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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Two Views about Boris Yeltsin's Legacy

Boris Yeltsin in 1993
Two views about Boris Yeltsin's legacy. One comes from Bill Clinton, in Sunday's NY Times . The other comes from Fareed Zakaria, in the recent issue of Newsweek.
Bill Clinton considers that Boris Yeltsin had two major objectives, to make sure Russia will never again fall under Communism and to form a solid partnership between a democratic Russia and the West.
He also stood up to Russian nationalists who might have pushed the former Soviet Union into uncontrollable directions. Says Mr. Clinton, he (Yeltsin) made the compromises necessary to get Ukraine, along with Belarus and Kazakhstan, to give up its Soviet-era nuclear weapons. He pulled Russian troops out of the Baltic states. He made Russia part of the diplomatic solution to the crises in Bosnia and Kosovo. And much as he opposed the enlargement of NATO, he accepted the right of Central European states to join the alliance and signed a cooperation agreement between Russia and the alliance.
As for Fareed Zakarina, he has a totally different view: we now forget that what Yeltsin did on top of that tank was to issue unilateral decrees. While they may have been suited to that emergency, they became standard procedure in Yeltsin's tenure. He ruled by fiat, firing judges, governors and legislators who crossed him. He pursued an economic privatization program that led, intentionally or not, to chaos and corruption. He waged a ruinous war in Chechnya that still drains Russia. He implemented what the historian (and Yeltsin supporter) Richard Pipes called a coup d'état to install Vladimir Putin as his successor.
Here is a copy of each article
-Bill Clinton's article:
As I walked behind Boris Yeltsin’s coffin at Novodevichy Cemetery on Wednesday, I found myself thinking about the man I worked with closely for nearly eight years and the role he played in changing the world, mostly for the better.
Every time I met with him, Mr. Yeltsin left no doubt that he had two objectives above all others. The first was to make sure that the Russian people never again had to live under communism, or autocratic ultranationalism. The second was to form a solid, lasting partnership between a democratic Russia and the West.
On the big issues that came up between us, Mr. Yeltsin and I had our differences, and his position was often made more difficult by economic problems and political pressures. But at the end of the day, he almost always did the right thing. He insisted on respecting Russia’s borders with the other old Soviet republics. That meant standing up to Russian nationalists who might have plunged the former Soviet Union into the kind of chaos that engulfed Yugoslavia.
He made the compromises necessary to get Ukraine, along with Belarus and Kazakhstan, to give up its Soviet-era nuclear weapons. He pulled Russian troops out of the Baltic states. He made Russia part of the diplomatic solution to the crises in Bosnia and Kosovo. And much as he opposed the enlargement of NATO, he accepted the right of Central European states to join the alliance and signed a cooperation agreement between Russia and the alliance.
Mr. Yeltsin really wanted the Group of 7 industrialized nations to take Russia in as an eighth member. The other G-7 leaders and I agreed, because of the progress Russia was making in developing a pluralistic democracy with a free press and a vigorous civil society, and because of his critical cooperation on security issues. We saw the creation of the G-8 as a vote of confidence in him and his country’s future.
The last time I saw Mr. Yeltsin during my presidency was in June 2000, six months after he became the first leader of Russia to step down voluntarily as part of a constitutional transition. Though the burdens of office and his heart surgery had taken a toll on his health, he still had his trademark bear hug and smile. He clearly thought he had done the right thing in stepping down early and in selecting as his successor Vladimir Putin, who had the intelligence, energy and stamina the country needed to get Russia’s economy on track and handle its complicated politics.
I told him I was impressed by what I had seen of President Putin but wasn’t sure he was as comfortable with or committed to democracy as Mr. Yeltsin. Mr. Yeltsin replied that we would have disagreements as Russia found its way into the future, but that President Putin would not turn the clock back and we would find a way to work together.
I saw Mr. Yeltsin one more time, when I went back to the Kremlin for the 75th birthday party President Putin held for him last year. He seemed in good health and at peace with himself and his work.
Boris Yeltsin was intelligent, passionate, emotional, strong-willed and courageous. He wasn’t perfect, and he had to contend with staggering political and economic challenges as he led Russia away from centuries of authoritarian rule. But lead he did. At the end of the cold war, Russia and the world were lucky to have him.
History will be kind to my friend Boris.

- Fareed Zakaria's article:
Much of the fulsome praise for Boris Yeltsin has come from outside Russia. While Russians continue to have a dyspeptic view of the grand old man, foreign leaders have rushed in to remind the world what a courageous and pivotal figure he was. It was Yeltsin, they remind us, who dismantled the Soviet empire. It was his decision to voluntarily leave office that created Russian democracy. We all remember Yeltsin on top on that tank in 1991, when he almost singlehandedly turned back a coup d'état.
I share some of this admiration for Boris Yeltsin. He will surely stand as a figure on the hinge of history—yet he pointed Russia in the wrong direction. Compare Russia with China. In the early 1990s, they were the two most important countries in the world that lay outside the sphere of democratic, capitalist states. Russia had by far the stronger hand. In those days it was still regarded as the second most important world power, whose blessings were needed for any big international endeavor—whether the first gulf war or Middle East peace negotiations. It had a GDP of $1 trillion (in purchasing-power parity), the world's second largest military and its second largest pool of technically trained personnel. Perhaps most significant, it had the most abundant endowment of natural resources on the face of the earth. And with Yeltsin as president, the country had a charismatic leader who could leverage this hard and soft power.
China by contrast was an international pariah. It had just gone through the shame of the Tiananmen Square massacres. Its per capita GDP was just one third that of Russia's, making it one of the poorest countries in the world. Its educational and technological system was still in shambles, having been shut down during the Cultural Revolution. Its leaders—a group of seemingly narrow-minded engineers—were cautiously introducing reforms to a country still limping after decades of Mao Zedong's mad gambits at home and abroad.
We now forget that what Yeltsin did on top of that tank was to issue unilateral decrees. While they may have been suited to that emergency, they became standard procedure in Yeltsin's tenure. He ruled by fiat, firing judges, governors and legislators who crossed him. He pursued an economic privatization program that led, intentionally or not, to chaos and corruption. He waged a ruinous war in Chechnya that still drains Russia. He implemented what the historian (and Yeltsin supporter) Richard Pipes called a coup d'état to install Vladimir Putin as his successor.
Look at the two countries today: though the Russian economy has surged because of high oil and commodity prices, China's is now six times larger. Even more interesting is the political trajectory. Russia, in almost every dimension, has become less free over the past decade. Its economy is increasingly state-dominated, its polity controlled and its people cowed. Consider that in the past 10 years, after Iraq, Russia has been the country in which the largest number of journalists have been killed. (And while many of the deaths in Iraq were accidental, this is true of almost none of them in Russia.)
China, by contrast, has seen greater economic, legal and social reform every year. This year, finally, the Communist Party adopted guarantees of private property and greater government transparency. (For those who dismiss China's reforms because they are "merely" economic, recall that for John Locke and Thomas Jefferson, the right to private property was at the heart of individual liberty.)
My point is not that China is freer than Russia. It is not. But for a decade, the arrow in Russia has been moving backward, while in China it is moving—slowly—forward.
This divergence between the Russian and Chinese models has had powerful implications around the world. Russia has become an example—but a negative example. The Chinese leadership has privately admitted to having watched Yeltsin's reforms and decided that they produced economic chaos, social instability and no growth. (Russia's GDP contracted by 20 percent during the 1990s.) Instead of similar shock therapy—which Bill Clinton's Russia hand Strobe Talbott accurately characterized as "too much shock, too little therapy"—China chose a cautious, incremental path. "We must cross the river by feeling the stones with our feet," said Deng Xiaoping. Rather than shutting down state-owned enterprises, Beijing chose to grow the economy around them, so that the state-owned portion kept shrinking and its problems became more manageable.
Look around the world, from Vietnam to Egypt, and you see officials studying China's economic reforms. I have not come across a single official anywhere who has ever claimed to be emulating Russia's path from communism.
Why did these two pivotal nations go down the roads they did? Part of the reason is that Russia is afflicted by the curse of natural resources, part that China is a more pragmatic society. History, culture and demography all play a part. But so do people. And it is worth wondering what might have been had Boris Yeltsin, in those critical years, turned Russia along a different course.


