Song: After Dark

Living in my home-for-the-rest-of-the-year for past two weeks now, I’ve become somewhat desperate to find places in this big city that would give me any sense of… not being in a city. It’s bloody hard to get out of here without a car, so the best I can do if take nice long walks through parks, of which there is plenty. There’s one in particular that I like.

But first, it just happened to be Friday the 13th today, when I’m posting this song, for which I meant to be creepy, mysterious, and unsettling in a way. It’s just a lucky coincidence, that’s all.

So, the park. For starters, it has an irregular shape, with a lot of cuts and bends, and it sort of “twists” in one place too. What I want to say, is that it’s really freaking easy to get lost in that park. Not necessarily get stuck in there unable to find a way out, but if you spend there some time and you finally walk out, there’s at least eighty percent chance that you end up not on the side of the park you thought you’re going towards.

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If you could have dinner with anyone from history, who would it be?

I’m a little feverish tonight, which is a great opportunity to do some writing like that. And it is an interesting topic, isn’t it? I knew that before I started thinking about it, but I discovered that in fact, it’s not just fun, but in a way, troubling too. My kind of topic.

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Obviously, there are two ways to look at this question, and because of that, there are two categories of answers. The first one is the personal approach. Having someone close to you who passed away or is otherwise unavailable, someone you felt a close connection to or imagine you would have one. The emotional choice.

And then there is the seemingly creative approach. Elvis Presley, Albert Einstein, Jesus Christ, you know, the greatest hits. Someone famous, exciting, maybe a bit mysterious, preferably a pop culture icon. Having the entire history of humanity to choose from doesn’t seem to inspire enough, though, and the choices don’t seem to vary that much in the end. While it’s idiotic not to admit that a dinner with Elvis would be freaking awesome, and given the opportunity I would be an idiot not to go for it, but I imagine there’s only so much I could ask him about. A one-time event and that’s it. Jesus seems like a more intriguing choice, with potentially life, if not world-changing consequences, but it’s impossible to do it without certain expectations, and it’s highly unlikely to learn something we don’t already know. What I mean, is that if you believe in God, you feel like a bigger or smaller part of His plan, there’s nothing new you would learn from Jesus, would you? And if you don’t, and you would happen to be right, you’ll take nothing from the dinner, and if you’re wrong, you have to assume that meeting Jesus wasn’t the only way God would have you converted. You see what I mean. If you’re meeting someone having some expectations of the meeting, your experience won’t be… “full”.

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The Orange Night of the city and the Blue Night of the countryside

I’m made for living in the countryside, I think I have made that clear by now. I didn’t truly realize that until I actually moved to the countryside from a small city that I was born in, but ever since then, I can’t imagine myself spending any more time in the city than it’s absolutely necessary. Unless things somewhere along the way get terribly wrong, once I’m done with this city business, I’ll move to live out the rest of my days in a solitary house, in some village far enough from the city and all the commotion that I will be able to see the stars in the night-time sky in all their power and might. This has been my plan for years, and while at no point did it even begin to change, there are moments when the vision of one day settling down in the countryside for good is what keeps me going. Moments like now, when after the summer of living in the middle of nowhere, I moved back into a city.

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I’m not antisocial, not a recluse or a hermit by nature, in fact, I love spending time with friends and I do it as often as I do it happily. And it’s not that I despise cities by definition, or can’t enjoy the many benefits that cities undoubtedly have. But when it comes to living, as in “dwelling”, a having a place to reside in, countryside just can’t be beaten.

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September of mists and forests.

This entire year feels… “rainier”. In itself, it’s not a complaint, though. Although I did complain about June being ridiculously wet, but that’s because Junes shouldn’t be wet like that. As in, it could rain all year, but June, July, and August are summertime, they’re for something else. So when September came, I immediately turned my Autumn mode on, because while I love Septembers, for this one, secretly, I didn’t hold much hope. Boy, was I mistaken…

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There was no chance I would abandon biking just because of some bad weather, of course not. It would have to be a disaster, this September, to prevent me from hitting the road like I did the entire Summer. But admittedly, the nature of those rides was different. I was saying “goodbye” to my Summer Home. The woods, the lakes, the hills, all that I will soon leave, when I’ll move back to my “home for the rest of the year”.

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Song: The Day We Left The Hills

A song whose original version was created six years ago, but which gets very relevant every year around September, and so I believe it deserved some improvements and fresh composition. Here it is:

Days are getting colder, the weather gets wetter week after week. For me, September means two things: Summer is almost over, and it’s time to switch homes. Every year the same story: after three wonderful months among the fields, lakes, woods and green hills of my Summer Home, the time has come to move back to my home-for-the-rest-of-the-year, the city.

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In defense of differences.

My second post for the Brains Unite blog. The topic: gender differences in the workplace.

I hope you enjoy reading this more than I enjoyed writing this.

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Gender differences in the workplace. To be honest, not a big fan of that topic in general. Several problems with it.

First of all, and I know this may initially make me sound like an idiot, but it needs to be said: it’s way too vague. Differences in what exactly? Wages? Employment rate? Area of employment? Workplace accidents? Which do you find interesting and/or important enough to talk about? Maybe all of them?

