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The stars and me…

Who am I? Who can truly answer? I generally dislike this question, so in order to avoid answering it, here is something I wrote when I was 16. Might give you a better idea, than just plain descriptions…

What a silence! Lying on my back, I can feel the grass touching my skin. There are no sounds; there is not a breath of wind in the still air. I am watching the stars, sharing the sight with my brother and my cousin lying next to me. We love watching the stars every summer night. Is there a view more peaceful, absorbing and fascinating than that sparkling canopy of stars? We have been romantics by nature since we were kids. Such moments are sources of pleasure and inspiration that nourish the soul. Whenever I enjoy these moments, serenity and world wisdom flood my whole being. How different I feel in the cosy shelter of the quiet field in contrast with the way I feel in the noise and haste of crowded city streets. I feel tiny and insignificant facing the Universe. In the fields I seem to blend and dissolve in nature, while in the frenetic city bustle I have the need to be assertive and powerful – in control of my life and my future. Now, as I am looking at those bright spots in the sky, a few startling questions emerge in my mind: am I trying to cherish false illusions that I have the power to control my future in the world of possessions? Have I truly achieved anything in life so far? It may seem that I am too young for such a summing-up. Still, these thoughts invade my mind and I cannot get rid of them.

The distant novas, supernovas and pulsars form different bright clusters, patterns and labyrinths. Studying them has taken us centuries and I hardly believe that we will ever get to know the whole truth. As I close my eyes the images begin to spin. The constellations acquire familiar shapes. Do I see my family…? Wonderful pictures flash through my eyes. There is my mother taking funny pictures of me. She is a professional photographer and often loves catching us by surprise – she says these are the most genuine and impressive photographs – of lasting artistic value in that they are authentic and capture a precious unfeigned moment of real life. There is my father, the artist, teaching me how to draw, explaining how the colours merge. How the images appear underneath my brush unobtrusively, unnoticeably and even unconsciously. What I love about his lessons with me is the fact that he taught me how to perceive and appreciate the world through the eyes of an artist. Thus my father managed to unfold one of my real passions in life – art. There is my brother fidgeting next to me on the grass….When I was younger I kept asking my mother why he had to be ten years older than me, why he was not younger so that we could play together. Then he would come to me smiling and kiss me on the cheek. Now I realise how wrong I have been, wanting him to be younger. Now I realise that he is perfect just as he is – smart, creative, charming. He has always been my most trustworthy friend, steady supporter and wise counsellor. We have grown up sharing the same interests: chess, skiing, swimming, and later science, politics, cinema. He would sit for hours explaining to me how to tackle complex mathematics problems.

“Hey look! There is a shooting star! Make a wish!” My cousin broke the sacred silence. If I have a kindred spirit then it must be him. My cousin is my true soul mate. We spend a lot of time together everyday. Studying, playing computer games, surfing the Internet or discussing books and films. Each new book I have read or film I have watched give me the feeling that I have met new people, seen a new world and explored a different culture. Since I love travelling, I am eager to get to know different nations with their idiosyncratic customs, traditions and values. To my regret though, I have not had the opportunity to travel a lot. If curiosity is a driving force for kids to grow and mature, then my brother, my cousin and I are certainly blessed with this innocent desire to get information straight from the horse’s mouth.

            Another falling star… Another picture zooms inside my inner eye – a theatre performance at The National Palace of Culture. My first appearance on stage. That moment really changed the flavour of my life, the appreciation of my friends and teachers. The thrill of playing different characters, the magic of lights fading in and out and the feeling of the response of the audience vibrating at the same brainwave – all these have captured my mind, nurtured my heart and unleashed my imagination. What is more, it is the stage that teaches you the right balance between team spirit and competitiveness.

            The darkness of the sky is beginning to lighten up. The stars are beginning to fade. My brother and cousin are whispering strange stories to each other. I gaze in awe at the birth of the new day, dawning with the first rays of the sun, caressing our eyes. Hopefully some day the true meaning of my life will dawn on me in the same instantaneous fashion… (Sofia, 2005)

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