I loved and I was happy. I was living my greatest love story with the man of my dreams, together we had a 2-year-old boy, and along with my elder daughter we formed a blessed family. I was singing, having concerts, living with my suitcase by the door, ready to go, but with every day passing by, I didn’t feel like singing anymore, in fact I started to feel out of place all together. It was very tiresome, the Artist and the Mother in me were battling for the supremacy, and I couldn’t reconcile them at all. In fact, looking in retrospect, I admit I hadn’t been able to do that up to that point either. The Mother in me was asking for her rights, showing excessive care, and a commitment and dedication that totally excluded the Artists in me. The Artist, when it managed to kidnap me, was brainwashing me entirely; I would forget everything that was tying me down, and I would give myself fully to the stage. Both of them were very strict and drained me of energy. I felt exhausted, tortured and I couldn’t find my happiness.
I couldn’t sleep at night, I was exhausted. One child was asking for milk, the other one – the teenager – who was extremely independent and sensitive, was asking for lots of attention and focus. Concerts didn’t bring me the joy they used to, my relationship with jazz was going from one extreme to the other. Sometimes I would actually deny it and run away from it. Excessive worries, sleepless nights. Dear mothers, I know that oftentimes you go through the same experiences. I would wake up at night because of the fears that took over me, my spine, my back and my heart were ice-cold, I was losing my trust in everything that I was. On stage I was becoming hollower and hollower on the inside. In no time at all, my doubts unsuspectedly started to disturb my peace of mind, like a mania that creeps into your soul bit by bit, and you don’t notice it until it blows up. That’s how incertitude snuck in. When I realized it was already too late. It found the right environment in my weakened mind and my dead-beat body. I doubted myself, I doubted love, music… everything. In just two or three years, I seemed to have forgotten everything, to have lost everything, I didn’t know who I was any longer. I had all the reasons in the world to be the happiest woman alive!!! And still, I felt all alone. I seemed to have lost the connection with our Source, with that seed in us that unites us all and makes us always remember who we truly are.
Inevitably, all this led to disease. I remember how I was sitting on the pavement in front of the hospital where I had been diagnosed with kidney cancer and how I was crying while people were passing by me indifferently. Life takes its course with or without our consent. It was then that I realized how small we are, and what it meant to be just a drop in the ocean. All of a sudden, a ray of hope found its way into my mind: ‘God, if you give me just a bit more of this life, help me learn how to live beautifully, as You wish! Father, teach me! I want to live beautifully!’ Suddenly I missed the sense of Love and Light. ‘I want to learn how to love’ – I told myself! This thought was magical and reveling! Time seemed to have stopped, it was just me and this thought. I want to learn how to love! I want to live beautifully!
This is how my big Journey started. I didn’t resort to pills, medical appointments, I didn’t search the Internet for similar cases, nor did I read anything on the subject. On the contrary, I turned off the computer and the phone, and I simply didn’t talk about it! I only spoke about it with my love – my soul mate on this journey, and with the ones that could help me, the therapists from Cluj, the wonderful and tireless therapists who helped me understand how I could clear my mind of all impurities. I started to take out of my diet anything that was bad for me, looking only for what was pure, and what was giving me pure energy. I started to pray and meditate. And so I set out on my journey! Questions started to pop into my mind: How can you love so much more? Who can teach us? The doors started to open one after the other. Each open door gave way to another question. I kept looking. ‘Love has to turn us from beggars into kings’ – I heard all the masters of time say. ‘It is not by begging for love that we reach perfection, but by offering love’.
But how? Where can you offer love from? What from? Which is the reservoir? How much? How can you be purified through love? How can you grow through love? Why do we forget who we are? Could this hinder us from truly loving? – The fact that we don’t know who we are anymore? Where do we come from and what is our mission? And if we don’t know what our gift is, how can we offer anything?
I was surrounded by souls who wished to help me understand, some of whom had lots of answers while others were on their own search alongside me. I was building an inner edifice with their help, and still the responsibility was all mine. I knew that we carry our own cross. I knew I was supposed to fight, I was the one who had to look for answers and to bear the responsibility for my own life. It wasn’t easy. Sometimes I managed to be curious, serene, and full of hope. Other times I felt alone and frightened, and I was under the impression I was getting lost and couldn’t find my way. But never ever did I want to give up. I fought all the time. I cancelled all my concerts and my dreams related to the stage; I didn’t utter a sound for almost a year, not even a lullaby song. I had no story to tell through song. I was searching, looking for my contour, fumbling my way through, wandering the streets of Cluj and the streets of my soul – hours, days, months on end…
One beautiful autumn day, my feet led me towards my secluded studio, where I used to study in the past few years, and where I had my encounters with music and with the Artist in me. Before, we used to meet in secret, sometimes for a fugitive hour, some other times for hours on end. But for now – no more music! I didn’t desire it any longer. I hated the Artist in me. I hated jazz. Standing in front of the door, I remembered our past encounters, the utter embrace which nobody ever managed to pierce into – such was the Artist’s passion which it used to feed on me, on my life; I never had the power to oppose it… I felt possessed.
