Saturday, September 5, 2015


DON JUAN had said that there is no way for warriors to act in the world while they are in heightened awareness, and he had also said that stalking is simply behaving with people in specific ways. The two statements contradicted each other.

"By not teaching it in normal awareness I was referring only to teaching it to a nagual," he said. "The purpose of stalking is twofold: first, to move the assemblage point as steadily and safely as possible, and nothing can do the job as well as stalking: second, to imprint its principles at such a deep level that the human inventory is bypassed, as is the natural reaction of refusing and judging something that may be offensive to reason."
I told him that I sincerely doubted I could judge or refuse anything like that. He laughed and said that I could not be an exception, that I would react like everyone else once I heard about the deeds of a master stalker, such as his benefactor, the nagual Julian.

"I am not exaggerating when I tell you that the nagual Julian was the most extraordinary stalker I have ever met," don Juan said. "You have already heard about his stalking skills from everybody else. But I've never told you what he did to me."
I wanted to make it clear to him that I had not heard anything about the nagual Julian from anyone, but just before I voiced my protest a strange feeling of uncertainty swept over me. Don Juan seemed to know instantly what I was feeling. He chuckled with delight.

"You can't remember, because will is not available to you yet," he said. "You need a life of impeccability and a great surplus of energy, and then will might release those memories.
"I am going to tell you the story of how the nagual Julian behaved with me when I first met him. If you judge him and find his behavior objectionable while you are in heightened awareness, think of how revolted you might be with him in normal awareness."

I protested that he was setting me up. He assured me that all he wanted to do with his story was to illustrate the manner in which stalkers operate and the reasons why they do it.
"The nagual Julian was the last of the old-time stalkers," he went on. "He was a stalker not so much because of the circumstances of his life but because that was the bent of his character."
Don Juan explained that the new seers saw that there are two main groups of human beings: those who care about others and those who do not. In between these two extremes they saw an endless mixture of the two. The nagual Julian belonged to the category of men who do not care; don Juan classified himself as belonging to the opposite category.

"But didn't you tell me that the nagual Julian was generous, that he would give you the shirt off his back?" I asked.
"He certainly was," don Juan replied. "Not only was he generous; he was also utterly charming, winning. He was always deeply and sincerely interested in everybody around him. He was kind and open and gave away everything he had to anyone who needed it, or to anyone he happened to like. He was in turn loved by everyone, because being a master stalker, he conveyed to them his true feelings: he didn't give a plugged nickel for any of them."
I did not say anything, but don Juan was aware of my sense of disbelief or even distress at what he was saying. He chuckled and shook his head from side to side.

"That's stalking," he said. "You see, I haven't even begun my story of the nagual Julian and you are already annoyed."
He exploded into a giant laugh as I tried to explain what I was feeling.
"The nagual Julian didn't care about anyone," he continued. "That's why he could help people. And he did; he gave them the shirt off his back, because he didn't give a fig about them."
"Do you mean, don Juan, that the only ones who help their fellow men are those who don't give a damn about them?" I asked, truly miffed.
"That's what stalkers say," he said with a beaming smile. "The nagual Julian, for instance, was a fabulous curer. He helped thousands and thousands of people, but he never took credit for it. He let people believe that a woman seer of his party was the curer.

"Now, if he had been a man who cared for his fellow men, he would've demanded acknowledgment. Those who care for others care for themselves and demand recognition where recognition is due."
Don Juan said that he, since he belonged to the category of those who care for their fellow men, had never helped anyone: he felt awkward with generosity; he could not even conceive being loved as the nagual Julian was, and he would certainly feel stupid giving anyone the shirt off his back.

"I care so much for my fellow man," he continued, "that I don't do anything for him. I wouldn't know what to do. And I would always have the nagging sense that I was imposing my will on him with my gifts.
"Naturally, I have overcome all these feelings with the warriors' way. Any warrior can be successful with people, as the nagual Julian was, provided he moves his assemblage point to a position where it is immaterial whether people like him, dislike him, or ignore him. But that's not the same."
Don Juan said that when he first became aware of the stalkers' principles, as I was then doing, he was as distressed as he could be. The nagual Elias, who was very much like don Juan, explained to him that stalkers like the nagual Julian are natural leaders of people. They can help people do anything.

"The nagual Elias said that these warriors can help people to get cured," don Juan went on, "or they can help them to get ill. They can help them to find happiness or they can help them to find sorrow. I suggested to the nagual Elias that instead of saying that these warriors help people, we should say that they affect people. He said that they don't just affect people, but that they actively herd them around."
Don Juan chuckled and looked at me fixedly. There was a mischievous glint in his eyes.
"Strange, isn't it?" he asked. "The way stalkers arranged what they see about people?"
Then don Juan started his story about the nagual Julian. He said that the nagual Julian spent many, many years waiting for an apprentice nagual. He stumbled on don Juan one day while returning home after a short visit with acquaintances in a nearby village. He was, in fact, thinking about an apprentice nagual as he walked on the road when he heard a loud gunshot and saw people scrambling in every direction. He ran with them into the bushes by the side of the road and only came out from his hiding place at the sight of a group of people gathered around someone wounded, lying on the ground.

