“Take responsibility for everything you have created in this reality. If you can take that kind of responsibility, you can own more of the power that you have.” -Shrine
Fiction. Based on a True Visit to Warsaw.
By Mingjie Zhai
This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.
The man sitting across from you smiles. If you imagined a devil smiling, it would be this smiling face. He had asked you out for coffee–the man with the wife and child, to pick your brain since you mentioned living in this “matrix” at the Drinker’s Den meeting. He believes in himself. The enlightenment from within through meditation. He believes he is his own god and he creates his own reality, through the act of Kundalini meditation, he is able to heal himself and uncover the power within.
“I don’t believe in giving my will to some unknown entity. My will is my will,” he says.
“Why did you pick the passage centering around, ‘Thy Will be done’ on page 60 in the Big Book then?” you ask him.
He gives some contemplation before answering, “I want to find a better way of doing things.” His eyes shift from one corner of the room to the next.
“Something tells me that you’re not done searching,” you say. “Have you heard of the movie, ‘Red Sparrow’?” you ask. “It’s about a Russian spy who falls in love with an American spy and she becomes a double agent, turning against her own government because she got a taste of kindness and true love.” He gets up to rummage through the backpack that is sitting on the chair beside you. He can’t sit still. Perhaps, he also envies the fact that you were sitting on the chair he would have chosen–the chair that is facing the walk aisle where people go to stand in line and purchase their drinks. Earlier he commented that you chose like a real addict, “You cover your back.” What he really wanted to say is, “because you trust no one.”
“You left the faith but faith never left you,” you continue, deliberately ignoring his statement. “Sure, you’re currently walking the left hand path, but everybody has a choice till the 11th hour, till the last breath, and the game’s not over yet. Perhaps you sought me out so that I can deliver you this message,” you say to him, “Holy Spirit never left you. It has been protecting you and waiting for you to wield its power. Staying woke is one thing, but then you have to choose a side.”
“You think I’m the devil?”
“I never said that.”
“Who talks like that?”
“ ‘Matrix’ ‘Holy Spirit’ ‘Demons,’” he says, “You watch a lot of conspiracy videos?”
“No,” you say.
“So this is coming from personal experience?” He looks you deeply in your light brown eyes.
“Yes, personal experiences,” you affirm.
You don’t bother explaining. Talking more would feel like you are defending yourself.
He relaxes. His eyes, a dented hue of soft blue, stares at you. He is both fascinated and intimidated that you dare stare back with just as much blaise and unconcern for self as he is about staring at you. You both are engaged in spiritual battle. He is trying to convince you of the power of Kundalini, of exercising the inner god within you, of taking the left hand path, and you are doing your best to translate what the Holy Spirit wants you convey to him, which is to share the Good news of the right hand path without coming off salesy, pushy, or preachy.
“Do you know why I stopped drinking? Because I noticed that when I do drink, my spiritual defenses goes down, and I am easily manipulated by some darker force, some lower energy manipulating me like a marionette, that has me doing bad things. It’s not me. It’s the thing. And I can’t control my own body when it assumes me. So I had to look for a power greater than myself to fight this thing that I am powerless over. Thanks to what Jesus did on the cross, I now have the ability to summon Holy Spirit. Do you know what happens when Holy Spirit assumes your body?” you pick up the empty cup before you. “No other entities can assume your body, because it’s occupied by the Holy Spirit. This is how I fight my battles. Holy Spirit is a sword, sharper than any two edged ones. You still have the authority to summon Holy Spirit. Think of it as an Excalibur sword that only you can hold because you are covered by the Blood of Jesus. You can wield it.”
“But what about all the Catholic pedophile rings? What about all the so-called Christian conquests that ended in rape, murder, and colonializations?” he asks you.
“I’m sure non-Christians and Christians alike have done terrible things in the name of god. As long as human beings are involved, we will be tainted. As long as we are in this matrix, we will be prone to deviancy.”
“Are you at least willing to have an open mind?” he asks you.
“Yes, my mind is open, but I already have my answer.”
