Non passare tutta la tua vita a pianificare un’altra is the confirmation – I bumped into while strolling, in the morning of the first day, through Venice – of what my intuition has been subtly whispering to me since I was a kid.
It’s a fine line between knowing what you want in life and planning for it. Knowing what you want is a sure thing, it feels fabulous to your soul, you feel light and peace settles in just like the first snow gently settles on the ground or just like the sun sensually settles on my skin every time it sees it. Yes, every time. But planning, with planning is different and I’ve come to appreciate a good plan so much. I might not be a planner per se, but when the idea of a plan arises, the vision piercingly takes the lead. Like snow flakes or sun rays, details, then, fall into place. At times, make your heart race.
With Venice, it was my brother who initiated everything, but then Hey, the girls are not coming is what he told me as soon as I answered his call on the night before the day we were all supposed to meet. In Venice. My brother, his daughters, mom, dad and me. Isn’t this chemistry? Similar to a good laugh somewhere in the sky.
I was so hoping for a good night’s sleep, but I can’t ever – don’t want to, why would anyone want to – miss on a healthy laugh. So, I couldn’t fall asleep as planned. All of our moments with the girls, in summer, in Italy, suddenly went out the window after having been, exuberantly, popping up in the back of my mind, in my heart. This time, however, I knew everything was exactly as it was meant to be and completely surrendering was the key. To the unknown. To the sharp arrow shooting for your heart. Bam, bam, bam. Ouch. Wait, it must be Cupid! Pfew. The girls will go ew and this just might be the key to open someone’s heart. Eeew, right, right, talk to the hand or high five, your choice.
My brother has this August vacation week with his daughters planned far ahead. He’s a surgeon, his schedule is pretty strict. The girls are in a Harry Pottery kind of school, their schedule is pretty strict, remember what it felt like when you were a kid? My brother and I had been talking about places for the three of them to go to and then, one day, all of a sudden: By the way, I’ve decided, in fact arranged everything already. It’s Venice. And Venice wasn’t even on the list. Venice?! Nice. You know mom has always said ‘Venice’ whenever I asked her where did she want to go to most, right?, me. Really?, Radu. Yeah, I said and continued. And you know how mom is, she doesn’t really say what places she’d like to go to. Of course she doesn’t, we almost always surprise her. Venice is only a two hour flight away, but it’s the way it came together that made it all special and special is what, I believe, mom wished for Venice in our lives to be. Venice caught us all by surprise. Tchin-tchin!
Hm, let’s all do it then, put on your cape and talk to mom. Couldn’t wait till tomorrow, so I called dad on the spot, mom didn’t answer. They were on a completely different wave for me to even open the Venice box. The next day came and I called mom who then talked to dad and a couple of minutes later, my drive almost decided for us all. …And see the girls?! It was a no-brainer. It sounded so good. We were on. Every day is a surprise. Every time we get out the door, a surprise unfolds. Every time something flies out the window, a surprise flies into our home. A surprise opens up as soon as we open our eyes. It’s magic, yup.
It was April when we planned it all, it was a surprise to us all and we were all excited to surpriiise the girls in Venice, but life had a slightly different plan. August came in a jiffy (or in a Fiji, as I like to say) and today is the last day of summer, mamma mia! I didn’t call the parents to deliver the news on the night before the trip, nor did I tell them the next day on our way to the airport. It was a test I passed gracefully as my heart was gathering back its pieces, one. Two, I made sure everyone was still excited on board. And three, we needed to put the whole truth at once, on the table, as a family, which we did later in the evening upon our arrival, in a cozy garden. Diving deep is our specialty, Italian cuisine is theirs and the best of the best is arising now in my head just like it was then arriving on our candle lit table.
Us all happy in Venice was the vision. Laughing, holding hands, hugging and kissing, obviously, wahaha. Every time someone would ask me anything about the trip, I couldn’t even remember the date of it precisely, I just knew that it was coming. Every time it would pop up vividly in the back of mind, candidly in my heart, the vision of a puffy cloud a cartoon character was sleeping in would, too. With sensational dreams rolling above their pretty head just like a movie. A state of flow. There’s another puffy cloud glued to the puffy cloud and the cartoon character’s other half was on it. They bantered about it all and had the best time ever. Then, slept, dreamed. Together. Let’s make one big puffy cloud, though. Going with the flow is what my brother and I planned for us all to live. Life laughed, it was hot as hell, but hey, we went with it.
Stayed in line, in the sun, for quite some time, to see Basilica San Marco, for instance. I think you’ll like it when you’ll see it, girls. I left a wink somewhere in a corner of the golden domes.
