January 13, 2011

The Letter and Cesaria Evora


My parents have gotten my letter with the enclosed pictures of our vacation in the Dominical Republic, which I have mailed at a strategic moment before Christmas. In the recent times, whenever I send some mail to my parents in Russia, I feel like a dog who forgot where she buried her favourite bone – I feel worried and uncertain. Did the bone really exist, or did I just make it up in my mind? Please don’t think that I send letters with a simple toss into the mailbox. Of course not. I stopped that act of childish naivety a long time ago. It ended when we saw a concert by Cesaria Evora in Toronto.

My faraway singing heroine, Cesaria Evora, once decided to give a concert in Toronto. I found out about it, and thought it would be great if we all went together. To say that the tickets were expensive would be to say nothing. The price seemed astronomical.

When we arrived at the concert, I realized that it was a fantastic joy, which I was going to share with my family. Even the audience seemed unlike the people you bump into every day. I think you know what I’m talking about – the atmosphere was electric.

Finally, Cesaria appeared on the stage. She was, of course, barefoot, and wearing a simple dark dress. She seemed a little tired. I thought about how she usually gives very sad interviews.

Then she started to sing. Her powerful voice washed us away into the ocean, where we found ourselves drowning.

In front of me, there was a girl with a perfectly put-together flamenco-type hairstyle, and she had a fresh red rose in her hair. The rose smelled so sweet.

At one point, Cesaria made a pause. I could feel with my whole being that she was going to perform “Besame Mucho”. I couldn’t hold it in, and so I squeaked – “ Cesaria, Besame Mucho!” And she began to sing it.

I decided to relate that whole magical experience in a letter to my parents. It was a letter that they never received. Ever since that day, I only send special-order mail, and even that gets carried away by the wind every once in a while.


  1. I love cesaria so much too ! I think it was
    a great concert and you have enjoyed it !I would too !!

  2. Oh, what a shame they never received the letter. I love Cesaria, and you write about it so beautifully.

  3. I hate the post!!! We got an email Christmas card sent 14 Dec airmail from Ireland today 13 Dec. How can it take a month!!!!!!!! DCiane

  4. How very sad that your parents never received such an important letter. I am sure they would have kept it. Mommy is still waiting for a postcard I sent from Monaca because she liked Princess Grace so much. This was sent when the Princess was still alive.

  5. Such a beautiful bittersweet post. That's one lovely thing about blogs, they can be accessed wherever you are in the world. x

  6. wow -- i adore cesaria! -- i first heard her music piping over the speakers in a tiny cafe in paris. i immediately purchased some of her music.


  7. Blogs and email, Happy Frog.

    It's always the important letters that go astray too, it seems.

  8. Yes, so sad when services relied upon do not perform. A emotion in a lost letter can never be recaptured.

    My daughter is , at present, having difficulties with an undelivered package that was sent by secure delivery. However, it is an item that can be sent again, so not in the same realm, but was her first sale from her new Etsy site.

    Thank you for sharing.

  9. This was a really beautiful post - you craeted such wonderful images - I especially loved how you talked about the rose in the hair of the lady in front of you - it felt like I was with you at your concert.

  10. I really like how you use to speak about the little things that most people don't even notice.. just like the rose. :)

  11. Wow Russian post sounds like it's French counterpart. What a shame they missed out on this wonderful story. CArla

  12. What a shame that your parents never received your letter and could share in your experience of the concert. However, I'm glad that you could share it on here. This is a lovely post.

  13. Hi marty ,
    I am positive that you would have enjoyed this concert. At the end, when Cesaria started to sing "Carnaval", so many people started to dance and sing the song together with her.

    Hi Talli,
    Cesaria is really special as person and as a singer. I would call her songs "ballads with light sorrow".

    Hi Diane,
    I wonder - does the perfect postal service really exist?

    Hi Dolly,
    I'd like to know where all our letters and postcards go after all.

    Hi Happy Frog and I,
    I love blogging for the same reason :) Unfortunately my parents despise Internet. Perhaps I should do something about that.

    Hi Susan,
    Do you like her tango Ausencia? Even with the little imagination I can see the bar, the cigar smoke and the dancing couples. She is in a red dress, of course :)

    Hi Sarah,
    No, really, what happened toall these letters? Do they read them?

    Hi aguja,
    I have never been acquainted with a person who works in the postal service. There should be some reasonable explanation. What's it like from their point of view? Material objects can't just disappear, can they?

    Hi Bth,
    There was also some funny moment when the people in the first five rows, who were all dressed up and wearing diamond jewelry, started shifting around and dancing a little at the end, just like everybody else.

    Hi Liz,
    Thank you very much for being my follower and for your comment. I think if someone put some effort into something it is supposed to mean something. And it is always interesting and rewarding.
    Like that rose, for example. It was an essential part of the whole experience.

    Hi Spangle,
    I am also glad that with a little help from blogging we can now share some special moments and thoughts with other bloggers :)

  14. Oh the letter! That's too bad. I love how you shouted out the song and got to hear it right away!

  15. Hi Lydia,
    Maybe I just wanted terribly to hear this song :)

  16. "Her powerful voice washed us away into the ocean, where we found ourselves drowning." This is such a delicious sentence Olga...perhaps you could write to them again, though your sadness is deep about the original message gone missing...it seems to me the memory is still very accessible and that it would be well worth the effort to continue to reminisce about this wonderful concert and write about it even more....so beautiful.

  17. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I really really appreciate it. I"m impressed that you still write letters, in this day and age it seems that people only text or send emails. I'm sorry your parents did not receive that wonderful letter. but will appreciate others from you.

  18. Hi Wong,
    Indeed,that is how I feel :)

    Hi LauraX,
    I wrote another letter to my parents. This time it was registered one.
    I am so incredibly pleased to see that you like my post. I am trying to wright decent and proper English. When I did it well I am very proud of myself :) This is exciting and challenging.

    Hi lilylovekin,
    Up to now my parents didn't want to use computer.
    Their idea of perfect happiness is to receive handwritten letter from me once in a while.
    Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting. Feel free to stop by whenever you like.

  19. "Her powerful voice washed us away into the ocean, where we found ourselves drowning."

    This is so beautiful!...

  20. Hi Vasile Covaciu,
    Thank you very much for popping over to my blog.
    So glad you like this post. I appreciate your encouragement very much.

  21. I'm sorry they never got the letter. I know what it feels like to be away from one's parents. My parents visit Peoria from Nigeria about 3 times a year. I miss them when they are not here. I have never written to them though. Because I'm scared they'll never receive it.
    Have a lovely day, dear.


  22. Hi tywo,
    Now I know what we have in common. We have parents that we love and miss. I think it's good that we have them.
    Have a lovely day too, and good luck with your creativity.

  23. A delightful and bittersweet story, great that you got to see this fabulous concert, but it seems the postal service is less then satisfactory.

    However, I appreciate you sharing it here today.


  24. Hi joanny ,
    I hate the fact that someone can read my private letter.
    Yes, the concert was fabulous! I can't believe that Cesaria was depressed for so many years. She is a great singer.

  25. I have liked Cesaria Evora since 1988 when I bought a cassette of her music. Luckily I was in Paris in November 2009 when she gave a concert there and saw her. It’s too bad that your parents did not get your letter – maybe it will get there late. I was just looking at a report on TV about a man who sent a postcard to his wife in 1943 during the war and she received it this week!

  26. Hi Vagabonde ,
    Most importantly is my parents know about the letter. It is a lovely story about the received letter. It gives some hope :)