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.

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.

Late autumn forest

Boreal forest, almost 20 kilometres north of quite big town (300.000 inhabitants) – Knyszynska Forest, not more than 30 minutes drive from the downtown, taking into account staying in traffic jams. Mystic, majestic and mysterious primeval forest. 

I leave my car on the sandy road and walk it down. That road is straight as an arrow, on the both sides of it – slender, soaring pines and firs, only sometimes I may notice maples, ashes, elms, sycamores or birches. Traces of the does, elks, deers, wild boars on the sand. Sometimes it is possible to hear the tramp of the fleeing unnoticeable animals.

And I am recalling the story read in a local magazine about a woodsman, who found somewhere here part of the sword’s edge lost in the Middle Ages…

Knyszynska forest – Puszcza Knyszynska

Only 15 kilometres north of  quite big town (almost 300.000 inhabitants), no more than 20 minutes drive from downtown. I remember times, when it was possible to reach this place by bike. Now it is task only for stronlgy determined people, who do not mind taking real risk. The road was planned as a Via Baltica connecting southern and northern Europe. In fact, plan has not been realized, but it is used by countless TIRs going to Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia.

Even though, the forest is one of the most mysterious, mystic and beautiful places, whiche I have ever seen in my life.  Lavishly green even in November (these pictures were taken on 11th November), fabulous as if from The Chronicles of Narnia, ideal to contemplation, full of magic and inner hidden life. When I was approaching a pasture, heard the tramp of fleeing animals, probably herd of does, maybe even deer.

Soaring, slender and majestic pines and firs, lavishly green and soft as a pillow moss, delicately shrouded in the mist, create unique atmosphere of this place. There are no villages in the vicinity, not to mention towns. Only blissful quiet and peace…

Next time we will go in the search of human traces in this forest, especially in its rich history…

To be continued…

Vilnius – Gedimino Prospektas 2nd May 2010

Lukiskes Square – place of execution of Polish-Lithuanian-Belarusian heros – commanders of January Uprising in 1863 against Tsar’s despotism – Zygmunt Sierakowski and Konstanty Kalinowski.

Orthodox Church closing the view of Gedimino Prospektas.

Lukiskes Square once again.

Former headquarters of KGB in Lithuanian SSR. At present seat of the court and The Museum of Genocide Victims.

Sample of modern architecture, probably 80-ies.

Sculpture depicting Żemaite – Lithuanian writer.

Once again modern architecture, also probably 80-ies.

Really interesting modern architecture, especially waving lines, in absolute harmony with neighbouring classicist buildings.