He pauses to contemplate what you’ve said. He then looks at you with intensity, perhaps in an attempt to hypnotize.
“You are a nice person you know that?” he says.
“No, I’m not,” you say, “Nice people lie.”
He looks surprised.
“I’m here to deliver a message from the Holy Spirit and Holy Spirit is asking me to tell you of its power. The kind of power that is more powerful than power itself.”
You tell him about the two books: The Book of Knowledge and the Book of Life.
“What you are now searching for is the Book of Life. You have a lot of the esoteric insights from The Book of Knowledge, yet you are still searching.”
“What do you think I’m searching for?”
“The same thing the devil is searching for….The Book of Life. And perhaps that’s why you meditate. So you can search for the Life mana that’s embedded within you. We have a piece of it, called a soul, and that’s why the devil wants our souls.”
He asks you what historical, contextual proof you have to make these statements.
You tell him you are a simple child for that is the only way to comprehend the Kingdom. You tell him you are not well versed in history or the bible. You are just someone who understands the simplicity of 0s and 1s. The virtual simulation of 0 is the absence of love and the virtual simulation of 1 is the presence of love.
You tell him that 1s and 0s flow throughout the simulation of this matrix. You tell him that whether someone is asleep to it or woke to it, the spiritual war is happening. It does not matter whether someone denies it or embraces it, it is there, “like gravity, it just is,” you tell him.
“Once you are woke, you can’t go back,” he tells you.
“Yes, being woke is half the battle. Then you got to choose a side,” you say, “Just remember that Love is a weapon.”
“Yes, it can be used for good or for bad.”
You want to correct him. You want to tell him that the true definition of Love is always for good. That the spiritual war is the presence of love spreading more love in a matrix that is inherently absent from it. You hold your tongue instead.
You are learning how to plant seeds based on listening for the force of love to work through you rather than manipulating the force to work for you.
Perhaps, this is “letting go, letting God” whilst “being on the court” in action through non action.
You think to yourself.
Holy Spirit is training you how to coordinate with Him and the rest of the Network of heavenly angels in the battle of tongues for righteousness and the good name.
Your goal is to get as many people written in the Book of Life as possible. Part of that spiritual warfare is meeting them where they are. Serving as a mirror. Letting go and letting Holy Spirit work through you.
In Between the Margins
The key is to focus on how strong your side of the team actually is in the silent spaces you leave between conversations.
“What if I were to tell you that God has a special calling card for you? That your assignment here is not over and that there is good reason why you are still alive. What if we were meant to meet today? God told me to not work today, so here we are. Perhaps, for this very reason so that I can say yes when you asked me out for coffee for a meeting after the meeting, just so I can remind you through the network of Holy Spirit that God recklessly, illogically, and stubbornly loves you and has not left you and is waiting for you to activate with Him?”
“I’d say you’re a good person.”
You imagined him capable of stalking you, hunting you, and killing you. This is the monster that lurks in his id. You also imagine pretending to be a victim, and when he least expects it, turn on your wicked, evil, vicious plot against him by first finding his weak spot, then killing him with one stone’s throw, thereby discovering and exploiting his weakness before he ever gets that close to you. He wants to go back to the U.S., despite his acting as if he’s satisfied here. Everybody here wants to escape to where you came from.
This runs through your mind when he makes the claim that you are a good person.
“I’m not a good person,” you say to him. “I’m just learning how to follow directions”
Grandmothers sows the seeds for McFly by telling him the story of Christ-mas and to this day, he still gets a warm sensation of goodness, a sense of good, a good sensei, even and especially on those days he enters the void.
The void wants to swallow him alive and sometimes, he obliges, just to see how empty and meaningless it all gets in this meditative capture of this reality among the millions to the millionth versions of this reality.
Yes, the void. The black hole. In those moments he meditates, he is on the edge of that black hole or perhaps through it, spiraling downwards, always downwards. He finds peace knowing there is a good sense that tethers him, like a Mothership’s umbilical cord to an astronaut, that gives him the ability to exit void when he wills to. Never lost in the void. Never lost. Because his Grandmother said he was a talented artist since he was a little boy, providing that cord, always that cord, that can pull him out of it.
