Constanța, România. German Literature Course. Rilke’s poem, Der Panther, the first poem that touched my soul.

It talks about a panther dying inside the cage. It is tired, walks in circles , the life force is draining out of it. Tired of fighting with the life inside.My heart vibrated when reading this poem. During the following years I came back to it. It attracted me in a strangely powerful way. I was tired already.

Borders, checking points, policemen still frighten me. It all started in Moldova when you couldn’t get out without a visa. One needed  a visa even for Romania, our mother land. I went to study in Romania because I felt this strong force in me pulling me towards there. This was the first physical border that I passed.

After being admitted to an university in Constanța the long night journeys in the bus started. I went back home rarely not only because  it costed a lot but also because the old woman with whom I lived and took care of (instead of paying the rent) could not be left alone. At night, waiting for hours to pass the border, having the luggage checked, being asked where  are  you headed and what are you planning  to do is not funny. For me it was terrifying because the interior loneliness became real. I could see it. It was my cage.

When the chance to start working as a model appeared I chose to try it. I  had two reasons. I wanted out of the reality and I wanted to make my parents proud. Especially my mother. I wanted to please them so that they could think about me and my sister as good children and them as good parents. And we together a happy family in a beautiful cage. Yes, I was the child trying to make the parents talk to each other again, after a fight. I was the message carrier. Did I choose that?

While far from home, working as a model in an environment which would be delighted if you lost your mind, I choose that which would’t harm me more than I already was. For example, I choose to cast or  do only the jobs that would’t affect my way on the long run even if I had the whole agency against me.  I had to go to different embassies to get permissions. I went to the Romanian embassy in Soul, the one in Shanghai. The Chinese embassy in Chisinau. I went to Hong Kong, while working in South Korea, to get permission to continue  working in South Korea. Three times.While in China I went to Macao to get another  visa for China. And to Beijing. I carried the fear inside of me everywhere. The fear of not being allowed.

A few days ago I chose to leave Zeltingen-Rachtig even if that was my chance to practice German and it was my income source also. After all, it was an easy decision to take. I did not come all this way through these years to be treated as shit or to  witness  how the Keiser is damaging other people in order to make himself feel good.

When someone doesn’t trust you, flipping through your thoughts and emotions in search of something wrong you might start feeling guilty, or start asking yourself if you should be feeling guilty. I find that the only way out of this trap it is to get clear about yourself. And you have to choose who do you become through everything you do or think.

The next morning after leaving the job in Germany I started looking for something else. My luggage was not yet ready but I was on the phone with a recruiting agency. They contacted me because I had been looking for a job even before Germany and my CV is out there. They had available jobs in Bulgaria and Portugal. My gut feeling told me not to continue in that direction.

During the following days I applied for a job related to what I have been doing before. While reading the job description I found it interesting because I would be working with Italian customers having to speak English, Italian and German. Even more, I have a fear of phone calls, talking to voices through the phone. I do not know when it started but I remember the time when it became acute. It was during the modeling days while I was using all my energy to stay alive and not jump off some bridge when I had to answer to all these calls to castings and listen to all these unknown voices. So, why am I choosing, again, to do a job which consists mostly of talking to voices? Precisely for this reason, I have to choose from a wise point of view not from the fearful one. I have to continue learning to deal with the unknown because I am still being triggered by it.

The next job is in the Czech Republic, Brno. After two interviews I was accepted.

This morning while talking with the recruiting person about the traveling details and the papers, I received a long awaited and desired opportunity to try the waters of the interpreting world. I could’t believe it. I felt happy, sorry and honored. Do these persons really think that I could be doing  the job? Am I allowed?

I had to choose. I couldn’t mess up the schedule of the Czechs even if I wanted to try and do the interpreting job. Maybe I am really capable of doing it.

I will be leaving next week for Brno. Never been there…

Is this still the cage? Or am I out?

Der Panther

Im Jardin des Plantes, Paris

Sein Blick ist vom Vorübergehn der Stäbe
so müd geworden, dass er nichts mehr hält.
Ihm ist, als ob es tausend Stäbe gäbe
und hinter tausend Stäben keine Welt.

Der weiche Gang geschmeidig starker Schritte,
der sich im allerkleinsten Kreise dreht,
ist wie ein Tanz von Kraft um eine Mitte,
in der betäubt ein großer Wille steht.

Nur manchmal schiebt der Vorhang der Pupille
sich lautlos auf -. Dann geht ein Bild hinein,
geht durch der Glieder angespannte Stille –
und hört im Herzen auf zu sein.

Shanghai, on the way to a casting


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