It's more than three weeks now that I hardly move from Leiden, and, first time in many years, I close the light before falling asleep.
At a given moment, I even started to think Poland was not as bad as I believed, after all. It was quiet for a week or two. I started to think that, after all, all the discussion about depenalisation (sic!) of the domestic violence and all the debate about the marital rape might be just a paroxysm of modernisation penetrating, better late than never, intimate realities of the Poles. I heard about priests preaching in the churches that women should humbly accept being beaten, yet I started to think that was perhaps their last and most desperate attempt at keeping things under control while the reality, irrevocably, drifted away from them. I started to think that, perhaps, I could have done with just another blister of Tranxene, rather than one way ticket to the Zomia. That one day I might return, resume my work at a university in Poland.
And then they killed the president of Gdansk, with a knife, on stage, as if in a kind of barbarian sacrifice. And then I started to say dank u wel instead of thank you, because suddenly it bored through to my awareness that I'm here to stay.
And now I'm crawling laboriously from Ibn Masarra to Ibn Arabi, and thinking deeply about what exactly I want to do about them, and say, and what is my project really about. I have worries about my work, how can I bring it up to remarkable quality, how can I make myself truly visible. How can I merge with this reality without disappearing. By any means, it is not a reckless and relaxed existence, but on the other hand, not the kind of worries to make me keep the light on all night.
Playing with ideas, as I learned to do in Warsaw, is as far behind as priests preaching in churches in defence of the domestic violence. Here, in the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam, even Christianity is something different. Most importantly, in the university library, knowledge is something different. In Warsaw, we didn't have knowledge; we did not even pretended to it. We were supposed to have opinions. My older colleague was even quite positive about it. Proud of his opinions. Proud of making the students have opinions.
But what does it do to me now? As little as priests preaching domestic violence in churches.
I can only congratulate myself on my choices. Like keeping away from any Polish males for more than a quarter of a century. Like paying myself a one way ticket to the Zomia. Like choosing knowledge against opinions.