The wounded person was, of course, don Juan, who had been shot by the tyrannical foreman. The nagual Julian saw instantly that don Juan was a special man whose cocoon was divided into four sections instead of two; he also realized that don Juan was badly wounded. He knew that he had no time to waste. His wish had been fulfilled, but he had to work fast, before anyone sensed what was going on. He held his head and cried, "They've shot my son!"

He was traveling with one of the female seers of his party, a husky Indian woman, who always officiated publicly as his mean shrewish wife. They were an excellent team of stalkers. He cued the woman seer, and she also started weeping and wailing for their son, who was unconscious and bleeding to death. The nagual Julian begged the onlookers not to call the authorities but rather to help him move his son to his house in the city, which was some distance away. He offered money to some strong young men if they would carry his wounded, dying son.
The men carried don Juan to the nagual Julian's house. The nagual was very generous with them and paid them handsomely. The men were so touched by the grieving couple, who had cried all the way to the house, that they refused to take the money, but the nagual Julian insisted that they take it to give his son luck.

For a few days, don Juan did not know what to think about the kind couple who had taken him into their home. He said that to him, the nagual Julian appeared as an almost senile old man. He was not an Indian, but was married to a young, irascible, fat Indian wife, who was as physically strong as she was ill-tempered. Don Juan thought that she was definitely a curer, judging by the way she treated his wound and by the quantities of medicinal plants stashed away in the room where they had put him.

The woman also dominated the old man and made him tend to don Juan's wound every day. They had made a bed for don Juan out of a thick floor mat, and the old man had a terrible time kneeling down to reach him. Don Juan had to fight not to laugh at the comical sight of the frail old man trying his best to bend his knees. Don Juan said that while the old man washed his wound, he would mumble incessantly; he had a vacant look in his eyes; his hands shook, and his body trembled from head to toe.

When he was down on his knees, he could never get up by himself. He would call his wife, yelling in a raspy voice, filled with contained anger. The wife would come into the room and both of them would get into a horrible argument. Often she would walk out, leaving the old man to get up by himself.

Don Juan assured me that he had never felt so sorry for anyone as he felt for that poor, kind old man. Many times he wanted to rise and help him up, but he could hardly move himself. Once the old man spent half an hour cursing and yelling, as he puffed and crawled like a slug, before he dragged himself to the door and painfully lifted himself up to a standing position.

He explained to don Juan that his poor health was due to advanced age, broken bones that had not mended properly, and rheumatism. Don Juan said that the old man raised his eyes toward heaven and confessed to don Juan that he was the most wretched man on earth; he had come to the curer for help and had ended up marrying her and becoming a slave.
"I asked the old man why he didn't leave," don Juan continued. "The old man's eyes widened with fear. He choked on his own saliva trying to hush me and then he went rigid and fell down like a log on the floor, next to my bed, trying to make me stop talking. You don't know what you're saying; you don't know what you're saying. Nobody can run away from this place, the old man kept on repeating with a wild expression in his eyes.

"And I believed him. I was convinced that he was more miserable, more wretched than I had ever been myself. And with every day that passed I became more and more uncomfortable in that house. The food was great and the woman was always out curing people, so I was left with the old man. We talked a lot about my life. I liked to talk to him. I told him that I had no money to pay him for his kindness, but that I would do anything to help him. He told me that he was beyond help, that he was ready to die, but that if I really meant what I said, he would appreciate it if I would marry his wife after he died.

"Right then I knew the old man was nuts. And right then I also knew that I had to run away as soon as possible."
Don Juan said that when he was well enough to walk around unaided, his benefactor gave him a chilling demonstration of his ability as a stalker. Without any warning or preamble he put don Juan face to face with an inorganic living being. Sensing that don Juan was planning to run away, he seized the opportunity to scare him with an ally that was somehow able to look like a monstrous man.

"The sight of that ally nearly drove me insane," don Juan continued. "I couldn't believe my eyes, and yet the monster was right in front of me. And the frail old man was next to me whimpering and begging the monster to spare his life. You see, my benefactor was like the old seers; he could dole out his fear, a piece at a time, and the ally was reacting to it. I didn't know that. All I could see with my very own eyes was a horrendous creature advancing on us, ready to tear us apart, limb from limb.

"The moment the ally lurched onto us, hissing like a serpent, I passed out cold. When I came to my senses again, the old man told me that he had made a deal with the creature."
He explained to don Juan that the man had agreed to let both of them live, provided don Juan enter the man's service. Don Juan apprehensively asked what was involved in the service. The old man replied that it would be slavery, but pointed out that don Juan's life had nearly ended a few days back when he had been shot. 

Had not he and his wife come along to stop the bleeding, don Juan would surely have died, so there was really very little to bargain with, or to bargain for. The monstrous man knew that and had him over a barrel. The old man told don Juan to stop vacillating and accept the deal, because if he refused, the monstrous man, who was listening behind the door, would burst in and kill them both on the spot and be done with it.

