Much of what I left behind in 1996 seems to still be in my father’s attic. I managed to retrieve a mini-bus load recently. There are many more to still emerge. And with the books and paper layers, many notes emerge too.
They are from before I left for New York. And some of them are like the little circles at the beginning of my drawings. They are beginnings of thoughts that have been orbiting me for decades now.
I like that many of my questions are still alive today. If I am nourished by food and thought and interactions. Then these texts are nourished by me and by the way I am somehow able to understand what is around me.
They are nothing special. But they are funny because they have been squeezed into words which I learned later in life. So they are like layers of paint on a surface that does not really welcome them.
It’s all so completely imperfect, but because of that it is maybe interesting.
I feel like I am the vessel for some really simple ideas. They have a meaning to me, they have kept me afloat somehow. At least they are not there to exploit others. So I am not upset about them.
I am like a little child walking through the forest of ideas. And this very sentence is probably very funny to someone who knows how to write.
Yesterday my son asked me if after my death I would come back and need to go through kindergarten again and then school and so on. I think this might happen. In a way a portion of me is currently in Kindergarten and in School and so on. He is experiencing himself but at the same time he is feeding ideas and feeding off ideas that he probably discovered by walking through the forest with me. And what he sees is completely different from the way I experienced the world at his age, but in some ways it isn’t. We are in this together. Completely different. So connected.
One of my fondest memories are the conversations with my Grandmother in Swietochlowice, when I would stay with my Grandparents on weekends. My mother was studying and I was under their care.
My Grandmother would tell me stories from her childhood. But she would also plant ideas in me. She gardened in my mind. And she was able to ask the questions in a way that did not allow me to ask her for an answer. She genuinely did not seem to know what happened once we would reach the edge of the universe, or if one of my ancestors lived at the little palace in Pszczyna. She thought he might have operated the carriage for the owners. But it was completely unclear.
So when my son asked me his questions yesterday I immediately felt thrown back into the bed in the living room on the ground floor with the light of the streetlight shining from Cmentarna/Cemetery street. And it is only occurring to me at this very moment that both my son (and his older brother too) share the approximate birth date with my grandmother. She would have been 100 years old yesterday.
My oldest son just turned 11, the one asking me the questions is going to be four. We are all carried by the thoughts we have. And we are the nutrient of those thoughts and questions at the same time.
There was very little chance for my grandmother to actually live until the age of 100. She had a pretty harsh life, this poor woman. But I do remember her laughing and also remember pictures of her laughing. She was malnourished as a young person and she was obese and filled with water near her death.
In her was the ever alive spark of a curious young person who has managed to bring up three very interesting children. All of them so completely different. Only one left alive now. My uncle still living in the very apartment I was brought to when born.
His life has shifted quite a bit. He also has the energy of youth in him. He is full of wisdom and yet also full of empty space asking to be filled.
It’s all very mysterious to me.
There is a slight chance of my son remembering the evening when he asked me about what will be after my death. There is also a slight chance that one day he will be able to read these very words here and wonder what I was not only thinking but also feeling. And I actually told him that I love him so much. And that I will love him even after I am gone. Because that’s really probably the only thing I know for sure right now. I love my sons with an intensity I never thought possible. And I know that I will dissolve one day and that only my love will remain. And it will hopefully be something that they will be able to feel in them as they keep walking through their forests.
I definitely felt loved by my grandmother. I knew that her way of loving me was asking me things and showing me things and challenging me, sometimes by actually not doing much, or by even letting me discover things on my own. It took decades for me to understand. And I might need a few more decades to fully do.
Just a few weeks ago I was able to visit my grandparents’ grave. And there was just so much love that radiated from it. Even thought the tree under which the grave once used to be has been cut down. At least I was able to collect some dandelion seeds and I have since thrown them onto hopefully fertile soil outside of the window here in Offenbach.
It was a really funny moment when I discovered that I was visiting the grave at almost the 100th birthday of my grandmother. I had not thought about it much before.
But there and then it felt as if I had been called back. I had to smile. Oh, both of my grandparents were such gems of people.
I think there might be some drone footage of the area around that very time.
It’s circles somehow.
Even this here.