– Habemus fowl papam! – I sarcasm through clenched teeth as I read Karol Wojtyla’s 1979 homily. Something about the fact that Poland is a land of especially responsible witness, that the fulfillment of our mission is connected with obligations and tasks that we as a nation must grow up to, that it takes Christ to understand the history of our history – ugułem shred flies, there will be spring. Well, but I know, after all, that the homily delivered during the deep communism is intended to pour hope into tired Polish hearts, so that the people do not think that centuries of ass-fucking have been in vain. – Oh, Charles,” so I chuckle and retreat from the terrain of the national sacrum, in which Lolek right next to dumplings and pork chops constitutes a canon whose official annexation to the Constitution is only a matter of time. Besides, the creampuff-loving pope did not start the topos of Poland as the Christ of nations, after all, so why piss on him. Everyone knows that Mickiewicz is to blame for this. During one of his better phases, Adaś combined the loss of independence with the crucifixion of Jesus, with his Dziadow concept giving rise to a messianic vision of Poland. Thanks to him, the people in their intrastate martyrdom began to see the point, nay, they even ascribed to themselves moral superiority over other nations with regard to it. As if drama weren’t enough, in Poland the idea of messianism has entered into shabby connivance with romantic love making it so that without losing diamonds, a tragic suicide, or a rebellious fight for the fatherland topped with a dark grey sprinkling of horror, mysticism, mystery and melancholy – favorite romantic attributes – the love story simply isn’t there. And so, in a country where, instead of honey and milk, at most onion syrup can flow, for the past two hundred years the loss of independence, the greatest national trauma, has led Poles to sacralize sacrifice. Here I blame again the disheveled poet, who compares falling in love to the Creator, insinuating that love is a state devoid of the pragmatisms of cognition, the hardships of adjustment, or the need for compromise, in a version à la Polonaise necessarily with a thread of exile to Siberia, and/or the tragic death of one of the parties.
The readiness for pain, which is sucked out of our mother’s milk, makes us expect in our relationships with another person that sooner or later something will go awry. For without suffering there is no love in Poland, and sacrifice is for us a sign of pure heart and unalloyedness. What if there is officially no bloody war going on around, which would put two lovers to the test? Well, their alternatives include Poland’s most famous friendzone (Wokulski vs. Leka), or the story of a hussy transported out of the village in a wheelbarrow of dung (Jagna), although I personally prefer Sienkiewicz’s Harlequins, which are set against the backdrop of lengthy descriptions of nature and historical events (even if Helena herself still spits in her spun braid that she let a cosseted badboy pass her by). In this particular version of the love story , after overcoming all odds , we have happily ever after, a relationship that functions along the lines of a self-service checkout at Kerf, showing the prototype of a relationship in which no one has to work for anything and everything happens on its own. Awesome.
Of course, I deride these templates of writerly love, primarily because this is how I unwind the horror that the fact that outdated literary concepts have become our source of knowledge about male-female relationships (well, because that’s the only one that’s acceptable in our heteronormative society). Well, but what do I actually expect from Poland? After all, no one here teaches us about what building a deep relationship entails, and as a result we all wander around in the relationship black, gaze hanging on billboards where unspecified sources suggest that going to church together gives us a 98% certainty that one will puke down the other’s throat with a rainbow (complete with prayers the likelihood of a life shared together to the proverbial usran increases to 99.9%). I macerate these cultural-clerical fragles with mild disgust, but I spell – let the living not lose hope, because I am looking for cables to light the (electric) torch of education in front of the nation! I have a lot of determination, so maybe I’ll make it, for now, however, in the dark I’m mulling over a few bent fluorescent tubes, which I’m arranging in the shape of unplugged lettering.
– ACCEPTANCE, COMMUNICATION, EMPATHY, LOYALTY – I read aloud from memory. I have not yet unraveled how to light up the neon lights, but I already know that love is not suffering at all, nor is it the search for an all-encompassing entity with which I can merge into one. – ACCEPTANCE, COMMUNICATION, EMPATHY, LOYALTY – I repeat a little louder, so as to grow in love, and not suddenly and inadvertently choke on it one day.
Read another column: Witch, hag and Baba Yaga, or the new archetype of woman