The first Polish Drinker’s Den meeting you find a beautiful blonde who is leading and reminds you of Aaron’s on and off again girlfriend, the one who told you a few months back that you were just a hole he is using, that you mean nothing to him. You know she is lying, but the terrible feminine is indeed dark, terrifying, and hellish. She knows exactly what your fears are, but you have a weapon of your own–owning the truth of your fears in creative expression. You do your best to detach from the blonde. You sense the envy simmering within you that both the blonde girlfriend and the blonde Polish lead speaker have youth on their side.
Young love is young love. But she is not your competition. She is one of your tribe members. She is leading, a quick tell of her story, choppy, but still the gist is there. She is self conscious, tortured, an addict and hopeful. Promising may be the better word. It is the second day you have arrived in Warzawa, Poland, and after the meeting, you are invited to her goodbye party. She is off to Russia for her study abroad experience. You had tea while the rest had Thai food. It was a few blocks away from the meeting away from the apartment of where you are staying for the month.
There was an American expat from Arizona named Charlie who came to Poland to get sober. She was out of control in the States, so her father made her stay at a rehab farm where she had to humble down. You liked her, but from a place of fearful respect and “game recognize game” rather than trust and love. There were seven Drinker’s Den girls in this Thai restaurant. The girls kept asking you questions even though it was young blonde’s farewell party since you were the newcomer and the out of towner. You felt like you were transported to a black and white version of Sloggishville, the upside down world of Pleasantville, perhaps in a purgatory place where the living dead needed to know what life is like on the outside. You withheld a lot of personal information since you do not need that kind of attention–of people liking you for what you can do instead of who you are. You don’t want people to like you for what connections you have, but for how you are. It seems that the ability to go back to the States is the Golden Ticket among the many restless Poles who want to get out of town. People are confused when they hear that you have chosen Warsaw for your “vacation.” You explain that you have business here but you keep it vague. You work virtually you tell them. You run your own publication you tell them.
You mentioned that alcohol had made you evil, or rather, it amplified the evil that you are capable of becoming, that your marriage could have been salvaged had you done this work earlier. Charlie mentions a time when she slapped her boyfriend across the face. Full force. She was curious if she could get away with it. It turns out you can. Especially when a girl is drunk. Apparently, you can too. You got away with it many times.
The women group laugh.
“I was pretty evil,” you say to the group. “I would wake up the next day not quite remembering what I did, and when my husband would tell me that I hit him, I would just scoff and say, ‘You’re a man. Take it like a one.’ ”
The women group laugh again.
“The ‘don’t be a pussy,’ was my excuse,” one Polish girl says, “I never show my ugly to my friends. Just my partner because I know that I could get away with it.”
“We are truly evil aren’t we?” another says.
You all laugh.
“So this is a table full of witches?” another says.
You all laugh louder.
This was the dark humor, comic relief, you all needed tonight. The kind Rylie needed. The kind he told you he needed from you when the two of you were first dating. The kind that healed the prince from his melancholy from The Three Oranges play at the Berlin Opera.
Dark humor therapy.
It involves truth and a return to sanity, knowing just how crazy the world is. We, in our addiction, in coping with this crazy world, revealed in the walls of these ‘game recognize game’ groups. In that dinner conversation, on the second night in Warsawa, you made a few friends or what could seem like a few friends worth making.
You also couldn’t help but notice that many Polish girls are good looking. This reminded you of college when you noticed that many of the Asian girls at UCI were also good looking. You don’t know what to make of this other than hot girls stick together.
You’ve made your first few Polish girlfriends here in Poland. They are indeed pretty. They still can’t understand why you had chosen Poland. Neither could Aaron. Neither could you.
The SJW Tour Guide
Most people know the silly nature of communism, yet here she is working for tips alone doing a two hour tour guide. She takes you along the places where there is street art. She points out that street art is illegal and murals are legal, meaning commissioned by the powers that be. You can tell that she resents the current power system, anything business, anything big power, big money, and possibly male dominated. Perhaps, she hates those who succeed because the underlying premise is that those who succeed have somehow succeeded by exploiting others.