"I had enough nerve to ask the frail old man, who was shaking like a leaf, how the man would kill us," don Juan went on. "He said that the monster planned to break all the bones in our bodies, starting with our feet, as we screamed in unspeakable agony, and that it would take at least five days for us to die.
"I accepted that man's conditions instantly. The old man, with tears in his eyes, congratulated me and said that the deal wasn't really that bad. We were going to be more prisoners than slaves of the monstrous man, but we would eat at least twice a day; and since we had life, we could work for our freedom; we could plot, connive, and fight our way out of that hell."
Don Juan smiled and then broke into laughter. He had known beforehand how I would feel about the nagual Julian.

"I told you you'd be upset," he said.
"I really don't understand, don Juan," I said. "What was the point of putting on such an elaborate masquerade?"
"The point is very simple," he said, still smiling. "This is another method of teaching, a very good one. it requires tremendous imagination and tremendous control on the part of the teacher. My method of teaching is closer to what you consider teaching. It requires a tremendous amount of words. I go to the extremes of talking. The nagual Julian went to the extremes of stalking."

Don Juan said that there were two methods of teaching among the seers. He was familiar with both of them. He preferred the one that called for explaining everything and letting the other person know the course of action beforehand. It was a system that fostered freedom, choice, and understanding. His benefactor's method, on the other hand, was more coercive and did not allow for choice or understanding. Its great advantage was that it forced warriors to live the seers' concepts directly with no intermediary elucidation.

Don Juan explained that everything his benefactor did to him was a masterpiece of strategy. Every one of the nagual Julian's words and actions was deliberately selected to cause a particular effect. His art was to provide his words and actions with the most suitable context, so that they would have the necessary impact.
"That's the stalkers' method," don Juan went on. "It fosters not understanding but total realization. For instance, it took me a lifetime to understand what he had done to me by making me face the ally, although I realized all that without any explanation as I lived that experience.
"I've told you that Genaro, for example, doesn't understand what he does, but his realization of what he is doing is as keen as it can be. That's because his assemblage point was moved by the stalkers' method."

He said that if the assemblage point is forced out of its customary setting by the method of explaining everything, as in my case, there is always the need for someone else not only to help in the actual dislodging of the assemblage point, but in dispensing the explanations of what is going on. But if the assemblage point is moved by the stalkers' method, as in his own case, or Genaro's, there is only a need for the initial catalytic act that yanks the point from its location.

Don Juan said that when the nagual Julian made him face the monstrous-looking ally his assemblage point moved under the impact of fear. So intense a fright as that caused by the confrontation, coupled with his weak physical condition, was ideal for dislodging his assemblage point.
In order to offset the injurious effects of fright, its impact had to be cushioned, but not minimized. Explaining what was happening would have minimized fear. What the nagual Julian wanted was to make sure that he could use that initial catalytic fright as many times as he needed it, but he also wanted to make sure that he could cushion its devastating impact; that was the reason for his masquerade. The more elaborate and dramatic his stories were, the greater their cushioning effect. If he, himself, seemed to be in the same boat with don Juan, the fright would not be as intense as if don Juan were alone.

"With his penchant for drama," don Juan went on, "my benefactor was able to move my assemblage point enough to imbue me right away with an overpowering feeling for the two basic qualities of warriors: sustained effort and unbending intent. I knew that in order to be free again someday, I would have to work in an orderly and steady fashion and in cooperation with the frail old man, who in my opinion needed my help as much as I needed his. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that that was what I wanted to do more than anything else in life."

I did not get to talk to don Juan again until two days later. We were in Oaxaca, strolling in the main square, in the early morning. There were children walking to school, people going to church, a few men sitting on the benches, and taxi drivers waiting for tourists from the main hotel.

"It goes without saying that the most difficult thing in the warriors' path is to make the assemblage point move," don Juan said. "That movement is the completion of the warriors' quest. To go on from there is another quest; it is the seers' quest proper."

He repeated that in the warriors' way, the shift of the assemblage point is everything. The old seers absolutely failed to realize this truth. They thought the movement of the point was like a marker that determined their positions on a scale of worth. They never conceived that it was that very position which determined what they perceived.

"The stalkers' method," don Juan went on, "in the hands of a master stalker like the nagual Julian, accounts for stupendous shifts of the assemblage point. These are very solid changes; you see, by buttressing the apprentice, the stalker-teacher gets the apprentice's full cooperation and full participation. To get anybody's full cooperation and full participation is about the most important outcome of the stalkers' method; and the nagual Julian was the best at getting both of them."

Don Juan said that there was no way for him to describe the turmoil that he went through as he found out, little by little, about the richness and the complexity of the nagual Julian's personality and life. As long as don Juan faced a scared, frail old man who seemed helpless, he was fairly at ease, comfortable. But one day, soon after they had made the deal with what don Juan thought of as a monstrous-looking man, his comfort was shot to pieces when the nagual Julian gave don Juan another unnerving demonstration of his stalking skills.

Although don Juan was quite well by then, the nagual Julian still slept in the same room with him in order to nurse him. When he woke up that day, he announced to don Juan that their captor was gone for a couple of days, which meant that he did not have to act like an old man. He confided to don Juan that he only pretended to be old in order to fool the monstrous-looking man.

Without giving don Juan time to think, he jumped up from his mat with incredible agility; he bent over and dunked his head in a pot of water and kept it there for a while. When he straightened up, his hair was jet black, the gray hair had washed away, and don Juan was looking at a man he had never seen before, a man perhaps in his late thirties. He flexed his muscles, breathed deeply, and stretched every part of his body as if he had been too long inside a constricting cage.

