La multi ani, Mama!
Maria Magdalena Biela
When a genius creates a masterpiece and I find myself among those who receive THANK YOU on the first pages, I FEEL HAPPY, THANKFUL, HUMBLED, WORDLESS…
PROF. DR. BERND ROLING, UNIV. OF BERLIN, created this scientific treatise named ODINS IMPERIUM.
I found with emotion my name mentioned among the most brilliant minds around him.
LEEVI MADETOJA was the greatest composer of Finland, in my heart greater than Sibellius who shadowed Madetoja. He was also the husband of the greatest Finnish poetess L. ONERVA.
I introduced Bernd to Madetoja 15 years ago and ever since Prof. Dr. Roling embalmed his tumultuos mind in the wonderful music of Leevi Madetoja…
VIVAT! CRESCAT! FLOREAT!
Maria Magdalena Biela
PENTRU PAMANTUL DIN CARE M-AM NASCUT: ROMANIA….
Mi-e drag si mi-e dor…Mi-s dragi muntii, mi-e draga Marea Neagra a adolescentei mele si anilor de studentie, mi-e draga Delta si Dunarea, mi-e drag tot spatiul acela mioritic care NU apartine nimanui prin testament…Acel pamant apartine Creatorului…Oamenii care il locuiesc temporar, il distrug an cu an, zi cu zi…Pamantul pedepseste adanc pe cel ce nu-l respecta…Pamantul nu uita, nu iarta, tace si asteapta ruina trupului omenesc…Cand nu exista SUFLETUL etern, TRUPUL este doar o carcasa trecatoare ce va fi hrana pentru viermii infometati ai Pamantului…Si Pamantul asteapta si vegheaza…El este etern. Acel Pamant dintre Carpati, Dunare si Mare a fost si este batjocorit…insa mare si grea ii va fi mania si pedeapsa…
MI-E DOR DE PAMANTUL DIN CARE MA TRAG…SUNT TARE SINGURA FARA EL…Oamenii rai care il distrug vor plati greu…
Ceilalti, PUTINII care sufera, cunosc si ei SINGURATATEA…
Maria Magdalena Biela
“THERE ARE NO UNATTAINABLE HEIGHTS, THERE ARE ONLY TOO SHORT WINGS”
This is the only thing left of me there, in Riihimäki, at my first and most beloved workplace, RIIHIMÄEN AIKUISLUKIO MAAHANMUUTTAJIEN PERUSKOULU ( Riihimäen aikuislukio – Riihimäen kaupunki ): A QUOTE.
When I first started to work there, in April 2003, I had the honor and the privilege to create a school for the immigrants in need to learn Finnish, to integrate in society.
Together with the headmaster and a Finnish language teacher I’ve started a journey which for me would become the very definition of myself.
I’ve met people, I’ve listened to their life stories and I promised them that by the end of two years of school their life in Finland will have a great shape, a visible, fulfilled, good one.
I always kept my promise, I always delivered 😍.
It wasn’t easy but it was worth the effort.
I’ve created the school website in many languages for the whole world to know about its wonders and, in every language, the story of my school started with this quote:
“There are no unattainable heights, there are only too short wings”
After I no longer worked there, behind me remained nothing. All signs that I ever existed in the life of that school were deleted by diligent fingers.
The only thing that remained untouched is this quote.
Perhaps nobody knew that I WROTE IT THERE!
It doesn’t belong to me, but I found it to be the essence of a school, every school.
So, in 2003 I chose it to be our symbol because we, the immigrants becoming Finnish citizens, through a looong process of integration, WE KNOW HOW TO FLY HIGH.
It wasn’t easy to loose everything I’ve ever loved in a job, things that defined ME, who I was, and, for a long time this quote being THERE, on the school website, kept me going on.
Yet, when an anniversary book was published I cried.
The book that I prepared for the TEN YEARS ANNIVERSARY of my school, anniversary that didn’t happen.
The book that no one else would help me create and publish.
No one else but me would get in touch with the first graduates, invite them, collect their memories…
So, being published at the 15th anniversary which I didn’t “survive” in working there, my invite got lost.
When that book appeared online and I saw that my name, my work there, my very existence wasn’t even worth mentioning, I cried.
I thought that everything I held dear about that place of work was suddenly tainted…
I kept the memories of my students, of one special colleague and former teacher of mine, of those happy days when my phone would be on duty nights and days, weekends, holidays, those Christmas parties or Spring flings when we’d sing, dance, eat together…
I said to myself:
“IN THE END, WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE, THE IMPORTANT THING OF ALL IS THE RESULT OF MY JOB WELL DONE AND MY SATISFACTION”.