You dislike her because she reminds you of you–someone secretly bitter but on the outside, completely Politically Correct, and “nice” while subconsciously should-ing on others and on herself everyday. She opposes gentrification at a street corner where broken glasses of alcohol lay sprawled among the dog shit blended in with the muddy, littered soil. This is the ghetto. Her argument is that the people here have been here for many years and can’t afford the rate of rent that will be increased fivefold should big business and big investors come to revitalize this area. As if that was their problem.
You remember Downtown Los Angeles ten years ago was not habitable at night. Dead. Zombies. Now, hipsters are coming in with their small businesses, coffee shops, books, and handbags. It’s coming alive. Churches are coming, artists, filmmakers, and dreamers are coming.
Now that you are sober and spiritually recovering, you no longer view poverty as romantic. Poverty comes from a poor mentality, poor-me pity party mentality, pouring pity upon pity with no solution in sight.
No the problem goes deeper.
It is rooted in the id.
The Terrible Mother that Dr. Jordan Peterson reveals in his research both in his psychotherapy practice and his avid reading of the horrors of the 21st century led him to pinpoint the culprit–the ancient serpent that poisoned the mind of the original eve, splitting her into two–God’s Eve and Satan’s Eve.
The Terrible Mother
You want to point out that the people coming want to increase the value by increasing the standard, and those who do not want to increase their own value and increase their own standard of living are addicted to misery, like one can be addicted to drugs and alcohol, and self-destructive relationships, all going down the rabbit hole, to find the edge of the abyss, something you are quite familiar with.
Well, you think to yourself, there is nothing one can do for them….you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make the horse drink, as the expression goes, or in this case, not drink….except to have the boxes get smaller and smaller until they get sick and tired of being sick and tired from all the drinking that just numbs and dumbs.
She irritates you further when she states that she does not want to be filmed during her presentation. This means she does not believe in herself, she does not trust in people, and she resents the very tourists that she serves. You resent her for playing such a small game, because again, she reminds you of you. Why haven’t you put your name and face in front of the project and just come out as a full forced producer, inviting people, creating trust, and forging forward?
What is holding you back?
The same thing that is holding you back from engaging with Aaron.
You still don’t trust people.
The Pink Monster
There are pink monsters throughout the street art walking tour. The SJW says she will tell us what it means but does not. At the beginning of the tour, she tells the group that there is a mysterious story about an old lady in a bus and this would be a funny and suspenseful story so she will keep us in suspense, but at the end of the tour, the punchline is not funny. It ties back to some kind of ideology, some educational “lesson” that needs to be learned.
Perhaps she believes that successful people are evil and that is why she secretly resents the tourists who have the luxury of time to take the tour, despite it being free, and perhaps, she romanticizes poverty, which is why she works for free and tips alone. She is ripe for the communist/socialist/anarchist picking. She rebels by dying her hair color blue and at the end of the tour, she has trouble asking for tour tips, because secretly, she does not think that she is worthy of doing better, being better, and life getting better. But she says none of these things. She only smiles, acts nice, and continues spitting out facts.
One woman asked if there are any woman street artists. She acknowledges that there are but very little. She then somehow translates this question into a different observation. She says that in her college class studying art, there are a lot of female college students but mostly male college professors. The implication behind this statement is that this leadership position is not based on qualification but by some immutable characteristic like gender, and that this somehow proves inequality. You know that most women are not professors because they don’t have the self-confidence to lead.
You roll your eyes when she says this.
Pride and resentment.
You have your resentment against dumb, naive, and ideological women with no sense of experience, discipline, and precision of aim. Essentially, you resent yourself because you were that SJW for the majority of your life as a “liberal” woman.
Game recognize game.
Perhaps, you are meant to forgive yourself and the Terrible Mother spirit within yourself here in Warzawa. You have asked an American Polish expat to be your sponsor and in a week, you’ll be going over the 9th step amends, possibly to yourself and to your mother.
