light blue

November 26, 2007

It’s raining today in Belgrade, and sky is somehow grey. But yesterday, it was unexpectedly beautiful weather for this time of year. And I got one unexpected phone call. It was my friend Marijana calling me to go out to athletic track to run. I was so happy – there has been a while since I ran last time, inertia and laziness overwhelmed me, but now I wear on my running shoes, and go in front of the building. There is she arriving with a car in few minutes, and then we go towards athletic track. I don’t like to walk there (later in that case I am not inspired to run) I prefer to go with a car, and of course I like to run with my friends much more than when I am alone – though when I run alone it is also very inspiring, because I just tend to make friendship with beautiful trees and flowers around me – and at the same time I am focused inside, so I am bathing in the sea of peace and joy inwardly. What joy can be compared to running? I wouldn’t be so sincerely joyful even if I bought Intel Quadcore processor (which would certainly make me very satisfied). What can bring you more peace than running? Even the skies above seem more blue while you run.

We did not run more than 800 m, for it is always better to start spontaneously after longer pause (in June we used to run much more). Rest of time we spent in walking and exercising (lawn beside track got richer for some training equipment in the meantime – one can do now all kinds of pull ups and crunches and dips etc). That is also good because if you add some more activity to running it gives you even more joy if you can see progress there too during weeks and months.

Today is raining in Belgrade, as I already mentioned. And the sky is somehow grey. But that will not stop me to run few hundred meters when I go out – for I’ve already discovered the secret. When you run the sky is blue – whatever it be in the objective world. Joy to all!


my family’s Slava

November 21, 2007

Today is very special day for my family. This day, 21st November, is our Slava. It means that we are celebrating our patron saint – St. Archangel Michael.

Slava is something characteristic for the Serbs, and each family celebrate their own patron saint (celebration day they inherit – son from father, and daughter usually celebrates her husband’s patron saint). Custom is very detailed, there is specially made bread for the occassion, and wine and then there is whole custom about what should be done and said. This day is happy day of family gathering.

During the communism time in Yugoslavia after WWII, many Serbs simply forgot to celebrate slava, because atheism was predominant type of religious belief so to say. But my family always celebrated on this day – but we did not speak openly about that during communism, those were the times when I went to the primary school.

Now majority of people again is celebrating slava, which is very good – even cities celebrate their own slava, etc. So, people are buying books to learn how precisely to celebrate this occassion.

But let me tell you – I do not follow books at all in this particular case, because I feel that this is oral tradition that is inherited from my forefathers, and we celebrate exactly the way my grandfather taught my father etc. I do not have idea if it is according to books or not – it is important that hearts are full in this day, and that we celebrate in love and family peace. And that we offer gratitude to the Lord.

St. Archangel Michael is very much respected in both Orthodox and Catholic Christianity, as well as in Islam, so far I heard. I believe that he is the Chief Commander of the Heavenly hosts.

If you want to give me greetings on this special day, you can say “Srećnа Slava!” which means Happy Slava! My dear friends were calling whole day long on the phone to greet us and give us good will, for which I am very grateful.

wishing well & expectation

November 20, 2007

I want to analyse, dissect, understand, describe, classify, weigh, feel, touch and explain our need and process of wishing well to our friends and other brothers and sisters of the world, to myself. What is well wishing actually?

I would really like to learn to make other people happy. But for that one needs “know-how”, it seems we are learning whole life how to make other people happy – and it is not so easy. And then sometimes I feel that when people wish well to other people – that well wishing is actually “I don’t wish anything that is not well to you” and you’d agree, that is something completely different. Now some people wish well to other people in their own way – and that again is something from the world of limitation.

And I don’t want to limit people and their abilities. I cannot wish them things that I wish for myself too – presuming they would be good for them too. For example, for the time being, I do not have any wish whatsoever to climb the Himalayas. But there were people who fulfilled that wish in their life even before I was born. Of course, I do have a wish to run a marathon (I reckon it would not be so difficult thing to do, with adequate preparation) but I will not wish that to people who did not find their inspiration in running (yet).

Another thing that happens are expectations. We do something for someone – and then somehow subconsciously (or even consciously) we expect something in return. I remember that someone said once that only rich people can give. That is true. People are not rich and poor according to amount of wealth they amassed, but rather according to their capacity to give. If we cherish expectations it is the same thing as if we wrote the equation “I have expectations = I am poor” on T-shirts that we are wearing. Perhaps we are trying to hide our expectations cleverly – but our face will reveal it.

