A Dream Within A Dream

Edgar Allan Poe was a brilliant mind, and today, writing this post, I fancy nothing else than a little poetry and some dreams of winter...

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

                                                          - A Dream Within A Dream, 1849

Chi Chi London dress // Mango stilettos // Vintage fur 


The First Snow

Oh what a frantic last month has been... For an indecisive girl like me, I’m always between places, switching between favourites and swapping preferences like scarves. Bucharest used to make me miss London, but now London makes me miss Bucharest. However, I cannot help but congratulate myself on this sudden pause where I feel no need to run away but simply, stay. Then I read this back and fear I’m writing in riddles, which makes sense I suppose, as my emotions are an endless labyrinth. 

One morning back home, I had the chance to take these lovely winter wonderland shots. Bright and early that morning, we were able to see the untouched thick layer of snow along the park that had decorated the city overnight. The sky was clear and blue, the winter sun was mild and warm. Gelid drops of dew were falling on the green turfs looking as beautiful as pearls. I was so happy to see the snow after such a long time. It started indeed to feel a little bit chilly, but I didn't mind; it was all about being back home and the warmth of the ones I loved.


Bowie - a hero not just for one day

A boundary breaker, a true artist, David Bowie's presence filled up the world with magical glitter dust. Everyone loved Bowie because you knew if it was alright for him to be David Bowie, it was just fine to be your true self. He represented everything loving, accepting and different about the it all just feels so empty...

© Thuany Gabriela/Flickr

I've never been the sort of person who mourns after the deceased. No matter how close they were to me or my family. I am among those who are most free from this emotion. It usually resulted in utter shock. This was mainly because the force of extreme sadness inevitably stunned the whole of my soul, impeding its freedom of action. It happens to us when we are suddenly struck with alarm by some extremely bad news; as my much adored writer Michel de Montaigne would put it  "we are enraptured, paralysed in all our movements in such a way that, afterwards, when the soul lets itself go with lamentations, it seems to have struggled loose, disentangled itself and become free to range about as it wishes...We cannot display our grief or our thoughts during the living scorching heat of the attack; the soul is then burdened by deep thought and the body is cast down". Such violent emotions have little hold on me. By nature, my sense of feeling has a hard skin, which I daily toughen and thicken by arguments.
However, the slight display of nausea caused by shock can still be obscurely perceived following my gaze. Especially when I found out that David Bowie - one of my biggest inspiration -  is no longer living. 

“The piece of work is not finished until the audience come to it and add their own interpretation – and what the piece of art is about is the grey space in the middle”, Bowie used to say. Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, painter, actor – considered the most flamboyant musical presence, David Bowie gave his life to art and music. David Robert Jones, by his real name, was born in Brixton, England in January 1947. He released some singles in the mid 60’s as David Jones, both as a member of numerous bands and a solo artist with little success. David Bowie’s self-titled debut was released in 1967, with his breakthrough coming two years later in 1969, Space Oddity. The early 70’s were proved to be Bowie’s most prolific and innovative period; between 1970 and 1973 he would release five ground breaking albums, with 1972 marking the debut of his influential Ziggy Stardust character. Ziggy was an image that would become an androgynous sex symbol; the songs had the pop simplicity of glam, hope to fill mass appeal, but lyrical depth that worked across the whole spectre of modern music. Bowie had positioned himself as the icon of the glam revolution, bringing inspiration to millions, from artists to regular people, offering artistic credibility and a solid image. Between 1973 and 1975 he also produced Lou Reed’s Transformer, wrote and produced Mott The Hoople’s All The Young Dudes and produced Iggy & The Stooges’ Raw Power.
In a 1993 interview he stated: “I enjoy what I’m doing and I enjoy watching other people enjoy it as well; you really feel like contributing to someone else’s life”. David has also collaborated with Trent Reznor, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Cure’s Roberts Smith, Pete Townshend, Mick Jagger, Queen, John Lennon and many others.

In 1977 he left Britain to settle in Berlin, leaving his stage characters behind. He began painting and studying art; he also developed a fascination with German electronic music resulting in his Berlin trilogy Low, Heroes and Lodger, three experimental albums driven by dissonant synthesizers and electronics.