Friday, April 27, 2007

Mstislav Rostropovich passed away

Rostropovich at the Wall

Thursday, April 26, 2007

De ziua lui Jean: Ingerii lui Bill Viola in dialog cu Rumi

Muhammad is said to have said, Whoever belongs to God, God belongs to Him.
La Multi Ani, Jeane, cu Sanatate, cu Bucurie, cu Noroc, cu Fericire,alaturi de toti cei ce iti sunt dragi.
Si pentru ca esti congener cu Profetii cei mai vechi si mai noi, iti voi oferi pe blog pe cei Cinci Ingeri Ai Mileniului, asa cum i-a vazut Bill Viola - am avut prilejul sa vad lucrarea lui, care este arta video, acum cativa ani la Whitney Museum of Art la New York.
Inchipuie-ti o sala uriasa in care este intuneric deplin - si deodata o lumina dintr-un video - este Ingerul Creatiei - apoi intuneric - apoi lumina din alt video - este Ingerul Nasterii - apoi intuneric - apoi lumina din alt video - este Ingerul Focului - apoi intuneric - apoi lumina din alt video - este Ingerul Plecarii - apoi intuneric - apoi lumina din alt video - este Ingerul Inaltarii.
Bill Viola este inspirat de spiritualitati cu care suntem mai putin obisnuiti: arta lui isi cauta izvoare de har in spiritualitatea sufita si in cea budista.
Si atunci m-am hotarat sa pun imaginile celor cinci ingeri inchipuiti de Bill Viola in dialog cu Rumi: cei chemati la Inaltare suntem noi, zice Rumi.

Bill Viola, Five Angles for the Millennium, Angel of Creation
Angel of Creation
At every instant and from every side, resounds the call of Love: We are going to sky, who wants to come with us?
We have gone to heaven, we have been the friends of the angels,
And now we will go back there, for there is our country.

Bill Viola, Five Angles for the Millennium, Angel of Birth
Angel of Birth
We are higher than heaven, more noble than the angels:
Why not go beyond them? Our goal is the Supreme Majesty.
What has the fine pearl to do with the world of dust?

Bill Viola, Five Angles for the Millennium, Angel of Fire
Angel of Fire
Why have you come down here? Take your baggage back. What is this place?
Luck is with us, to us is the sacrifice!...
Like the birds of the sea, men come from the ocean--the ocean of the soul.

Bill Viola, Five Angles for the Millennium, Angel Departing
Angel Departing
How could this bird, born from that sea, make his dwelling here?
No, we are the pearls from the bosom of the sea, it is there that we dwell:
Otherwise how could the wave succeed to the wave that comes from the soul?

Bill Viola, Five Angles for the Millennium, Angel Ascending
Angel Ascending
The wave named Am I not your Lord has come, it has broken the vessel of the body;
And when the vessel is broken, the vision comes back, and the union with Him.


(Contemporary Art)

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Odilon Redon - si Rumi, despre vesnicul Huuu

Un panou faurit de Odilon Redon, aflat acum la Rijksmuseum. Micile vietati care se misca printre flori, frunze, pietris. Oricine ii apartine Domnului, Domnul ii apartine. Se spune ca Mohamed ar fi spus. Micile vietati, rasufland usor si neregulat, suntem noi, fiinte fragile si tematoare, parca mereu gata sa ne evaporam, iesiti din vesnicul Huuu.
Odilon Redon, Panou, Rijksmuseum Muhammed is said to have said,
Whoever belongs to God, God belongs to.
Our weak, uneven breathings,
these dissolving personalities,
were breathed out by the eternal
Huuuuuuuu, that never changes!
A drop of water constantly fears
that it may evaporate into the air,
or be absorbed by the ground.
It doesn't want to be used up
in those ways, but when it lets go
and falls into the ocean it came from,
it finds protection from the other deaths.
Its droplet form is gone,
but its watery essence has become
vast and inviolable.
Listen to me, friends, because you
are a drop, and you can honor yourselves
in this way. What could be luckier
than to have the ocean come
to court the drop?
For God's sake, don't postpone your yes!
Give up and become the giver.

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Runoff in France

Nicolas Sarkozy and Ségolène Royal advanced to a runoff in Sunday’s presidential election. The second round will be on May 6 (Le Monde). Some say May 6 will be the left-right choice. I don't think so. None of them seem to really have the determination to change something in France.