So, thank you all, for allowing me for eleven years to be part of something great.
A true teacher, like a doctor, is a healer. They shouldn’t be tied down to one place unless in the long run they’re in for the good money, or fame, or a good retirement.
But if they’re in for the great deeds, for the fundamental work of teaching, helping, truly helping others, then a true teacher should be a pilgrim, traveling from place to place in search for new students in need, new places to be built, new Christmases to be celebrated.
So, here I am, happy to start all over yet again, and again, and again, making new memories, helping other immigrants to build a life in Finland :)!
Indeed, “there are no unattainable heights, there are only too short wings”. This is MY LEGACY.
I take my QUOTE with me everywhere I go, knowing deep in my heart that there is my truth in it.
Maria Magdalena Biela
I wake up at 7.00 a.m. I drink my coffee, watching through the window the same lifeless street, the same trees still naked, same flats tall and covering my horizon, same portion of sky changing colors from dark to Light…Actually this is my only sign that hours pass and day becomes night, and night becomes day: the sky and its coloring…
Sometimes is the Moon: a quarter, half, full, and again…
Otherwise I feel like I am living and reliving the same day and night in a time-loop.
Soon the trees will become slowly green, so, here it is, another sign that time passes: the change of season.
After the coffee, I am in a sort of anxiety over to listen to the news or not. I choose not. I am done with the tears, the sadness, the fear.
I also fight over calling or not my parents. I am tired also to feel their tiredness, their nervousness, their intoxicating fear and fury.
Well, some days I call…actually every day I call. Aaaand after that I digest my frustration.
These days I talked with almost all my Facebook friends, especially my kids who live in the afflicted countries.
I feel an urge to beg them: “give me a small daily sign that you and yours are alive and well”…
Lunch. My appetite is lost. I eat something, I don’t care what, just to fill the void. I watch my husband and I know that he is also lost. Lost in this never-ending time loop, lost in this vastness of nothing and nothingness of vast.
Since march the 7th I didn’t exit the flat. It was a day to remember. I walked through the city with my husband not knowing that suddenly we’ll enter a loop.
My hair needed a change. I colored it myself.
My face needs the calming hands of a cosmetologist… my legs need to walk. In my time-loop it is a strangeness: I see time passing with my hair roots, my growing nails, my too rested legs.
I watch the ceiling. I watch the books. I am saturated with thinking.
This year, 2020, will be a non lived year. I shall remove it from the calendar. It may be as well still 2019, March.
I talk to my sister…she has a yard, at least something great.
In this loop it is heaven to have a yard, to be able to stay outside, breathing the Spring, watching the sunset and sunrise.
I can’t do even that: my windows are crowded by other flats, I see nothing but buildings.
I miss Crete, the sun, the sea, the friends I have there.
I miss being free. I am humbled by this unseen microscopical being which kills.
I took for granted every basic human right I had, blissfully, idiotically unaware that one cursed day time will stay still. No, time will pass but us, the humanity will be forced to stay still and feel the punishment of passing seconds.
I know how it started this 2020 but I do not know how it will end. Will I ever live in the same world? Will I ever hug my friends, travel freely, enjoy the nature, walk until I fall?
Perhaps not. Perhaps my hair will have to be shortened, like my nails, like my appetite for everything, like my list of well being happy friends, like my hopes, my expectations…
How does one exit a time loop? By learning not to repeat the same one wrong thing one kept doing? By learning the one wise good lesson one never learnt?
And if so, then what would that be?
Maria Magdalena Biela
Happy Easter 2020!
It’s Easter morning, outside a wild rain talks alone, angry, upset, hitting the window as if she’d like to come inside and hit me too. The flame of the candle humble yet bold doesn’t shiver: it knows better than to shy away from the rain… it’s seen worse than that… The chime of the bells, the Cathedral bells, usually would welcome every Christian to enter and take the Light of Easter and pray together for a better tomorrow. We watch through the window the crying heavens and we pray together, each window a silent prayer..no altar, no priest, no blessed bread and wine, only our souls, naked, shimmering like the Light of the candle, like the smoke of it. This is all we have this morning: some see the Light, some see the Smoke…and we all think of a prayer, and we all need a Kind Master to guide us all through the angry rain towards the Light…
From my window in Turku, Finland HAPPY EASTER to all!
Maria Magdalena Biela
CHOPINIAN LAMENT / BOCET CHOPINIAN
This Autumn I mourn
the fear of a leaf
who paid to October
a fistful of days
to dye her hair
from green to fire
that the dyeing brings death.