"When I saw the nagual Julian as a young man, I thought that he was indeed the devil," don Juan went on. "I closed my eyes and knew that my end was near. The nagual Julian laughed until he was crying."

Don Juan said that the nagual Julian then put him at ease by making him shift back and forth between the right side and the left side awareness.
"For two days the young man pranced around the house," don Juan continued. "He told me stories about his life and jokes that sent me reeling around the room with laughter. But what was even more astounding was the way his wife had changed. She was actually thin and beautiful. I thought she was a completely different woman. I raved about how complete her change was and how beautiful she looked. The young man said that when their captor was away she was actually another woman."
Don Juan laughed and said that his devilish benefactor was telling the truth. The woman was really another seer of the nagual's party.

Don Juan asked the young man why they pretended to be what they were not. The young man looked at don Juan, his eyes filled with tears, and said that the mysteries of the world are indeed unfathomable. He and his young wife had been caught by inexplicable forces and had to protect themselves with that pretense. The reason why he carried on the way he did, as a feeble old man, was that their captor was always peeking in through cracks in the doors. He begged don Juan to forgive him for having fooled him.

Don Juan asked who that monstrous-looking man was. With a deep sigh, the young man confessed that he could not even guess. He told don Juan that although he himself was an educated man, a famous actor from the theater in Mexico City, he was at a loss for explanations. All he knew was that he had come to be treated for the consumption that he had suffered from for many years. He was near death when his relatives brought him to meet the curer. She helped him to get well, and he fell madly in love with the beautiful young Indian and married her. His plans were to take her to the capital so they could get rich with her curing ability.
Before they started on the trip to Mexico City, she warned him that they had to disguise themselves in order to escape a sorcerer. She explained to him that her mother had also been a curer, and had been taught curing by that master sorcerer, who had demanded that she, the daughter, stay with him for life. The young man said that he had refused to ask his wife about that relationship. He only wanted to free her, so he disguised himself as an old man and disguised her as a fat woman.
Their story did not end happily. The horrible man caught them and kept them as prisoners. They did not dare to take off their disguise in front of that nightmarish man, and in his presence they carried on as if they hated each other; but in reality, they pined for each other and lived only for the short times when that man was away.
Don Juan said that the young man embraced him and told him that the room where don Juan was sleeping was the only safe place in the house. Would he please go out and be on the lockout while he made love to his wife?
"The house shook with their passion," don Juan went on, "while I sat by the door feeling guilty for listening and scared to death that the man would come back any minute. And sure enough, I heard him coming into the house. I banged on the door, and when they didn't answer, I walked in. The young woman was asleep naked and the young man was nowhere in sight. I had never seen a beautiful naked woman in my life. I was still very weak. I heard the monstrous man rattling outside. My embarrassment and my fear were so great that I passed out."
The story about the nagual Julian's doings annoyed me no end. I told don Juan that I had failed to understand the value of the nagual Julian's stalking skills. Don Juan listened to me without making a single comment and let me ramble on and on.
When we finally sat down on a bench, I was very tired. I did not know what to say when he asked me why his account of the nagual Julian's method of teaching had upset me so much.
"I can't shake off the feeling that he was a prankster," I finally said.
"Pranksters don't teach anything deliberately with their pranks," don Juan retorted. "The nagual Julian played dramas, magical dramas that required a movement of the assemblage point."
"He seems like a very selfish person to me," I insisted.
"He seems like that to you because you are judging," he replied. "You are being a moralist. I went through all that myself. If you feel the way you do on hearing about the nagual Julian, think of the way I must have felt myself living in his house for years. I judged him, I feared him, and I envied him, in that order.

"I also loved him, but my envy was greater than my love. I envied his ease, his mysterious capacity to be young or old at will; I envied his flair and above all his influence on whoever happened to be around. It would drive me up the walls to hear him engage people in the most interesting conversation. He always had something to say; I never did, and I always felt incompetent, left out."
Don Juan's revelations made me feel ill at ease. I wished that he would change the subject, for I did not want to hear that he was like me. In my opinion, he was indeed unequaled. He obviously knew how I felt. He laughed and patted my back.

"What I am trying to do with the story of my envy," he went on, "is to point out to you something of great importance, that the position of the assemblage point dictates how we behave and how we feel.
"My great flaw at that time was that I could not understand this principle. I was raw. I lived through self-importance, just as you do, because that was where my assemblage point was lodged. You see, I hadn't learned yet that the way to move that point is to establish new habits, to will it to move. When it did move, it was as if I had just discovered that the only way to deal with peerless warriors like my benefactor is not to have self-importance, so that one can celebrate them unbiased."

He said that realizations are of two kinds. One is just pep talk, great outbursts of emotion and nothing more. The other is the product of a shift of the assemblage point; it is not coupled with an emotional outburst but with action. The emotional realizations come years later after warriors have solidified, by usage, the new position of their assemblage points.
"The nagual Julian tirelessly guided all of us to that kind of shift," don Juan went on. "He got from all of us total cooperation and total participation in his bigger than life dramas. For instance, with his drama of the young man and his wife and their captor he had my undivided attention and concern. To me the story of the old man who was young was very consistent. I had seen the monstrous-looking man with my very own eyes, which meant that the young man got my undying affiliation."