Nicolas Sarkozy at Marseille on April 19
Ségolène Royal speaks to supporters after the announcement of results in the first-round

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Odilon Redon - Guardian Spirit of the Waters

Un poem creat de Rumi
meditat in fata imaginii Duhului Pazitor al Apelor
Odilon Redon, Guardian Spirit of the Waters, 1878
Little tiny drops of water contain the world
I can’t see them but I know they’re there
A billion angels not only dance on the head of a pin
they carry it through the heavens
on the shoulders of a billion more angels
also dancing on heads of pins
carried on a billion more angel shoulders
ad infinitum
all to an uncanny but also unreproducible music
that may be
Allah’s actual breath
the bells and flutes
played by hosts of other angels
ranged in orchestras of Light
which I also cannot see
but which I also know are there
along with gardens of Paradise
winding through valleys of a beauty so dazzling
one quick tiny blink of squinted look of our earthly eyes
through our interlaced fingers
maybe even behind dark glasses
would make us swoon a hundred years
or more just one digital flick of our ocular apprehension
actually witnessing such a place for itself
might make our hearts burst out of our chests
with its unutterable gorgeousness
so all these things which I can’t see
all these whispers of truths
and expenditures of credulity
all these things we talk about or avoid talking
about beginning with God’s reality or unreality
and going even to our little baby finger
and wondering how it came about
to being so perfect just as it is
and especially when
wiggling freely in the air almost by itself
able to reach a place in our eyelid
to dislodge an eyelash
while we watch it in a mirror
I mean just look all around and inside us
if you want proofs of these things
one glimpse there also with their fantastic rainbow bridges
arcing across chasms of scintillating light
or canyons of glass
with herds of grazing fabulous animals in them
chewing bright grasses
while looking with their deep black innocent eyes
making tiny vapor drops of breath
around their nostrils
each one of which contains a world

(Icon and Orthodoxy)

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Aging with Faith - Portrait of a Believer

Billy Graham in 1966
This photograph dates from 1966. Now he is 88... one of the joys of growing older is the opportunity to spend more time together with Ruth, his wife. Says he, sometimes we'll just sit for hours, holding hands and talking... or even just enjoying each other's company in silence.
Of course, old age has its burdens, and nobody's immune. Whoever said, old age isn't for sissies had it right (and I remember my grandmother saying, batranetea nu vine cu toporasi.)
Bible and prayer have always been the foundations of his daily life. Now reading has become more difficult, so he reads the Bible less but prays more. He knows that each day is a gift from God.
(Excerpts from an eMail interview given by Billy Graham - April 14, Washington Post)

(Church in America)

Catholic Church buries limbo

Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI authorized the publication of a document that gives up the old belief on the existence of limbo: a place for the souls of babies dying without baptism. The document is called The Hope of Salvation for Infants Who Die Without Being Baptised.
(Reuters, quoted by Yahoo)

(Church in America)

Odilon Redon - Red Boat with Blue Sail

Who was it that came to me in a boat made of dream-fire?

Odilon Redon, Red Boat with Blue Sail

In love, nothing exists between heart and heart.
Speech is born out of longing,
True description from the real taste.
The one who tastes, knows;
the one who explains, lies.
Rabia al Basri, 717-801)
In dragoste nimic nu sta intre doua inimi
Vorba e nascuta din dor,
Cunoasterea adevarata numai din ce gusti tu insuti,
Cunoaste cel care gusta;
Iar cel care explica, minte

May the course of our love be clear
as the waters of yonder lake,
from which, in the spring sunshine,
the last clot of ice has melted away.

On the bright mirror of these waters
I see stretched out the cloudless years
love hold for us in store.
(Murasaki Shikibu, 978-1025 - Genji Monogatari)



Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Profesorului Liviu Librescu

Profesorul Liviu Librescu
In Memoriam

(Intalniri neasteptate cu Romani)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Intalniri neasteptate cu romani - Corneliu Porumboiu