I mourn the nightmare of birches
who dreamt themselves fire
in the heart of Winter
that only becoming kindling
they will glow.
I mourn the sadness of the grapes
who yearned for rosy lips kisses
that to be drank from a glass
they must let themselves be crushed.
This Autumn I mourn
the despair of the Man
who searched for love
that she was his shadow
which he ignored
leaf by leaf
and tree after tree.
In toamna asta bocesc
spaima unei frunze
ce i-a platit lui Octombrie
un pumn de zile
sa-i schimbe culoarea parului
din crud in foc
ca vopseaua aduce moartea.
Bocesc cosmarul mestecenilor
care s-au visat foc
in inima iernii
ca doar devenind surcele
vor fi mistuiti.
Bocesc amarul strugurilor
ce-au ravnit sarut de buze rumene
ca spre a fi bauti din pahar
trebuie sa se lase striviti.
In toamna asta bocesc
ce-a cautat iubirea
ca ea-i fu umbra
pe care a ignorat-o
frunza cu frunza
si copac dupa copac.
Maria Magdalena Biela
Powers below and powers above
He asked you to bring him me and my love.
He put a spell on me many lives past
asking for a love that will always last.
He opened the mysteries’ dark heavy door,
He wanted to see what his Fate had in store.
He willed Light and Shadow intertwine with my mind
asking candles’ flame burn searching for me to find.
In my sleep I felt his scent every night
and his fingers caressing my hair in dim light.
I missed him, the man I knew in my dreams,
when the morning life whispered: “it’s not what it seems”.
I lived a whole life with my eyes opened wide
in my nights while sleeping with a ghost on my side,
he came to my world or I traveled to his.
I was no more myself. I knew what love is.
I found the safe road for my chosen one
to come and to do what was long undone.
Truth, knowledge, feelings: it mattered not
all I wanted was him and this was all I’ve got.
My true other self who made me feel whole
came one day and smiling gave me his soul.
I knew who he was. I breathed and I felt
the dark nights of senses and his dreamy scent.
Maria Magdalena Biela
DUPA DOUAZECI DE ANI / IN TWENTY YEARS
Acum douazeci de ani, în 1999, lumea era un loc complet diferit decât acum, in 2019.
Eram în zorii unui nou mileniu, stresati si nesiguri ce ne va aduce anul 2000.
Viata era inca reala, palpabila, vizibila, intrigand toate simturile in alerta, oamenii vorbeau, comunicau, se priveau in ochi, zambeau atingandu-si mainile, se intalneau in cafenele si schimbau opinii in lungi discutii, erau prieteni, fara stress, fara teama, fara indoiala si rautate, pentru ca umanitatea insemna REAL, insemna a atinge omul cu care vorbesti, a-l vedea, a-l simti.
Telefoanele mobile abia deschideau ochii timid, cartile înca se publicau, se cumparau sau se împrumutau din biblioteci si ziarele erau inca importante.
Desi 1999 nu pare a fi atat de departe in timp, când observam pasul urias facut de umanitate, pare ca s-a întâmplat cu un milion de ani în urma.
În 1999, internetul era înca o “jucarie” stralucitoare si noua, ceva ce parea a fi plin de posibilitati interesante. Nu banuiam cum ne va defini viata, ce rol poignant va juca in destinul umanitatii. Majoritatea site-urilor web pe care le cunoastem si pe care le iubim astazi nu existau nici în gand in 1999 – chiar si Google devenise o “chestie” cu un an mai devreme.
În 1999, spre a folosi internetul era nevoie sa ne conectam la telefon si totul cerea timp, rabdare si asteptare.
Acum putem vorbi la telefon, viziona ceva la TV, putem parcurge retele de socializare pe iPad ori sa citim un site pe laptop , toate in acelasi timp.
În 1999, exista înca riscul sa mergi într-un restaurant sau un bar duhnind a fum de tigara, ceea ce nu era o experienta placuta pentru un nefumator. Unele restaurante aveau sectii pentru fumatori si nefumatori. Inca nu era interzis fumatul public in spatiile inchise.
Terorismul exista în 1999 si îngrijora oamenii – insa nu era un subiect care sa duca la obsesiii. Abia dupa atacurilor din 11 septembrie 2001, terorismul a devenit o amenintare mult mai reala si inspaimantatoare, deseori ducand la rasism si la psihoze.
Uciderile in masa nu existau, in special in scoli. Nu gandeam macar ca ar putea fi posibil ca un adolescent sa ucida colegi si profesori la scoala. Primul atac a avut loc in USA, in ’99, liceul Columbine.
