A Call to Nothing At All

Thanks to e.h., I figured out that just typing or pasting your poems into the WordPress editor isn’t the best way to have them out. Lines can get messed up. So. I resorted to Paint.

I probably shouldn’t have said that…

A Call to Nothing At All

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Say it!

I sometimes get ridiculously scared of saying something. I mean, it sometimes really is ridiculous. Like I believed something awful might happen if I say a thing.
Only thing that does happen is I sometimes start hating my stupid mouth for ever having opened. But that’s my contribution to the potential awfulness of life. No other awful thing ever really happens.
I should probably have learnt that by now but I’ll take my time.

And meanwhile I’ll say something about the potential marvellousness of life and its connection to the act of saying something.
It’s all very simple even if it takes abundant time to grasp it. Being a rather secretive person who’s been sort of checking what happens if she doesn’t say things for most of her life, I found it fucking fantastic how actually saying something changes things.

First of all, when you say what you want, you might actually get what you want. Not like, you know, from Santa or something. Santa doesn’t… oh no, I can’t say it… never mind that.
You can get what you want when you have told someone about it openly just because when you say something, it stays. Like it was hanged in the air in front of you as a reminder: you said you wanted it, and you were honest about it, weren’t you? So… go and get it! It’s like a promise you make to yourself, and it gives a lot of motivation.
What’s more, sometimes you might actually find out that you want something when you tell someone about it. I found out what I wanted to study when my bro and his ex asked me about it. Not that I’d never thought about it before. But when I only thought about it, it was all too hazy, and kind of abstract, too. Me studying translation? Nice dream, yeah. But when I told my bro and his then-girlfriend about it, I realised that‘s what I really want, and it started sounding more like a plan than a dream.

And there’s the second thing. There are only two — as I’ve said, it’s really not that complicated.
The second thing is when you tell someone what you feel, the effects will vary from awful to marvellous. They might not listen. They might not understand. They might react badly. They might understand, though. They might empathise. They’ll do whatever they fucking want, in fact, but that’s not the point! When you say what you feel, the one sure marvellous effect is that it‘s out. And feelings always feel better when they’re out.
Kept inside, they ferment, and slowly but surely you end up with a lot of intoxicating stuff inside you. And that’s not all that good, I can tell you, ’cause getting high on such stuff is no fun, plus it leads to regular delirium. And who wants that? Well, I don’t, and although in my case it requires acting completely à rebours in relation to the way I’m used to act, I try to let some of my feelings out. Air them a bit from time to time as they need it.

So. I’ve said what I had to say. Now you go and say it! Whatever it is you want to say. You can do it by replying to my post below, or you can do it whatever way you want to. Just say it!

Just Another Heart Lost in the Mountains

Tatry 150614 415[picture taken by Ania on the way down from Świnica]

It’s November, and as I’m settling down to my reading load, my writing plans, my translation homework, my travelling to and fro between home and school, my shopping, cooking and socks-washing, ugh, I’m getting nostalgic about the Tatras. Not that I’m such a great mountaineer or something. I climbed only twice this year, first time in June and then in August. Both times it was cold, hot, rainy, sunny, stormy, beautiful and, overall, great. Mountain weather. I don’t miss that: if I was getting that in Kraków on a daily basis, I would go crazy. I miss something else, though…
Here’s proof that mountains can change a person to such an extent that they sit down after returning home and write something that’s so much not their style that they later have difficulty recognising it as their own. (“I actually wrote that? Nah, can’t be. I’m not sentimental. I’m not. I’m not. I am.”) At least that’s what happened when I wrote this little piece a day after reaching the summit of Świnica in a dense fog that prevented me and my sister from getting a view — but didn’t spoil the experience anyway.


To My Heart

Oh let us talk of quiet that we know,
that we can know, the deep and lovely quiet
of a strong heart at peace!
~ D. H. Lawrence

What is this heart that has woken up in my chest? Hello, sweet heart who doesn’t fear or tremble. With all my thoughts, I love and admire you.
Are you mine? Are you for real? How come you’re so tranquil? As I climb up, how do you know every step I should take in advance? You feel safe in me as I hold on to, lean on, and embrace these rocks.
I look down and wonder where the fear of falling is. It was with me only yesterday – it was with me always. And now that chances are I’ll fall, I trust the rocks and chains, and you, my heart. ‘Cause stunning as it is, you’re mine.
When I come back to the city, I probably won’t recognize you as such any longer. I’ll look back and vaguely think I’ve left my sweet brave heart in the mountains. It’ll still be here, and it will wander endlessly from top to top.

Madness, Downplay, and Some Nice Music

I’m friends, or acquainted, with some people who are utterly mad.

