The Living.

In my late teenage years I made several attempts to contact the dead. I don’t remember where I got the knowledge about methodology from; in any case, I used a candle, a board with letters and numbers and a glass. With the candle burning, you had to place a glass upside down on the board, put your fingers on the glass and then extend an invitation – to a specific person or anyone who would be willing to talk. The spirit would direct the glass through the fingers of the living person, pointing to successive letters and numbers and thus formulating the message. Any attempts I took on my own had no effect; the glass remained still, the candle flame did not tremble, nothing happened. But one time I invited some friends to join me. The group was not that big, maybe six people of similar age, but diverse in other ways: gender, personality, life stories, ambitions, and so on. Not everyone knew each other very well; some relationships were close and intimate, some were short and superficial. Some relationships were secret; someone had a crush on someone else and have not revealed it yet; someone may have had a crush on someone else without even knowing it; someone despised someone else but pretended to themselves that they did not, and someone was afraid of someone but thought it was indigestion. We sat around the board and put our fingers on the glass. There was a hint of scepticism, but before anyone could express it or actually do anything, the glass started to move. It moved from letter to letter, quickly and confidently, without resistance, giving the impression of complete submission of everyone to its movements. I do not remember the words and sentences the letters formed, nor the questions we asked; some of the conversation seemed to make sense, some not at all. I did not have the feeling of the presence of anyone or anything outside our group; instead I felt a distinctly intimate, intense contact, not expressed in words, between all the living participants, with all the nuances – both revealed and undisclosed. The affections and animosities that both bound us and divided us; the inclinations, aversions and desires which, for various reasons, could not be named and expressed, suddenly revealed themselves in a centralised movement of hands and entire bodies in close contact that was forced by the situation. I had a sense of insight into the stark truth about all of us, with full awareness but without the need to begrudgingly call anything by the name. The course of the meeting was quite turbulent; we stopped several times and went back to the board and the glass; it was not a pleasant or enjoyable experience, but, I would say, extremely and frighteningly engaging. It all ended up with some people crying and shouting, and we needed to split up. We never spoke of it again.


Next week, the entire trilogy performed: Pokora [Humility], Syrena [Siren] and Drach in Tychy.


(transl. Magdalena Małek-Andrzejowska)