Don Juan said that the nagual Julian was a magician, a conjurer who could handle the force of will to a degree that would be incomprehensible to the average man. His dramas included magical characters summoned by the force of intent, like the inorganic being that could adopt a grotesque human form.

"The nagual Julian's power was so impeccable," don Juan went on, "that he could force anyone's assemblage point to shift and align emanations that would make him perceive whatever the nagual Julian wanted. For example, he could look very old or very young for his age, depending on what he wanted to accomplish. And all anyone who knew the nagual could say about his age was that it fluctuated. During the thirty-two years that I knew him he was at times not much older than you are now, and at other times he was so wretchedly old that he could not even walk."

Don Juan said that under his benefactor's guidance his assemblage point moved unnoticeably and yet profoundly. For instance, out of nowhere one day he realized that he had a fear that on the one hand made no sense to him at all, and on the other made all the sense in the world.
"My fear was that through stupidity I would lose my chance to be free and I would repeat my father's life.
"There was nothing wrong with my father's life, mind you. He lived and died no better and no worse than most men; the important point is that my assemblage point had moved and I realized one day that my father's life and death hadn't amounted to a hill of beans, either to others or to himself.

"My benefactor told me that my father and mother had lived and died just to have me, and that their own parents had done the same for them. He said that warriors were different in that they shift their assemblage points enough to realize the tremendous price that has been paid for their lives. This shift gives them the respect and awe that their parents never felt for life in general, or for being alive in particular."

Don Juan said that not only was the nagual Julian successful in guiding his apprentices to move their assemblage points, but that he enjoyed himself tremendously while doing it.
"He certainly entertained himself immensely with me," don Juan went on. "When the other seers of my party began to come, years later, even I looked forward to the preposterous situations that he created and developed with each one of them.
"When the nagual Julian left the world, delight went away with him and never came back. Genaro delights us sometimes, but no one can take the nagual Julian's place. His dramas were always bigger than life. I assure you we didn't know what enjoyment was until we saw what he did when some of those dramas backfired on him."
Don Juan rose from his favorite bench. He turned to me. His eyes were brilliant and peaceful.
"If you are ever so dumb as to fail in your task," he said, "you must have at least enough energy to move your assemblage point in order to come to this bench. Sit down here for an instant, free of thoughts and desires; I will try to come here from wherever I am and collect you. I promise you that I will try."
He then broke into a great laugh, as if the scope of his promise was too ludicrous to be believed.
"These words should be said in the late afternoon," he said, still laughing. "Never in the morning. The morning makes one feel optimistic and such words lose their meaning."

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Friday, September 4, 2015

Delia - Da, mama (by Carla's Dreams) Official Video

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Thursday, September 3, 2015


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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Muzica și Maruca Cantacuzino, marile iubiri ale lui George Enescu