When we play chess, we do not get greatest joy when we correctly anticipated the oponent’s move – but provided that we observe the knightly beauty of fair-play, we will value more when our friend from the opposite side of table makes move that is unexpected, and better than all other moves we foresaw. We feel joy because new idea was revealed in front of our eyes, although it is evident that because of that idea we are losing our chess game.

Why to have expectations then in life? Even if our expectations are met – what is new? Let unpredicted beautiful things happen; and for that we must free space for newness by silencing our demanding part of mind.

Perhaps we selflessly do something and we say – even if that person do not know to value that properly, Nature or God will repay us back through some other person in some other time. This is nothing else but more refined expectation. But there is some joy in not expecting at all, in detaching from results of our works.

It is not just imagination, such joy. We can actually feel it. And our face will shine with selflessness, when nobody is watching or everybody is watching.

first snow

November 17, 2007

It’s early in the morning now, about 5 am, and whole night it was snowing here in Belgrade. To be quite frank, yesterday’s evening I had no idea that it was going to snow. And you know what – we believe that when there is first snow outside, well, one has to make a wish!

And what to wish now? I wish that my friends are now with me so that we can all enjoy beautiful sight – not just I alone. I cannot see the snowflakes, it is dark outside, but I can see them around the street lights. They are falling down in thick clouds, but look at their peace and elegance! What is there more beautiful than the snowy morning – it is too early for the cars in small streets around, and everything is so pure and white and silent, even parking space has new august garments.

I see some people walking. Someone is joyful, and jumping around in the street. And there is one lady, walking very nervously – but I don’t believe that even she does not feel joy somewhere deep inside – it is just cold and I guess she wants to go home as soon as possible, yet whole neighbourhood looks so beautiful, like from a fairytale.

Peace of these snowflakes is leaving me speechless. Snow blanket is fairly thick now. I may try to make little snowman later on my balcony. Now there are no more people in the streets, and everything is returning to perfect calmness.

And you can do two things now to get a joy of snow – make a snowflake, if you are in creative mood or enjoy in good ole snowball warefare. Or you can make a wish!

(Photo above I found on internet, it is how snow in the morning looks like in Swiss)

The Pianist

November 16, 2007

I have just seen The Pianist movie. It is Roman Polanski’s masterpiece, if you haven’t seen it yet it is a must see! Especially because it is based on a true story.

Especially for G

November 15, 2007

My good friend G has recently celebrated 30th anniversary of her marriage, so I want to send her and her husband my greetings here on my blog too. I want to thank you for emanating the positive energy from your blog, and must say that I developed a great admiration for your writing style ever since I read the post about incident with Storioni violin :)

My dear friend, I want to offer you few songs in your native language as a present. I don’t have idea how often do you speak or hear Hungarian language, but I reckoned you would be delighted to hear some songs. They are all sung by my favourite singer Magdolna Ruzsa, I don’t understand the words, but I fell deeply in love with the colour of her singing.

Magdolna Rúzsa – Felix Lajko – Még azt mondják

This one is folk song. Lajko Felix, the famous violin virtuoso, is playing on zither.

Magdolna Ruzsa – Végső vallomás

Beautiful ballad, I wish I could know the words :)

Magdi Ruzsa – Máté Péter – Most elsz

Translation by Zadia75:
Time is melting like a pale iceflower
and evanescent happiness will come to the end.
You are standing there alone, like a leaf on the top of the hill
sleepy moonlight greets you, and the wind blows you away.

But in the meantime there is hope, every minute celebrates
for there is always hope, you must believe, so believe it.
You are living NOW, take care to do it well
because your smallest mistake will avange itself.
You are living now, be happy for the summer is beautiful
and that you have somebody who’s waiting for you
and embraces you.

And finally here is the first song I ever heard of her. It was Hungarian entry of ESC competition this year. When I heard the song Unsubstantial Blues, it won me over so much, that I immediately took the mobile phone and voted for her. Song is in English so everybody can understand. Here it is, enjoy!

Eurovision SC Final 2007 – Hungary – Magdi Ruzsa

Leo Delibes – Lakme

November 12, 2007

French composer Leo Delibes composed opera Lakme in 1883. Here I am giving synopsis from encyclopedia Opera by Andras Batta (that huge book I bought last summer, and I really enjoy discovering new things in it ever since)

The wordly love of the Indian priestess Lakme for an Englishman is sanctified by her courage and self-sacrifice. Her european lover, who cannot understand her foreign culture, is left to mourn and admire her.

