DREAMS, HOPES, CARES
After what three years in a row I failed the exam for admission to College, my dream of becoming a surgeon was shattered. Hardly I really wanted me to do so, the doctor and not any, but a neurologist. It seemed to me the highest and most difficult profession, and maybe that was the test of my life. If I succeed, I am sure I would have been an ace in the domain! I'm not boasting, I would have dedicate me, soul and body, to fulfillment of this dream, and especially to help those in need.
But destiny has disagreed with my desire. Destiny or other forces, more worldly, who did not allow to the descendent of a renegade the access to higher studies and nor any aspirations superior to the humble condition of a child of the lower class. I'm not complaining. Other people of country, intellectuals, leading politicians either managed to emigrate or were tortured in prisons, ending at the Danube-Black Sea Canal, opened specially for extermination of the elite, or, if they survived years and years in a row, obstinate to live, were released sick,old, disconcerted, powerless, only to die soon alone, quit by relatives, friends, acquaintances, by, in silencing and solitude.
And we, children, youth, we knew nothing of these horrors, contemporary with us. No one dared to speak, the walls had ears in that day and it was always someone to listen and speak forth. Even now, after more than half a century, are discovered in secret archives , reports and denounces between friends, relatives, parents and children. Instead to become more human, closer, more loving, more united, we became wicked, we alienated, more careless with the folks next to us. It was, I think, question of survival. Either you stayed quiet in place gave to you and executed, without a word uttered, or you were removed even from the ranks of anonymous. Orwell was right: the "pigs" have always existed,, exist also now and will exist ever. there are now and there will be unsuccessful. Just that they put other masks.
Not to remain for whole life unskilled laborer, type in which I tormented for a year, mostly the nights, that we work in three shifts and at 15 years old, is quiet difficult to remain awake overnight, I entered what I could, without entrance exam, only on the basis of the average of the Baccalaureate exam, pardon, "maturity exam", as it had been baptized by the Communists, the former classical name sounded too bourgeois in the ears of the working class, at a technical financial post-lyceum school, which I graduated after three years. I gave a contest for vacancies on capital and I had the good fortune to win first place, to the extent that I had the right to choose the place of work. It was the financial section of rayon/district 1 Mai, sector 2 of today.
I am not saying that it was unbearable, after I understood what it was my place in the hierarchy: the last. I listened to everyone, I did what I was asked, I didn't play truant, I finished the work on time and I've never given anyone the opportunity to complain about me at the big and very irritable heads. And then, as now, there were endless queues at the financial section. One day passing through the lobby where there were desks, I saw a handicapped man who was left to a thick queue.
I felt humiliated for lack of humanity both of queue that could leave him in the front, and also for those at the counter, who would be able to help him, that I didn't imagine that full hours no one has walked out behind counters, even to go to the toilet. So I went to the man beaten not only by fate, but also by the lack of common sense of the others, i took his documents and i solved the problem myself. Do not even know what it was, perhaps some certificate. Then, all colleagues in the office jumped with their mouth over me to tell them got I got from that man because I helped him.
Until then I neither heard that if someone made for another a service must pretend any reward. So hard I was ashamed and I got offended, the even now I didn't forgotten the shame lived then, to be suspected of a lack of humanity, to have dirtied myself demanding retribution from a worried man for a good deed, which I did without be asked by him to!
After about three years ago I asked the transfer to a high school, also as accountant. the sheet. As now, also back then, the teachers argued among themselves worse than at slum. They had not been content of how the bonuses were shared, the school headmaster, had given the order to pay as it was by the list, I've paid them, they quarreled in continuation, they went with complaints to the district education section, did scandal.
The chiefs from there were pissed and they canceled the bonuses! None wanted to return the money, nor the director had helped me in any way, just that she ordered it to pay them, so who had to take the money out of pocket? Surely I! About six months I gave back in installments one by one a quarter of my salary.
