“To me, an angel is a thought before thought”

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You are the author of a play called “If I Were an Angel”. So I am asking you straight: are you sorry you are not an angel?

I don’t think what I feel is regret. As a human being, I think about how would it have been like…If I were an angel in that story, I mean in that play, I would surely see other things that those characters can’t see and understand. The role of the angel hovering on the stage is to give meanings the characters in the play can’t see.

Then let’s ask the question differently: what would you do if you were an angel?

If I were a…good angel, I would stick to the job, which is well regulated. I don’t think angels exceed their job a lot, for they can’t, since their attributions are well specified and they are related to humans, that is to the man they serve. I am now writing a playing to be titled “The Secret of Angels”. I imagine that, since angels have got very precise attributions, they must have a secret too. A secret known only to them. I can just fancy it: the love between two people is the effect of the love between their guardian angels. This secret makes us, the humans, to meet each other and develop remarkable life experiences and always look for each other. Our lives effect from our angels’ searches.

How do you picture such heavenly creatures? Just like in iconography or unconventionally?

I felt tempted to provide my characters with a material representation, a visible angel-like personality. But I have concluded this is useless, for I have seen people who look like angels to me, who have got something special and make me think that what I have seen could be the very angel of that person.

In front of the Public Television building there is a troika dedicated to the memory of those who died there in the 1989 Revolution. Where do you think their guardian angel was in those moments?

That will always be a very special moment. I think the angels might not have been enough prepared to protect humans then. Those were very real times. It meant historical cost for a powerlessness that lasted for decades and maybe the most fragile of men, with their most fragile angels, perished at that time. Maybe it was those guarded by dark angels that survived…When I first stepped in the Television building I had a very strange feeling. My office is now on the 11th floor and it is the office in which all the previous presidents worked in. I feel under ceaseless strain and I can’t wait to leave this floor and move to a different building. The walls of the Television tower are loaded with something heavy. It seems that too many times the best angels were driven away or crashed by the almost inhuman misdeeds of some people, who had evil “missions” to accomplish here.

As far as you know, has there been any religious service to purify this institution?

The priests were here, but I don’t think there was held such a service for the sake of escape, in order to get all the evil strain out of the building… Something special happened when I changed the board and I appointed Titi Dinca a coordinator of TV programmes. He is a well-known creator of spiritual life programmes. There was a mocking headline in a newspaper: “No. 2 in Television is a priest”. This meanness shows that, as far as the formal management of the institution was concerned, this was a good sign that “something else” was possible.

Have you got a guardian angel whose presence you can feel?

Absolutely! I feel him like a thought before thought. He is something and someone who, before I think, thinks my thought about some deed or evaluation. This thought makes me perceive a presence surrounding me and protecting me against dangers, which are unavoidable. It is like a shirt, like something between you and the aggression you are to be subject to.

Do your children believe in angels?

Given their age, my children know things from what they read. I think only in the course of time, only when you have opened your eyes to this very harsh world, you can acquire intuition, the feeling for the idea of angel. It is very interesting to hear children talk about angels. I would remind you the story of a child who saw a tree that had been cut on a field and he exclaimed: “So no wind to blow from now in!” The idea was that he wouldn’t feel the presence of the wind directly, through the branches and leaves the wind moved…Even if they lack a theoretical consciousness, children perceive angels best.

History has it that, when the Turks were knocking on the gates of Byzantium, theologians were having a dispute over the sex of angels. Does this episode resemble the state of things in present Romania, metaphorically speaking?

Yes, it does, if we don’t transfer it as such. I think right now there is a parallel public discourse that has got nothing to do with the real problems knocking on Romania’s “gates”. There are people who want destruction, just like the Turk armies. Others are frustrated and it seems their faces are turned to angels rather than to the social life. But let me ask you a question: What was more important to the inhabitants of the city assaulted by the Turks? It seems to me that their dispute, which mattered to them, is a form of heroism, which other would call unconscious.

Why do most public persona avoid serious talk about their faith?

For two reasons. Because some pretend to be faithful, for they think this is the only way they can get “acknowledged” by the faithful people. It is a form of theatricality, they play a part, but one they don’t understand. The other form, discretion, is the one I can understand best. Faith is more discreet and private that anything else, even more than memories (and everyone has got his/ her own). I myself don’t find it easy to talk about it, even in this very moment, it is heard for me to find the words…I am not one of those who like to be seen by others and proceed to expressions of faith in sacred places. I don’t think I must necessarily express myself like a possessor of faith in a conventional manner.

What is your opinion on the import of new celebrations such as St. Valentine’s Say in Romania?

These are social bargains. They are things struggling to get some religious grounds too, but they ignore the fact that they are just commercial expressions, expressions of modernity or just another opportunity to “invent” some event. It is the mass media and the public nutrition traders that provoke them. Maybe this fake celebration being a bit of evil and not at all a bit of good. In man’s heart there is a spiritual pantheon of some holidays and rituals. If it gets too crowded, then singularity and intimacy become impossible. And there is no event any more, you just get to derision and trade charade.

Răzvan Bucuroiu, Lumea credinţei,  Year I, no. 4


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