Thursday, January 22, 2015

Sweet reminder

I was irritated today, as things did not seem to go as smoothly as planned. I went to the office and couldn't work there because of a large delivery taking a big part of the office. I did not have my computer with me, I could not go home,  as I had an appointment later on. Every night I go to sleep fretting how on earth I shall get everything done on time in the coming weeks, so it seemed like a blow to my vow, that I would manage. 

Nevertheless, I did some errands and finally decided to sit in  a cafe. In theory I was trying to make the best of the situation, in reality I absolutely wanted to complain to someone, to share my distress. I caught my friend on Facebook. I am sure he was sympathetic, but he  told me one simple thing: enjoy your moment of rest. For a brief moment I wanted to roll my eyes with disbelief. Didn't he know that the whole world was against me, that I was wasting precious time which I could not afford? But then a chord struck in me. I felt a wave of calmness coming down on me. 

As unexpected as this moment was, and even though I was still feeling anxious about catching up on time, one thing was clear. It was beautiful to have a moment in peace over coffee. It did not even occur to me I could take this moment to think, to dream or to feel the space around me. I had been so caught up in the cycle of disciplining myself to work, and resisting to it (which ended in me guiltily browsing the internet), that I did not see the gift of this moment.  I decided to saviour it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

What I miss

I miss knowing. Knowing if  this chapter is finished or not, whether I have outgrown this little space. Perhaps not yet. The funny thing is that what ever  I decide, I am able to handle it with calmess.  I think of writing here from time to time, there are  a few posts dangling in my head, waiting to be created. So perhaps still? 

 If I leave t it would not mean anything bad or tragic. I feel as if  have  passed a threshhold of writing . Although of course it pains me not to write as much as I had the ambition to, I know I shall never back away from writing. This is a glimpse of a different me, someone who believes that she will write again, and even if she says goodbye to this blog, there will be other readers, pages and challenges..

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Woman Upstairs


  [Warning: contains somewhat of a spoiler, although you can  basically  deduct it from the back jacket]

I read this book by Claire Messoud with flushed cheeks. This has also been my story to admire people so deeply and treat them with a zeal  they did not return, just as for Nora and her relationship with the Shahidis. Claire Messoud describes this kind of experience with vivid detail.

We never really learn the other side of the story, though. Were the Shahidis aware of how hurt and disappointed Nora was?  Or did they care about her in the way they could? 

In the course of the story Nora flourishes as an artist. She links it to the effect that Sirena and the ambiance around her had on her. When Sirena leaves,  her energy dies out. But what if she were able to hold on to that energy? It is no use of pretending every relationship needs to be mourned, but what if we managed to stay with what has awoken in us? 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Walking with kindness

It was a hot summer day.

Even here  the green was  juicy and ripe announcing the beginning of August.

Austwitz Birkenau is not barren land, life lives here too.

That day I walked with difficulty, trying to find the sacred silence. 

Do not think about the  blazing sun, about not catching up with the group. 

Somebody offered me an umbrella, somebody asked a bus to give me a ride. 

Life can be honoured  in this way too, by passing small acts of kindness.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

When books echo in the streets

What happens when you bring books and reading to a public space? I asked myself this question during “The Big Book Festival” in Warsaw...

You can read the rest of the story at Together in Dignity blog where I am posting today.  

Friday, June 6, 2014

Holding the net

When I saw the thread we would use for an evaluation exercise I  thought the methaphor was slightly too obvious and left no place for imagination. 

This was the end of a training on web journalism and was themed around a particular magazine. We talked a lot about how to write articles for that particular magazine, how it is structured, what the magazine should be etc. That web you see in the picture is us around the magazine, how we see the links with it, each other, the themes... What kind a network we are, and how the training changed it. 

But holding one of the thread's ends I realized there was a different web behind I saw.  I felt a part of  community of writers. 

You see I came to a training to learn some craft. What I did not anticipate however that I would meet travelers, dreamers and writers. We talked about the places we traveled to, at what time of the day we liked to write and how we searched for stories. We soaked each other's advice and laughed at the same ails we had. 

Writing is a solitary act. A regular community of fellow writers is not something I have at the moment, but whenever I meet them, at a course, workshop, around a table, my eyes shine.  Even if the meeting lasts for a moment, it gives me strength to write.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

What the meadow told me

I lied down on the grass the sun warm on my back 
Daisies winked at me, those modest little flowers, as Gradma used to call them
It all came back to me - the longing, loss and love
"Lie your cheek against me" whispered the meadow
"Delight in this quiet moment even if it hurts" 
No, the meadow did not console me 
even if poets say that's what nature does 
It  just reminded me to close my eyes, breathe and be