"What do you drink: the water or the wave ?"
(John Fowles, The Magician)
I remember the warmth of their hands wrapping around my own little hands. I remember the pine smell of the woods. I remember the puppies living next to the mountain cabin,
for which we used to bring food each time we went to the cantina. I remember the summer sun filtered by the big trees, for me true giants.
My grandparents - God rest their souls - used to take me with them on any trip. This is how I met the Mountain. And ever since, the Mountain has remained dear to me.
And I learned to cherish its richness.
Thus, as a child and later as an adolescent, the Mountain was a way of life for me. I avoided the bars, the discos, the cigarettes, the alcohol and even the television,
finding my peace of mind in the heart of the Mountain. It is such that I met the Mountain dwellers, the peasants with their well kept traditions.
It is such that I fell in love with the real Romania.
It's true that there were different times back then. The temptations were not so many: in the dark years of the communist dictatorship the few bars and discos were popular mostly
among foreign tourists, there was hardly any choice of cigarettes and drinks, the TV program used to start at 8p.m. and finish at 10p.m. (the same day !). We hadn't heard about
drugs and prostitution. There was no Internet. The cinemas used to bring lousy movies and sometimes the power went down in the projection room and in the winter you could
freeze on your chair. The theater plays were "polluted" ideologically. Thus, the only options were the trips in nature. And then, without being conscious about it, I chose to
drink the wave, not the water.
In the meantime, the things have changed, both in good and in bad. Now it's so easy to zap your TV any time of day or night and you'll be invaded by news, advertising,
movies or music. It's so easy to go to the most primitive kiosk or gas station and choose some cigarettes or drinks. It's so easy to wander in the center of any town,
no matter how small, and still find bars and discos. It's so easy to connect to anyone in the world from any Internet café. But how easy is it to communicate truly ?
Now it's so easy to drink the water and to ignore the wave. It's simply more comfortable so.
Maybe the Mountain will save us this time as well. Maybe through him we'll know how to be again what we were meant to be. Maybe through him we'll rediscover the
communication with our fellows, their spirituality and candor, the innocence of the childhood. Maybe we'll be able to make it true that when our children and grandchildren
will be asked "What do you drink ? The water or the wave ?", they'll choose the wave without hesitation.
Sorin Cristescu, January 2006
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