Melancholic trips with fado

Sunday trips may not exist without music. Two weeks ago I had happines to listen to on the radio an interesting interview with Portuguese fado singer – Mariza and admire and even touch melancholic winter landscapes, which harmonized so perfectly with her full of postive nostalgy fado songs flowing from the car speakers.

Mariza talked about her love of journeys and Portuguese melancholy. Almost whole my life I had an intuition that expereicne of melancholy is common for us all, wherever we live, and it only may be different in its tones, but never in essence. My intuition got true when I heard that Portugese fado, from far western Europe almost on the eastern outskirts of the continent.

Winter journey, eastern melancholy and fado

40 kilometres and 30 minutes drive from the busy downtown, road across the boreal forest of majestic, soaring pines and firs, all covered with thick layer of snow. I can’t imagine a week without a trip to this primeval forest. It is one of these places, where you are not able to believe that God does not exist. Silence, mystery, beauty and emotion, intuition that He is.

But the outskirts of the forest are not less mysterious and beautiful. When you add to all of these melancholic fado flowing slowly from the car speakers and interviewd fado singer Mariza talking about her love of journeys and Portuguese melancholy, it gets just real wonder!


to be continued…

Old necropolis

Since the second half of the 18th century Bialystok (at present in northeastern Poland, then Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth) got a multicultural town inhabited by Poles, Jews, Russians, Belarusians, Tatars and Germans as well. First Germans appeared here as officials of Prussian Government. As a result of Poland’s partitions (after the third partition which was held in 1795) Bialystok was taken over by Prussia. In the first half of the 19th century Germans appeared here in most cases as owners and highly qualified workers of textile factories. It was the time Bialystok when was even called – “Manchester of the North”.

German culture was thriving. As a natural consequence of that settlement evangelical church and cemetery were established. The pictures which are published below depict German cemetery which was set up in the second half of the 19th century in ditrict town called “Wygoda”.

After the Second World War, during the communist regime, on the part of the cemetary were built block of flats and was created park.

Mausoleum and quarter of German soldiers who fell during the First World War.

Some Germans living in Bialystok became assimilated into Polish culture, mainly in the interwar period. German traces still exist in the form of surnames of Bialystok’s inhabitants. On the part of the left former evangelical cemetary was created lapidarium. Unfortunately, the huge part of necropoly was destroyed irreversibly, as I mentioned above, during the communist times.

Colours of the autumn, Lura, Kapuscinski and melancholic journey

Gentle, melancholic music flowing from the car’s speakers, it is Lura, straight from Portugal and Cape Verde at the same time. It is thousands miles away, but I feel as if this music were rooted here, in all these landscapes, I am passing by. It harmonizes so perfectly with all melancholy hidden in all these hills, groves, forests, fields and villages.

About 10 years ago I read “Heban” by Ryszard Kapuscinski. He wrote about his journeys to Africa, and I remembered perfectly one of the stories from this book, when author met on the bus an African, young male, silent and shy person. They started speaking, and that guy told Kapuscinski story of his melancholy, maybe even light depression. And his descrpition was done in such common, universal language (in sense of the meaning), that we at once realize – in the same way we could describe our emotional states, our existential experience, in Europe, in United States, and probably everywhere in the world. It was the langauage of our common fate, of our common human experience. One of the most beautiful messages of that fragment is that in our deepest emotions, thoughts, psychic states and our fate we are the same, and there are always things, which unite and bind us.

The same thing I felt while driving the car, contemplating all these melancholic landscapes and listening Lura’s music.

Autumn memories – melancholic countryside – part 2

Lightly hilly landscapes, all colours of the autumn – red, yellow, brown, orange and still green forests, grasses and picturesque groves; small villages lost between delicate hills; medieval hill forts, in 11th – 13th centuries, belonging to Ruthenians, some of them from 14th century were established by Lithuanians; many of the Ruthenian hill forts got conquered and burnt probably by Yotvingians – last Indians of Europe – as called them Polish Noble Prize Winner Czeslaw Milosz – the mysterious tribe of Baltic origin, totally destroyed by Teutonic Knights. Tiny and cozy wooden houses with their gable roofs and open to guests – porches, wooden crosses by the side of the roads. And all of these in the mystic rays of the setting autumn sun. Dostoevsky used to say: “Beauty will save the world”, and he was right!


Autumn memories – melancholic countryside

Even a walk to the shop may be a journey, spiritual journey of course.

One Saturday autumn afternoon, we set out to the countryside, north of Bialystok. It is only 30 minutes’ drive from the downtown, and we set off to to see all these melancholic, beautiful landscapes – gentle, small green hills; yellow, green, red and brown pine, fir, birch and larch groves; cozy and picturesque villages with their tiny wooden houses, and gentle autumn sun.

I hope you will forgive me this truism, but in such beauty one gets sure that God exists. In every kind of beauty.