Thursday, October 27, 2011

Talking to Father Iustin Parvu

One of my most surreal yet eye-opening conversations ever took place in the remote land of a forest oasis in the heart of the Carpathian Mountains this summer.

Romanian monasteries are well known for their instant quests into one-self-ness but this time was different. Surrounded by a good handful of people, I was diligently waiting for my turn to talk to and receive blessings from Father Iustin - probably the holiest man in Eastern Europe today.

Solid hours passed by: I took part in the morning lithurgy, then I was kindly invited to lunch by the nuns - food has so much flavour when eaten in simplicity - and then there came the long waiting. Each step was carefully taken, each time a little closer to the Father's humble room. Everyone was getting deeper into their own introspection. Words were useless anyway...And suddenly a group of tourists disturbed this silence - everybody was making way for them (it's tradition, by all means). Without waiting they were ushered next into the unpretentious room. The rest of us were skeptical - they were mere tourists without any connection to the process of self-ness we, the local people, were undergoing. As they were entering I was asking myself - are they gonna make anything out of this experience or just a tick on a sightseeing list of Romania? Eventually they got out - less cheerful and gay, more retained and pensive. Their eyes were alive with insight and meaning, their touristic giggle had turned into a subdued smile. I was proven wrong. They left in silence and respect.

After several hours my turn came. I had prepared my speech - fully logical and quite a mighty lengthy speech - well, such a complete waste of words! Here all was simplified to the quintessential. I got inside and sat in front of Father Iustin. He calmly looked at me and carefully searched inside my eyes - he got closer slowly and turned his head a little to the left as you would do with a magnifying glass to see the subject better - this time right into the furthest corners of my soul. He straightened up then and simply said: ''it's hard!'' - ''yes, it is.'' came my answer. Never had I been so subjected to a minute soul check-up! I spent 15 minutes instead of the five allowed for each one... Father Iustin quickly dropped all my civilisation shields I had been building for years: ''certificates are not important. it's the way you live your living moments that truly matters'', he said...

Here I was, one of the millions of people in a crisis today - the crisis of the soul, fundamentally. If only we could make this constantly our reason to go on - living our precious moments simply the right way.

Monday, July 11, 2011

What will you be reading this summer? Mircea Cartarescu

The leading magazine Time published the choices of leading world writers about their summer readings - Mircea Cartarescu's choice is among them.
My choice? Cartarescu's Visul ("The Dream") shall be among my readings.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

"Antreprenoriada" - Live Up to your Business!

Antreprenoriada is a most interesting business project, whose aim is to encourage entrepreneurial spirit in Romania, organized by Edurom in Iasi but developed in 9 different cities all over the country. This is an excellent example of what can be done with European funding and people's great ideas in order to build up stronger communities.

Personally, I have been particularly impressed by the attitude and spirit of the two young organizers - Razvan Mitocariu and Adrian Randasu - very professional, inspiring, supportive, informative, with a real sense of 'let's roll up our sleeves' and make a real contribution with our businesses.

While taking part in this project, I strongly had the feeling that Romania is growing.
Thank you so much Edurom team!