Cisza

Cisza.

The memories of a man in his old age

Are the deeds of a man in his prime

Trzy pokolenia. I trzecie mi się wymyka, jest tuż tuż, ale zniknie zanim pojawi się

następne. Drugie rozumie już, o co chodzi trzeciemu, przyjmuje to chyba z pewną goryczą,

rezygnacją. Ja dotykam ich światów, pojawiam się i znikam, przepływam z coraz większym

szacunkiem. Mój czas płynie zupełnie inaczej, jest poszatkowany, podczas gdy ich upodabnia

się do drzewa, zapuszcza korzenie coraz głębiej i coraz rzadziej zadziera głowę do góry.

Napawało mnie to złością i strachem.

Przecież brak stymulacji jest dość przerażający. Pamiętam, jak w Rotterdamie przechodziłem

pod rzeką, długim, klaustrofobicznym i monotonnym tunelem, który sprawiał wrażenie, jakby

miał nigdy nie wychylić się ku powierzchni ziemi. Podobne wrażenia mam siedząc na

wodoodpornym prześcieradle obok dziadka patrzącego w telewizor. Kiedyś dziadek

powiedział, że nie ma go w domu, więc i tak mu obojętne, jaki widok za oknem. Nie ma go w

domu, no właśnie. Jest to o tyle trafne, co przerażające, ale zawiera w sobie ogromną dozę

świadomości. Jeśli nie ma go w domu, to gdzie jest i o co mu chodzi?

Ja zawsze myślałem, że chodzi o bycie w domu właśnie, może w roli cichego gospodarza czy

obserwatora, który przebija się coraz wyżej, przez kolejne warstwy świadomości. Ale co ja

wiem? Pewnego dnia po prostu nie ma cię w domu. To takie proste.

Zawsze uważałem, że świadoma prostota jest piękna.

Kiedyś tata, czyli przedstawiciel pokolenia Dwa, w moim rachunku, powiedział, że z czasem

wszystko cichnie. Tak, że nawet medytacja przestaje być potrzebna. Ileż można rozważać

swoje cierpienia, na litość?

A może pustka nie jest taka zła i nie ma się czego bać? Może jest po prostu niezrozumiana.

A ja się boję. Jak dziecko przed pierwszym dniem szkoły. Siedzę w pociągu i coś bym

chwycił, zajął czymś wzrok i myśli. Naprawdę ciężko dopuścić do siebie ciszę i jak się nad

tym zastanowić to trzeba się ciągle starać, żeby tego nie zrobić. Cisza czy pustka powinny być

stanem naturalnym. Ale nasze kreacje zrobiły się na tyle bezczelne i rozpasane, że nie chcą

zejść z piedestału ani na moment.

Cicho.

Ile wysiłku wymaga nie zdobywanie, a ogołacanie. Jesteśmy zdobywcami, krzyżowcami

celów i niewolnikami marzeń, na oceanie potrzeb i z wiatrem uczuć w żaglach.

Paradoksalnie, to brak wysiłku wydaje się najtrudniejszy.

Gdybym tylko mógł uwierzyć w ciszę pokolenia Trzy, byłoby mi lżej.

A może jednak?

Może jedynym, co przynosi ciszę i wolność jest śmierć.

W takim razie chwała Konstruktorowi, dobrze że wszystko jest na swoim miejscu.

Reklamy

Unphotographed Memories

There were greenish and yellowish fields passing behind the window. They were not to be walked through in the warm wind. There were some old towns spoiled with modern buildings. They were not to be ever visited in a sunny summer day. There were some pedestrians strolling along the pavements. They were to remain anonymous and unknown to her.

She dropped her gaze and looked at her watch. The bus was to be late. She wished she had power over traffic, other people and, above all, her own life. She wished she were a scriptwriter and director of what was going on around her …

“Jane, you’re not going anywhere,” her mother said firmly.

“Why not? I’m an adult now.”

“The fact that you’ve got an identity card doesn’t make an adult of you.”

“I can also vote and drink and make love.”

“Jane!”

“I’m going anyway.”

“No! You know that you can’t.”

“You’re wrong. I can and I’ll go.”

“You know you shouldn’t.”

“Oh yeah? Why shouldn’t I?” her mother remained silent and Jane went on: “Say it? What are you afraid of? Do you think that if you don’t talk about it, it doesn’t exist, it will disappear or the like?”

… and inside her.

Finally, after an eight-hour journey, the bus arrived in a remote town. It was getting darker and she did not know this place at all. Next to the station, she found a phone box and tried to call a friend of hers. Nobody answered. As she could assume, he forgot to pick her up.

