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What did my grandparents teach me

My grandparents are representing a generation in extinction- the offline people, those believing in life blindly, no second thoughts, no doubts, no fear- no matter what. They are both over 85 years old now- my father’s parents.

My mother’s parents are both gone into the unknown. I never met this grandfather but still he taught me a lot. My mother's fear taught me fear.

Long time ago, in a small village somewhere north of Moldova, a country mutilated by domestic violence( among other social and cultural issues) where hitting women, children and even men is still practiced, this grandfather taught Fear.

He was an alcoholic, who’s weakness was encouraged by the culture, by his job (he was the "UPS" of the village, driving a horse carriage, transporting stuff). He received payment in nature arriving home drunk. Beat the wife and scared the children away.

My mother never spoke about him, if she did- never without crying. She cried remembering all those times when she took her mother by the hand running away into the cornfield, hiding. But she also said: he was my father and that was it, we loved him anyway- which is something my mother would say trying to make it all look pretty even if hurting. This grandfather died long before I landed on this planet.

A few years ago, his love, wife and mother of his children- died alone. Probably praying. Her whole life has been a prayer.

What did my grandparents teach me?

Work- the only honorable and worthy way to live.

Respect other people and to accept them as they are.

Respect nature because there is nothing else.

Follow the seasons. Accept the power of the wind, storms and death. They had this knowing in their eyes as if wanting to say : let it be. This is it.

To speak the truth even if uncomfortable to myself.

Compassion for those in need. This family was so large, it was a clan. There was abundance of food, of work, of activities, stories, plans and dreams. There were always people around dong things together : building houses, cooking and eating, dancing when happy, crying and mourning when sad.

Self discipline is the backbone of life. The grandfather I knew used to be a heavy smoker. One day he stopped. Because he decided so.

A kind of honesty and openness that is self harming nowadays.

Take responsibility for my life. Live in away that is generating heat, abundance, care, togetherness -not consuming but creating.

A mother and her mourning children

To live through the soul. The body was present but it was just a tool, a medium through which life is being injected into this environment.

No interpersonal boundaries - quite dangerous and painful nowadays when people disappear in a blink of an eye, using each other. Probably never hearing and feeling each other at all.

To believe in something - they build their lives on a certain moral system, on traditions out of which further life could spring. Life, spiking up and down, is a constant even after we are gone.

A Moldovan gesture

To never give up but change the way.

To concentrate and do tedious jobs patiently, attentively.

To walk on solid ground.

To melt the knot of fear out of which I come into open space and try to fly.

To breath the life out of me into the world.

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