Corneliu Porumboiu
22 Decembrie 1989. La Bucuresti timpul nu mai are rabdare. Mania i-a adus pe oameni in fata portilor Comitetului Central. Portile sunt fortate, Ceausescu se refugiaza pe acoperisul cladirii, unde il asteapta un elicopter, care nu va ajunge insa prea departe.
In acea zi Revolutia cuprinde intreaga tara.
Si trec saisprezece ani ... A fost sau n-a fost? Se apropie Craciunul si intr-un orasel aflat pe undeva La Est de Bucuresti un realizator de televiziune de la statia locala vrea sa realizeze o emisiune despre Revolutia din Decembrie 1989, despre ce s-a intamplat in acea zi in orasul lor. Numai ca nu prea mai sunt musterii dornici sa isi aminteasca - doar un profesor de istorie cazut de mult in patima betiei, si un pensionar solitar si ciudat.
A fost sau n-a fost? Filmul realizat de Corneliu Porumboiu.
Un oras la est de Bucuresti (regizorul Corneliu Porumboiu este daruit cu geniu - La Est de Bucuresti ... La Est de Eden). Filmul lui a primit anul trecut un premiu la Cannes.
Mi-a placut un comentariu - citit pe imdb, foarte neortodox ca stil, dar tipul este de fapt entuziasmat de film:
Fuck off you moron! Learn to differentiate Hungary from Romania and Bucharest from Budapest (macar, zic eu, pentru ca Budapesta nu e la est de Bucuresti). Other than that the movie is great.
si continua:
So I think you should go and see it only if you understand more or less the Eastern European culture for its very different kind of humor. Anyway I'm glad to see so many foreigners liking the movie. That was one thing I did not expect.
Un alt comentator i-ar da filmului nota zece, dar nu o face, pentru ca zece merita numai Almodovar (o fi, ca prea o zice cu foc). I-ar da nota noua, dar trebuie sa ii mai scada un punct, pentru ca:
unfortunately your beautiful scenario would not easily strike audiences unfamiliar with the average Romanian.
As fi vrut sa vad filmul, dar se vede treaba ca si Washingtonul este La Est de Bucuresti (cel putin daca o iei prin Vladivostok) - filmul nu a ajuns aici.
Asa ca m-am multumit sa citesc despre el, pe diferite liste web de discutii romanesti, si sa visez la o zi in care voi ajuge sa il si vad.
Aveam insa sa ma intalnesc la Washington cu numele lui Corneliu Porumboiu si cu faima sa intr-un mod neasteptat.
Am trecut pe la cinematograful de arta din Bethesda (o suburbie a capitalei americane) si am gasit acolo ultimul numar al revistei FLM, care apare trimestrial si prezinta filmele mai deosebite din toata lumea. In fiecare numar sunt selectionate vreo zece filme - iar prezentarile le fac chiar autorii lor, regizorii sau scenaristii.
Iar printre filmele selectionate de data aceasta era si cel al lui Porumboiu, A fost sau n-a fost? - care este prezentat cu titlul lui international, 12:08 East of Bucharest.
Se vede treaba ca lumea cea mare a inceput sa se obisnuiasca si cu noi, cu romanii, si nu ne mai scade puncte, cum se temea comentatorul de pe imdb.
Asa l-am cunoscut pe Corneliu Porumboiu, care a scris in articolul lui foarte putin despre filmul in chestiune, pentru ca este obsedat de filmul la care lucreaza acum, About Angels and Hair (nu ii stiu titlul romanesc, banuiesc ca este ceva de genul Despre ingeri si despre un iepure - ceea ce nu m-ar mira, pentru ca dupa ce am citit articolul mi-am dat seama si mai mult ca Porumboiu este daruit cu geniu cat pentru zece artisti).
About Angels and Hair, lucra la scenariu de mult, dar ceva nu se lipea cum trebuie. S-a decis la un moment dat sa il lase si sa se apuce de un alt film - prea nu se lipea ceva acolo si simtea ca inebuneste.
Asa ca s-a apucat de A fost sau n-a fost? - a fost din partea lui o decizie terapeutica, voia la inceput sa il termine cat mai repede, sa se intoarca la scenariul care nu-i dadea pace. Insa filmul lui cu actiunea petrecandu-se dupa saisprezece ani de la Revolutie pe undeva La Est de Bucuresti l-a captivat incet-incet. A avut cu el succes, s-a intors la scenariul lasat la o parte si a inceput sa se gandeasca din nou la ai sai Angels and Hair.
Cand a scris articolul pentru revista FLM era convins ca filmul nu va fi facut niciodata si ne-a dat acolo cateva fragmente de dialog. Sa stim si noi cate ceva despre un film care ar fi putut sa fie dar n-a fost sa fie. Corneliu Porumboiu parea sa se simta din nou in vana terapeutica, odata ce ne oferea fragmentele de dialog cu precizarea ca:
Therefore, in a similar therapeutic vein, I offer below the first scenes of a movie I'll never make, Of Angels and Hair.
Filmul incepea cu doi golani, Viorel si Gasca, chinuindu-se sa descarce dintr-o rabla de Dacie niste tevi de aluminiu, furate de la vreunul din combinatele cu care Romania nu mai stie ce sa faca.
Viorel: The wind's too strong. What are we doing?
Gasca: It'll calm down soon. Let's unload the car.
V.: Easy, it's not made of concrete! Keep still and I'll move to the other side. Like this. Put it down. Easy, easy. That's it!
G.: I asked you not to throw them like that, man!
V.: Fuck them. It's just iron.
G.: It's not iron! It's aluminium.
V.: The same to me.
G.: Fuck it!
V.: Are you OK?
G.: I'm fine. Four or five broken pipes.
V.: Fuck them! You'll get some new ones! It's good you're all right.
G.: You know how expensive they are?
Cum probabil ca engleza nu era partea cea mai tare a simpaticilor nostri Viorel si Gasca, dialogurile trebuie ca le-au purtat in romaneste, iar Corneliu Porumboiu le-a tradus pentru uzul cititorilor revistei FLM.
Intre timp se pare insa ca a gasit lipitura care trebuia, asa ca About Angels and Hair este la ora asta in productie.
Si daca ajung sa vad filmul, eu unul nu m-as speria sa ii dau si lui Porumboiu nota zece, doar nu o merita-o numai Almodovar.

(Intalniri neasteptate cu Romani)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Un băiat pe care îl chema Gogol

imagine din film
Afisul filmuluiUn băiat pe care îl chema Gogol - o însemnare făcută de o adolescentă pe un blocnotes - aşa a început, cu ani buni în urmă, povestea unui roman şi a unui film.
Un băiat pe care îl chema Gogol, una din acele fraze care se nasc odată la o sută de ani. Câţi scriitori nu şi-ar da ani buni din viaţă ca să aibă geniul unei asemenea frânturi de frază? Adolescenta de atunci este azi autoarea a două cărţi uluitoare.
Jhumpa Lahiri, născută în Londra, fiica unor imigranţi veniţi din Calcutta - băiatul pe care îl chema Gogol era de fapt un alter-ego al ei, copil de imigranţi veniti din India - şi a simţit că trebuie să scrie o carte despre căutarea identităţii proprii, despre universurile paralele în care trăim - părinţii ei din Calcutta, ea avea să păstreze oraşul în sufletul ei - pretutindeni va fi în noul loc, dar şi în Calcutta.
Aşa a început romanul, cu o frază notată pe blocnotes, un băiat pe care îl chema Gogol - peste ani fraza va fi înveşmântată într-un roman, The Namesake. Va fi a doua ei carte, după o culegere de povestiri, Interpreter of Maladies.
Şi într-o seară va primi un telefon de la regizoarea Mira Nair, care o va ruga să accepte o ecranizare a romanului.
Mira Nair, născută în India, trăind acum în America. Experienţă asemănătoare.
Ce putea să aducă Mira Nair peste bogăţia romanului?
Filmul, The Namesake (Tizul), este o poveste spusă de imagini - iar Mira Nair este o gurmandă a imaginii - în faţa unei fotografii cu un T-shirt atârnat la uscat pe o sârmă în faţa unei case din Calcutta gândul o duce la pictorul Mark Rothko, la acele color fields ale lui.
Dacă pentru Jhumpa Lahiri romanul a început cu obsesia unor cuvinte, un băiat pe care îl chema Gogol, pentru Mira Nair, filmul a început, în capul ei, cu obsesia unei imagini, iată cum o povesteşte, de altfel (într-un articol din revista FLM):
As I prepared to make The Namesake, I had an idea for a frame: an image of a dusky Bengali beauty against a Mark Rothko painting in a sleek Madison Avenue space. Then, looking through a book of photographs by Raghubir Singh from the 1980s, I came across a startling image of a red T-shirt drying on a flaking Calcutta ironwork railing, decaying Edwardian columns looming in the background. In its rich swath of color amid the layering of centuries, I realized that Rothko was alive and well in modern-day Calcutta. Raghubir’s photograph was among the first signs for me that The Namesake could be made in an austere photographic style. With the great cinematographer Fred Elmes by my side, we conceived each scene as a series of wide-angle shots, “democratic frames” within which the actors, not the camera, would move in a choreographed swirl.
Un T-shirt atârnat la uscat, în spate o casă cu coloane edwardiene delabrate, intuiţia fulgerătoare că Rothko continuă să trăiască în Calcutta de azi - intuitie care apare tot la o sută de ani odată.
A rezultat un film care este o superbă meditaţie în imagini - universul american în care se ţese obsesiv universul de acasă - imaginea New Yorkului recreându-se în imagine a Calcuttei, şi apoi revenind. Ca norii plutind pe cer şi schimbându-şi neîncetat forma.
Am pornit să văd filmul având în cap o idee despre el. Insă era o idee greşită. Filmul nu este centrat pe băiatul numit Gogol - este centrat pe mama băiatului - în jurul ei se întâmplă toate - ea suportă cel mai greu condiţia de imigrantă - pentru că ea îi înţelege pe toţi cei din jurul ei şi suferă pentru fiecare. Iar universurile cele multe se oglindesc în ea, şi arată aşa cum le vede ea.
Şi filmul îl decantezi după aceea în tine, zile întregi, te urmăreşte şi te pătrunde tot mai adânc.
O poveste în imagini care, ele, meditează povestea - o poveste despre imigranţi şi copii de imigranţi, despre identitate, despre căutări şi iluzii, despre înţelepciunea de a-ţi aminti atunci când eşti mai nefericit despre clipele când ai fost fericit - pentru că ele sunt hrana binecuvântată, hrana de suflet pentru totdeauna. Şi despre înţelepciunea de a le lua pe toate aşa cum sunt şi de a socoti fiecare zi ca un dar de la viaţă.
Ce se întâmplă în film? Se întâmplă multe, fără o logică anume - pentru că povestea este lăsată să curgă în voia ei - pentru că viaţa îşi are o bogăţie care este de capul ei - nici o poveste nu trebuie să încorseteze viaţa - o poveste trebuie să urmărească cu empatie viaţa, atât.
Este un lucru pe care l-a inţeles cândva de mult un mare scriitor - şi toţi scriitorii de după aceea au ieşit din mantaua lui.
Iar băiatul pe care îl chema Gogol, născut in America, având o mama al cărei accent o va trăda toată viaţa, acest băiat care va îmbătrâni şi el odată cu povestea, căutându-şi identitatea şi rostul, va înţelege aşa cum tuturor ne vine rândul să înţelegem, va întţelege că viata nu este uşor de înţeles - va înţelege însă dece tatăl său ţinuse să îi dea numele de Gogol - şi va înţelege dece toţi am ieşit din Mantaua lui Gogol.