I was badly disgusted by the pettiness of people, so I asked again for a transfer, when I found a job at two weekly kindergartens for the children of working class, that the big bugs had to whom leave them. Here the children were brought on Monday morning and went home on Saturday evening. But I liked working there. I had as director a lady refugee from Cluj, since time of war, who was of humanity, and, after I managed, however, to take admission to Fine Arts, for one year I was allowed to come in the afternoon at work, in order to make a living, that I had no scholarship.
So neither with this job of accountant I didn't feel comfortable, even after 5 years, and then one day I said "ready, that's not my life!" and I succeeded at faculty, even I didn't have too much dexterity at drawing, it saved me the work at Romanian language, at which I got 10. With only 7 at drawing, nor did I felt to go to see the results, but Aunty Rina, searching fortunes with beans and said, "go, that it falls great joy!" Rushing out to catch the tram I tripped, I fell pretty bad, and I thought that this was the joy to fall to me. My luck that I had been admitted and neither the bruise has ever bothered on the road to the Institute.
Because I worked very hard to be a sedulous and working student, after I finished the first man, starting with the next, I had scholarship until I finished Institute. And, as a prize for the first year, I got a place in student camp at Pârâul Rece. It was the summer of the year l965.
x x x
There I met my future husband, George Anca. He was a student at the letters, they had started several fellow students, colleagues with him, at a circle or recital of poetry in Sinaia, and from there came to the Pârâul Rece in trip. They came to our table where we, the girls, came out to an ice cream, I think. He and a friend and colleague. We chatted, they have read from their lyrics, G. smoked my cigarettes, as if we played cards, they stayed up to about evening, when they had train to Bucharest. Before starting we have changed addresses, deciding to see us in the autumn, when we started the courses. Over the holiday we wrote a few letters and then we met and we remained friends. Over a year later, on July 3, 1966 we got married and, behold, over a month it will reach 44 years! We have reconciled very well, we have been destined one another.
It was raining that day. It is said that if it rains on your wedding will have an abundant. As the soul is concerned, so it was. We did only civil marriage. It was my father and a few of my colleagues and of his. We hadn't who knows what dressings, old but reliable, then we went home to us where we were expected by some cakes and about four to five bottles of Grasă de Cotnari, at three quarters, all arranged nicely on the table, along with Aunty Rina.
Religious marriage we managed to do only after about three years, when some friends who had emigrated in the United States came to visit and we had the wedding at the Church. They took us to a restaurant, with Aurelia and Petre, sister and brother-in/law of godmother Didi. The priest who officiated was Stephen, brother of godfather. And that was it. We received as gift from them a beautiful porcelain table service that we have kept and when our daughter married, we've given it her and her husband as a memento.
We were students both of us, I in III, he in IV. We lived from the two scholarships. And yet something more money which my father could give us without being caught by his wife. A scholarship was enough for a month canteen card. We were buying one and ate both of us. The other scholarship we used for rent, transportation, tickets to the cinema, and other food for the evening and morning. Also with the money from Dad, of course, about as much a a scholarship.
In the summer holidays I was going in practice at ceramic factories in the country. Immediately after the wedding I went to Târnăveni, for a month of practice. He also came to see me for a few days. He then left to the army for six months, I don't think we stayed together for more than two months.
We wrote every single day, months and months in a row, and we have still now the letters.
Can't say it was easy, but we succeeded to pass over frustrations and hardships by supporting one over the other. And now, in old age, is the same: together, we pass over any trouble.
In the meantime he finished the faculty before me and found work at radio, he was reporter. His salary of a beginner was not great but we have done it, especially since my dad ceased to give money. And my aunt could feed us with very little money.
But those years were beautiful.
