“Actually, It should be enough to mention only someone’s name, because to find out who one really is, it takes a lifetime, as being now is not the same thing as being before or after. But there are different habits in here, so people ask who your parents are, where you were born, how old you are, and they think that in that way they will see more and maybe even everything.” J. Saramago
I was taking a nap in a park, when the police stopped next to me and after a few casual questions they asked me where I live. Where my house is, saying precisely. After a moment of hesitation, I replied that my house is in Poland, which actually is not entirely true, because in the past few years I spent more time abroad than in the country where I was born. Two policemen nodded, but they were more meticulous than any guardians usually are.
– Where are you going to sleep that night? – they asked. – In a tent – I replied. – But where exactly? – they went on. – I don’t know. And I don’t care. Somewhere on the road I suppose. – I replied truly surprised. They gave me my passport back and wrote something in their notebook. I thought I would get a fine for vagrancy, but no, nothing happened. A few dogs that were sleeping next to me had fled a long time before the police got closer. Surely those animals may have an aversion to uniforms, and certainly they do not tolerate violent movements, but they will return, they will come back as soon as the police depart. They will lay down beside and soon they will get some leftovers alongside with the pink, nasty sausages.
There is not enough food for all of them. They would eat twice as much, or probably even more. Well, anyway I will not feed them all. Two, three, or maybe four, but no more. Maybe it would be better not to throw anything at all and to pretend that I do not see them, that I don’t see anything, especially those terribly sad eyes, in which the whole doggy world had drowned.
In his book “13 pięter” Philip Springer, a Polish writer, quoted several people who were asked to define their home.
“Zuza: Children, cats and books. In any order. (…) Darek: I had to rearrange everything myself, because I always thought that home meant family. But now I do not think in that way. I think that home is the people who are close to you, your friends. (…) Iza: I found out that the space is really unimportant. That I do not have to be attached to it. I just need to feel well in it. Then it will become home. I have felt it recently in Peruvian mountains. (…) Marta Tittenbrun: – The feeling that no one will throw you out. The pleasure of daily returns. And that you can use your own pads cups.”
My two previous books were born out of longing. “Powidoki (‘Afterimages’) grew out of a longing for the road, “Sen Powrotu” (‘Dream of Return’) out of longing for a person. Some new ideas slowly germinate, smothered by the excess of impressions, by warm hospitality, good words, beautiful scenery, tranquility and that incredibly soothing feeling that I am doing exactly what I want to do, or what I would like to do; celebrating fresh mornings in a tent, sleeping under the starry sky, confidently, like at home, where someone in the dark holds my hand, hugs, kisses for goodnight and invites good, friendly dreams.
“I do not know why I am here. Sometimes you have to come to the spring, even if the river has dried up completely.” Filip Springer