But then chilled over a glass of white wine. Anytime anyone wants to take a sip, anyone first raises the glass and we all tchin-tchin, as you know we do at home all the time. Tchin-tchin-tchin-tchin. It got so tchin-tchiny, though, that your dad started to kindly ask us to do a quiet tchin-tchin. It’s hilarious how much focus a quiet tchin-tchin requires. But then we got to this 100% Marlon Brando in The Godfather restaurant and tchin-tchining was, practically, the name of the place. The gentleman serving us was from Jordan and that instantly reminded me of Coldplay’s Everyday Life Live in Jordan that we listened to a lot, at your father’s, together. The gentleman asked if I’d been to Jordan, I said no, but I saw some beautiful videos of it. He smiled enthusiastically and I’m sending him the videos via my imagination right now. There’s a possibility that he’d actually seen and listened to the whole thing. Live at sunrise and sunset! If not, this is an opportunity to look at his birthplace from a different point of view.
Man, this time we would’ve let play, I’m sure, Beyoncé’s concert. She’s on the Renaissance World Tour as we speak, her gratitude tour, as she says herself, and we would’ve all enjoyed it here and there. Who knows, maybe we’re meant to enjoy it live together, oh yeah! See? When there’s an even better plan in play, how, how, how would you not want to play? My family heard me saying we only have one life, we’d better live it so much that they’re all yeah, yeah. Kinda like you two are, now. Or are you?
As opposed to putting our lives on hold for someone who doesn’t appreciate our time and energy. Pure love, basically. It’s invisible and invaluable, we can’t ever blame anyone for not seeing it. Putting our soul first is the superpower that makes the world go round. Our presence is the present. Cupid shoots at our hearts, we shoot for the stars, same. There’s nothing wrong with us wanting to be happy. It’s our birthright, so our brain can’t be grateful and anxious at the same time. It’s when the heart outsmarts the mind. To figure out who has our best interest at heart and who hasn’t comes easy when we pay attention to it, it’s a process but if we have to do it, we totally can do it. We all do it as soon as we figure out that it’s us who are responsible to have our best interest at heart first. And then sit back, relax and have some ice cream. Like we always do. Over a movie. And cuddle or stretch or laugh. Naturally.
Venice, to me, felt like a castle, a castle you read about in books, a castle you drew when you were a kid, a castle like the one we saw a million times, as you were growing up, in Shrek. Or Frozen, Trolls, or Coco. It’s surrounded by water, it makes the most romantic fairytale authentic. The core is always the truth. It’s unique.
That’s what you are
Stilеttos kicking vintage crystal off the bar
Category: bad b*tch, I’m thе bar
Alien Superstar – Beyoncé. Can’t help myself, told ya.
John Lennon said: Being honest might not get you a lot of friends but it’ll always get you the right ones. When you constantly choose your honest self, you get in the flow, compassion comes along, you feel everyone’s energy and let it be (for the first time ever). It’s the fire intensifying in your heart that’s pushing you – and the world together with it – forward.
Going for a cool run or a quick walk to see the sun at dawn, in Venice, in summer, has a sort of sparkle attached to it. I felt like in a mystical maze all the time. Locals minding their Italian business, early in the morning, in a city that feels like an open book where history started to write itself ages ago and, as history is in the making, here we are, writing it in the present. Life in the making. Life in the clothes. So much life in one little world. Luckily, there’s also the underworld. Where we’re all – ta-da! – naked. As we live every moment in Venice, words type themselves inside the book. No cars, only boats and – ta-da! – gondolas. And I love cars and driving.
Sounds like music would squeeze in perfectly in here. It’s funny how, after a glass of white wine and the pizzazz!, we came across I Musici Veneziani, the most prestigious concert hall nel cuore di Venezia, and got tickets, on the spot, to Vivaldi’s Le Quattro Stagioni and Barocco ed Opera concert, later that night. I didn’t even stop for a second to think about the flow we were in. Everyone was complaining about the heat, that’s why. Everyone but me, wahaha. I surely felt it, but the twenty minutes of yoga in the morning might have helped, who knows. I toned down on the bravery at some point, but the enthusiasm shined through no matter what, what to do. I like to strike while the iron is hot, you get me, that’s the thing. Sometimes, though, some things need some things. Like wine does, sì, sì, so.
A gondola ride at dusk, in Venice, is not bad, either. I didn’t expect to like a gondola ride quite as I did. It caught us all, in fact, by surprise, again. Floating on water in something symbolic feels soothing on the canals of the castle. On the small ones, not on the Grand Canal, at the suggestion of the lovely staff at the hotel.