For instance, they stay up and night-write novels even though they’re supposed to go to work or classes in the morning. Or they stand up and leave in the middle a party because they suddenly feel they don’t fit, and “everyone knows” that’s a sure way to end up lonely and perceived as weird. Or they obstinately study the most outrageously useless of subjects with the dull certainty that they’re not going to find a job in the future that would satisfy them. Or they get involved with someone else’s wife even though “everyone knows” that will only make them abandoned, lonely, hated fucks in the end. Or they give strangers looks of deepest sadness, glances of most unreasonable fear, or they just beam at them with happiness because they can’t restrain an emotion when travelling together on some shaky means of public transport – and that’s a complete disgrace, as well as a sign of MADNESS, ISN’T IT?

No, it isn’t, and the preceding behaviours aren’t signs of madness either. To me, they seem like actions undertaken because some emotion, or need, or passion, drove one to do that, but also ones undertaken in spite of some other people’s expectations, in spite of the fact that “everyone knows” these actions are in some way wrong.

And as far as I’m concerned, they really may turn out to be wrong, stupid, or simply great mistakes.

But on the other hand, “everyone knows” mistakes are great learning material, too, don’t they?

And there’s yet another thing: how exactly does “everyone” know if a given action is a mistake? I mean, how do you know whether someone else’s actions will prove wrong? They’re not yours, they may have a totally different meaning to them than they have for you, so far they haven’t produced any outcome and… guess what: they may not produce the outcome you expect.

Some people would call the behaviours I described at the beginning “mad”, or “irresponsible”, and they’d say the people who do that kind of stuff “don’t know what they’re doing”: “You must be mad, doing that kind of stuff. It’s so totally irresponsible of you. Do you even know what you’re doing? Have you thought about the consequences?”

To this, I can only say — sad as I am even thinking of this kind of judgemental stand — that these so-called “irresponsible” actions usually come along with much consideration; sleepless nights and drowsy days; sacrifice; sometimes suffering. And I can only say anything here on the basis of my own experience and people-watching, but I’m sure that those “irresponsible”, “mad” people do know what they’re doing, and they do think about the consequences, and sometimes very hard at that.

Sure, you can’t predict all the possible consequences. And sure, getting tips from other people on what might be the possible outcome of what you do is awesome. Personally, I love hearing people’s stories of what happened when they did this or that, how they failed, or how they became the happy people they are, or how they just learnt a new thing. I love advice, too, especially when I need it.

What I don’t love, and what makes me sad, is judgement of the “that’s irresponsible of you” type. The downplay that some people want to pull you into, and which is nothing like fun, so that I don’t even understand why I call it “play”. Because it’s actually a sad thing to engage in, no matter whether you’re the one played down, or whether it’s you who plays someone else down. It shows a lack of respect for the other person, his or her decisions and the load of fear, hope, tension, and love that may come along with these decisions. And it shows a lack of… umm, knowledge about… umm, how things work.

Because even though other people’s actions might seem mad, irresponsible, doomed to failure or otherwise wrong to you, they may work quite differently for someone else. It sounds stupid, I admit, but things just work in different ways for different people in different situations. And it would be so much more respectful to stop playing the people around you down, and accept the fact that they may just do a different kind of stuff than you, and make different sense of that stuff than you would, and get from it a different outcome than you expect.

‘Cause everyone knows that it sometimes happens that people end up as the authors of some truly amazing stuff when they give up sleep in order to write, or they just get their peace of mind, or their emotional balance, or whatever it is they need, by acting like they feel they should. Many good things may actually come out of putting those loads of fear, hope, tension, and love into our actions. And on this optimistic note I’ll finish my happy ramble.

Or no, no, no: there’s a song I wanna share. I found it yesterday evening, and it’s so, so, so awesome. Here it is: Skin by Jóga.

Have a nice day,
Mulan

„All is wrong”. To all you desperate souls out there

Despair can make you think that all is wrong.

Despair is actually quite good at that. It can make you choke on your tears in the middle of a night and feel like you’re all alone in the whole damn world, and think you’d better put an end to all of this by swallowing some pills.

Now, I’m not going to try to convince you that “it’s never that bad”. ‘Cause actually yes, actually sometimes it is that bad. ‘Cause it feels that bad.

…Nor am I going to lie to you and say you’re never alone. ‘Cause sometimes you are. Let’s face it: at some point in your life you can find yourself completely, and totally, and undeniably alone for some reasons. This kind of shit also happens.

You probably know there are dark places in people’s lives.

They’re places you later want to forget, and you may also want to deny that it was you: down there, crouching on the floor in that darkest of places, all alone, hurt, and hopeless. You may want to tell yourself that that person wasn’t you.

But it doesn’t work, does it? I mean, “becoming somebody else”, “becoming a different person”, and losing this other person, leaving him/her behind, leaving him/her for ever in that fucking dark place you don’t ever want to be in again.

