Category Archives: Freedom

A day. A day?


Today, Sunday, is International Day to end violence against women.

Tweets abounds. Posts are liked and shared. Declarations are made.

On Monday, Maria, Mary, Miriam will endure again. Maybe even this very same Sunday. The perpetrators were unaware about the International Day. So, were Maria, Mary, Miriam. And so were their children and, perhaps, their elderly…

I can hear proponents say “But at least it’s marked and talked about”. Indeed, we talk about it. Talking is not enduring. Yesterday, today, every day, before and after 25 November.

The safety of vulnerable and freedom from violence against any human being shall be a daily affair. Not a yearly event. I also believe it is Everyone’s daily affair. The family’s affair, neighbors affair, the school’s affair, the church affair, the community’s affair…



It’s week-end time,

It’s ponytail time,

The time of a tale.
No particular tale.

Just my humble tale.
The tale of a rebel kid

With friends who  would outbid

The life’s temblors with ease.

An ease, which keeps inspiring

The love of life and beauty

With all its Tutti Frutti 🙂

Little Richard “Tutti Frutti” – all fruits, in Italian. Enjoy!


Happy hippie vegetarian dream


I haven’t seen her for about a year. She returned from a stay abroad. Her eyes are shining and sparkling now.128095142

Last time we met for a coffee she was tense, her white-collar job forcing her into a pattern many white collars follow. That time dark circles marked her eyes. Today, she was happy, calm, flawless, bright, excited, emotionally generous, ageless.

She follows her dream. A vegetarian café. Over the last half a year, she has done an internship at a vegetarian restaurant abroad, getting her hands dirty in the kitchen, in parallel to on-line courses on nutrition and business. Next on her list is an internship with a restaurants management business somewhere in Belgium.

Her mind is busy, her soul is blossoming. She follows her dream. She is over her guilt and sense of obligation to her law degree. The world is hers. Here, or there, on this continent or another, she will open a vegetarian café.

She made me think of my child. What makes children happy, makes parents happy. Even if we see our kids in a white-collar job they will want to trade one day for an apron.

Flavors: Freedom


Some things taste. Some do not.

Let’s take freedom for example. What’s the taste of freedom? Is it sweet? Is it bittersweet? Is it salty?Is it spicy? Is it taste-free?

Is it exalting? Is it burdening? Is it inspiring? Is it humbly?Is it prohibitive? Is it enchanting? Is it exuberating? Is it windy? Is it sandy?

I’ve got quite a lot of it: a metalic taste of the freedom to encarcerate people (not literally of course), a sweetlly – sweatly savor of freedom to be called a mother, an enchanting taste to beeing able to say „no!”, the windy taste of looking down from a skyscraper, a humble savor of freedom to look up to a mentor, a bittersweet tang of sipping tequilla in a prohibitive place, a spicy flavour of making love on a beach embraced by twilight…

My take on taste of freedom is that it depends on what we charge our minds with.

Our mind, and our mind only, can transform it from metalic into melting, from sweet into incarcerating, from enchanting into ‚scary to hell’, from windly into ‚down-the-earth-ish”, from humble into ‚pride-charged’, from bittersweet into sorrow, from spicy into rotten…

What’s the taste of your freedom? It’s certainly different from mine, from his, from hers. It’s yours and yours only.

Years: in Numbers and Letters.


I am 25. 2+7=7. 7 is the symbol of wisdom, some say. What is 25 compared to a 1775 Sherry  wine from Massandra Collection  sold at Sotheby’s London for $43,500 in 2002? What is 25 compared to a new born? What is 25 compared to 2500 years of Buddhism?

I am 35. 3+5=8. A nice rounded number. Put it horizontally – ∞ – and it becomes an Infinitum. What is 35 compared to my grandmother’s age of 91? What is 35 compared to my child’s 30 months? What is 35 compared to Earth’s age of 4.54 ± 0.05 billion years ? A rough 0.0000001%!