(Jhumpa Lahiri)



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Flower Clouds - Be Lost in the Call

Incercare de a medita poemul lui Rumi in fata Norilor de Flori ai lui Odilon Redon

Odilon Redon, Flower Clouds, Chicago Art Institute
Odilon Redon - Flower Clouds

Rumi - Be Lost in the Call
Lord, said David, since you do not need us,
why did you create these two worlds?

Reality replied: O prisoner of time,
I was a secret treasure of kindness and generosity,
and I wished this treasure to be known,
so I created a mirror:
its shining face, the heart;
its darkened back, the world;
The back would please you if you've never seen the face.

Has anyone ever produced a mirror out of mud and straw?
Yet clean away the mud and straw, and a mirror might be revealed.
Until the juice ferments a while in the cask,
it isn't wine.
If you wish your heart to be bright,
you must do a little work.

My King addressed the soul of my flesh:
You return just as you left.
Where are the traces of my gifts?

We know that alchemy transforms copper into gold.
This Sun doesn't want a crown or robe from God's grace.
He is a hat to a hundred bald men,
a covering for ten who were naked.

Jesus sat humbly on the back of an ass, my child!
How could a zephyr ride an ass?
Spirit, find your way, in seeking lowness like a stream.
Reason, tread the path of selflessness into eternity.

Remember God so much that you are forgotten.
Let the caller and the called disappear;
be lost in the Call.
Lasa-te pierdut in sanul Chemarii

Doamne, spuse David, nevoie de noi Tu nu ai,
Dece atunci aste doua Lumi faurit-ai?

Raspuns dadu Realitatea: o, rob al Timpului ...
Sunt o comoara tainica de blandete si de marinimie,
Comoara cunoscuta am voit sa o fac,
Asa ca faurit-am o oglinda: fata ei stralucitoare este inima;
cea intunecata, lumea;
Iar spatele oglinzii ti-ar multumi de nu i-ai zari niciodata fata.

A faurit cineva vreodata vreo oglinda din noroi si pulbere?
Curata-le deci, si noroiul, si pulberea,
Si vei vedea oglinda.
Dar seama tine: pana ce mustul nu fierbe oleaca,
Vin nu e vinul, doar must.
Asa ca de voiesti ca inima sa-ti fie luminoasa,
Iti trebuie un pic de osteneala.

Imparatul meu a intrebat sufletul carnii mele:
Te intorci asa cum ai plecat,
Unde sunt urmele darurilor mele?

Stim ca alchimia din arama aur face.
Soarele, el nici coroana nu vrea,
Si nici vestmant, sa-i fie faurite din harul divin.
El este ca o palarie mare
Pentru o suta de oameni chei,
Acopera zece care-s dezbracati.

Iisus a stat smerit pe spinarea unui asin, copile!
Cum ar putea zefirul sa calareasca un magar?
Duhule, gaseste-ti drumul, cautand smerenia precum suvoiul apei.
Iar tu, Gandire, croieste-ti pasul identitatii tale intru ale vesniciei.

Aminteste-i Domnului mult, mult, ca te-ai lasat pierdut.
Lasa-i pe Cel ce cheama si pe cel chemat sa dispara,
Lasa-te pierdut in sanul Chemarii.


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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut - Requiem for the last living thing

Kurt Vonnegut
Kurt Vonnegut, the great classic of the American counter-culture, has passed away. He was 84.
Here are the closing lines of a poem written by him - the concluding poem of his last book. The poem is called Requiem:
When the last living thing
has died on account of us,
how poetical it would be
if Earth could say,
in a voice floating up
from the floor
of the Grand Canyon,
It is done.
People did not like it here.
Când ultima vietate
Va fi să moară sfârşind şirul nostru al tuturor,
magie sfântă ar fi
dacă Pământul ar putea să spună,
cu un glas plutind în sus spre azur,
de pe întinsul
Marelui Canion,
S-a săvârşit.
Oamenilor aici nu le-a plăcut.

(A Life in Books)


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Magritte in replica to Corot

Corot, Monsieur Pivot on Horseback, London National GalleryCorot painted his Monsieur Pivot on Horseback, sometime between 1850 and 1855. The painting is now at the London National Gallery. It is Corot's only equestrian portrait.
There is a subtle tension, between the rider and the forest. Who is the observer? Who is watching whom? Is it this Monsieur Pivot observing the surrounding forest? Or is it the forest that's watching the solitaire rider?
Magritte came with his Carte Blanche to push further the question raised by the painting of Corot. The tension here is between reality and illusion - the question that is put by all works of Magritte.

