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White Wall
Reflections and painting

"Absence at the Black Sea"

Narcisa Puf

Oil on canvas. 2021.

Absence at the Black Sea

From time to time, I felt the impulse to share thoughts and feelings about my life experiences. Many times, I would take a piece of paper and a pencil, start writing one, two, three days, then I would stagnate. What good is it? I wondered. I had the sensation that every detail of my life, every experience would remain intact in my memory, and I could always be able to bring them back.


However, … The years have passed. I’ve changed and I’m still transforming myself. I’m not the same anymore. Every period of my life, every feeling and emotion, joys or conflicts, my best and worst moments, they were all unique in my existence and contributed to my development as a child, woman, wife, mother, human being. But soon after, they disappeared, they fled. They’re so far away that I can barely perceive them. I often call them, I hope to recreate them, rebuild them, I put them together piece by piece. Although, to my surprise, those moments are no longer together, united, compact in my memory. Every time there is one something else that intervenes, as unique as before; it transforms me and then leaves. It walks away and walks further away, so I can hardly chase it. I’ll call it by its name. I’m desperately trying to recreate it, rebuild it. I’m replacing it piece by piece. But, …

       My past is so far away. My childhood, my youth, the threshold I had to cross at 35, everything is far away. Then the 40, 45, and soon it will be 50. I’m in the middle of this rugged path called life and I try to express myself, to make my experiences endure…

       What is life? What’s death like? From a very young age, there has never been a single day without having a certain thought regarding them. For me…

Life looks like that beloved dessert of my childhood that was sold on every corner and was called sugar cotton candy. No matter how much you eat and enjoy, as soon as you put it in your mouth it melts at a strange speed, it becomes so small and insignificant that in the end, you’re left with only a subtle feeling of sweetness, an illusion, a chimera. For others…

      Life is an unanswered question. A flow, a river, a perpetual movement. A change. A process of becoming. Something we live in fear of, with the daily worry of not losing it and, curiously, when we lose it, we don’t feel its absence. Life is a steep slope. You’re happy when you climb and reach the top, squeamish for its aspirations and pretensions, but when you find yourself on the ridge in no time, you see the descent and the end. Life is a reality, a tragedy, or a comedy, but death? …

       We will die and see. Anyway, death is the last farewell. A definitive separation from everything you love, everything you have, everything you feel and everything you are. That’s why death seems to me to be life’s most convoluted moment.

       On September 1, 2019, my father died unexpectedly, with the same dignity and honour he expressed all his life. He was the first to leave, perhaps he wanted to give us as usual an example, and he wanted to banish our fear of death. He departed in silence, pleased with all that he had accomplished and all that he had offered.

In memory of Costica Puf (1941–2019)


Narcisa Puf
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