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Pe 19 august 1881, în familia arendașului Costache Enescu și a soției lui, Maria se năștea cel de-al optulea copil. Se numea Gheorghe, era alintat Jurjac și, spre deosebire de primii lui 7 frați, nu a murit în copilărie. Zilele acestea îl evocăm foarte des, pentru că tocmai a început festivalul care-i poartă numele.
George Enescu e considerat cel mai important muzician român și, dacă nu-i știți povestea, o să v-o spun pe scurt în cele ce urmează.
Prima întâlnire importantă cu muzica o are la vârsta de 3 ani. După ce aude întâmplător un taraf, purcede la a-i imita toate instrumentele componente: vioara – cu un fir de ață cusut pe un lemnișor, țambalul – cu ajutorul unor bețe, naiul – șuierând printre buze. Când părinții îi dăruiesc o vioară de jucărie, cu trei coarde, o aruncă direct în foc și cere cu vehemență o vioară adevărată. Când o primește, începe să cânte după ureche melodii auzite prin sat. Primele îndrumări muzicale le primește de la părinți și de la lăutarul Niculae Chioru.
Avea cinci ani când talentul lui uriaș e remarcat de Eduard Caudella, compozitor şi profesor la Conservatorul din Iaşi, care îi sfătuiește pe ai lui să-l îndrepte către studii muzicale. Între 1888 şi 1894, George Enescu studiază la Conservatorul din Viena. Se integrează rapid în peisajul muzical al Vienei, concertele sale fiind aplaudate frenetic, deși avea doar 12 ani. După absolvirea Conservatorului din Viena își continuă studiile la Conservatorul din Paris. 
La 17 ani debutează pe scenele pariziene, în calitate de compozitor, și începe să dea lecții și recitaluri de vioară la București. Regina Elisabeta a României (Carmen Sylva) și prințesa Martha Bibescu se întrec în a-l invita la seratele muzicale din saloanele lor. Enescu o preferă pe regină, devenind un invitat permanent la palatul regal.
În jurul vârstei de 20 de ani compune cele mai importante piese muzicale din opera lui, printre care două Rapsodii Române. Se împarte în principal între București și Paris, dar are turnee în mai multe țări europene. În anii primului război mondial rămâne la București, dirijează și finanțează generos concursul de compoziție George Enescu.
 După război, se împarte iarăși între România și Franța. Are turnee și în America, unde dirijează mari orchestre, precum cea din Philadelphia și cea din New York. Formează noi muzicieni, ca pedagog, printre elevii săi numărându-se violoniști precum Christian Ferras, Ivry Gitlis, Arthur Grumiaux și Yehudi Menuhin.
La 51 de ani devine membru al Academiei Române.
În 1939 donează președintelui Consiliului de Miniștri al României de la acea vreme 100.000 de lei, pentru apărarea țării. Rămâne la București în timpul celui de-al doilea război mondial și are o activitate dirijorală bogată, încurajând cariera multor muzicieni români de top. După război, îl vizitează însuși Yehudi Menuhin, împreună cu care dă concerte la București și la Sinaia.
Odată instaurată dictatura comunistă, Enescu se exilează la Paris, împreună cu soția și marea lui iubire, Maruca Cantacuzino. Se stinge în noaptea dintre 3 și 4 mai 1955 și este înmormântat în cimitirul Père-Lachaise din Paris, într-un cavou de marmură albă.
Cu Maruca se căsătorise în 1937, după o poveste de dragoste la fel de tumultuoasă ca și personalitatea acestei femei.
Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 12.24.53
Născută în 1878 în familia Rosetti Tescani, Maruca s-a transformat, în adolescență, într-o tânără frumoasă, grațioasă, fermecătoare și stranie, cu o prezență magnetică. Sinuciderea tatălui când ea avea 18 ani îi marchează existența justificând pasele ei depresive, urmate de episoade exuberante și mai multe tentative de sinucidere. Pasionată de vrăjitorie, magie și spiritism, Maruca o “subjugă” chiar și pe Regina Maria, care îi oferă prietenia și o invită printre doamnele ei de onoare. La 20 de ani, Maria Rosetti Tescani devine prințesă Cantacuzino, prin căsătoria cu prințul Mișu Cantacuzino, o figură politică importantă a vremurilor.
Închide ochii în fața amantlâcurilor soțului, chiar și când în rolul amantei se găsește sora ei, Nely. Cei doi soți fac o înțelegere care șochază lumea mondenă a Bucureștiului, acordându-și unul altuia maximă libertate. Una dintre marile iubiri ale Marucăi, desfășurată sub ochii soțului, se va numi George Enescu.
Muzicianul avea 33 de ani și se afla pe culmile gloriei, când a început legătura amoroasă cu femeia de care se îndrăgostise cu 7 ani în urmă, în saloanele reginei. Devine un fel de cântăreț de curte la Palatul Cantacuzino, doar ca să fie în preajma iubitei. Mișu Cantacuzino nu pare să aibă vreo problemă, cuplul “princiar” nepunându-și vreo secundă problema divorțului. După război, Enescu pleacă într-un turneu de câțiva ani prin Europa, rămânând însă într-o corespondență fierbinte cu Maruca.
În 1928, Mișu moare într-un accident de mașină și Maruca rămâne văduvă, liberă să-și oficializeze relația cu Enescu. În loc de asta, se îndrăgostește de filozoful Nae Ionescu, mai tânăr decât ea cu 13 ani. 7 ani durează relația lor, până când Nae Ionescu o părăsește pentru mai tânăra Cella Delavrancea. Maruca are o cădere psihică, o tentativă de autoincendiere, mai multe episoade psihotice. În timpul unuia dintre ele se desfigurează, turnându-și acid pe față, ceea ce o va obliga să poarte toată viața un voal negru peste față. Medicii o evaluează și decid că, pentru moment, nu mai are discernământ nici măcar ca să-și administreze averea.
Enescu, care, în ultimii 7 ani, o așteptase ca un câine rănit, dedicându-i chiar opera Oedip, vine să aibă grijă de ea. După 2 ani, Maruca îi acceptă în sfârșit cererea în căsătorie. Vor rămâne împreună până la moartea compozitorului, în 1955. Enescu o va înșela, la rândul lui, la un moment dat, cu o tânără poloneză.
Maruca i s-a alăturat în cimitirul Père-Lachaise din Paris de-abia după 13 ani. Ultima sa dorință a fost ca, pe piatra funerară a mormântului ei, să nu fie trecut cuvântul “Prințesă”. Era prima oară când renunța la titlul pe care, cu uriașă vanitate, îl purtase toată viața.
Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 12.27.42
 Revenind la ediția de anul acesta a Festivalului George Enescu, care a început ieri și se va încheia pe 20 septembrie, trebuie să știți că, dacă nu ați apucat să vă luați bilete la concertele desfășurate live la Ateneu și Sala Palatului, mai aveți încă o șansă să le vedeți transmise în direct, în condiții excelente. Transmisia va fi făcută de Grand Cinema & More în parteneriat cu alte șase cinematografe din țară: Cityplex Constanța, Cortina Digiplex Oradea, Cinema Trivale din Pitești, Cinema Victoria din Cluj-Napoca, Aula Bibliotecii Universitare Eugen Tudoran din Timișoara, Cinema One din Brașov. E al doilea an când se întâmplă asta, iar biletele sunt disponibile online pe sau la casele de bilete ale cinematografelor menționate. Ce anume oferă Grand Cinema & More publicului? Un sistem audio ultraperformant, ecrane impresionante,ultima tehnologie în materie de proiecție, unghiuri perfecte de vizibilitate, locuri ultra-confortabile. Toate astea îl transformă în destinația perfectă pentru vizionarea spectacolelor și concertelor din cadrul Festivalului Enescu la o calitate premium.
Gata. Mai ziceți și voi, că pe mine mă doare mâna. Știați povestea lui George Enescu sau acum ați aflat-o?