I wanted to lose the person I once was that way. A girl of fourteen: left alone, scared shitless, having no sense of belonging anywhere, and later only wanting to give it all up and die. I wanted to lose her, leave her somewhere on my way. I wanted it badly, but it didn’t work.

Some time lapsed, though, and I understood that I simply can’t ever leave her like that. If I left her, she wouldn’t let me forget about herself, anyway: she would wake me in the middle of the night with her crying, and ask for my attention.

Nor can I deny that that person was me, once. ‘Cause she was, and still is a part of me. I carry her around inside me like a dead foetus. It’s a slightly disturbing experience, but I’m getting used to it.

Also, it certainly isn’t as harmful as carrying a real dead foetus inside you, so I may actually recommend it. Yes, I think that’s the whole point of this post:

Accept the person, or persons, that you once were in your life: whoever they were, in whatever condition they were, whatever they did, or whatever was done to them. They were you at some point of your own life, and even though you don’t want to be them, and see the dark they saw ever again, they deserve this acceptance. You deserve this acceptance.

Don’t leave who you once were behind: carry your dead foetuses within you. Carrying them won’t make you be like them, nor will it stop you from changing, and growing — if that’s what you want in life.

‘Cause while “becoming somebody else” and leaving who you once were behind is, to my mind, a) a very bad idea and b) impossible, change is always possible.

So give yourself a chance at that. All of you, desperate souls. You deserve this chance, and you can change. You can always change. Even if it’s “all wrong” now.

All the best,
Mulan

P. s. I came across a nice song writing this. Nice, isn’t it?

My Creepy Lab Story

Stories should make some sense at least (if poems don’t have to).

Here is one I wrote this summer, and I think that for some creepy reason I like it.

I couldn’t come up with any other “title” for it: it’s just that when I think of it, I think: “my creepy lab story”.

And… umm… whether it makes sense or not… I’ll repeat myself:

Nothing has to make sense.

Everything makes sense on some level.

Or does it?


‘You see? The consistency changes.’

In the glass container, which only accidentally resembled an incubator, dense dark-red mass was muddling. The lightest and darkest elements had already shrunk, melted and disappeared from view.

Victoria was standing beside her client and watching her out of the corner of the eye.

She wondered briefly what the woman’s reaction would be if she saw what could be seen behind the glass a few minutes before she came to the lab: a man’s eye sliding up, close to the glass pane, exploding at the top like a firework, only much more slowly, kind of waterily, and then dissolving into the background.

But Victoria was glad the woman didn’t see it. She could then have become the first person disenchanted with the method.

The way it went, the woman was fascinated. Her long black eyelashes didn’t even once flutter as she stood there motionless, and only the muscles of the angles of her mouth kept contracting slightly until at some point they began to relax into a smile.

Everybody liked watching that. It was so much more comforting than watching a casket disappear under the ground with the body hidden in it, destined to disintegrate. Or having strangers burn the body and then deliver it to you like mail order ceramics filled with ashes.

There was relief to be drawn from watching the body of a loved person mix inside the container like strawberries for a dessert, and the relief was starting to show on the woman’s face. Victoria couldn’t help admiring the beauty of it.

‘This is amazing.’

There fell a silence, one of the kind that Victoria had long ago stopped considering awkward. That’s the way it goes: people die, and their loved ones come to see them ground down. And they can’t restrain their wonder.

‘Yes, it is,’ she said softly. ‘Is that your husband, brother…?’

‘Husband. And best friend.’

The board beneath the container now showed the consistency was perfect. And so it was, Victoria couldn’t help thinking, like that of mousse. The percentages on the board were about to start changing as the mass underwent dehydration. Please say goodbye to him now. This is the last moment, she kept herself from saying. As usual, she said it in her mind instead.

A lone tear tracked down the woman’s cheek. Victoria kept herself from drying it with an open hand, whereby she could for a little while feel the long unfelt warmth of a human body.

She belonged here, to this world of cold remains minced in glass containers, the chilled world of initial utilization, a periphery of the world of the living. And on this periphery she was meant to remain.

I know what you’re feeling, she could say, but it wasn’t needed. The woman had digested the death of her husband and was standing beside her in a kind of trance; the words wouldn’t have reached her anyway.

‘That is all. The body,’ Victoria kept herself from adding, or rather what has become of it, ‘is now going to be transferred and further utilised.’

In her mind, she recalled the difficult declension of the Latin utilis. She stole one more look at the woman’s face, but there was no sign at all of her being bothered by the word “utilized”.

She kept herself from reaching the woman’s hand in a gesture of professional goodbye. But the woman half-turned to her and there was a moment when she appeared to be wanting to throw her arms around Victoria and put her head in between the lab assistant’s neck and shoulder.

‘Thank you. It was very important for me to… to say goodbye to him. I’m glad I did that,’ she said in a quiet voice, as if toned down by the experience, and left the lab.

Victoria was glad they didn’t touch.


Have a good day,
Mulan