At the beginning of the 80’s he retreated to his home in Switzerland and by the end of 1982 he took on the role of leading man in films. He played a prisoner in Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence and a rapidly aging vampire in The Hunger. In 1983 he started the Serious Moonlight world tour which put him on the road for several months performing in 50 different countries. Tickets to his shows were selling out in a matter of hours, his fans filling football stadiums.

Known as an innovator he challenged, according to David Buckley, “the core belief of the rock music and created perhaps the biggest cult in popular culture; his influence has been unique —he has permeated and altered more lives than any comparable figure”. (Buckley, 1983)

He appeared on the cover of Time and Rolling Stone confessing his heterosexuality, Bowie’s style choice now being tailored suits, spotting a healthy tan and sunny blonde hair. Thousands of suburban fans would show up at his concerts, David Bowie’s new pop music providing the perfect soundtrack to the era of Miami Vice.

After his brother committed suicide in the second half of the 80’s, Bowie was painting furiously in attempt to find salvation as an artist.

In the early 90’s a new generation of rockers turned to David Bowie for inspiration; Trent Reznor cited Bowie as a singular influence and Kurt Cobain covered some of his songs on the last Nirvana album. It was a very productive decade in his career and after remarrying he began a period of enormous creative activity. He signed with Virgin Records and produced the provocative Outside. He then challenged himself and his fans by touring with Nine Inch Nails; he returned invigorated and went straight into the studio to record Earthling, an album Rolling Stone magazine called “Bowie’s most vital music in years”. Delivering a scene-stealing performance as Andy Warhol in the film Basquiat, he was also introduced into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Although critics haven’t really payed attention to his movie career, he has been featured in more than 20 feature films, some television plays and an honoured Broadway run to his credit. David always criticised his own movie acting career saying it was a “splashing in the kids’ pool”, but his cinematic aspirations represented an important part of his expression as an artist. He was always attracted to art-house directors, very far from the usual Hollywood productions.

David Bowie was also in the editorial board of British magazine Modern Painters and launched the publishing company 21 with the intent of making art accessible to a wider audience. He worked on a Ziggy Stardust musical and launched the first artist created internet service provider – Bowienet.
Placed at number 20 in the BBC's 2002 poll of the 100 Greatest Britons, he was a true legend on the art and music scene. He sold approximately 140 million records worldwide throughout his career, being awarded nine Platinum album certifications, eleven Gold and eight Silver in the UK, as well as five Platinum and seven Gold certifications in the US.

For more than 40 years, David Bowie broke down the boundaries between theatre, painting, film and music. He always influenced young musicians and showed no signs of resting. His greatest accomplishment may have been that his innovations were eventually accepted by the mainstream he transformed. When asked about his favourite journey in a 2009 interview for Vanity Fair he replied: “the road to artistic excess is the greatest adventure”.

David Bowie’s work is about artfulness, about implication, about manifesting the enactment of rock music. “I feel like an actor when I’m on stage, rather than a rock artist”, he told Rolling Stone magazine in 1972. He wasn’t trying to bring the audience into the emotional content of his work, but to provide them the liberty of creating their own idea and debate about what he portrayed: “A lot of what is perceived as mannered performance or writing is a distancing from the subject matter to allow an audience to have their own association with what I’m writing about”. (Bowie, 1997)

Bowie and all his talented alter egos brought so much beauty and happiness into the lives of many people, not only to fans, but anyone interested in fashion, music, cinema and the art of living.

He was always willing to challenge the social and political scene, defining generations of beauty, power and wonder. Even at the edge of his life David was still making beautiful music, launching Black Star, the last album of his ‘Music God’ career, three days before his death on the 10th of January 2016.

Oscar Wilde once said “Does life imitate art or does art imitate life?”; in Bowie’s case both were equally true.

We can't measure David Bowie's success in his ability to transform himself and move on, but in his way of assisting and initiating others to proclaim identities that they had once been shamed or intimidated into denying. “Ziggy Stardust proved to be a deliverer, but David Bowie proved to be the man who delivered him” (Rolling Stone, 2016).

What makes David such a supremely fascinating artist is that “his career presents an implicit challenge to conventional notions of creative continuity” (Pegg, 2011). He will keep on inspiring the world one generation at a time. 

David Bowie was and will remain a hero…not for just one day.