In the spirit of making amends to the feminine, a big part of that is forgiving the Terrible Mother. To do that, you must go deeper. She is rooted in the demon possessed Eve, the one poisoned by the thought of bad, when she had bitten from the metaphorical apple, with the choice to become as gods, with the choice to become your own at the expense of abandoning the original purpose of loving and being loved.
Warsawa seems like the younger sister of big brother Berlin. Big brother Berlin represents the abused young boy that turned into a psychopath because of unresolved wounds that stemmed from severe psychological and physical childhood torment. You had visited New Palace in Potsdam, where you learned the terrible childhood of Frederick the Great, who had to watch his lover executed before his eyes by his psychopathic father. Frederick’s Terrible Father spirit gets passed and eventually inspires Hitler, who absolutely admired Frederick the Great, and wants to “cleanse” the human race of genetics he deems to be “subhuman.” Thus, Berlin, a place where they came up with the “Final Solution” and a place where Hitler had committed suicide, represents the Terrible Father. Thus, Berlin, the Terrible Tyrant bullies his kid sister, during his golden years of terror, tormenting her day and night, treating her with cruelty so she can turn into a mini-monster like her big brother.
Now, Poland has grown up, abused by brother Germany and then prostituted by Mother Russia, she is now jaded, numb, an addict, and in a fog. She is bitter, angry, and resentful, and an open flesh wound where the Terrible Mother is brewing within her heart lies in wait to manifest itself, but Poland is still battling the Terrible Mother within, because there is still art, literature, poetry, theatre and music to transmute the Terrible Mother, thereby transforming the pain.
The war is not yet over. The battle is still brewing and you are witnessing its dance battle.
She still holds onto hope and recovery. Most of her people have left the home, in hopes of escaping the memories, the horrors. The stories are repressed, too taboo to bring up, and she is eager to move forward, but she is still haunted by the bitter heart planted by the fresh wounds that are just beginning to heal. She is becoming addicted to victimhood, because the thoughts of “not good enough,” the seemingly “always” of poverty, and not worth it, leads to the gravitational pull of self-sabotage, but her wings are getting stronger, her feathers a fine plume, and she is sharper, wiser, and stronger.
Poland, like the Polish woman, is beautiful.
You know this spirit quite well–the angry, bitter, resentful heart knows the pulse of another angry, bitter, and resentful heart.
The trial of the coffee shop owner with the two pitbulls that attacked Roxy was over and aired this week. One random stranger from Facebook told you that he saw you on Judge Judy and that you did well. You have not seen it nor do you plan on seeing yourself on National Television. All you know is the shock and awe you have at the level of life-lie the defendant lives at the level of victimhood. She went as far as to try and convince the judge and the viewers that you tried to “break into her business” while her “business was closed” and perhaps the dog attack was warranted. The shock on your face when Judge Judy presented the defendent’s narrative was one of sick understanding and anger. On the one hand, you are strangely familiar with this type of life-lie she lives–that she is helpless, that people who are hurt by her negligence deserves it, that it’s always the other person’s fault because she will not take any responsibility for her faults.
You forgave her through God’s will by not outing her business and winning the entire asking sum. You still won and you saved her money because she is scraping by with her coffee shop business and Judge Judy paid for you flight back to the States where you were able to pick up Roxy and bring her on the Europe trip. Roxy sleeps by your bedside every night and wakes you up with her wagging tail every morning. It is the best kind of win you could have.
Looking back, you are grateful you did not ruin her business, because that could be your business you are ruining. Forgive is first for yourself then for the other person. Never forget that. It’s a spiritual law.
You realize that the reason why you dislike both the SJW and the Coffee Shop Pitbull small business owner is that they both thrive on victimhood. They, like you, are addicted to being one, because it’s the easier, more expedient path. Victimhood is like a pig in a muddy quagmire and victimhood can be so addicting. Everytime, you realize the company is not growing to its full potential it is because you know that you are in the way of it. There is something you were not addressing and that is the Terrible Mother brewing in your heart. The need to control, micro manage, overbear, overdirect, overdo for others, enabling bad behavior, and providing no structure or rewards incentives, no structure, no clarity, is a product or byproduct of this traumatized girl whom the Terrible Mother holds captive. The little girl is frightened because Terrible Mother taunts her into thinking that everybody will eventually hurt her.
