An aching love



Before I left Romania, I considered myself a citizen of the world. Once I left, I became the guy from Fagaras, my hometown. I’m not talking about how other people saw me, but rather about how I saw myself.

I live in the world and rejoice at its beauties, but I still bear the scars of my people. I bear their joys and sorrows. And I bear their history. My blood still boils when I remember Nusfalau, Treznea, or Fantana Alba (for those unfamiliar with the history of Romania, these are places where Romanians were massacred by neighboring armies). It’s just a fact. It is as if I am these pains, even prior to being this traveler that I currently am. I’m not saying that my people are greater than others, but there is no place in the whole world where my heart aches more; where my heart lives more.

At times, people tell me that I have no contact with reality. That Romania has become for me some sort of icon, and so I don’t perceive the real Romania, the one in which persons are treated by their governments as numbers (and, unfortunately, we got used to treating one another as numbers as well). And I think they are right: Romania has become an icon for me, but in a different sense: just like an icon makes the Kingdom somehow present, this icon makes me present. It connects me with myself.

I am in an airport, getting ready to leave again. In some sense, to live my earthly life. And still, why does it feel that I’m dying? Every time.


About Tavi's Corner

Blogging on ancient philosophy, communist persecution in Romania (including deportation to Siberia), and Orthodox Christianity. I've translated books from Romanian to English, and I also write about them from time to time.
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2 Responses to An aching love

  1. Ingrid Schumacher says:

    my name is Ingrid and I’m writing you from Würzburg, Germany.

    What you wrote here, touched me – and brought back my last journey to Făgăraş with my parents in 2013: my father and me bringing the urn with my mother’s ashes home – to Făgăraş.

    My parents left Romania in the 1960ies, for obvious reasons and, fortunately, legal, so they could always come back.
    They settled down in Germany and travelled the world – but their heart stayed, somehow, in Romania.
    On this last journey, my father told me how my mother always got happier the closer they came to Făgăraş.

    Today, both of them are there, at the Orthodox graveyard, and though it is hard on me not to be able to visit their grave often, I’m glad that they are where their heart lived – in Romania, Făgăraş.
    Thank you for “getting” this very special, mixed emotions with your words.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ingrid, thank you for your words. You know, I always told my wife that if I die before her, she must burry me in Romania, regardless of where we are on this earth at that moment. This usually gives a moment of laughter between us, since she tells me, “You’re giving me problems even when you’re dead.” 🙂

      If you don’t mind, write to me on the Facebook page of this blog (see below), if you are on Facebook. We can then exchange emails. Who knows, we may meet in Făgăraş one of these days.


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