I am 45. 4+5=9. Nine is strongly associated with the Chinese dragon, a symbol of magic and power. What is 45 compared to 4500-year old Sumerian temple found in Ur? What is 45 compared to 18 Million U.S. Cancer Survivors Expected by 2022? What is 45 years compared to 14 days lived by an  average butterfly?

I am 55. 5+5=10. Biblically it is associated with  divine order. What is 55 compared to the Golden ‘Moment’ which lasted about 55,000 Years in Papua-New Guinea? What is 55 years compared to 55 seconds of the first vertical take-off manned rocket flight by Lothar Sieber? What is 55 years of life compared to compared to 55 years of marriage?

I am 65. 6+5=11. Some say it is associated with chaos. Well at 65 life can be rather chaotic, in a nice way :),  a job-free way, for example.

I am 75. 7+5=12. Jews must love this number as they associated with twelve tribes which are believed to be the major civilization foundation of God’s chosen people.  At 75 my tribe is big and growing.

I am 85. 8+5=13. I love it! Some associate number 13 it with rebelion. At 85 I am rebelious in a way that would make a 13 old  „wooow” for a month!

In a recent interview, a star was panicked by her up-coming 45th birthday. “There are 260 ways to wash dishes” (Cheryl Richardson). There a millions of ways to look at own age.

I am 95 and I am happy to continue to add numbers and letters to my life and lives of people around me.

Empowered, powerful, powerless


Empowerment – a trendy word, isn’t it? What’s actually behind it in everyday life?  Back in 1985 James C. Scott, professor at Yale University pointed out ‘power inevitably generates resistance, accommodation and strategic compliance as regular components of the politics of everyday life’.  What is essential to me is what you do with power. I came to learn about it the hard away. And I am grateful for that.

I was looking for a babysitter for my baby upon her first anniversary. Had a long list and a short list of candidates, interviewed several. At the back of my mind there was a name – a lady I knew since I was 5 years old. She used to be a caregiver in a kinder garden, two kids of her own, lived with an abusive and violent husband. She left their home once but returned upon his persistence only to live worse beatings. I followed her news only through common acquaintances.

I gave her a call. A shadow of the lively person I remembered from my childhood came to see me. We had tee in a coffee house and talked. I asked her whether she is ready to go back to work with kids (she had other jobs in the meantime). She told me she has to consult with her husband. Fine, if you have to, was my answer. She gave me a call the next day to confirm that she is coming as of next week. I took time off to let her and my baby adjust to each other, meaning I was constantly around for 3 months. I offered to pay her twice the market price for her services, in the name of ‘the best for my kid’ and out of pity for her situation. She could have rented a flat and started divorce procedures. Her two daughters , adults now, have left the house as teenagers and now even live abroad, as far as possible from the horror they lived in. One of them is disabled for life as a result of that life.

This empowerment mission of mine ended badly. I have not imagined the extent of harm her soul and mind have undergone.

My baby, who never cried during her first year of life, started shouting and biting. We also became very tense in her presence. She was constantly challenging me as a mother and wife – on the account I was still a ‘five year old girl’ she knew from past. Deceiving is how she avoided and prevented violence in her house so she started applying this tactics with us. Needless to mention the impact this had on my kid.  She wanted us to accommodate to and comply with her strategies… I was extremely furious at first, then I realized that she cannot be saved if she does not want to. If I think she lives in hell and she thinks she lives in heaven, I cannot change that. It’s a choice she made. I am powerless if she is powerless.

In was on the forth day after I restarted work that I ended our experience paying her in full and compensating for early dismissal. The bright thing about this experience is that now five women in need found employment with me. And they are happy about it. They change their lives and the lives of their kids. I am happy to have them around me and my kid. Each of them teaches me every day about loyalty, generosity, kindness. That unfortunate experience has not stopped me from sharing and empowering. The only constant I am looking for is awareness of power they have and willingness to do good, to themselves and others.