She can not trust anybody. Harden the heart. You will be betrayed. Terrible Mother taunts.
We can all become addicted to the pain of victimhood. It is a sad truth, but a telling one.
The SJW does not want to be recorded for her words because she can not stand on her words. The coffee shop owner with the two pits that were unrestrained at her own business creates a lie on National Television so that she can play the victim, and is caught and called out by Judge Judy. She is found out.
And so are all the SJW, feminist virtue-signaling, victims are beginning to be exposed, especially during the Trump era. It is one of anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, all the while the Terrible Mother plays the feminine like marionettes.
What is the answer to this terrible inner battle?
Is it a coincidence that your last name used to be Welsh?
Is it a coincidence that it is Rylie, the Scotsman, who inspired you to get sober and finally begin the journey of no excuse growing up in the tough love city of Berlin?
Now that you’re in Warzawa, you are surrounded by the remnants of the toxic feminine. It is one of paradoxes, contrasts, chaos, with high hopes and deep chasms.
The hidden id of the toxic feminine energy is revealed and healed here.
You also realized that this is how you come off to other people, especially your colleagues when you were working at the private school prior to your mental breakdown. You were a pity party that nobody wanted to be around. You look at her and realize that you could not wait for the tour to be over within the first 10 minutes and it. You don’t leave any feedback because you felt sorry for her and to say anything negative to her would just break her into tiny sensitive pieces, yet whatever you do say around her, it just would not be genuine, so you avoid her.
Walking on eggshells.
This is what most of your colleagues at work felt around you. They wanted you to get over yourself, but they did not have the courage, perhaps the tough love, required to tell you the truth. That you could be better. That you could do better. That you deserve better than to stay stagnant in self-pity.
But nobody cared enough to tell you the ugly truth about you, except for Rylie.
Rylie told you the ugly truth.
You are sick.
You did not care enough about the blue haired SJW tourguide to let her know that she could be doing a better job, to relax more, and to consider the other side of things before holding onto her judgements. That is because you know she is mostly in fear mode, the control tightens and intensifies when she is scared, when she trusts no one, when she is experiencing an ego death, she will cling to her victimhood and the poor mentality of the world’s not fair, scary, and rigged–always rigged.
Nothing you can do.
You walk away.
Relieved that you don’t have to stare too long at your own ugly mirror.
The Pianist and the Zookeeper
There is so much blood to reckon for on the grounds you walk on in Warsaw. The first night, the Polish girls had taken you in front of Jesus bearing the cross witnessing the destruction that happened less than 100 years ago, and today, it is beautifully paved, lit up in Christmas lights, as if to say, “Child, the Polish people sacrificed their lives, resisted true evil, so that ninety years later, you can walk these pavements, laugh at your demons into oblivion through a candid conversation with kindred strangers, and listen to the Saxophonist play the hearts and minds of the the Polish spirit.”
He plays George Michael’s “Careless Whisper.”
The American-Polish expat tells you that St. Nicholas Church is where Chopin’s heart resides, though his body is somewhere else in Europe.
How telling and true.
Another Polish girl tells you that France claims Chopin, but the first 20 years of his life, he lived in Poland when Poland was cut up by neighboring powers and the Polish people were co-opted into different warring states.
You soon realize among the seven girls with you that every single person knows both English and Polish and you are the only one who only knows English. In some self-conscious way, you realize that they are all speaking English out of respect for you in this meeting after the Drinker’s Den meeting. You point this out and thank them, with a level of admiration and respect for someone to know two or more languages, which is pretty common in Europe.
You make some comment about the Polish language.
“Polish sounds both gothic and romantic,” you say.
“How so?” one girl asks.