Întâlnirile online existau în 1999 (Match.com a fost creat în 1995), insa nu era un lucru pe care oamenii sa il recunoasca deschis. Era un subiect considerat tabu, un lucru pe care îl faceau doar cei ce erau disperati.
Nu existau retele virtuale de socializare si oamenii nu-si creau multiple personalitati. Facebook nu exista inca nici ca idee: Mark Zuckerberg il va crea abia in Februarie 2004.
În 1999, aparatele foto de unica folosinta erau peste tot. Oamenii faceau fotografii, apoi asteptau zile sau saptamâni ca filmul sa fie developat. Astazi, îti folosesti telefonul mobil.
În ’99, zborul cu avionul era confortabil, nu o experienta stresanta. Mâncarea era servita gratuit, aveam voie sa transportam lichide, mâncare proprie, sa cumparam orice si sa avem in bagajul de avion.
Astazi, aeroportul este o corvoada: fara pantofi, controlat si pipait, fara lichide, fara strictul necesar pentru un zbor mai lung ( crema de fata, parfum, trusa de unghii, diverse), platesti pentru orice fel de serviciu iara zborul este de calitate indoielnica.
In 1999, daca nu puteai contacta pe cineva telefonic, lasai un mesaj vocal pe robotul telefonic. Venind acasa era o experienta frumoasa si excitanta sa iti asculti mesajele. Uneori eram acasa si nu voiam sa raspund si ascultam cum cel ce suna isi spunea oful. Astazi, a observa ca ai un mesaj vocal este doar enervant.
Cabina telefonica exista la fiecare colt de strada. Memoram numerele de telefon sau le notam in agenda personala. Acum, doar nostalgia mai exista in locul cabinelor telefonice.
Cu 20 de ani in urma elevii mei erau inca originali in gandire, nu aveau alte surse de cautare a adevarului , doar cartile. Citeau, scriau cu stiloul pe hartie, posta inca mai aducea scrisori, felicitari si inca mai simteam pulsul sufletului intr-o urare de la multi ani, inca mai simteam parfumul unei carti noi, al unui ziar proaspat cumparat, emotia unei scrisori de dragoste scoasa din plic.
Meseria de jurnalist era o meserie de viitor, creierul, psihicul, sufletul uman nu fusesera inlocuite cu teste online de personalitate.
Meseria de profesor de limba materna era un respect, o iubire, o reusita extraordinara, un devotament.
In 1999 am pornit intr-o calatorie ce-mi va schimba viata. Am parasit Romania si am ales sa devin cetatean finlandez. Am schimbat nume, adresa, cetatenie, obiceiuri, insa un singur lucru a ramas statornic: meseria de profesor.
Cu 20 de ani in urma asteptam cu emotie, sperante, infrigurare, intrarea intr-un nou mileniu, in noua mea tara, in noua mea limba materna.
Au trecut 20 de ani. Sa ne revedem peste alti 20, da?
IN TWENTY YEARS
Twenty years ago, in 1999, the world was a completely different place than it is now, in 2019.
We were at the dawn of a new millennium, stressed and uncertain what the year 2000 will bring.
Life was still real, palpable, visible, intriguing all senses on alert, people were talking, communicating, looking into each others eyes, smiling, shaking hands, meeting in cafes and exchanging opinions in long discussions, they were friends, without stress, without fear, without doubt and wickedness, because humanity meant REAL, it meant to touch the human you are talking to, to see, to feel.
Mobile phones were just shyly opening their eyes, books were still being published, bought or borrowed from libraries, and newspapers were still important.
Although 1999 does not seem to be that far back in time, when we observe the huge step taken by humanity, it seems to have happened a million years ago.
In 1999, the internet was still a shiny and new “toy”, something that seemed to be full of exciting possibilities. We did not suspect how it would define our life, what a poignant role it will play in the destiny of humanity. Most of the websites we know and love today didn’t even exist in 1999 – even Google had become a “thing” a year earlier.
In 1999, to use the internet, we needed to connect to the phone and everything required time, patience and waiting.
Now we can talk on the phone, watch something on TV, we can browse the social networks on the iPad or read a site on the laptop, all at the same time.
In 1999, there was still the risk of going to a restaurant or bar which reeked of cigarette’s smoke, which was not a pleasant experience for a non-smoker. Some restaurants had sections for smokers and non-smokers. There was still no banned public smoking in closed spaces.
Terrorism existed in 1999 and worried people – but it was not a subject that led to obsessions. Only after the attacks of September 11, 2001, terrorism became a much more real and frightening thing, often leading to racism and psychosis.