We met daily at lunch at the cafeteria and then, if we had time and money we was walking into a coffee shop in Amza Market, where we were playing by writing poems with given, and he was buying to me also a little bunch from a Gypsy who came always at the tables: "long live to your French woman, young man. Don't you take her a flower? Look how beautiful are! "
After he took service, the mornings we went together. service, go together. My university studio's was near his service, he was leaving me at gate and went a little further. Our way passed through the Cismigiu park. It was a joy in each day, both in the spring and winter! We caught little green frogs, that, especially in the morning, they hopped on the alleys with hundreds, for a time. Then there were the trees, beautiful on any weather, were the colored flowers, cheerful birdies, what more, we started each day with the joy that we lived, that we were happy. Nor did we want more!
(From the letters.)
Up to finish faculty, every summer I had a month of practice in production, at all ceramic factories in the country. We have adapted to these breakups, we wrote daily, talk on the phone and sometimes on weekends, G.. came to see me, if he had money for trip.. Somehow passed the six years of study passed.
I must remember also teachers who have guided my first steps in the art of ceramics. One was Ion Popescu-Negreni. He taught us drawing and painting. He came to proofreading, lighted the cigarette, leaned upon in front of easel, after he puffed away noisily and with appetite, he said: “Yes,well”, or "I hate this crap, what did you want to do with this range of color?" After he shown us where we were wrong and put us to correct them, he remained with us at a coffee, talking still about works, about painters and sculptors of the time, about books, movies, exhibitions. And even when he scolded us it was without offending, he listened to our arguments, he explained us where, why and how we mistaken, just like a father. That is why we, the students, caressed him by calling him “Papa Negreni”.He pursued us also after we finished the faculty, visited all our exhibitions, and gave us hopes for the future.
Another teacher was Mac Constantinescu, painter, vanguard artist and ceramicist. It remained from him a classic artesian well, at entrance of Carol Park, which is decorated with a wonderful mosaic representing the zodiac. in a fountain at the entrance, Carol Park, which is decorated with a wonderful mosaic, representing the zodiac. Also to him we said Papa Mac, and we loved also him. He lived many years in France, before and after war, portrayed Brancusi. When we finished our degree he invited us all those nine graduates of ceramics and glass in the year 1971, to the restaurant at the ground floor of the tower block behind the former Royal Palace, treated us with goodness we no longer had eaten before, like the cheese with mold, I do not remember the name. But yes, Camembert. I did not liked neither then nor yore, what to do, I never knew to be snobby.
We had as teacher also Mrs. Zoe Băicoianu.
Rector was Mr. Ioanid.
Dean of Decorative Arts, such as our faculty was named, was Mr. Schobel. He was a good man. He helped all those who needed his support. He wanted to help me, too, intending to make me a member of the party. I told him that it would not be possible because my father had been excluded from the party, that I always had trouble because of it, but he responded that times have changed with the election of Ceausescu in the lead, that he will help me, the dean, to be accepted, because otherwise it will be very hard to go further. His disappointment was bigger than mine, when the party has rejected his proposal and, moreover, also those from the youth (Communist Youth Union) have noticed they made a general assembly on Institute and excluded me from the organization. and the youth (Communist Youth Union), have made the Institute and General Assembly have excluded and there. I did not and do not deserve trust. Didn't I deserve such an honor! Furthermore, I was humiliated in front of all colleagues of the Institute, as a lawless delinquent, who tried to fool the party of the working class. I think the dean had suffered more than me. What would they have done to him, what reprimand would have received...
With G. was another story. He had completed the faculty, wanted to get admitted to doctorate but has not been received, because was not a member of the party. He had to ask to become a member, to bring solid recommendations and, on right, full of praise. And to him, they have approved registration both in the party and to doctorate. His luck.
After I finished with my license, I was distributed somewhere in Transylvania at a glass factory. I don't remember how did I succeed to renounce ad repartition. I was lucky to find a post of "planner of new models", as were then called the designers, to the Central of Glass and Ceramic Industries, in whose subordination were all factories of all over the country.
From here starts another period of life, that of employee, which I will explain later.