Magritte, Carte Blanche, Washington National Gallery of Art
The Carte Blanche was made in 1939. It is now at the Washington National Gallery of Art.

(René Magritte)


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Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Journey of René Magritte from Giorgio de Chirico to Odilon Redon

Giorgio de Chirico, Metaphysical Interior, 1916
René Magritte, La Traversée Difficile, 1926 The journey of René Magritte started from the universe of Giorgio de Chirico. There is no wonder, as the Metaphysical Interiors of de Chirico contain within themselves so many directions the twentieth century art would take, from surrealism to pop.
Look at Magritte's La Traversée Difficile (the left image), painted in 1926, and then look at de Chirico's Metaphysical Interior (the top image), done in 1916.
The hero of Magritte, his ambiguous bilboquet, is placed as an observer into the metaphysical world of de Chirico: world of ambiguous objects that could be anything, even gates to other worlds. A universe of universes, perhaps our own, as we are living surrounded by objects that can be just theatrical masks, or windows towards the infinite, or maybe both.
There is another version of La Traversée Difficile, made in 1963 (the bottom image). I saw it on the monograph of Suzi Gablik (where I discovered also the painting of de Chirico). I looked for both of them on the web, without having success. I found all kind of Difficult Crossings and Metaphysical Interiors, but the versions from 1963 and 1916. Eventually I asked a colleague to scan them both from the book of Suzy Gablik - so I was able to insert them here.
The version from 1963 is far from the one made in 1929. The bilboquet became an anthropomorphic spectator, dressed in a black suit, wearing a white shirt and a tie - the way the typical character of Magritte was dressed - his head remained the one of the bilboquet, only the eye became ominous. And the universe was reduced to the essentials. The objects -gates to other worlds - opened and all worlds joined together.

Odilon Redon, Vision, 1879
The version of 1963 had no more to do with Giorgio de Chirico. It was rather a replica to Vision, the charcoal drawing of Odilon Redon. The works of Redon were compared to the poetry of Baudelaire. A lone wolf, like Puvis de Chavannes, his contemporary, he created with his lithographs a dream world situated beyond the visible. Redon's Vision is looking at you the way saints from Byzantine icons are looking.

René Magritte, La Traversée Difficile, 1963
And Magritte made the whole journey back in time, from Giorgio de Chirico to Odilon Redon.

(René Magritte)

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

René Magritte - La Condition Humaine

René Magritte - La Condition Humaine, 1933, Washington DC National Gallery of Art
René Magritte - Les Promenades d'Euclide, 1955, THe Minneapolis Institute of Arts

René Magritte - La Condition Humaine, 1935

(René Magritte)


Tinutul Ciresilor in Floare

Washington DC, Pagoda de la Tidal Basin
Sambata a fost o zi superba. M-am hotarat sa plec cat mai de dimineata pe un traseu foarte lung. Sa ajung pe malul Potomacului si sa merg pana la podul unde se afla pe vremuri sfarsitul liniei de tramvai de care voi povesti odata pe indelete, the Cabin John Trolley, sau Glenn Echo Trolley, asa era cunoscut.
Locul se numeste Cabin John Bridge. Pana acolo am de mers vreo sase mile - apoi sase mile inapoi.
Mi-am pus niste sandvisuri in rucsac, mi-am luat o geaca pe care am pus-o tot in rucsac, era foarte cald, dar pe seara se anunta a fi racoare - mi-am luat monografia despre Magritte, sa o mai citesc in metro si am plecat.
In statia de metro era foarte multa lume, mult mai multi oameni decat de obicei. Mergeau toti sa vada Cherry Blossom, ciresii infloriti.
Am stat in cumpana.
Pana la urma, fiindca era destul de devreme, m-am decis la o varianta combinata.
M-am hotarat ca nu voi mai merge la Cabin John Bridge, ci numai pana la Little Falls, iar de acolo voi merge in continuare spre locul unde este festivalul, the Cherry Blossom Festival.
Metroul m-a lasat in Bethesda, am baut repede o cafea la Starbucks (am aflat azi ca se va deschide si la Bucuresti primul Starbucks la un mall prin Drumul Taberei). Am trecut pe la amicul meu, coaforul neamt, sa il salut, si apoi am intrat pe traseu.
Traseul este o fosta linie de cale ferata, dezafectata de prin anii 80 - acum drumul e asfaltat, merge prin padure, de la Bethesda pana la Georgetown.
Am traversat o strada in care ciresii infloriti isi trimiteau cracile bogate de pe un trotuar pe altul, facand un baldachin. Mi-am zis ca vad si acolo flori de cires, si ca nu e nevoie sa ma duc spre Washington. Sa mergi pe malul Potomacului e mai salbatec si mai frumos.
Prin padure ciresii erau crescuti pe langa alti copaci mult mai grosi, care pareau sa imprumute crengile cu flori de ciresi.
Am trecut de locul in care se afla indicatorul kilometric care imi arata ca pana la Luxor sunt zece mii de kilometri - e un indicator care ma ajuta intotdeauna sa stiu unde ma aflu si cat mai am de mers.
Am ajuns in locul in care trebuia sa ma decid - si m-am decis sa merg si la Cherry Blossom.
Eram acum pe malul Potomacului, in dreptul unor cascade care se numesc Little Falls. Am stat putin pe o stanca, am mancat un sandvis, m-am uitat la cativa caiacisti. Caiacistii sunt locuitori ai unui sat de acolo, Brookmont - fiecare casa are in curte unul sau doua caiace - am scris pe blog despre biserica lor, the Brookmont Community Church - il cunosc si pe preot, este pasionat de budism - cred ca pe 15 aprilie o sa reusesc sa merg la o vecernie la biserica lor - cu lecturi si meditatii budiste, crestine, evreesti, laolalta - nu am reusit sa ajung pana acum.
Some keep the Sabbath going to church;
I keep it staying at home,
With a bobolink for a chorister,
And an orchard for a dome.
Some keep the Sabbath in surplice;
I just wear my wings,
And instead of tolling the bell for church,
Our little sexton sings.
God preaches, - a noted clergyman, -
And the sermon is never long;
So instead of getting to heaven at last,
I'm going all along!(Emily Dickinson)
De la Little Falls am plecat pe malul Potomacului in jos inspre Washington. Pana in oras am facut cu totul vreo zece mile, mergand ba pe poteca, ba de-a dreptul prin padure.
Eram cam terminat de oboseala. Am pornit-o prin Georgetown spre Foggy Bottom, unde m-am oprit la un Starbucks, am mai baut o cafea si mi-am terminat sandvisurile. Am plecat mai departe, spre Lincoln Memorial, apoi spre Tidal Basin, lacul in jurul caruia se afla ciresii cei mai vestiti.
Si cand am ajuns acolo am uitat de toata oboseala. Este o alee in jurul lacului, care devenise un tunel de flori de ciresi. Am trecut prin el si mangaiam florile. Eram inebunit de placere. Devenisem deodata copil, sau poate simteam ca drumul vietii avea un rost - sa ajung aici si sa ma opresc.
Am ajuns intr-un loc unde se afla o pagoda - nu este templu, doar un stalp, este un dar din partea unui demnitar japonez, primar al Yokohamei - pagoda este de fapt un stalp cu o lucratura foarte savant organizata. La baza stalpului poate fi construit un templu. Dar stalpul este pagoda, nu templul. Pagoda aceasta nu avea nici un templu. Patru basoreliefuri cu Budha ma priveau de la baza pagodei. Am stat si am contemplat-o, si apoi m-am intors in tunelul de flori de cires, trimis acolo de avatarii lui Budha, ca sa inteleg marele mister al naturii care se celebra deasupra mea.
Dupa cateva zile temperatura a scazut brusc cu vreo zece grade. Si atunci am inteles pe deplin. Misterul frumusetii sta totul in efemeritate.
Et Rose, elle a vécu
ce que vivent les roses,
l'espace d'un matin.(Ronsard)

