Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt: Being happy does not mean hiding from trouble.

“(…)Life is an awesome gift. At first, we overestimate this gift: we think we have received it for eternity. Then, we underestimate it, we think it’s bad, too short, we might just throw it away. Finally, we realize that we did not get life as a present, but as a loan. And then we try to deserve it. I, who is 100 years old, know what I am talking about. The older you get, the more you need to prove your cleverness and good taste in order to appreciate life. You need to become exquisite (…). (Oscar and the Lady in Pink, Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt)

December the 9th 2015 is more than a cultural date in my personal calendar that I just crossed over with my pen, it is a once in a lifetime present that I never thought I was able to get in this life. At the Romanian Athenaeum it took place the conference of the internationally acclaimed French writer, Eric Emmanuel Schmitt. Ever since I saw the play 3 years ago, I felt a strong connection with his writing and I started to buy his books, which can be a pleasant company of the mind for readers of all ages, by the way. Then, the news broke that he will be coming to Bucharest, there was no way that it could be true. And it was! I was so happy to get a ticket in the top 5 rows of the Athenaeum Hall at the conference hosted by Marina Constantinescu (Romanian cultural journalist, an enchanting presence as usual). The entire high-class event was organized by Humanitas Fiction Publishing House, whose team I deeply respect for all the great work that they are doing on and on.

From many intimate points of view this seems to be one my most precious cultural memories, which actually helped me to start a small collection of objects consisting of various things that have a straight connection to my favourite theater shows of all time. I am thrilled and beyong delighted to have that!  I invite you to enjoy a few words of wisdom from the author Mr. Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, which curled up into my heart like a song : To me it is very important that my writing is different for each of my readers. I do not write for a certain kind of readers. I have studied philosophy and when I was young, I was raised by two grandmothers, who did not have the chance to go to school. I had the chance to study and to meet people from the sophisticated world, but when I write, I write for my grandmothers also. They are now dead. So, it is very important to me that my books reach out to all kinds of people, to be understood and perceived by each individual according to his or her needs, knowledge, way of living. I have noticed that our era does not enjoy happiness, bliss, as they seem to emphasize sadness. What is sadness? It’s always thinking about what’s missing in your life. There is always something missing in your life. We miss people, we miss time and we become frustrated if we are always aware of what’s missing from our lives. Being happy is grateful for existing, for what we have. We can lead a very good or a very bad life depending on how we look at it. Being happy does not mean hiding from trouble, but to incorporate pain into your daily existence. The musicians have taught me that. When I am sad and I listen to a piece by Mozart, which is also sad, then I start laughing. Why do I start laughing? Because when we are sad we are silly, stupid, we think that we are the only ones having this trouble. So when I listen to Mozart I realize that he too had known the meaning of sadness, that sadness is an universal state of mind, that there is no human life without sadness. Firstly, with Mozart, sadness is beautiful, and, secondly, if sadness is beautiful then I have to love it. 

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