“I invite you to my performance,” he said to a group of friends.

“I’ll come,” she had only recently started to make snap decisions.

Having found a crumpled piece of paper, on which there was a hand-drawn map, she shouldered her rucksack, zipped her autumn jacket and set off. Actually, she could ask about the way in three languages so there was a possibility that she would not get more lost than she had already been.

She was strolling along narrow alleys. There was a black cat sitting on a windowsill. It was piercing her with its luminous eyes as if it knew something about her that even she was unaware of. Just behind the corner, there was a homeless person lying in a sleeping bag. Jane went by carefully and tried not to gaze at him. At the end of the alley, there was a well-lighted market square with a town hall and town houses in a variety of colours. Having reached a fountain, she sat for a while on a bench. At this point, if she were a typical tourist, she should take a few pictures. But she did not have a camera. By the way, she felt that all towns were the same until she could combine them with some memories.

The town hall clock chimed half past seven. A young student wearing wire-framed glasses and a shabby sweat-shirt showed her the way to the theatre. The street was straight but seemed to be lengthening. Time was flying and she would run if she had not been out of breath already.

Despite her great effort, she came late. The bell had rung a couple of minutes ago. She looked around in despair. Seeing a feeble pale girl, the gatekeeper let her in. It sometimes pays to look childlike.

She crept into the dark room and stood in the back. Actually, she could see more standing than sitting. In the next scene, she discerned her friend, who played one of the supporting roles. But it seemed to her that he stood out against the other actors. Did she come for him?

The performance totally engrossed her, dialogues invaded her mind, music penetrated her soul. She was hypnotised by the scenes unfolding in front of her eyes. No, she did not come for him. She came for the experience itself.

“Let’s throw a party!”

She did not protest when a group of actors took her with them. After one glass of wine she felt quite dizzy. Someone was laughing. Someone was taking photos. Someone wanted to pour her more wine. Someone was cuddling up to her. After a few minutes, she felt totally giddy.

Feeling a chilly wind which was making a pass at her, she tried to move her stony legs. She was pretty sure to see some stars in a puddle. Only in a puddle because she could not raise her cumbersome head. She was also quite certain that she was guided by someone.

“Jane, you all right?”

“Dunno,” she managed to mumble.

“I’ve made some tea,” he gave her a smudgy mug.

She drank greedily and did not complain that the tea was sugared, which she normally hated. Definitely, she needed some sugar. After a while she was able to take a look at the room where she happened to come round. It was lighted with a lamp, there were lots of posters on the walls, a pile of vessels in the sink, a guitar in the corner and a radio next to the bed. Her head was still throbbing and spinning around. But she could recognize a friend of her sitting on the edge of the bed.

“Is it your place?”

“Yeah.”

“Sorry that I ruined your evening.”

“You didn’t.”

“But you had to leave and take me back.”

“I didn’t. You could sleep there on a couch.”

“So, why are we here?” she tried to prop herself on her elbows.

“I…I…it’s rather personal.”

“What do you mean by that?” she felt more sober at once.

“I don’t know how to talk about it.”

“Imagine that you act on the stage and it’s only your role.”

“Ok. So, actually, it’s quite dramatic.”

“I’m all ears,”

“I’ve fallen in love with…” he hesitated. “An actress. She played Blanche.”

“Oh. She was amazing.”

“Yeah. She is always amazing. She was at the party. But she was kissing with another actor. Actually, he is my roommate. Don’t worry. He’s not going to sleep here. Perhaps he’s not going to sleep much tonight.”

“I see…”

Should she also bare her soul to him and brag that her life was more theatrical than an ordinary one? It seemed to be a perfect occasion to act with absolute honesty. Suddenly, she felt overcome by a feeling of nausea and threw up on a dusty floor.

Next day she had to go back to her everyday reality. Her stage was a well-beaten path. Her dialogues were seriously limited and repeatable. The script of her life was deprived of any breath-taking moments.

One day she received a letter from her friend. She opened it with both curiosity and anxiety. It turned out that he sent her a few black-and-white pictures from her memorable visit.

A group of actors was posing in front of the theatre and she was among them, on the right, between two handsome men. They were having a party after their performance and she was there too, between those who played Stella and Stanley. A friend of her, who played Euinice, was singing something with the others. What did they sing? They may have been pretending. It was only a photo.

In one picture, she was kissing with Mitch – she did not know his real name. Ok, it was only a pretend kiss. They were kissing an empty wine bottle from the opposite sides. They were only acting. Still, she got a picture of her first kiss.

That town was no more an anonymous and unfamiliar place. It evoked memories and she could even keep them alive in photographs. She could if they were ever real. She might if she were still alive.