In December 2009, Marina Sturdza was attacked in Bucharest by two kids, 9 and 10 years old, when she was returning from a charity event where she managed to raise 100, 000 Euro for children in need. In her post-attack interview, she said she was not at all discouraged by the acts of the two street kids. On the contrary, she said, it shows how much still remains to be done. Clear cut lesson learned, Princess!

How did You start your day today?


This is how I started it:

a kiss, a glass of fresh juice,

a great cup of coffee with a soul mate,

a piece of home made plum cake with nuts and pépites au chocolat,

I watered my beautifully blossoming plants,

a white butterfly at my window and ……

an adventurous plunge into the beauty of world: , great work by Afterlife Artist.

Have a great day today and everyday!

I n s p i r a t i o n


I am stuck. Which road to take? Which step to take? Whom to turn to? Why do it? Is it worth it?

Questions, questions, questions springing and spinning  in my mind……

And then here is the answer:

@Andy Hooper.

Oscar Pistorius has already inspired a generation with his 400m performance, despite being a double amputee. Ellie Challs is the young girl he is racing here.

Look at her face and body laguage. It is a lively expression of ‚I can do it!” today and everyday. This is how drive, perseverance and joy of being alive look like! I could not take my eyes of her for hours!

The only limits we have are the ones we place on ourselves.

That’s it. My mind has no more questions. This image lifted my spirits to a place where I am able to deal with whatever comes my way.

Back on road! A happy ride, dear!

Stigma and a Handshake


Reading the very insightful article Generation HIV: Growing up under a shadow of infection by By Madhumita Venkataramanan on, accessed on 24 July 2012 and news on Hilary Clinton appointing U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Eric Goosby to lead the development of a blueprint that outlines U.S. goals and objectives to achieve an AIDS-free generation,  expected to be unveiled on World AIDS Day 2012, reminded me of my quasi experience with HIV people.

We were on a retreat with white collar colleagues from an international development agency in a HIV awareness campaign several years ago. Colleagues from World Health Organisation invited HIV people to talk to us. I remember quite vividly the faces of that honest open small group of people at the entrance of the room we were all gathered. They were shy, but not uncomfortable. It was us, the rest, who were more uncomfortable, in a very relaxed otherwise natural setting.

They had simple stories to tell. They were obviously in a daily persistent fight for their lives. With smiles on their faces. At the end of their story telling, one man with a dignifying expression extended his hand asking if anyone would like to shake it.

I had an urge, but that ‚socially acceptable behaviour’ voice in my head stopped me.

That hand was there, extended, for a few minutes. In vain.

One person from the audience shouted ‚ you all should be in closed camps, away from our children’. I could see the pain in those people’s eyes. Being rejected and humiliated when fighting for your life is a double punishment, don’t you think?

I am sorry for that.

Should I meet now that person, I would be the first to extend my hand and give it a firm shake.

And apologise profoundly.

P.S. a lot is done, more needs to be done on marginalization of those living with HIV, at a very basic human level, in addition to all overwhelmingly medical and epidemiological approaches at local and global level. Further reading on, ‘Legalizing’ HIV, by Devex Editor on 24 July 2012 on Launch of the U.N. Commission on HIV and the Law. By Naomi Burke-Shyne, program manager at International Development Law Organization’s HIV and health law initiative



“ – What did your dream about last night, sweetheart?

–        A prince, replies my two year old princess with a nonchalance I envy (especially when I am to respond to a large and diverse audience).”

When was it last time you had a ‘prince’ or a ‘princess’ in your dreams? And ‘never’ is not an acceptable response. Neither is “there are not enough royalty to dream about’. Because it’s not at all about that.

It’s about dreams. About wings’. About aspirations. Positive ambition. Emulation. Reverie. It’s about climbing your own Everest.  Or acquiring your own Holy Grail. Didn’t Martin Luther King start with “I have a dream…”? ….

Remember ‘Peter Pan”? His prescription is simple “all you have to do is to think of a happy little thought”.

If it does not work right away, remember :

“All it takes is a little bit of trust!’.

And here we gooooo, we can fly!

My dream? To become a goodwill ambassador for kids. So that They can Fly!