U is for Universal Love


There is nobility in the human character.

I’ve heard so many stories. Witnessed a few as well: teenager giving his sandwich to a homeless man, a woman pulling over to the side of the road to rescue a dog barely dodging incoming traffic. Righteous people, not looking for praise.

For every bit of nobility, however, there seems to be ten times as much conflict.

To finish writing this post I had to turn off the TV — which has been on CNN a lot lately. The situation in Eastern Europe and South America has kept me between PBS and CNN, eager for news.

But enough is enough.  There is a difference between keeping informed and watching the informed people opine. And there’s a lot to talk about at the moment — much of it hitting close to home (Romania).

Better to focus on love. “On universal love, humaneness, and righteousness … as emotions, properly channeled, help one stay on the proper path.”  ~~ Confucian theory

The flag above  – created in 2001 by Joan M. Manos, resident of New Jersey — resonated with me. A symbol of Universal Love, a flag without borders, representing peace and freedom and harmony. We’re but a tiny speck in the universe, why not be the best speck?

From Romania to California to wherever you are in the world:    love & peace to all.

~~~ A quick side note: Today, I’m up at Andrea’s blog, (fellow AtoZer and blogger extraordinaire), where we talk all things music (and I share a picture of my husband Leo playing one of his music shows). Please stop by, and if you feel so inclined leave a comment.


Image: Universal Love flag, by Joan Manos, Wikimedia Commons.



T is for Top Literary Minds



Assembling a complete list of Romanian writers would be madness — way too long. No time. No space. This is only a sampling of authors dear to my heart, representing the old and new generations.

Mihai Eminescu, for his opus, Luceafarul (Evening Star), is at the top of the list.

So left the Evening Star. His wings/Grew large across the sky/ A thousand years of reach would spring/And at a wink go by.

Mircea Catarescu, with his work of art, Nostalgia — a collection of stunning stories ( find excerpt from Roulette Player here). His prose was translated into English and all major European languages  — surely every writer’s dream. Presently he is an associate professor/lecturer at the University of Bucharest.

Marin Preda, with his powerful The Most Beloved Earthling. A writer among writers, unafraid to criticize or applaud as the times required it. He died soon after his book (a criticism of the system) was published.

Nichita Stanescu, the wonderful Nichita, with the incredible Wheel With a Single Spoke and Other Poems.

Tell me, if I ever caught you/ and kissed the arch of your foot/ wouldn’t you limp a little after that/ for fear of crushing my kiss?

Andrei Codrescu, who writes extensively about his life as an expat living in Paris, Rome, and the U.S., with works such as The Poetry Lesson and The Posthuman Dada Guide: Tzara and Lenin Play Chess. He’s been a commentator on NPR’s All Things Considered since 1983. 

And the one and only Herta Muller (Romanian-German), winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, with The Hunger Angel (excerpt here) and Facts.

I’m not sure if Preda is translated (at least I couldn’t find anything), but the rest are.

I know time is precious and little of it left in the day. I don’t intend to lengthen your to-be-read list, although I’m sure their writing will move and charm you just as it moved and charmed me. Mainly, my intention is to share with you writers from a different culture.

~~~ Thank you, dear blogging friends. I hope to see you tomorrow for Universal Love.


Images: Nichita Stanescu: www.scrierile.com; all the rest: Wikimedia Commons.




King of Dacia, near Danube River

Rivers are beauties of nature, rushing among meadows and pastures, mountains and forests.

Aside from serving as important sources of hydroelectric power and irrigation, the rivers of Romania are perfect locations for camping, fishing, canoeing, or just immersing in nature. Because as the saying goes: Man’s heart away from nature becomes hard.

Most rivers spring from the Carpathian Mountains and are collected by the Danube, which flows along 1075 km, or 670 miles, forming almost the entire southern boundary of the country and ending with the Delta, a haven for local and migratory birds, such as the pelicans below. 


Here is a short list of said rivers, following the Danube (first picture above):

The Olt, the longest flowing exclusively through Romania.



The Somes, one of the most important in Transylvania as it has two headstreams.



The Arges, one I am familiar with and spent many days camping by. 



The Mures, largest after the Danube, brings to mind this quote: How strange that Nature does not knock, and yet does not intrude. ~ Emily Dickinson.




Thank you so much for reading and the comments. I appreciate each and every one. I hope you’ll return tomorrow, and allow me to introduce you to Romanian singers.


Images: King of Dacia, near the Danube River, photo by MoEaFaTi on Flickr; www.flickriver.com; flicker. com; followhard.com; romaniainourhearts.wordpres.