But first I want to tell little of mishaps of G. with the services, that he had several, in the first years after faculty.
After completing the army, because he had in the six months as he was drafted, many articles in the army newspaper, I think it was called "Homeland defense",those from the newspaper asked him to work with them. But for it he had to become a standing military. When he heard that he will have to wear military uniform and to execute others orders all his life, he didn't want, refused. I have agreed with him, though. from the point of view of welfare, we would have gone better. But also his life, ours, would have been other,and I am sure that he chose well.
At the Glass Central I have worked about four or five long years, during which I was almost all the time on the go. Life has not been easy. I stood at the factory all day and often, when needed, and I remained overnight. I have created table services, tea, coffee, but most of all I liked to make gewgaws. At that time that there were fashionable. I have always liked delicate, fine, chased things tile and I put in them all my love for beautiful. Unfortunately it was not enough. They didn't received me in the Union of Fine Artists since works in the industry were not considered art, nor is there a section for design. I would have to have also decorative works. I had a few, but insignificant, because I've done first my job obligations bonds, which took all my time, and didn't remain also for private works. Other colleagues have been more clever, they made a single object for obligations of job, as simple as possible and without problems of distortion, job, and countless others, decorative, for exhibitions, for Fine Arts Fund. I also worked for Fund, but only those in the exhibitions were taken into account for the Union.
Fortunately I worked at Glass Central along with two colleagues and friends from College, with which I was doing, most of the time, shifting, helping to work between us and taking us from nasty.
Factory work was heavy physically. I couldn't take in consideration the pain, fatigue or indispositions. Days and nights. If there would have not been the passion and satisfaction, I don't think I would have survived without money, and sometimes without food when we were not enough the money of daily fee, which I used also when I was forced to solicit help from the workers at the factory. We were going with the projects approved, and started their transposition in reality.
We were starting by doing the casting molds, forms. Here we needed an experienced turner, which was doing first the original in plaster. After this he made the negatives at which I help either, be it even only through the preparation of gypsum. Then I carried them to the dryer. After a day, during which time they shall dry, I carried them to the foundry. To be cast, emptied, debarring, carried to drying, loaded to furnace for the first firing, downloaded, carried to glazing, rectified when needed, carried again to furnace, for the second firing, uploaded in the next day, carried to the decor, decoration was done by me, uploaded for burning the decor, downloaded, carried to decor again for corrections, if necessary, carried to the heads for reception and opinion, carried to the packaging the part which went to Central, to be seen also by my immediate bosses, carried at the depot, carried at the station, boarded on the train, descended to Bucharest, carried to the Central, unpacking, submitted to the Commission, and ready.
The problem was the quantity and weight of pieces to be handled, the pain of feet and column, due not only to the loads we carried up but also to the long time, over ten hours every day in which I stood only on feet. Why do I wonder now that I can not go further from the corner of the street without that pains to begin?
It happened sometimes that many cups, vases and other small products to disappear and if we didn't supervise the downloading, we had to do them again. So that for many nights we remained in the factory, if it happen that trollies enter late or come out during night.
Likewise went on my life in almost all the places where I worked. Only toward end, when I worked at the Court of Glass Blowers, all this process was carried out on the spot. But this was a kind of manufacture, with more pretensions, you see!
(From the letters)
In 1973, Nana, Alexandra-Maria came into the world, Alexandra-Maria Nana, bringing with her all the happiness and joy in the world! God, how much light brought with her in our lives! Her luck and ours was Aunt Rina, who loved her, cared for her, and held for her a place of mother, as she had done also for me after my mom died, in the long weeks I was gone in the delegations. Out of four weeks of the month, I lacked three from home. Also she cared for G. at the same time. And never complained. Nor for fatigue, no for pain, no for life.
1977 brought us the great turning, which made us to change not only the way we live, think, but we went on lands which normally only in books had read, on which we only were dreaming from distance, and where nor we hoped that we will get sometime.