Several months passed by since my last post. The events that caused my hope before turned out to be mere strategic moves in a campaign that risks to bring my country to a really sticky end. Now it seems to me again that I see some symptoms of the turning tide. For no reason in particular. It is just the general morphology of the cultural phenomena, idea to which I am so sorely attached. National colours may fall out of fashion simply because they have been worn so intensely for such a long season. Simply because the human being is greedy of seasonal change.
I remember how it all began, long before the European Union; I was eighteen at the time. In the first free elections in Poland, a certain political adventurer hardly speaking any Polish at all, passing by the name of Stan Tyminski, appeared out of nowhere and was about to become the freely chosen president of the country, against Wałęsa, Mazowiecki and that sort of people. The day was saved in extremis by a handful of intelligentsia representatives who spread the rumour (later on broadcast on the television) that Tyminski used to beat his wife. I read today that he was also accused of being a Libyan terrorist, a Colombian drug dealer, and a mental patient; yet it was the accusation of beating his wife that somehow found its way to the popular Polish awareness, and Wałęsa ended up winning the elections. This is why, during my last trip to Poland, I was not surprised to see, on the front page of a right-wing gazette, the news that Biedroń, the present-day leader of the opposition, beats his mother. The only difference is that, in the meanwhile, it became normal and acceptable to beat one's wife. And the only sensation I had was that of a déjà vu. We are under the realm of the Eternal Return of The Same.
It is my nature to be prepared for all eventualities. Also for the Turn of the Tide. A few months or even weeks ago, I believed it is wise to maintain some academic contacts in Poland, just for the eventuality that I might come back one day, after the Turn of the Tide. In the meantime, I grew more attached to the Netherlands, to Leiden. On several occasions, I had that impulse at the bottom of my brain, put the formal clothes, don't wear that sweater, since you are a scholar at your university. Stick to a minimum of decency your status requires. And I was wearing the sweater only at night, when I was going to the library after the dinner.
Leiden is like a garden, like some sort of hortus conclusus transformed by the work of generations, complete and perfect, bright mirror of Creation. Verweile doch, du bist so schön, my only worry is to make my present life last. It has been decided already that I stay for another year, and hopefully, after that year, for another five years. And after those five years, for all the remaining years.
What can the Turn of the Tide do or not do to me? I suppose the decision that remains to be taken is that I won't sell the flat in Kraków yet. If Poland remains in the Schengen. Still waiting to see the result of the elections in the autumn. But how and for what does it serve me now? I suppose it has only a sort of psychological use. For that knowledge that some sort of mediocre stability awaits me there, if one day something happens. Sort of insurance against utmost unpredictability, perhaps against an unexpected quitclaim, an unnamed relinquishment. A use, thus, that would have a name only in Spanish: donde caer muerta.
My life is transforming slowly, but irrevocably. There is no Turn of the Tide in it; I would say my life has a different general morphology as a phenomenon, in comparison to Polish history. A non-tidal morphology; perhaps because my life has no moon. It has an overwhelming logic of Exodus. Leaving closed spaces in favour of larger ones. It is the pattern of diffusion, that the laws of physics prevent from being inverted. This is how I had left my family, the sore limitations of my social class, Lublin, the narrowness of my universities. Now my horizon is truly global, my hobby is to complete the survey of the countries in my "Travel&Literature" section. In Leiden, what I enjoy most is the global ambience, all those people coming from the four corners of the planet, telling me their Bactrian stories during the coffee breaks. Stories that I've never expected to hear from a living mouth.
I came from darkness into light, and I shall not step back from light into darkness. And by darkness I don't mean just the nationalists shouting, at their meetings, that the EU makes the deviants educate our children. By darkness I mean those debates at the University of Warsaw, at the fabulous "A+" faculty where I had spent ten years of my life. There is no conceivable tidal change in this domain; ignorance is stagnant like a pond.
Better talk to me of Khorasan, lad.