Baczyński 7

I moved on. The circle repeats three times, as it practically always does. It is interesting that I cannot make this decision once and for all, but have to come to it each time anew. The repetitions vary from each other, especially the third one is different, doubled. Anyway, after the third repetition, a scene begins in which a ghost suddenly materializes somewhere high up. As if it were liquefying, condensing, gaining mass and beginning to fall towards the ground (falling back into time). Very reluctantly, at someone’s urging. He’s falling very quickly, and after a short while the ghost is at his destination, at a Christmas Eve table, with a lone woman sitting at it. It was she who called him, to witness her death. She asks him to take her with him. They talk for a moment. He is sort of grumpy, unpleasant and impatient, finding it hard to care about the fate of this world of which he is no longer a part. She quietly recalls some tragic deaths, some sons, some mothers. Blood on the snow. She asks for protection against someone’s touch or against touching someone. At dawn she is already dead. And then there is another short scene with three mysterious guests in a room with a table and a dead woman. They are looking for something. I don’t think they find it. They leave. At the end it is high and quiet again. The poem is dedicated to the Mother.

I don’t fully understand these images and I don't think I'm meant to understand them. I feel as if they were insignificant episodes in an empty, hollow universe. Or ones that are significant only locally, for a fleeting moment. Pain, fear, anger, despair are like sounds in a big, cold space where they ring out and fade away, like in a church. They concentrate for a moment in a single life and then dissipate, and that’s it.

War is a Racket – an astonishing, shocking in its time and still surprisingly current (it was published for the first time in 1935), but rather forgotten voice of Smedley Butler, a renowned general of the US “Marines”, in his critique of war as an enterprise bringing gigantic profits to a handful of the powerful and analogous extensive harm and loss to multitudes of “ordinary” people. A great warning of the coming Second Great War, ignored both in its time and now. Yet I cannot identify with the voice of holy indignation at the humanity. I see the universal “trouble” clearly as an emanation and multiplication of my own stupidity and inability not to give in to urges, sudden anger, some past regrets and grudges and so on. It may be that holy anger can be ignited when one has come to terms with oneself. Or possibly at the age of, say, Greta Thunberg, when one does not yet know that one knows nothing. But such a flame does not necessarily illuminate or warm much. Lumen non omen (?).

A nice image of trying to come to terms with oneself and the world: Wreck-It Ralph and a very successful sequel: Wreck-It Ralph Online. Friendship, betrayal, deception, stereotypes and prejudices, arriving at the truth and the relativity of this truth. A real drama. And on top of that, it’s also a very funny game that plays on its own (Disney) conventions. Very good.

(transl. Magdalena Małek-Andrzejowska)