, lost, lust, life and feelings like no other writer I’ve read before. He’s probably known worldwide because of his contribution in philosophy and mostly because he’s the first writer that popularize the history of religions. His treaty on religion and religious beliefs are a result of many travelings around the world, especially to India, which completely transformed his existence.
Anyway, after the Romanian phase I went to collage and entered a new era, which was called: “reading anything but the school-related bibliography”. That was the moment I started reading in English and mainly because I didn’t have a choice. 80% of our class curricula involved Anglo-Saxon references. So, during my Anthropology class I had to read (maybe) about the most interesting things: tribes, ancient traditions, customs, cannibalism, unknown civilizations from places I never knew existed, in Polynesia, Greenland or other secluded islands that I couldn’t find on the map…..because oh well, they were not there anymore in present time. That kind of thing.
After a short while I found my South-American “buddies”: Gabriel García Márquez, Mario Vargas Llosa and Pablo Neruda. The closest thing to fiction that I can get is through the first two and Pablo Neruda is Pablo Neruda, and he meets the requirements for “my list”.
To be continued….