cybershamans (karmapolice) / CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

Poet Octavio Paz wrong of Mexicans' 'willingness to contemplate horror'

I had been in Mexico for a week when I found myself walking alone along a motorway at dusk. It was my first time in the country. There were the stray dogs, starving and friendly. The mountains rising high and blue in the distance.

A decade has passed since that evening in early February, so I can’t remember exactly what happened. What follows is most likely fiction as well as fact.
A car slowed down and a man leant his head out the window. “Güerita,” he shouted at me. “Are you crazy?” Güerita means fair-haired or fair-skinned girl.

I continued walking, while he drove slowly alongside me, listing in Spanish all the dangers that could befall a güerita alone on a motorway in Mexico at dusk. He kept shouting, “Aren’t you scared? Aren’t you scared?”
He was listening to Café Tacuba very loud in the car, a Mexican rock band who had made a comeback that year, 2004.

“How old are you?” he asked me.
“You are in fact crazy,” he said, when I accepted his offer of a ride home. I got in his car. I trusted him.
He said that his name was Jesus. He was 22, a medical student. By the time he dropped me home, it was dark. He asked me whether I knew it was St Valentine’s Day very soon.

André Breton wrote that Mexico is a naturally surreal country. This observation may be dismissed as that of a Westerner in love with the “exotic”. Perhaps all foreign countries appear surreal to those from elsewhere. In any case, I immediately felt at home.
Frida Kahlo and her husband, Diego Rivera (Everett Collection/Alamy)Frida Kahlo and her husband, Diego Rivera (Everett Collection/Alamy)
On St Valentine’s Day, Jesus picked me up from the school where I was teaching English. It had a high yellow gate, guarded by a man with a lazy eye and a gun. Jesus handed me an origami “sea dog”, which he had made himself. I had never heard of a sea dog before, but I said thank you.

Then we drove at speed to a restaurant, where we talked about the mountain range on the road north to Mexico City. One part was called La Mujer Dormida (The Sleeping Woman) because the shape of the mountains from afar looked like the silhouette of a woman lying on her back.

 “She is at rest,” Jesus said, “with her lover. What happened was this: they fell in love. She was called Iztaccihuatl and he was called Popocatepetl. He had to go and fight in a war. Iztaccihuatl’s father assumed he would not survive so he forced his daughter to marry another suitor. She was in despair and so she stabbed herself.” He paused. “Yes, that’s right – she stabbed herself.” I waited for him to go on.

“Then Popocatepetl did come back alive. He was in despair because she had died. So he carried her body up to the top of the freezing mountain because he hoped the cold might wake her up. But no. She did not wake up. Instead, she froze. So he lay down beside her and the snow covered them. They became the mountains.” Jesus put another forkful of tostada in his mouth. “That was the end of the story.”

“One of the most notable traits of the Mexican’s character is his willingness to contemplate horror,” the Mexican poet Octavio Paz wrote in his brilliant book on Mexican culture The Labyrinth of Solitude, published in 1950. “Our cult of death is also a cult of life, in the same way that love is a hunger for life and a longing for death. Our fondness for destruction derives not only from our masochistic tendencies but also from a certain variety of religious emotion.”

Paz won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1990, but he was criticised for portraying an abstract Mexican soul, as though there were only one, and not millions. But this misses his point – the book is a work of poetry, not sociology. It was written with great love for his own country, and great sadness. I read the book for the first time on that trip, and I have reread it many times since. Paz wrote, “Self-discovery is above all the realisation that we are alone.”

After dinner, Jesus and I sat in the cinema, eating chopped-up fruit covered with chilli powder and salt. We were watching The Passion of the Christ, starring Jim Caviezel as Jesus Christ, who was being nailed to a cross and hoisted into the air. The entire film was in Aramaic and Latin, with Spanish subtitles. Whole families had come to see it, not so much as entertainment, but religious duty. I went outside to smoke.

Then we drove to a bar. There was a Mexican pop song playing on the radio: a woman lamenting the countless roads that she would have to travel until she found her way back to her lover. Because it was St Valentine’s Day, the bar had been adorned with red heart-shaped balloons. Lovers sat absorbed in one another.

“What do you want?” asked the woman behind the bar. Jesus ordered us each a piña loca: a cocktail of tequila, pineapple juice, cream, and eggnog. They arrived in cups the size of buckets. I said that eggnog is rarely drunk in England. Maybe they drank it at Christmas in America?
The woman said, “Mexico: so far from God, so close to the United States.” She spoke English with an American accent, though she said she came from Veracruz, on the east coast of Mexico, where the shrimp cocktail was excellent. She asked me if I had been there. I said no. 

