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Suspended again!

To my childhood friends.

Dedykuje moim przyjaciolkom z lat dziecinstwa.

I feel like I haven’t posted anything new on my blog for ages.  I think about all the things I want to write but for some reason I am unable to bring myself to writing.

When I woke up this morning, I  realized, and verbalized for the first time, the reason for my writing inertia. It’s nothing new; it’s something that has been haunting me from time to time throughout my life: I can’t write when I become suspended.

The suspension happens between events, times, ideas, people, and things I can’t predict or explain.  And it has happened again!  Recently, I have been suspended between two worlds, between my past and my present.  When the suspension occurs, all I can do is to wait.  I have to stop and become still to allow for the suspension to end, for things to come together, for the immersion to take place.

I have just returned from Poland, and even though the visit was short it was filled with unforgettable moments of intensity that forced me to stop and wait.

Here is the story of one of the moments.

I had the opportunity  to meet with my childhood friends.  All of them live in Poland in the area where we all grew up.  And as we were sitting together, I realized that the last time we had seen each other in this group was when we were in 8th grade.

Here we are (the picture above) in December 2010, from left to right: Mariola, Terenia, Lucyna, Danuta, Adela, and Janka.

And here we are in 8th grade!  Our teacher, Ms. Zochol is sitting in the front row.  To her left are Mariola and Janka; to her right are Terenia and Lucyna.  I am standing behind them in the second row and my friend Adela is standing next to me, to my left.

Since each one of them wanted a copy of my novel, To Kill the Other, our visit started with questions related to the plot, to my research, to the reasons that made me write about this specific subject.  They were interested particularly in the story because it was the only opportunity for them to learn about it, since none of them spoke English.

As I was signing copies of my novel for my friends, I had this feeling that I was writing my name and the dedication on something mysterious, something my friends will never access.  Suddenly my work became a secret code and just by that definition grew to something more desirable, like an exotic destination we hear about but can never visit.  It wasn’t an invitation to a dialog, as books often are; it was a treasure box with a solid lock and the key to that lock was never to be found.

And at that moment the feeling of suspension started to emerge with silent questions: Am I a bridge that connects the two shores of my life? One shore is called my past and the other is called my present?  How can I bring together the content of my book, which has been a part of my life for many years, to merge with the treasure box?  How can I bring the long journey of writing my novel that transformed me and my understanding of who I am and explain it to my childhood friends who after all know me well?  And finally: Where do I belong?  Where is my home?

As I was trying to answer their questions, I felt myself falling deeper and deeper into the place of suspension.  I felt pulled down into a whirlpool of time that sliced my mind into pieces .  One part of me was there, in Poland with my friends and it felt like home.  The other part was here, in Ellicott City, at my house, at my desk remembering working on that novel and it felt like home as well.

As I ponder the different answers, that would eventually end my suspension, I am relieved to admit that I have at least finally came up with the right questions.

4 Responses to “Suspended again!”

  1. tucsonmike says:

    Very good. I have been to Poland, what part of Poland are you from?

  2. Pamela says:


    I understand being suspended. It happens to me, too, at times. Especially when I go ‘home’ to where I lived most of my life and see my family and good friends. How wonderful for you to go ‘home’ to Poland and be with all your friends for the first time in a couple decades. Amazing.

    You are part of both — one is the past, one is the present…the past helped shape who you are today…

    On a related note, I saw my the last immediate relative on my Mom’s side on Sunday in a nursing home/rehab facility near where both my parents grew up and call ‘home’. She appears to be suspended between the two universes — here on earth and the after world.

    Just ordered copies of the book & need for you to sign them! 🙂 Miss you!

    • Danuta Hinc says:

      what you said about your relative makes me think … perhaps most of the time we live suspended between some different things …
      I need to think about it more.
      Please, come to my book signing at the Columbia Art Center on February 7th (at 7:30PM).
      Miss you, too!