In love with a piece of music again.
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,
P. s. I came across a nice song writing this. Nice, isn’t it?
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,
Once upon a time there was a man called Witold Gombrowicz, and this man wrote a multitude of words, and some of these words had the power to infatuate me, stay with me and, in the long run, make me who I am.
“Man through man. Man in relation to man. Man created by man. Man strenghtened by man”[*]
These are just a sample taken out of the multitude. But they’re important to me.
They made me realize how heavy people weigh on me, and how full of shit my mind is because of their words and actions, but also how many wonderful things in life they let me discover, and how happy a person all of this makes me.
You can take it as a prayer: I just wanted to tell you, my dear multiple human maker, that you make me whenever I come in contact with you.
You make me go back to the here and now when my thoughts have wandered off and you start a conversation. Thanks; the shit’s useful.
You make me go through just the next disillusionment of my life when you’re not capable of treating me with basic respect.
You make me laugh when you tell me about somebody’s death as if it’s funny. Or when you tell me other funny things.
You make me wonder how exactly am I supposed to like this world as you let old hate repeat itself through your words and actions.
You make me an extremely rich person when you tell me stories. Thanks again; the shit tends to be amazing.
You make me want to sterilize all stupid people when I see you punish your child physically in the street.
You make me withdraw when there’s too much of you.
You make me hang on to what’s best in me and you when I see you smile.
And in the long run, you make me me, too.
[*] From Gombrowicz’s Diary, translated by Lillian Vallee. I recently discovered Marek Grechuta made a song out of these words. It’s brilliant.
All the best,
P. s. Forgive me the colours. I was feeling colourful, perhaps a bit too much.
Here is a little poem about a thing that comes with autumn and whose charm is as unclear to you as that of an autumn morning, with its coldness, and with its sunshine, and with its haziness, and with its tendency to make you wish it doesn’t go away so quickly.
Well, here I am describing and even (damn…) naming things I haven’t a clue about.
Or maybe I have. It’s the haziest clue possible, though.
she is like rain
when you hear her talk,
you could be lying on grass,
and letting her words soak you,
ground you in your field of autumns’
with autumn comes rain
Have a good day,
October has come, which means I’m going to join the crowd of strangers that walks the streets of Kraków every day.
To my mind, Kraków is a city of strangers.
They tread its streets, looking at each other the way strangers will: with uninterested interest.
They hold their breaths when a bus they’re on is full and they have to stand close by other people.
Unwanted closeness gets on their nerves, and they get out and hurriedly go home or to pursue whatever it is they’re here for.
They’re students, tourists, corporats, pensioners, schoolchildren, fugitives and idle onlookers of all sorts. Some of them have definitive aims, while others still look for something to look for.
And this city of strangers takes them in and lets them pursue whatever it is they want.
The strangeness of this city isn’t a bad thing. Strangeness means variety: variety of people, lifestyles, worldviews, and so on.
It’s just a thing I can’t get used to.
So I go on walking these streets, BOKKA’s “Town of Strangers” playing in my mind, and never stop wondering at it.
Not that it’s bad.
I’ve narrowed my world so that it looks like a
neurone: a number of dendrites around
my home, connecting me, and the
axon, leading down to hell,
and in the middle an
This poem comes from inside a bout of depression, where there was only me and everything revolved around this me, this me being depressed and all this shit — you probably know what I’m talking about.
‘Cause when you’re depressed, it really feels like you’re in the middle of a dark, dark world. And it’s hard to see anything or anyone in this dark. I mean, it can be really dark.
And you stay in the middle. In a sense, you’re always in the middle, and always everything revolves around you.
But they there may come a time when a silhouette or two becomes visible in the dark. And slowly you begin to notice more of them. People like you. And things start to emerge from the dark, too. Each of them gets a shape, and some of them you even start to want.
They revolve around you, like they always do. And having them around you, you light up.
And the incredible thing is how the dark, dark world can then brighten and widen.