I have no more patience for the news from Poland. The last one is that the government plans to steal the retirement savings gathered on private accounts. It wouldn't be such an enormous money in my case, perhaps some 12,000 euro, I'm not sure. The sum already decayed during the economic crisis of 2008. Overall, it is a three months' salary of a professor in western Europe; even less. But it is a question of principles.
Downtrodden, stripped of the most fundamental rights, till my very last day as a Polish citizen. If they actually take this money, if they vote the new abortion law, if they get the country out of the European Union, I promise myself that the girl without the front teeth will never speak nor write Polish again. Under no circumstance. Not a word. Never more.
For the rest, the pandemic goes on through its plateau stage, although the news of the last couple of days were a bit worse than I expected them to be. According to my epidemiological credo, there is two more days out of the 28 to survive. I treat it as a personal program. Having counted those 28 days, I promise myself to return to full activity, restart my academic work, think about posterity again:
So many years we suffered here
Our country racked with Spanish wars
Now comes a chance to find ourselves
And quiet reigns behind our doors
We think about posterity again
That's one of my Dutch battle songs. Like that swan on the painting in the Rijks Museum, I stand against the curly-coated dog to defend my nest, my life to be, my little patch of the European swamp.
Like every year, I listen to BWV 244, this is what we do for Easter in Holland. Some years, circumstances permitting, I used to do this in the Concertgebauw in Amsterdam, in the company of my Saudi husband, both of us elegantly dressed and calling forth all the sophistication of our monotheistic awareness. This year, nonetheless, Christianity tastes bitterer than ever. As I try to persuade myself, there is nonetheless a clear distinction to be made between listening to St Matthew Passion for Easter and the Polish passion of crucifying women. Sticking to the civilisation is the only response we can give to other people's choice of becoming Barbarians.
The funny thing is that the word "civilisation" is considered as not quite a polite expression among the civilised; meanwhile, the Barbarians use it with constant delight. This is precisely what they believe to defend. We simply stand fast against the curly-coated dog. Also, as I'm afraid, against the current curly-coated dogs of Middle Europe. With all the deplorable consequences for the latter.
What expects Poland in the near future is isolation and rapidly encroaching misery; the only response they are able to give is that of crucifying some more women. Facing a cataclysm, the natives of Papua New Guinea would probably devise something similar; such are the deepest layers of being human. But maybe it's time to stop caring about that. I've come here, after all, because I refused to be there.