And here’s the second problem I have with the topic: it implies there’s something to talk about. I’m not denying that there are differences. Of course, there are. But I’m much closer to celebrating those differences than considering as something evil, wrong or harmful. Every time someone makes the point that “there are gender differences (in any of these aspects listed above) in the workplace”, the answer has to be “yeah, and?”.

If you accept the simple, obvious…

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“A lightning struck me down”.

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I was working back in the southern field,
Watching birds and sipping beer,
For once I truly felt so free,
Then a lightning struck me down.

I noticed stars soar above my head,
I saw my mother, then long dead,
I heard the man from Galilee,
When the lightning struck me down.

Warm wind tossed dust in the air,
When the lightning struck me down.
The birds fell silent here and there,
When the lightning struck me down.

My jacket’s burned, the grass turned straw,
No more crickets all around.
Am I the only one who saw
How a lightning struck me down?

I patched my wounds from the attack,
Grabbed my beer, then struggled back.
I cried and cursed my whole way home,
Since the lightning struck me down.

Not a cloud in clear blue sky,
Not a drop of rain so far,
No one there to let me know,
Why a lightning struck me down.

Am I a sinner washed in grace?
Or just stood in a wrong place?
Am I a victim of a prank?
Or laws of physics once went wrong?
Am I unlucky to burn alive?
Or should be happy – I survived!
Am I a victim poor in need?
Or was I only drunk indeed?

A poem, lyrics, call it whatever you want as usual.

May sound even weirder than the rest, but who cares at this point?

I was suddenly attacked and overwhelmed by the idea for this in a rather random moment, driving my car and humming a lovely melody that I hope to turn into another project for my Soundcloud. Wasn’t even thinking of storms at the moment.

On one hand, a sudden hit of inspiration isn’t an unfamiliar feeling for me, on the other, it’s usually for more serious posts. But this works just as well, whatever “well” actually means in that context.

Who knows, maybe I’ll add melody to it one day, but for the moment, I’m happy with the text.

As always, I hope for you to enjoy it. Let me know if you do. Or if you don’t, works too.

Wishing you all a great day!

-Calmest Waters

 

To the unknown man.

117 years and 167 days – the age of the oldest living person on the planet, Miss Violet Brown. She has seen the world evolve so much in that time. We have advanced rather dynamically and drastically, as a society, as a species, as a planet. In fact, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the world at the time of her birth was a completely different place than it is now. But not just because of the said advancement of ours. Because, and what to me is the most fascinating, 117 years and 168 days ago, the Earth was populated by an entirely different set of people. Great majority of those people are forgotten forever.

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It’s not the first time I share with you my fascination with the past in that context. I discussed similar topics here and there. But I still feel I haven’t thoroughly exhausted the subject. I’m not satisfied yet.

Being in my twenties, it’s still rather difficult for me to think about the “good old times” like, you know, the elders do. Even ten years ago I was just a kid, my understanding of the world, my goals and ambitions were completely different. From my perspective, ten years has to be a lot. In that time, people disappeared from my life and were replaced by new people met along the way. Different schools, different house, different look and taste and everything. Now granted, I went through a big, big change: from a kid into a teenager and eventually, into an adult. Quite possibly, the biggest change that naturally occurs in our lives. But still, ten years is… well, a lot. It’s almost another life.

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“Autumn winds blow chilly and cold”.

The raven arrived from the Citadel this morning, Your Grace. The Conclave has met, considered reports from maesters all over the Seven Kingdoms, and declared this great summer done at last. The longest summer in living memory.

Grand Maester Pycelle, “Game of Thrones”

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I know what you’re thinking. September has just begun, the summer won’t be over for three more weeks. That is if you are just as ignorant when it comes to the nature of seasons as I was up until recently. Anyways, yeah, you would be wrong.

September has always felt like autumn to me. Back when I was a kid, I simply associated summer with holidays, which in Poland begin in late June and end with the last day of August. And classes throughout June weren’t really classes at all, the students had their grades already secured, and teachers didn’t even bother to force us to work. It’s June, it’s summer. Except, of course, it wasn’t. Summer begins on June 21st. Imagine my surprise…

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Sailing on the Calmest Waters.

A better, longer, more enjoyable musical adaptation of what I mean by “Calmest Waters” now uploaded to my Soundcloud.

The differences, however mostly subtle, are really important to me. It’s also quite a bit longer, you could say that another “verse” was added to prolong and build upon the experience which I sincerely hope this song creates for you, as it is, I shamelessly admit, doing it for me.

Fading stream, just a quiet river,
Days are long and the nights are silver,
Silent swell of the Neptune’s daughters
Sailing on the Calmest Waters.

Leaving with the morning breeze,
Seeking shelter in the open seas,
Heart at peace and soul never faulters,
Sailing on the Calmest Waters.

Dark around, only Moon leads yonder,
Across the sea of stars I wander,
Mist hides paths, but the course won’t alter,
Sailing on the Calmest Waters.

Enjoy if you can!

-Calmest Waters