“Well, if Dracula were to read a beautiful and tragic poem, it would sound Polish.”
At this, they were all satisfied.
“What does German sound like?” one Polish girl asks.
“It sounds insidious and downright mean.”
They like you.
When they ask you, “Why Warsaw,” the question itself initially baffles you. You gave some half-hearted answer, “Oh, I wanted to see Auschwitz,” but that is only half true. It did not hit you until the next day, after the Communist Warsaw tour you took, that the big why began to reveal itself.
You came to Poland to strengthen yourself.
The Poles are tough.
They learned this toughness through painful lessons, strengthened over time, recovering from trauma, at the jumping off point with a choice–self-destruction or creative-expression.
It’s going to be dealt with through either funnels.
Perhaps Chopin’s Heart in the heart of Warzawa serves as a reminder of what could be possible if one chooses the path of transcendence.
Poland is situated in between Germany and Russia. By nature, the Polish people are friendly, open, and kind. They welcomed the Jewish people back in the 19th century with open arms during a time that the Jews were persecuted in other European countries. They were not thinking of war but of commerce, of opportunity, of building homes. The propaganda started to spread, Typhus ravaged neighbors, and some Polish people bought into the conspiracy of the Jewish world dominance plot, propagated by the Russians and the Germans who felt intimidated by the Jewish ability to manifest and maintain wealth. Many looked the other way and did nothing when their Jewish neighbors were being discriminated against. Some did believe in the propaganda machine of the “Jewish Problem” and by dehumanizing them first, their blind eye towards their extermination revealed itself in the migration of Polish Jews into the ghettos. 100,000 Jews died from exposure, starvation, and disease.
The tragedy is not that Hitler is a bad person, but that good people witnessed bad and did nothing to stop the bad. There were a few who had resisted. Silent resistance through humble actions. When they allowed the Germans to take an inch, they soon realized that the Germans demanded a foot. Then Hitler put a hit on all Polish people who resisted. Then, it was Hitler’s decree that all Polish people were to also be exterminated. 6 million Polish people were murdered during the Nazi occupation. And the deaths did not stop because when the Germans left, the Russians came to implement its socialist utopia.
Since then, the Polish people learned a few lessons from their past:
First, don’t let bullies walk into your yard and try running your life, telling you how you should live, think, and be. Bullies are takers and shoulders and no matter what you give them, they will continue taking. Bullies are to be resisted, nipped in the bud before it rears its ugly head to swallow you.
Second, self-determination is key and local neighbors are who you protect, even at the cost of risking your own life as revealed in the Zabinskis, the Warsaw zookeepers, during the time they were smuggling their Jewish neighbors out from the ghetto during Nazi occupation. You can not avoid it. It must be done, because when you turn a blind eye to the injustice of your neighbors, it is you who will be eaten alive next. The Zabinskis fought from the very beginning and this fighting strengthened them. There is a spiritual truth revealed in ancient scripture about the way to life is to lose it Matthew 10:39, Matthew 16:25, Mark 8:35, Luke 9:24, John 12:25. And the way to finding is by self-forgetting.
Third, the artists in this world who are not of this world will transform the world. You observed Chopin’s torment in his intimate diaries and his truth revealed in the Ballads and Sonatas when you visited the Frederick Chopin Museum. You walked the streets by the church that housed Chopin’s heart, protected by Jesus bearing the cross. God designed Chopin to be fleshly weak, but spiritually, emotionally, and musically strong.
In the movie, the Pianist, why did Polish-Jewish pianist and composer Władysław Szpilman survive while his friends, family, and neighbors died? Perhaps, it is because their people knew that it is the artist who can tell their stories. When the people give in and give up, it is up to the artist who must act for the pact. That is why the Jewish Police risked his life to pull Wladyslaw Szpilman out of line when his family were lining into the trains destined to carry them to their deaths. While Szpilman witnessed the injustice, he felt the guilt of surviving, of living, yet he knew he had to live.
