All right. I started this post with “And so it is (almost) Christmas….” I went through “And so it is Christmas….” and I hope to be able to finish it and post it as “And so it was Christmas….” which I’m sure I will as the whole 2022 fits that description. And all this time I kept the question below unchanged.

And what have we done? It’s a good question and one that is constantly asked at this time of the year. Every year…

Even if some think talking about Christmas is politically incorrect, it’s a significant discussion and especially question and most people understand exactly that it is meant not as an offense, but as a moment of truth, evaluation, looking upon what happened with the thin hope of learning something to avoid in the future.

So, what have I, or rather we, Ana y Ram, done during 2021? The order is based on my memory, therefore random and possibly frail.

  • Discovered the beauty of life at the young age of … going on 70! The pundits from all walks of life and science tell us that this is the most creative and productive decade of human life. If we are lucky to make it! I therefore thank the universe, the force, God, Jahve, the Buddha, Allah, Krishna and so many others whom I respect even if I cannot name for allowing me to live my life and enjoy my family and friends who are still here and remember the ones who already left this world. I feel so blessed!
  • Traveled a lot. Online – mostly and offline – around the country.
  • Participated in conferences. Online.
  • Read online and offline.
  • Supported my 24 Poems book with reading tours. In real life.
  • Started to work on my new book.
  • Delivered my regular courses in the ASE/Bucharest University of Economic Studies and the University of Bucharest.
  • Developed and delivered tailor made courses for some amazing professionals.
  • Wrote some articles, some reviews, some posts and countless emails. Saw some of the older articles finally published.
  • Had the most amazing gift in a long time – my third grandson! He’s five months old and he already is an awesome young man with incredible powers of gathering a truly international crowd for his baptism. This in itself deserves a novel!

Probably the most humbling experience of all comes from the people who still think of me although I’m no longer part of their daily lives. I never thought I did anything special for them and they somehow still remember me. And then the same is true for some of my former students.

A bit of self-promotion.

And of course, there are so many things I didn’t do, though I really wanted to. But either my time management, or … who knows?!? So many books that I read and wanted to review, so many people I wanted to connect with. Maybe in 2022.


Lansez PoeziiOare

Lansare de carte “24 de PoeziiOare”, autor prof. univ. dr. Mariana Nicolae, joi, 9 sept. 2021, Muzeul Municipal Curtea de Arges, Sala Basarabilor

Volumul “24 de PoeziiOare” de Mariana Nicolae, publicat de Editura Maiko, este o apariție inedită în peisajul publicistic românesc. De ce? Pentru că este prima carte de lirică a unei autoare cu o bogată activitate publicistică academică în zona comunicării în afaceri internaționale. Mariana Nicolae a publicat ca autor unic sau ca editor peste 10 volume care vor fi expuse în timpul lansării de joi, 9 septembrie, și peste 150 de articole pe teme de comunicare, afaceri internaționale, lingvistică aplicată, leadership și comportament organizațional. Mariana Nicolae este profesor universitar doctor emerit la ASE București.

Debutul liric al Marianei Nicolae are loc la o nouă tinerețe a scriitoarei. Argeșancă prin opțiune de viață și, în prezent, locuind în orașul legendar al meșterului Manole și al iubitei lui Ana, Mariana Nicolae ne prezintă în acest volum de poezii o versiune a vieții din perspectiva unei femei moderne pentru care tehnologia și platformele sociale sunt noi modalități de exprimare.  Întrebările esențiale pe care le ridică în acest volum bilingv (română – engleză) sunt exprimate într-un limbaj ușor inteligibil intenționat ca o reîntoarcere la o formă de exprimare concentrată, esențializată care este poezia. Lucrarea se bucură de o grafică modernă care-i îmbogățește semnificațiile.

Lansarea va fi interactivă cu mesaje video, prezentări ale unor reacții de cititori internaționali și recitare de poezie în română în lectura autoarei, dar și în engleză în lectura doamnei Elzbieta Macer, Cambridge, Marea Britanie.

Lansarea se va încheia cu o sesiune de autografe și discuții libere în jurul unei cafele și a unui „vin d’honneur”.


2020 – fast forward

What did I do in 2020? I survived. And if I sound too dramatic then I’ll put it a little differently – we, me and my loved ones, we’ve been healthy and we remembered how good it is to live with the things we had around us, without the usual organizational and social pressures, without the need to have more and travel to further and as exotic places as possible.

Looking around, at the state of the world, and especially of the people, I would say that I personally had a good year. I could even say a wonderful year, but I can’t ignore the tragedies that have constantly unfolded around us.

Probably the most significant thing is that I managed to publish a tiny volume of poetry that constantly focused my energy and concentration in 2020 and, especially, it tested my ability to complete a personal project so indifferent to the rest of the world. Because the physical universe exists in itself, disconnected from and indifferent to us, and the human universe has its own laws, tough and often opaque, which can however be sometimes used to protect ourselves.

A book, especially a book of poetry, is an adventure. To write, to publish and then to make it reach its readers! I am delighted that I had the courage to embark upon this adventure. The adventure continues, obviously, but I came to a firmer ground from where I can have a glimpse of what my readers think about my efforts.

I hope to publish here some thoughts my Romanian or my international readers shared with me. Without revealing their names, of course. Why? This is a pretty intriguing story like most of the stories about our local culture. I use the term culture in its sociological sense. But I hope to develop my idea in the book of essays I am working on. I already published what some of my Romanian readers said. Now I’ll start with my Anglo-Saxon readers. I hope to translate everything into English or Romanian as the case may be.

1. Your book is a marvel! (…) I’ve sunk into the words, the thoughts, the feelings.  And I love how you set the book up, the pace, the illustrations, everything.  I usually feel bogged down by poetry as if it’s a language I never learned.  Your words speak so directly, so honestly – a simplicity that couldn’t be more powerful.

2. (…) I especially love Matrix. What really impresses me about poets is that you can convey so much with so little, in a time when we hear more and more empty talk. And what you write about is very relevant to me! Thank you! To have such talent in two languages really is awesome. (…) Your poems really mean a lot to people of our age, especially people like me who have trouble putting our thoughts and feelings into words. You’ve made something beautiful out of getting older!

3. What a wonderful surprise (…) the poems and drawings which illustrate them so well. Two poems a day. Food for thought. So lovely 💐  (…) Finished reading the last poem … Loved all of them and the beautiful illustrations. Thank you. ✒️🖊️🍹

4. … your book of poems (…) is splendid and I just love the illustrations. Many congratulations on producing it at this difficult time.

5. Thank you for the beautiful book with the beautiful poems. (…) I love reading it. It’s a beautiful collection. Great job on doing this huge amount of work as I’m sure it was.