Spotkanie 5 marca 2017

Na niedzielnym spotkaniu omówiliśmy sześć tekstów. Oczarowani opowieścią Ursuli Wills-Jones prezentującą „zamiataczy czasu” („time-sweepers”) z entuzjazmem przeszliśmy do naszej twórczości. Pojawił się skrócony zapis myśli, ciekawie ukazujący działanie ludzkiej pamięci, i opowiadanie o podróży na spektakl, które wywołało długą dyskusję na temat głównej bohaterki. Nie zabrakło wyjątkowych interpretacji. Pod krytyczną lupą położyliśmy także artystyczną relację z koncertu oraz tekst o ciszy i różnicach pokoleniowych. Tak więc było trochę teatralnie ze względu na motyw przewodni „Życie to nie teatr”, a trochę w innych klimatach. Dla każdego coś dobrego.

Następne spotkanie zaplanowaliśmy na 19 marca na 19.30. Temat wykluł się z dygresji o balkonie i gołębiach, zatem: „Gołębie i inne ptaki”. Życzymy wszystkim weny i kreatywnego polotu! Do zobaczenia!

The Insistent Rhythm

Someone was stamping, running, pounding. There were coniferous trees around. Someone was stamping, running, pounding. There were sharp stones under the feet. Someone was stamping, running, pounding. There was the setting sun above. Someone was stamping, running, pounding. There was something behind. Someone was stamping, running, pounding. There were some whispers coming from the woods. Someone was stamping, running, pounding. There were blood stains being smeared on the stony ground. Someone was stamping, running, pounding. There was a vicious streak of darkness on the surface of the sun. Someone was stamping, running, pounding. Something was approaching from behind…

He woke up in a greyish room and immediately took a look at his mobile phone. It was an hour until his alarm clock started ringing. He could not fall asleep again, so he used this time to check facebook, twitter, his four e-mail accounts – one personal, another for domestic customers, still another for the foreign ones and the last one shared with members of a sports club.

Someone was wrung, stretched, pulled apart. There was a blue sky above. Someone was wrung, stretched, pulled apart. There was muddy ground beneath. Someone was wrung, stretched, pulled apart. There was a wooden wheel. Someone was wrung, stretched, pulled apart. There were birds flying between clouds. Someone was wrung, stretched, pulled apart. There were footprints left in mud. Someone was wrung, stretched, pulled apart. There were trickles of sweat all over the wheel. Someone was wrung, stretched, pulled apart. Someone was ripped…

He woke up in a dark room and reached for his mobile phone. It was the middle of the night. Night by night, he was able to sleep less and less. He could not drift into sleep again, so he used this time to check facebook, his mailboxes, his three bank accounts, the weather for the coming day and, of course, the air pollution level.

Someone was falling, plunging, disappearing. There was a starry night. Someone was falling, plunging, disappearing. There was a full moon. Someone was falling, plunging, disappearing. There were lots of residents in the high-rise block of flats. Someone was falling, plunging, disappearing. There were lights flickering in some apartments. Someone was falling, plunging, disappearing. There were pedestrians in the street. Someone was falling, plunging, disappearing. There were cars honking. Someone was falling, plunging, disappearing. Someone was smashed…

A sudden noise woke him up. He automatically grabbed him mobile phone. A customer from a different time zone phoned him. It was half past one. He knew that he would not manage to close his eyes and catch a few hours’ sleep before his alarm clock sounds.

Spotkanie 19 lutego 2017

Ferie wciąż trwają, a u nas cały czas kreatywnie: powstają teksty i nie brakuje konstruktywnych komentarzy. Wczoraj z radością przywitaliśmy dwóch nowych członków i omówiliśmy cztery opowiadania.

Pierwsze z nich to The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher – August 6th 1983 autorstwa Hilary Mantel, które z ciekawej perspektywy prezentuje wspomniane w tytule zabójstwo. Kolejne trzy, napisane przez członków naszej sekcji, poruszają różnorodne tematy: sytuację jednostek w społeczeństwie, koszmary i problemy ze snem oraz subiektywne poczucie czasu. Na spotkaniu dyskutowaliśmy więc o uniwersalności motywów i o tym, jak miejsce akcji wpływa na odbiór tekstu. Zwróciliśmy też uwagę na symbolikę masła, które później staraliśmy się przedstawić na ilustracjach. Oprócz tego zastanawialiśmy się nad tym, co dzieje się na jawie, a co nie i tu na szczególną uwagę zasługuje interpretacja z seryjnym zabójcą w roli głównej. Zakończyliśmy refleksją o organizacji czasu i dociekaniem, kim jest wspomniany w jednym z opowiadań Japończyk.

dsc09448

Następne spotkanie zaplanowaliśmy na 5 marca. Tym razem o innej porze, godz. 20. Można powiedzieć, że przechodzimy na czas wiosenny. Temat przewodni: Życie to nie teatr. W tytule maila wpisujemy nazwy sztuk teatralnych.

