March 22, 2017

Losing the Ties that Bind Us

It seems that these days there is a surge of the "blame game." Someone, somewhere, somehow, some when, did something to you- as a child... as a teenager... as an adult.  There's always someone to blame, and the best of the blames generally comes from the past.  (I am not talking about severe trauma, or abuse; rather the ones that everyone has to deal with at some point in their lives.) That's the problem, by blaming we lose a part of our lives.

I was struck that most people don't like to deal with how their parents, or their grandparents lived.  My family were farmers.  Nothing wrong with that, nothing at all.  They lived in Transylvania, and had lived in a small village, and work, church and extended family were the foundation, if not the end all and be all of life.

That was how they lived, and there was no margin for error, they worked for their food and they believed and held on to a religion.  People were born as farmers, and worked as that, and should they want to be anything else, this was unacceptable.  You were not an individual, but rather a part of a group trying to create food, and shelter and a living.

That's what bound them together, it was a harder life, especially in a place such as Transylvania.  There were characters in the villages and most people knew each other's business, and individuality wasn't encouraged.  In fact, in many dresses or suits, almost all the siblings would wear the same outfit.  Possibly not due to style, but due to the cost of materials for all of them.  The women tended to marry young, and have numerous children, and the men would be the providers.

Yet, now in the present, we are expected to be individuals, these strong people, full of empathy and compassions, with a higher sense of worth houses filled to the brim with stuff. We are not supposed to be as "down to earth" because we should have a sense of a style of our own, and go where the adventure lies, so that we live for the moment.

Now, not everyone feels this way, but it does make one wonder what it takes to get back to ones roots.  A good example is the art of crafts.  With many people in Transylvania, there was a strong element of traditional dresses.  Credit goes to the women who spend days and months creating these works of art.  In a sense, the art and woodworking and craftwork bound the people closer together.

The Saxons had their own style of dresses, which were worn on important or special occasions, as did the Romanians, and the Hungarians and the Jewish communities.  They all shared the common core value of community and hard work.  They all felt their community had the most positive aspects, and that they were a part of the workings of the nation they lived in.

After the Second World War, this all changed.  As many of these communities fled Transylvania, they attempted to keep the ties to the land they lived in, and in many cases loved.  However, as the population who once lived in Transylvania passes, the ties that bind us to there, or those who do not live in Transylvania become loser.  The ties are tested against a more Western culture, which values independence more than community.

The farmers lost their land, and the descendants did not have the means to learn, especially when many would immigrate to the large cities in North America or other smaller European countries.  As time has passed, we might blame them for not pushing towards a stronger community.  We might blame them for holding us back or pushing too hard.

However, in the process we create more loss instead of learning from the past and what the people of Transylvania accomplished with what they had at the time.

March 3, 2017

Credit to the Heart of the Matter

Some years are better than others when it comes to being passionate about what you love to do- even if there is a lot of "bad faith" about what you are doing.  It's great to be passionate about a subject matter, for example Transylvania, but it's also just as hard when the heart of the matter is the people whom you expect should be supportive of you are passive-agressive naysayers.

So, the passion you have isn't enough.

Wait... let's take a step back here and think logically- if this is a passion, a bit of enjoyment and a hobby do you have to prove that it's a money making business to anyone? No, you don't.

Now, if this is supposed to be a money making business, to whom do you have to prove this fact to?  Well: yourself, and your budget.  Maybe your banker but certainly not anyone else. (I can hear the "buts" already, but if your parents/grandparents/family/best buddies/whomever isn't paying the money you don't need to answer to them.)

Let's credit this to the heart of the matter.  Let's talk Transylvania, let's talk about Dracula.  Feeling like you can sit down and learn about these things?  Romanian Royalty? Hungarian nobility? Let's get back there, let's talk politics, let's talk anything about Transylvania that we should talk about.

Let's credit our passions for a place, and people to whom both readers and bloggers want to write, and  what we have to offer.  This blog is a fun place to write, and learning about Romania, and its people and history are all a part of the passion we can all have when talking about peoples and places.  It's the art of sharing the newest political information and hoping that people learn from this.

The heart of the matter?

It's all about sharing the knowledge and learning about growth as a blogger and as a person who shares information.  It's about the vocal groaning when one comes across an older, not so well written post.  It's also about this blogger wanting to give credit to people who stood by this blog for years, and still do.  It's about learning about taking some credit for both success and failure.

Finding a means to take a bit of credit?

That is looking at a bit of success, last year, 2016, was a hard year, and Things about Transylvania wasn't really written on- let's be honest, six blog posts in one year is not writing on something. Not that there wasn't passion for the blog, but rather there wasn't a drive, a feeling of success, and a feeling of knowing exactly what works, and what doesn't.  It was a year of contemplation and thought.

The blog- this blog Things About Transylvania, Romania- didn't suffer, but that was because (and a credit to) of the readers here and not because of the writers.  The fact that Transylvania is still vital and important to them means that something was good.  Let's talk a moment about the success.  It meant that at least one writer returned, and one person still found a reason to be passionate about Transylvania once more.

It means that there are more blog posts than this time last year- if only because it's the start of the year, but it's a small step.  It means that Transylvania is back to where it belongs in terms of feeling that it has a place and time for this writer to enjoy it again.

It's about doing what is once again a passion, and knowing that really it's all going to be just fine.