Even those who are not fans of opera, can recognize the famous Flower Duet (in above video sung by Elina Garanca and Anna Netrebko), which is the most famous sequence of notes from this opera. But recently I found another beautiful aria from Lakme that I liked very much, and its name is Les Filles de Cadix. I heard it on french Mezzo channel and it was sung by a french opera singer whose name I cannot remember now. But I managed to find clip on youtube where russian soprano diva Anna Netrebko sings this aria. Here it is. Enjoy :)

the fountain pen

November 11, 2007

Pelikan fountain pen
I don’t know about you. But like my father I am absolutely crazy about nice fountain pens. He used to buy pens over the years whenever he got the chance, so even in primary school I used to write homeworks with various fountain pens. Of course, my fingers were all over blue with ink, back then I could never manage to hold pen correctly – but compensation at least was that I was feeling very special like I am living in medieval times and writing some ancient book using a big feather.

Few years ago I was using one pen very dear to me but its mechanism of pulling the ink inside broke, and I have no idea how to fix that – so I was missing writing with my special pen very much, until few days ago. It happened that I found one old Pelikan fountain pen, I even forgot about that we have it, so today I pulled the ink inside, and tried it. Well, it is not accustomed to my hand (golden rule is, never borrow your pen to anybody, nor take the pen from anybody). New Pelikan pens are quite expensive here, but I guess we bought this one from some collectionist, and that is why it will need time to adjust itself to my handwriting.

I know that you will find this funny but I guarantee it is true – whenever I take fountain pen to write something, or to study, I become much much more focused and concentrated than when I am writing with a roller or pencil. It seems even that I am becoming more intelligent (meaning manifesting more of some hidden intelligence from my little brain :-) when I am writing with pen. Have no idea how it is possible, but in reality it really seems so. I found a photo of this Pelikan pen on internet (I like blue colour, mine are brown or green, but there is also very nice dark red colour too). Isn’t it beautiful!

Needless to say, anybody who uses pen to write letters to one’s friends, taking enough time to pick the right envelope and paper from the vast variety there is – knows that it is beauty unparalleled, compared to writing an email. Ah, good ole times!

the hummingbird

November 4, 2007

Well, I have never seen the hummingbird in real. And I wish so much to see it some day, ever since I was a child. It is so difficult even to believe that such beautiful and tiny little bird exists. According to Wikipedia:

Hummingbirds are small birds in the family Trochilidae, native only to the Americas. They are known for their ability to hover in mid-air by rapidly flapping their wings, 15–80 times per second (depending on the species). Capable of sustained hovering, the hummingbird has the ability to fly deliberately backwards (this is the only group of birds able to do so) or vertically, and to maintain position while drinking nectar or eating tiny arthropods from flower blossoms. They are named for the characteristic hum made by their wings.

It is said that they are especially attracted to red and yellow flowers. They eat each day more than their own weight (which reminds me of my appetite when I see chocolate around), so they visit hundreds of flowers daily. During the night they slow down their metabolism and reduce heart beat rate and rate of breathing – which reduces their need for food.

On the video above you can see the ruby-throated humming bird. During migration it can cross 800 km in Gulf of Mexico on a non-stop flight. So it is a real ultramarathon sweet little bird!

a morning stroll

November 3, 2007

yellow-leavesfs.jpgThis morning I was strolling with my mom in the neighbourhood, and let me tell you, Belgrade is beautiful in autumn. Yellow leaves everywhere around on the asphalt often gave impression of some beautiful natural carpet. We went to the church, and I lit some candles there. I like very much to light candles in the church, and often it brings me some deep peace in my heart. When we were buying candles I noticed the little book about St. Seraphim of Sarov, and so I asked mom to buy it. He is one of my favourite Saints from Russia. He greeted all with the words: “My joy!” (“radosti moja” in Serbian translation, so sweet words) and I was often impressed reading how his heart was full of forgiveness. Then we walked back home, and stopped to nearby bakery to buy bread and yogurt. I was so joyful to see that they are selling chocolate milk too – it is my kind of nectar. We also collected some seeds of flowers and sunflowers, I don’t know if it will grow on our balcony we have to wait for the spring, so we shall see then.