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Monday, April 02, 2007

Via Crucis

Barnett Newman, Via Crucis, Twelfth Station, 1965
Via Crucis, cele paisprezece statiuni al Drumului Crucii, aflate in fiecare biserica catolica - credinciosii le parcurg miercurea si vinerea in timpul Postului Mare.
Cand intru in vreo biserica catolica, obisnuiesc sa trec prin fata celor paisprezece statiuni si sa meditez in fata lor - un exercitiu spiritual care imi face bine.
Prima Via Crucis am vazut-o la Bucuresti, la Catedrala Sfantul Iosif. Imaginile erau cele traditionale, iar scrisul era in germana.
Prima Via Crucis creata intr-un stil non-figurativ am vazut-o la biserica catolica din Orsova. Era de fapt prima biserica catolica in stil modern pe care o vedeam. Orasul vechi disparuse in ape, in timpul constructiei marelui baraj de la Portile de Fier, iar pentru orasul cel nou se construise o biserica noua - mi s-a spus ca preotul bisericii se luptase cu autoritatile pentru a obtine toate aprobarile si pentru a avea biserica zidita asa cum arata - mi s-a parut atunci ca un hangar urias pentru o nava cosmica.
Peste un an aveam sa vad cea mai veche biserica din Romania - biserica ortodoxa din Densus. Preotul bisericii era un intelectual pasionat de frumos si mi-a vorbit cu multa insufletire de biserica sa, de picturile murale, de icoane. iar la sfarsit mi-a spus, Domnule, este bine sa vedeti si biserica catolica din Orsova! O vazusem, cum zic, cu un an inainte.
La New York, chiar in fata terminalului de feribot pentru Staten Island, la South Ferry, am vazut o Via Crucis ale carei statiuni erau realizate din ceramica smaltuita si pareau aidoma icoanelor pe sticla pe care le vazusem in Maramures! Biserica catolica de langa South Ferry, ridicata in cinstea unei sfinte americane, Elisabeth Sutton, si cu Drumul Crucii amintindu-mi mie de icoanele noastre pe sticla. Am vorbit cu unul din preoti si l-am intrebat cine era autorul - nu era un roman, ci un artist originar de prin America Latina, parca din Porto-Rico, nu mai tin bine minte.
Am avut in viata sansa sa intalnesc multi preoti care erau oameni deosebiti. Si acesta, de la biserica Sfintei Elisabeth Sutton, era un astfel de om. Am revenit de multe ori acolo si de fiecare data l-am cautat sa stau de vorba cu el.
La Washington, in Capela Iezuita a Universitatii Georgetown am vazut o Via Crucis care imi amintea de cea de la Orsova. Era greu sa descifrezi imaginea daca nu stiai de acum ce trebuia sa reprezinte fiecare statiune. Dar, la urma urmelor, cele paisprezece statiuni sunt facute pentru credinciosi, care stiu de acum ce arata fiecare din ele.
Insa cele mai radical non-figurativ Drum al Crucii aveam sa il vad la Galeria Nationala de Arta din Washington: Via Crucis a lui Barnett Newman, realizata in 1965.
Se gaseste in aripa de est a galeriei, este o intreaga sala acoperita de panourile lui Newman. Sa incercam si noi sa le luam una dupa alta:
1. Iisus este condamnat la moarte de catre Pilat din Pont, care se spala pe maini.
Panou crem, dunga verticala neagra, in stanga, chenar vertical negru in dreapta.
2. Iisus ia crucea pe umeri.
Panou crem, dunga verticala neagra, in stanga, chenar vertical negru in dreapta.
3. Iisus cade intaia oara sub povara crucii.
Panou crem, dunga verticala neagra, in stanga, chenar vertical negru in dreapta.
4. Iisus o intalneste pe Drumul Crucii pe Maica sa.
Panou crem, dunga verticala neagra, in stanga, chenar vertical negru in dreapta. Dunga verticala neagra din stanga e completata de lacrimi negre.
5. Simon din Cirene il ajuta pe Iisus sa duca crucea.
Panou crem, dunga verticala neagra, in stanga, chenar vertical negru in dreapta.
6. Veronica iese din multime si ii sterge fata lui Iisus cu o naframa (Fata Ta, Doamne o caut, arata-mi fata Ta si voi fi izbavit)
Panou crem, dunga verticala neagra,in stanga, chenar vertical negru in dreapta.
7. Iisus cade a doua oara sub povara crucii.
Panou crem, dunga verticala neagra, in stanga, chenar vertical negru in dreapta.
8. Iisus raspunde femeilor care plang de mila lui (nu pe mine, ci pe voi plangeti-va. Veti zice muntilor, acoperiti-ne, iar dealurilor, cadeti peste noi).
Panou crem, dunga verticala neagra, in stanga, chenar vertical negru in dreapta.
9. Iisus cade a treia oara sub povara crucii.
Panou crem, dunga verticala alba, in stanga, chenar vertical alb in dreapta.
10. Iisus este dezbracat (au tras la sorti hainele mele ...).
Panou crem, dunga verticala alba, in stanga, chenar vertical alb in dreapta. Dunga verticala alba din stanga e completata de lacrimi albe.
11. Iisus este rastignit.
Panou crem, dunga verticala alba, in stanga, chenar vertical alb in dreapta. Dunga verticala alba din stanga e completata de lacrimi albe.
12. Iisus moare pe cruce, de fata fiind Maica sa, Maria Magdalena, Apostolul Ioan.
Panou negru, dunga verticala crem, in stanga, chenar vertical crem in dreapta (imaginea de la inceputul textului).
13. Iisus este coborat de pe cruce si pus in bratele Maicii sale.
Panou negru, dunga verticala crem in stanga, chenar vertical crem in dreapta.
14. Iisus este inmormantat.
Panou alb, dunga verticala crem, in stanga, chenar vertical crem in dreapta.
Si o statie finala, care sintetizeaza cele 14 statii si sugereaza si Invierea.
Panou alb, dunga verticala rosie, in stanga, chenar vertical negru in dreapta.
un Drum al Crucii sugerat prin sutbile schimbari de culoare.

Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?

Chris Rigby, Crucifixion
Pictorita Chris Rigby locuieste in statul Ohio. Este de religie romano-catolica. A descoperit frumusetea icoanelor ortodoxe. Asa s-a nascut pasiunea de a picta si ea asemenea icoane.
Pentru Chris Rigby o icoana in traditia Bisericii Ortodoxe este o adevarata impartasanie, deoarece in faurirea ei sunt folosite toate elementele Pamantului.
Am intrat in Saptamana Mare. Pentru crestini, Psalmul XXI/XXII prefigureaza toate evenimentele acestui timp sacru. Evangheliile ni-l arata pe Iisus rostind pe Cruce cuvinte din acest psalm.
Istoricitatea cuvintelor lui Iisus pe Cruce, aidoma celor din psalm? Sensul textului evanghelic este mult mai adanc. Este reluat psalmul, pentru ca el vorbeste despre un moment fundamental al vietii, pe care fiecare din noi il vom avea de parcurs odata si odata. Momentul acesta a fost parcurs chiar si de Dumnezeu, pentru noi, acesta este sensul adanc al textului evanghelic.
Psalmul acesta este paradigma sfarsitului - cand platim nu atat pentru pacatele noastre, multe si marunte, pentru ca suntem marunti, cat pentru pacatele tuturor, dintotdeauna, indeplinind astfel o dreptate divina, greu de inteles. Omul acesta din psalm, slujitorul smerit, mielul de sacrificiu, este parasit si neinteles de oameni si se simte parasit si de Dumnezeu. Isi va pierde el credinta? Sa citim psalmul pana la sfarsit.
Dumnezeul meu, Dumnezeul meu, ia aminte la mine, pentru ce m-ai parasit?
Departe sunt de mantuirea mea cuvintele greselilor mele.
Dumnezeul meu, striga-voi ziua si nu vei auzi, si noaptea si nu Te vei gandi la mine.
Iar Tu intru cele sfinte locuiesti, lauda lui Israel.
In Tine au nadajduit parintii nostri, nadajduit-au in Tine si i-ai izbavit pe ei.
Catre Tine au strigat si s-au mantuit, in Tine au nadajduit si nu s-au rusinat.
Iar eu sunt vierme si nu om, ocara oamenilor si defaimarea poporului.
Toti cei ce m-au vazut m-au batjocorit, grait-au cu buzele, clatinat-au capul zicand:
Nadajduit-a spre Domnul, izbaveasca-l pe el, mantuiasca-l pe el, ca-l voieste pe el.
Ca Tu esti Cel ce m-ai scos din pantece, nadejdea mea, de la sanul maicii mele.
Spre Tine m-am aruncat de la nastere, din pantecele maicii mele Dumnezeul meu esti Tu.
Nu Te departa de la mine, ca necazul este aproape, si nu este cine sa-mi ajute.
Inconjuratu-m-au vitei multi, tauri grasi m-au impresurat.
Deschis-au asupra mea gura lor, ca un leu ce rapeste si racneste.
Ca apa m-am varsat si s-au risipit toate oasele mele.
Facutu-s-a inima mea ca ceara ce se topeste in mijlocul pantecelui meu.
Uscatu-s-a ca un vas de lut taria mea,
si limba mea s-a lipit de cerul gurii mele si in tarana mortii m-ai coborat.
Ca m-au inconjurat caini multi, adunarea celor vicleni m-a impresurat.
Strapuns-au mainile mele si picioarele mele.
Numarat-au toate oasele mele, iar ei priveau si se uitau la mine.
Impartit-au hainele mele lorusi si pentru camasa mea au aruncat sorti.
Iar Tu, Doamne, nu departa ajutorul Tau de la mine, spre sprijinul meu ia aminte.
Izbaveste de sabie sufletul meu si din gheara cainelui viata mea.
Izbaveste-ma din gura leului si din coarnele taurilor smerenia mea.
Spune-voi numele Tau fratilor mei; in mijlocul adunarii Te voi lauda, zicand:
Cei ce va temeti de Domnul, laudati-L pe El, toata semintia lui Iacob slaviti-L pe El!
Sa se teama de Dansul toata semintia lui Israel.
Ca n-a defaimat, nici n-a lepadat ruga saracului,
Nici n-a intors fala Lui de la mine si cand am strigat catre Dansul, m-a auzit.
De la Tine este lauda mea in adunare mare, rugaciunile mele le voi face inaintea celor ce se tem de El.
Manca-vor saracii si se vor satura si vor lauda pe Domnul, iar cei ce-L cauta pe Dansul vii vor fi inimile lor in veacul veacului.
Isi vor aduce aminte si se vor intoarce la Domnul toate marginile pamantului.
Si se vor inchina inaintea Lui toate semintiile neamurilor.
Ca a Domnului este imparatia si El stapaneste peste neamuri.
Mancat-au si s-au inchinat toti grasii pamantului,
inaintea Lui vor cadea toti cei ce se coboara in pamant.
Si sufletul meu in El viaza, si semintia mea va sluji Lui.
Se va vesti Domnului neamul ce va sa vina.
Si vor vesti dreptatea Lui poporului ce se va naste si ce a facut Domnul.
(Cartea Psalmilor)
My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?
O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.
But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.
They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.
But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.
All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head saying,
He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.
But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts.
I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly.
Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.
Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.
They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.
I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.
My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.
For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.
They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me.
Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.
Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.
I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.
Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.
For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.
My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.
The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.
All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.
For the kingdom is the LORD's: and he is the governor among the nations.
All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.
A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.
They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.
(King James Bible)

(Icon and Orthodoxy)