Would I like to go there? Yes. She said that she had lived for many years in Miami, where she had started a successful dry-cleaning business. Her brother was still there. But she had missed Mexico, and come home. “Here the word is aguantar,” she told me. “To endure. In other words, to wait. To hope that things will get better.”

The inequality in this provincial city was brutal: the rich lived in palatial houses with statues of horses. They had pale skin, like the actors in the hugely popular telenovelas (soap operas), and indigenous maids. 

The poor were mostly indigenous: they picked fruit from trees for low wages and fell out of the trees and died of their injuries. They rode in the bright green Volkswagen public buses, with good-luck charms swinging from the rear-view mirrors, as though the simple act of getting to and from work required benevolence from the gods.

 But all the myths, including that of The Sleeping Woman, belonged to them; it was their land first. “Ahorita is another word,” the woman said. “It means ‘little now’, but really it means not now, but a bit later, or maybe never.” She rested her head on her hand.

“Let’s go,” I told Jesus, after the second piña loca. I had spent hours in the sun that day and the room was starting to spin. “Ahorita,” he said. I stood up, and swayed. “We have to go now,” I said. Jesus drove me home along the motorway at speed. I looked out the window and saw a shrine with flowers and the Virgen de Guadalupe, marking the spot where an accident had happened.
Zoe Pilger, who was drawn to Mexico at the age of 19Zoe Pilger, who was drawn to Mexico at the age of 19
“In a certain sense the history of Mexico, like that of every Mexican, is a struggle between the forms and formulas that have been imposed upon us and the explosions with which our individuality avenges itself,” Paz wrote. This surely is true of many peoples, and many places.

It was about a week after that St Valentine’s Day when I found myself sitting on a bench in the zocalo, the main square, watching people pass. I had finished teaching my classes for the day. A mariachi in smart black and gold approached me and asked if I would like to choose a song for him to sing. 

I asked him for the only mariachi song that I knew, “Paloma Negra” (Black Dove). His voice rose with an emotion so naked that I was taken aback. He sang of a lover’s despair as his eyes “die” without looking into the eyes of his lover. The song is full of paradox. “Y aunque te amo con locura, ya no vuelvas.” (“And though I love you madly, don’t come back to me.”)

I had first heard “Paloma Negra” when I went to see the biopic of Frida Kahlo, released in cinemas two years before. It was included on the soundtrack, sung by the elderly and magnificent Chavela Vargas, who was herself rumoured to have had an affair with Kahlo in the 1930s. That film is a travesty, however: spoken in English, with Spanish accents.

The paintings of Frida Kahlo had been my entry into Mexican culture. As a teenager, I was obsessed. In Unos Cuantos Piquetitos! (A Few Small Nips!) (1935), a naked woman lies bloodied and dead on a bed, while a man stands over her, fully clothed, with a knife in his hand.#

 Kahlo was inspired by an article that she had read in the newspaper about a man who had stabbed his wife many times. He had told the judge that it was “just a few small nips!” Kahlo made the work as a symbol of her own suffering following her husband Diego Rivera’s affair with her sister, Cristina. 

After the painting was finished, she stuck a small bamboo birdcage to the canvas. It appeared to imprison the white dove painted beneath. Only the black dove, symbol of darkness, goes free.
In Mexico the shadow is not denied, but welcomed (AFP/Getty)In Mexico the shadow is not denied, but welcomed (AFP/Getty)
What so enthralled me about Mexican culture was the way it celebrates darkness as an essential part of life. The shadow is not denied, but welcomed. “Since we cannot or dare not confront our own selves,” Paz wrote, “we resort to the fiesta. It fires us into the void; it is a drunken rapture that burns itself out, a pistol shot into the air, a sky rocket.”

Jesus and I remained friends after that St Valentine’s Day, but then we lost touch.
I didn’t return to Mexico until last November, when I went to stay on a near-empty island with only sand roads and a lot of flamingos. I was researching my second novel, which is partly set there. The island is called Black Hole or Black Head in Mayan. 

When the Spanish arrived on the island in the 16th century, they decapitated their black slaves and stuck their heads on spears along the beach as a warning to the indigenous population to be obedient. This is what a man called Juan told me as soon as I got off the boat from the mainland. He was carving a sculpture of a mermaid out of a long tree trunk. He said that here the Spanish are not called conquistadores (conquerors), but piratas(pirates).

I went to a café near the beach, where an elderly woman called Rosie served me the best fish soup I have ever eaten. It was blood red and full of lobster. A young couple were at the next table. We started talking. They said they were from Mexico City and worked in business. 

They asked me, “Aren’t you scared?” “Scared?” I said. “No, why?” They explained that the drug wars had been waging since I was last in Mexico and I was vulnerable as a woman on my own. I hadn’t been scared at all until they asked me if I was scared.

That night, an electrical storm made all the doors in my hotel bang on their hinges. The lizards slithered on to the balcony, and the jungle seemed to get closer and closer. The wind was screaming along the beach. Then the thunder stopped, and the rain stopped. It was silent. Paz wrote, “Silence – the prehistoric silence, stronger than all the pyramids and sacrifices, all the churches and uprisings and popular songs – comes back to rule over Mexico.”

cybershamans (karmapolice) / CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

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