Mass killings did not exist, especially in schools. I wasn’t even thinking that it might be possible for a teenager to kill colleagues and teachers at school. The first attack took place in USA, in ’99, Columbine High School.
Online dating existed in 1999 (Match.com was created in 1995), but it was not something people would recognize openly. It was a topic considered taboo, something that only those who were desperate did.
There were no virtual social networks and people did not create multiple personalities. Facebook didn’t even exist as an idea: Mark Zuckerberg will only create it in February 2004.
In 1999, disposable cameras were everywhere. People took pictures, then waited for days or weeks for the film to develop. Today, you use your cell phone.
In ’99, flying by plane was comfortable, not a stressful experience. The food was served free of charge, we were allowed to carry liquids, our own food, to buy anything and have it in the plane luggage.
Today, the airport is a chore: without shoes, controlled and frisked, not allowed liquids, not allowed the strict requirements for a longer flight (face cream, perfume, nail bag, various) and you have to pay for any service while the flight is quality questionable.
In 1999, if you couldn’t contact someone by phone, you left a voicemail on the answering machine. Coming home was a beautiful and exciting experience to listen to your messages. Sometimes I was at home and I didn’t want to answer and I listened while the caller said their message. Today, seeing that you have a voice message is just annoying.
The phone booth existed at every street corner. We memorized the phone numbers or write them down in the personal booknote. Now, only nostalgia exists in place of the phone booths.
20 years ago my students were still original in thought, they had no other sources of truth seeking, only the books. They read, they wrote with the pen on paper, the postoffice still brought letters, congratulations, and I still felt the pulse of the soul in a birthday card, I still felt the scent of a new book, a freshly bought newspaper, the emotion of a love letter taken out from the envelope.
The job of a journalist was a job of the future, the brain, the psychic, the human soul had not been replaced with online personality tests.
The teaching profession was one of respect, of love, an extraordinary achievement, a devotion.
In 1999 I embarked on a journey that will change my life. I left Romania and chose to become a Finnish citizen. I changed name, addresse, citizenship, customs, yet one thing remained constant: the teaching profession.
20 years ago I was waiting with emotion, hopes, excitement entering the new millennium, in my new country, in my new mother tongue.
It’s been 20 years. Let’s see each other over other 20, right?
Maria Magdalena Biela
The day I died / Ziua in care am murit
I was eighteen,
I woke up that morning
and I thought:
today is my last day on earth.
I went outside,
a November morning
dark and heavy
looked at me morosely.
Yet what I saw was
the fire of a daring sunrise
at the horizon.
The rain fell cold
yet I saw its rhythm,
the physics of its gravity,
the teardrops like diamonds
falling in a silent dreamy dance.
I watched the barren trees
and I saw their heart beating,
the vim in their veins,
the buds and leaves gestating
in their wombs,
waiting for Spring.
I watched the sad wet houses
and I saw life inside their walls,
I felt the scent of morning coffee,
the sleepy fire
laughing in flames
like a newborn waking from a dream.
I knew then that I was happy.
Today, many moons later
I woke up,
in a December morning,
I drank my coffee
watching the trees, the heaven, the rain, the houses,
I heard little voices calling my name
and my grandmotherly hands knew what to do.
I thought a little prayer:
“Thank you for
I haven’t been living my life
Ziua în care am murit
Aveam optsprezece ani,
M-am trezit în dimineața aceea
azi este ultima mea zi pe pământ.
Am mers afară,
o dimineață de noiembrie
întunecată și grea
m-a privit morocanoasa.
Totuși, ceea ce am văzut a fost
focul unui rasarit indraznet
Ploaia cadea rece
totuși i-am văzut ritmul,
fizica gravitației sale,
lacrimile ca diamantele
căzând într-un dans visător tăcut.
Am urmărit copacii uscati
și le-am văzut inima bătând,
seva în vene,
mugurii și frunzele gestand
în pântecele lor,
Am privit casele triste și umede
și am văzut viața în pereții lor,
am simțit mirosul cafelei de dimineață,
râzând în flăcări
ca un nou-născut care se trezește dintr-un vis.
Am stiut atunci că sunt fericita.
Astăzi, dupa mult timp
într-o dimineață de decembrie,
Mi-am băut cafeaua
urmărind copacii, cerul, ploaia, casele,
Am auzit voci mici care îmi strigau numele
iar mâinile mele de bunica știau ce să facă.
Am gândit o mică rugăciune:
“Mulțumesc pentru ca
nu mi-am trăit viața
Maria Magdalena Biela