Saturday, January 9, 2010

Silva rerum 1

2010 started in the worst way possible, with news of my grandmother's death. I suspended my internet activity and socializing, which helped me immensely get myself together.

Things were going well: I got away from informational smog, I taught myself to knit (again) and made two scarves (pictured below, somewhat fragmentarily).


I finally started reading the biography of Alice James and finished Olga Tokarczuk's Dom dzienny, dom nocny, from which I picked out these gems of quotes (sorry, no English version at hand):

[The roofs of Heidelberg]

... w Heidelbergu zrobił doktorat z życia i pism legendarnej śląskiej świętej o imieniu Kummernis. Wykładał także na uniwersytecie, a specjalizował się w sektach działających na Śląsku w okresie reformacji. Zwłaszcza w szwenkfeldystach i nożownikach. Pisał o tym artykuły. 

Dachy w Heidelbergu są typowo niemieckie - czerwone i stalowe. Strzeliste zwieńczenia kościołów mają antracytowy kolor, który uspokaja oczy. Po wykładach szedł spacerem na zamek i patrzył z góry na miasto szemrzące wieczorami od taniego studenckiego wina z jabłek i naukowych teorii. (195)

[Objects and plants]

Wiem, że rzeczy, obojętnie, żywe czy martwe, zapisują w sobie obrazy, więc i ten aloes miałby w sobie jeszcze tamte słońca i niewiarygodnie oślepiające nieba i krople ogromnego deszczu, który bezszelestnie rozmywa niskie nadbrzeżne horyzonty. I każda część rośliny szczyci się tą świetlistą obecnością w sobie i powiela obraz słonecznej kuli, boga roślin, i sławi go po cichu na parapetach mojego domu. (Olga Tokarczuk, Dom dzienny, dom nocny. Wydawnictwo "Ruta", Wałbrzych, 1998, str. 216)

I probably won't pick up the English edition if I don't have the good fortune of teaching it (whick is, sadly, highly unlikely). Google books has a strange snippet.

A great article about Margaret Drabble that I found in a pile of papers I was going to throw out: "Dame of the British Interior," by Daphne Merkin. Long, written in a slowly-unfolding style I miss very much.


a great deal of Czech, Czechoslovakian, and German films. I recommend Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei, if you have verpasst it when it was in the cinema or have never heard about it.


Eventually, I got back to the internet and via Feminoteka discovered Anna Zawadzka's blog, To łatwo - feminizm i światło! The blog is written very thoughtfully -- a pleasure to read. But then I discovered another left-wing blog that featured a pseudo-polemic with Zawadzka's latest post (about women in abusive relationships): and my stomach turned. It's not that it's news to me that having a uterus -- well, not even that, just being identified as someone in possession of a uterus -- costs you ca. 25% of what you actually should earn, what someone identified as a proprietor of testicles earns in the same position. But it still makes me want to smash my head against the wall sometimes.


to restrict or not to restrict access to this blog? I would like to thank those who sometimes popped by here in 2009 ask your advice. I feel that I'm becoming increasingly shy and introspective and that's not a good combination.


Bowleserised said...

I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother. Did that, by any chance, trigger the knitting? My mother gave me Stitch n Bitch by the founder of Bust (my entrée into 1990s, internet feminism); the first chapter include sher knitting grandmother's death. And it's also nearly a year since my own knitting Granny died.

The blog privacy thing. Eh. The only problem I've had is that new posts no longer show up on feed readers, so you really rely on people dropping by. It's been fine though, as far as I'm concerned. My feelings about the internet changed. I also wanted to stop some people reading the blog.

Misiula said...

The knitting coincided with granny's death. When I was a little girl my granny tried to teach me to knit and sew. As with many other things (reading, swimming), I resisted the instruction but learned the thing on my own. In the case of knitting, it was grad school blowing my head into pieces. I'm trying to find ways to deal with the stress.

"Stitch n Bitch" sounds amazing! I wish I could find something that would help me start a sweater. Any suggestions? The internet (or my search skills) has failed so far.

I really need to think about these privacy issues. On the one hand, I appreciate meeting interesting new people. On the other hand, inspiring encounters are rare and there is a lot of risk in exposure.

Kim said...

I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother, I hope you are doing well. I'm thinking of you and sending you warm hugs and thoughts over the distance.

I've tried knitting but hated having to keep track of 2 needles so crocheted instead, haven't done that in years though!

I saw that film in the cinema when I was studying in England. Most of the peace studies dept went to watch it :)

And the privacy...I restricted my blog since I saw in my blog history someone from Ireland that I didn't know had popped in for a minute because a friend on another blog is a follower and must have looked at her profile. That's what I am guessing at least. Since I would like to work there someday or in other peace centers, I was a bit worried who would read my thoughts and the wrong/odd impression they would get of me which my prevent me from being effective in my work. Plus I am in a hugely introspective place in my life right now and am really guarding my privacy. Doubt that was helpful to you, Kamila :) Everyone has their reasons for opening or restricting blogs, do what you need to do now and you can always change your mind later :)

Big hugs from cold but non-snowy Georgia!

Misiula said...

Thanks, Kim! I think that with your origami skills, you can do just anything with your hands. Including ignoring knitting ;-)

Big hugs from the snowy, cold as hell Northeast!

Bowleserised said...

Have you tried Ravelry for knitting patterns?

Misiula said...

No. What is that?

Bowleserised said...

It's an on-line knitting community. Rather cool.

Misiula said...

Thanks! I joined but I didn't have the time to get a good look yet: I'm revising my course syllabus - classes start on Monday.