Surely some revelation is at hand
Yeats, The Second Coming
By the end of the coming week, we will know if I was right or wrong about Poland. If anything happens, or the country goes on patiently grinding its History as usual. I asked my husband how I should feel, if the events prove that I came here in vain. It's 1000 euro less in my pocket, and the regret that I could have spent that empty time more pleasantly, reading my books, playing with my toys, switching candles, taking long baths in my Jacuzzi. Don't be silly, he said. It was the right decision to take precautions, even if the catastrophic event does not come. We shouldn't reclaim the catastrophe only to justify the cost of our caution.
What is the probability of an authoritarian takeover right now? The chaos surrounding the presidential election has only grown bigger over the past couple of days; there is no clear solution to envision, and even harder to imagine that sort of postal plebiscite, alien to all civilised rules, might actually take place in a week from now. Meanwhile, there is a sensation of quietness as the scenario of a pandemic danse macabre didn't come true. People from "Gazeta Wyborcza" seem to pay less attention to History, as if released from its grip. They cultivate their usual intellectual style, that mixture of cheap humanities and strange conceptions that exist only in Poland; no one else understands them. On the other hand, I have the feeling that the chaos-generating actions of the two leaders of the right have been concerted. They are simply playing a spectacle of rivalry for the naive eyes of the Poles; the opposition is only dancing, in a macabre, disarticulated way, to the music played by the ghostly fiddler. No one would say that, at seven days notice, we sink.
Or not. In any case, Polish history should be no business of mine, since I paid a good money to see myself out of it. I also feel released from the grip of Time. The days flow quick, as I do nothing, read some of those Polish articles and see travel documentaries in Arabic alternately. I uncoil, forgetting that I have an academic career to make, a life to rebuild. There will be time for this soon, when oil starts to flow again. Meanwhile, I will eat my cod fish with cream.
I saw a documentary about preppers in the UK (I wouldn't see one about those of the USA). Overall, they are mild maniacs; we are worse than them. My husband bought a flat in Antalya in fear of the conflict with Iran, and specifically, in fear that the water distribution networks would be targeted. My choice of the Netherlands in the time of incoming Polish draught follows the same ancestral logic. Higher ground is for us a wetter ground. Although of course, the wetter ground of Holland might be catastrophic in the opposite sense, and I promise myself an inflatable boat, a life jacket, a provision of canned food and bottled water as soon as I get my new house. Those British preppers on the clip targeted 18 months of shortage, since they feared an outburst of anarchy after a political turnover (gosh, if I followed their logic, I would have to hoard supplies for some 30 years!); in the Netherlands, I wouldn't need more than the food for a week or a fortnight, since this is what it would take to evacuate us all, if the digs were broken, or I would sail southwards, to Europe, on my inflatable boat...
By the way, I also liked a documentary on Al-Jazeera, "Thailand's last resorts", about care homes for Western people. I liked the idea very much. I would really like to spend my dementia years up there, among butterflies. Once I settle in the Netherlands and start to earn a good money, there must be ways to arrange this. I'm not crazy to tell such things. This is, once again, the response to the anticipated trauma of losing my retirement savings in Poland. They say the government has not nationalised them yet, because they are waiting to sell the shares when the situation on the stock market is improved... This is the homeland I leave behind. Who is the first to throw a stone at me? Just like Augustine, fugiebam abiectionem...
It tastes bitter to start from a bare polder at 48. Anyway, I still have some twenty years or more to save enough for my Thai last resort. And by that time, the best place for a care home will probably be somewhere else. Who knows, perhaps on the islands of Guinea-Bissau. Closer from home (which home?), and I would love the nurses speak Kriol to me. I suppose that with Alzheimer, I would still understand, to some degree, the languages I had learnt, or it's not like this? I imagine that my dementia might be like a snowstorm of words, liberated from their respective linguistic codes, dissociated from their meanings, circling round and round in sheer delight of how they sound. The words of all my languages, even Hindi and Turkish, in a great meaningless parade, the uttermost Finnegan's Wake. And I would like to keep the white rabbit my husband once bought for me in France. And the photos of all our travels, of all my travels. They always show them photos in the care homes, isn't it? Gosh, I have such a splendid lot. I have such a splendid lot of everything.
Overall, I must confess there is a great amount of optimism in my Apocalyptic musings. They are not truly catastrophic; there is plenty or amor fati in them. Clearly, I am under the empire of the future tense, which is a good sign in itself, better than endless ruminations of the past. It is also a life en plein air, wind in my hair, glorious. In a global horizon, unhemmed, one step ahead of History.
PS. The best of "Gazeta Wyborcza" today is the news that someone devastated the car belonging to a doctor working in a COVID hospital. I wonder if we (they) will come down to actual physical assaults on doctors and nurses.
This is the homeland that I leave behind. Fugiebam... what? Acephaliam? There are things that cannot be found in one's Augustine. For I wouldn't say, in this case, that fugiebam ignorantiam. It requires a stronger word, that his polished Latin doesn't have. Nor Arabic. Nor English. Nor French. Nor any of those so called civilisation languages. I might eventually say that they have gone berserk. A bit of old Norse sometimes comes in handy.