Canal Grande is best lived at dawn. You know why, why, you know why, why, because we like to do it, we like to do it, we like to do it nice and rough(!!!!!!!). Because you can also go to the fish market. Pause on Ponte di Rialto and pass by the fruit, vegetable, spices market on the way to it. It’s a buzz you can only sense early in the morning. A sort of mood. A sort of smell. A sort of tone. A sort of painting. Claude Monet painted six views of this stretch of the waterway. Six out of thirty seven works of Venice he began during 1908, on his only visit to the city. All the sense in the world or all the sense in the world?
Why do you have to be so damn unconventional all the time?, my brother, calmly, fully relaxed, sinking into his comfy chair, asked me while looking sharply into my eyes and seemingly surprised at himself for being surprised still or yet again. It’s almost midnight, it’s only us and a few other strangers on the terrace of our wonderful hotel in Venice (Radu picked for him and the girls and then – ta-da! – us), on the Thursday right before the Friday we were about to kiss goodbye for a while (yaycks), sigh, and tell each other Be smart. We talked, laughed a lot, but then I also cried (I care!!), it got to that and we didn’t even open the lovelove box, but then laughed again and I talked a lot (it almost always gets to that, people usually have to sleep, Cristina). Until the delightful blond Italian James Bond (as my brother would call the blond Italian James Bond every time he walked away after bringing us a cocktail or two, or white wine) closed the place with us two. I wore an electric blue silk dress I got on a day that seemed so random I don’t even remember the day, but it was the day I got the electric blue silk dress on, a couple of years ago, and it’s on this Thursday that I wore it first. Apart from a few times at home, this summer, after I’d bumped into it – cut all of its soft hems, of the ruffles included; a hem just does something to silk – and loved just how naked it made me feel. Free.
The night ended with him telling me You ca do and be everything you want. It was him to suggest going to an island nearby for a proper beach day, while in Venice, after all. Of course it made all the sense in the world.
When funny timing is at play and a brilliantly farfetched Tarantino twist twists, you can not not pay attention to it. So, on Wednesday, when we went to a beach on Lido, an island a twenty minutes boat ride away from Venice, a jellyfish bit me while I was carelessly enjoying the sea with your dad and mine. These things kinda love you, said my brother, intriguingly, while laughing. Yeah, guess so, said I while feeling and looking at the burn. It didn’t stop us from doing our thing forwards, but when it happened the second time around, your dad and I agreed on interesting… A wasp jellyfish wrapped around my right arm twice that day. And you know what a jellyfish bite feels like? Take a wild guess. Electricity. Literally.
Man, you would’ve liked to just be with us in the sea. Chilling. Talking. Laughing. Splashing, the whole drill. It would’ve been our first time together in the Adriatic Sea, but hey, this full proper beach day, just like when I was a kid myself, would’ve never happened if it weren’t for you, girls. And for your dad, always mindful of where to get you on vacation next, but also of how to raise you best, how to bring you in the presence of happiness, how to have all the confidence in the world, how to help you shine when he drives you to school in the morning and absolutely adores it. He doesn’t make a big deal out of anything, I know him and I know that big things are just as important as small things.
There’s something, or a lot, he’s bringing to your education from the way we were brought up; with loads of freedom. Nobody taught us about freedom. We sensed it through the power of example. Just like it was with happiness. Or greatness. We were always mingling with the adults and growing around great people. Everyone has greatness inside themselves eager to be discovered. Ninety percent of how you learn is watching great people.
One of the best things that a film director today can do for an actor is not be watching it on a monitor, not be watching it on a tv set, oftentimes in a whole other room than where the scene is taking place. We’re putting the camera right here, I’m right here, looking right at her, and here we go… Look at their eyes, see the environment around them. This is the creative part, you’re there, it’s back and forth. You’re part of the electric current that’s going on, said Quentin Tarantino. Just like it is in life, girls. Passion all over the place.
Just like water is all over Venice. The underworld with its mystery and wonder makes the boat ride back to the airport feel like a new beginning instead of the end.
We all might’ve imagined entirely different scenarios, but what brought the four of us together was, I believe, a common vision. The flow, word for word! Plus, we hadn’t had a family vacation like this one in a while – a year, hm. It was in Andorra, in the year 2000, on our road trip to the South of France and a detour to Barcelona, because hey, in the car with mom, Radu and dad driving through the morning streets of Andorra la Vella, that I first listened to Baz Luhrmann’s Sunscreen, after all. So, you never know when the miracle strikes. If you took the Albert Einstein way and see everything is a miracle, you know what I’m talking about, miracles are all around all the time. The other option is as if nothing is a miracle. Are you falling off your chair, too? Your choice. Your laugh.
Your ride. Car ride. Boat ride. Plane ride. Surf ride. Life ride. Ride Or Die. Joy ride. Alchemy.