Do zobaczenia! Stay creative!

Meeting 8.01.2017

Welcome New Year 2017!

We began the New Year with a wonderful meeting in the winter evening. We discussed three short stories. The first was one of Sean O’Faloain’s works – an Irish story that, as one of us noted, is a dialogue between two people in a room. May sound a bit simple, but that’s how this well-structured story develops. The second was about a cat described from the perspective of a rather sad woman and it encouraged us to reflect on its simplicity and possible deeper meanings. The third was about a dog and we all agreed that its plot is very good. We also elaborated on the characters and thought about where we can take inspiration from.

Since January is a rather tough month at the university, the next meeting will be in three weeks time, on the 29th of January at 6.30 p. m. The topic covers everything connected with modern devices. See you all there!

20170110_214707

The Taste of Chocolate

1st December 2008 – her world collapsed, her dreams faded, her hopes died. Everything lied in ruins. In the evening she managed to swallow a piece of chocolate. Then, she reached for another bit and another and still another. In total, she ate three bars of chocolate – all her supplies. Her heart was broken so she had to glue its pieces together.

1st December 2009 – she woke up in Betty’s house. She did not know then that it would be a life-long and very fruitful friendship. Her head was still rolling around. It was her first real party and she got drunk for the first time in her life. Betty prepared some chocolate sandwiches for breakfast. Yeah, they needed something sweet to hide hangover.

1st December 2010 – she was in the middle of preparations for her A level exams. To put it differently, she was in the middle of dying from fear and stress. Was she really a perfect exemplar of a swot? The world around did not exist. The only aim of her life was to pass the exams with flying colours. Whatever she did, the exam was always at the back of her mind. Eating a bar of milk chocolate, she crammed and crammed and crammed.

1st December 2011 – she woke up in a bleak rented flat. It was the first year of her studies. Actually, it was only the third month of her studies. But she was already feeling unwell, fed up and overtired. She could not gather enough strength to crawl out of the bed, even though it was extremely uncomfortable. She stretched her arm out of the duvet and reached for a small piece of a meticulously wrapped bitter chocolate, which was lying on her desk. She allowed herself to it only one piece every morning.

1st December 2012 – she was shopping with her roommate. They went to a nearby supermarket to buy some bread, cheese, pasta and tomato sauce. Suddenly, it started snowing quite heavily. They came back to the dormitory in soaked coats and tried to sweep melting snow from their shopping bags before unpacking them. Her roommate was utterly distressed. What to do with her roommate? She came up with an idea and played her “Snow is falling” but, as she hated winter, snow and frost, it did not work. Or did it? Only then did her roommate suggest making hot chocolate and they enjoyed it together.

1st December 2013 – she was woken up by German conversations. Who was speaking? Ah, yeah, her flatmates. Autumn, or rather almost winter, mornings in Germany were nothing but gloomy and dark. In spite of this, she relished every minute of her student exchange in this foreign country. As it was a weekend, she and her flatmates made up their minds to bake some chocolate cookies. It was the best way to learn language, not from a coursebook but by touching, smelling and tasting ingredients.

1st December 2014 – she was roaming the streets of Guildford. The dreary streets were getting icy. Wind was getting more and more freezing. Shop windows were lit with Christmas decorations. She could almost smell chocolate brownies but she could not afford them. It reminded her that she was stony broke, hopelessly lost in her life and totally alone in this foreign country. By the way, she had nowhere to go. Or did she?

1st December 2015 – she got up in a Cracow dormitory. She had already fallen in love with this town and all people around her. She wanted to stay there forever. Her day unfolded unhurriedly as her classes started at 12 pm. She was reading a book, still lying in the bed in her pyjamas. She could not help reliving memories of yesterday: they met in front of her dormitory, went for a long walk, drunk steaming hot chocolate in a café and then kissed in the park.

1st December 2016 – she was awaken by his lingering kiss and cuddled with his strong arm. Then, she had her breakfast served to bed: a bowl of sweet porridge with melting pieces of chocolate on the top. Spooning this delicious meal, she was thinking about where she happened to be and where she could be instead. She could be travelling around the world now. She could be living in another foreign country and picking up a new language. She could be self-sufficient, independent and … gloomily lonely. Yeah, chocolate tastes good only when you can share it.