I opened the door without a trace of emotion. Everything seemed dusty and aged. I thought it was terrible. It lacked the vibe of the past when I daily blessed the Creation with my song. In all honesty, I had completely changed myself. I opened the door of the studio, I sat on the rug, knees bent to the chest, as I did so many times before when I felt lost, and I started to cry… to cry my heart out. I hadn’t done that in a long time. I was crying and I felt I was cleansing my soul. I was mourning over everything I hadn’t fulfilled, over my dream and my burden. I felt pity for myself, and I abandoned myself to the sense of helplessness, which I had avoided so many times with such courage.
I was crying over the pain in me.
I was crying over life.
I was crying over death.
I remembered, out of the blue, a wonderful air by Johann Sebastian Bach, Air on G String. I adored it. I suddenly felt like listening to it. The music started to spread its spell throughout the room. It seemed to come from afar and it showered upon me, it enveloped me and nurtured me in a unique way only music knew how.
After a while I started to feel that I was becoming whole again, that I was beginning to reconnect with my soul, that I was held in somebody’s arms, protectively. I felt that a lot of appreciation and gratitude were flowing through my veins. That I was coming back to life. I felt so alive. It hurt, and it hurt bad. Every wound was burning, every bit of flesh… but I felt like was gaining my freedom. This deep deep pain was somehow soothing. There was nothing else for a moment, other than me and my pain. I was the pain…
Just like in a catharsis ritual, tears of pain slowly turned into tears of appreciation. I was grateful. And from gratitude came love. I felt like I loved Life once again, that I loved my children, my family and friends, music, the trees from my garden. I felt connected through an invisible thread with everything around me. I was growing on the inside from love and gratitude.
‘Yes, that’s how Love should look like’, I told myself ecstatically. ‘This is true Love. This is how we, humans, should love.’ But how could I put this into words? How could I express the tumult of happiness within my being? In fact, Bach’s wonderful Air was never sung with words, it was played. I unexpectedly and miraculously laid my eyes on a book called The Prophet, which I had read time and time again; it was resting on the rug next to me. With trembling hands I opened it to the chapter on Love. ‘Speak to us of Love’, said Almitra… ‘When love beckons to you follow him, though his ways are hard and steep’, said the Prophet.
Just like in front of a healing spring, I noticed, transfixed, how the metrics fitted, how the words were enveloped into Bach’s music. They were made for each other, they matched!!!Unbelievable! What a magical fusion between Bach, the Master of musical composition, and Gibran, the Master of the Word! What a dreamlike match between Gibran’s words onto Bach’s music, just like the right ring on the right finger. O story worthy of the brilliant mind of the great Director. Time came to a standstill, and, forgetful of anything else, I started to put the words onto music. This Air was dressed in the right words for the first time – Gibran’s words – and I was singing it. I was crying while singing. I was then singing it with joy. I was singing my new love story. I was singing it again with my soul. And while singing it I felt Love. This is how my musical Journey inside the Prophet’s world began.
That’s when I understood that Love is everywhere, on top of the mountain, in the desert, among people, in mid-day or mid-night. It is there and it lights up our lives. Without Love, life is desolate and grey. Love gives meaning to life, it shows us the way, it is our Luminary. Love comes from within us, we just need to know that it is within us and that our reservoir is full. That’s it, we should never forget that, and we should cleanse our mind from impurities, fears and doubts every day. Cleansing methods – there are plenty. Music is one of them, a direct way of cleansing our mind so that we can feel the love flowing freely.
I remember that shortly after I became aware of my thoughts, our little boy, who was four years old at the time, asked with big, innocent eyes: ‘Mom, who is God? And why is he our Father? I already have a father…’. I took his little hand in mine, and we went together in his playroom, took a big chunk of modelling clay, put a lot of sparkle on it, colored it, we made it beautiful, shiny and pleasing to the eye. I said: ‘Everyone has to discover God. But let’s assume this is God’, and I showed him the glittery piece of clay. Our boy had his eyes wide open in awe and fascination. We then went on to model various living creatures out of regular modelling clay: children (a white one, a black one, a yellow one, a child without a foot…), a tree, a bug, a snake and so on. We made a little living garden. And in each of these being we inserted a bit of the big glittery lump of clay, as deep as we could. They all carried inside of them a shiny piece, the seed of God. I told him: ‘This is what I think God did with us. He gave us a piece of Himself, to each and every one of us, to every little being. That’s why He is our Father. We are all brothers and we all have this beautiful, bright, magical side inside ourselves, regardless of what can be seen on the outside. The only thing we have to do, which is difficult at times, is to see this ray of light in every being that you meet.’ And at the end I whispered to him: ‘I think God is Love. Because where there is Love, there is God’.
This was the Prophet’s first gift. The Song about Love became the source from which the whole show developed. And it is the first act of the show.