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 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Struggling with strength

I have been uneasy about my word for the year "strength". I have been receiving strength when I need it the most. Two weeks ago on Facebook I asked  for some inspirational quotes to make it through a difficult week. I got responses instantly and they uplifted my spirit. 

Yet, having to resolve to strength all the time feels so heavy. Contrarily to what the quote says above, the struggle never seems to end.  Just saying the word strength makes me feel tired. 

Does this mean I have chosen a wrong word? Not necessarily. Alece Ronzino, the founder of Oneword365 writes that if your word doesn’t scare you at least a little bit, it’s probably not the right word. Strength scares me. It scares me because I keep on finding the limits of my weakness and strength being pushed further than I ever thought they could be. 

But I missing  the joy strength could bring, even though I am finding so many things to be grateful for when strength comes to my rescue. 

For this moment strength and I are still negotiating.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Too early for tulips

Tulips are always sold on the streets in March.  They should make me hopeful and joyous, as a sign of spring and lightness in the air. But somehow this year they have made me feel anxious. Why do they appear on stands earlier than on the flower beds? Are these  ground tulips, or are they grown in greenhouses as mass production? Do they artificially satisfy our craving for a change of season?

And then there are the ladies selling the tulips. They look tired and worn out by life, often one stand  near the other. I brought some once for a birthday for my aunt  today and she bargained with me to buy a whole bunch. I wondered if she worked for some big chain and had to sell a sufficient number to make her daily dole. 

Somehow  tulips make me sad this year. 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

When February means November

That evening she talked about friendship in ways I had not heard her talk before. I knew she had astounding wisdom and depth of thought, but there was something honest and simple in the way she talked that night. The way she said it was sometimes difficult to open up and that she had needed a touch of friendship. 

There is that important moment in a friendship when you can mock one another gently and it won't be hurtful. She mentioned something that had happened in February but said November instead. She told me she had made that error a few times lately. I joked a bit a few times and so did she. 

It was one of the most beautiful evenings we had together.  Usually when we met we would irritate one another at some point: sometimes I could not break through her flood of words, she can not take some of the things I said in my youthful naivety.  That evening everything was calm and gentle, I hoped to remember it at other times. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The poet knows

You needn't worry that so many have written about snow
That there is nothing more to say 
There will always be the question if snow glitters or glistens 
At the poetry evening we sat with eyes wide open 
Ready to see the whiteness of the snow like never before

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Orange

We had a working meeting. He put two oranges on the desk and we started talking about business matters. A thought passed through my head that too many times I had bought sweets instead of fruits for a meeting. Usually I would tell myself how hospitable and friendly  it was to treat someone with cookies or cakes.  What if I bought them so that I could satisfy my own craving? And here there those two oranges healthy, shiny so far from my temptation.

When I offered him tea or coffee he did not want any but invited me to have an orange. I had a flash of my childhood when a beautifully peeled orange by Mom was a sign that somebody cared enough for me to arrange the peels so that they reminded of petals of a flower. 

I stayed in the office longer than him.  Upon leaving, he  told me to enjoy the orange.  A small gesture, but it brought me sudden joy, of which he  was probably not aware. Perhaps it was sheer politeness but on that dark, winter evening when I still had to push myself for an hour or more of work, it made me feel the universe cared.  And sent me an orange.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Guiding strength

I used to think strength was something I didn't have. I associated it  with endurance and heaviness. 

As this year begins think of it as something I can have when I need it.  As a resource I have within myself although I can ask for it.  

If I were a tree strength would be like those life juices you can hear if you press your head to the tree bark.

I don't feel strong, but I feel there is strength in me. 

I am also hoping strength will be something which will help me to stay creative and high-spirited.