He had to tell the story, he had to serve as both the eye-witness and the medium of transcendence, to bring meaning and lessons for future generations to come. He had to say goodbye to his family because he had to stay longer in the matrix called life to serve as the storyteller, the truth teller, the transformer. There was a moment when a Wehrmacht officer, Wilm Hosenfeld, catches Szpilman in the act of opening a can of food while in hiding. Szpilman was holding out until and the war was rumored to be almost over. He asks Szpilman what he does before the war and he replies to the Nazis officer that he plays the piano for a living. The officer asks Szpilman to play. Szpilman plays Chopin’s “Ballade in G Minor” and moves the officer’s heart, so much so, that the officer begins to take care of the artist by smuggling food for him during the last few months of Nazis occupation prior to the Soviets counter offense.
This brings you a conclusion of sorts:
Why do people treasure artists?
Because the artist is able to absorb the hearts of his people and convey it through the transcendent.
That’s why Chopin’s heart is black, encased in glass, as revealed in the Mural that sits across Chopin’s Museum.
His real heart is probably black as well, encased and embalmed in the heart of St. Nicholas Church in the pre-old town that was once devastated during the Polish Warsawa Uprising.
You went to get a french manicure and a red paint pedicure. The woman who did your nails spoke little English, but the customer next to you did speak fluent English, so she served as an unofficial translator. The manicurist asks you why you came to Warsaw, a bit surprised. “For the shopping?” she presumes.
“No,” you say, “I am a writer.”
“Oh congratulations!” she was surprised. Perhaps, a person who can make a living off writing is someone who is considered highly talented, fortunate, and privileged.
You are privileged, you realize. Highly privileged.
The truth is, you have not yet made an income as a writer, but your teacher’s retirement is helping you move through this experience whilst you still can move. You don’t clarify. Instead you tell her, “I came here to observe how art can transform pain into passion.”
The patron/unofficial translator, a beautiful blonde Polish woman, gives you a look of surprise.
“I noticed that Poland sits in the middle of Germany and Russia, and less than 100 years ago, Poland experienced the terrible feminine, Communist Russia, and the terrible masculine, Nazi Germany. I understand that Poland was like a child caught in the middle of an abusive household. Now, I am witnessing the resiliency of her adolescence.”
This moved the blonde. She translates what you have said to the other women who are doing your nails and the blonde’s nails.
“Yes, we have gone through a lot. We are poor, but we are survivors, and we are tough,” blondie says.
“I also admire the Warsaw Uprising,” you said.
“That was stupid. We lost,” she says.
“Did you lose?” you challenged.
“The Germans still took over.”
“Yeah, but without resisting, they would have taken everything.”
“True. They wanted to make an example out of us.”
“You can’t allow bullies to take, because bullies are never satisfied, and no matter how much you give, they will always want more.”
“That’s true,” blondie says, “My daughter is currently being bullied, and I tell her to stand up.”
“That’s the only way. Better to die standing than to die lying down like a doormat.”
The manicurist directs you to Chopin’s Monument. You wanted to get back home to write this Playbook. It’s the Producer’s Playbook based on the Power of 13, inspired by Paul’s letter to the city of Corinth. You see Warzawa and know somewhere down the timeline, there will be a Love Story chapter here–perhaps a publishing office, where they will produce showcases, coordinate Journal-Artist journaling groups, and document/film artists in short documentary format and receive cryptocurrency that they can later exchange for fiat for the lifetime of the book’s publications. Lifetime. Every journal they produce will feed them little by little, whilst nourishing the soul and the spirit for generations to come.
You arrive at the monument and see Chopin. He is facing away, as if shy, as if self-conscious of his shortcomings, at least painfully aware it. He can only express his rage in his music. He can only comprehend the insanity of this world through the sanity of his compositions reflected in the bars of his manic scribbles along the eighths, fourths, minors, and majors, dancing along the ballad of the octaves. The Terrible Mother’s eight legs dances along the ten lines and its shoes are the notes, illustrated as black vertical lines with a circular blob on the left side of this vertical line, followed by the black flag at the top right of this note, spinning its web.
Spinning, spinning, always spinning.
The Terrible Mother’s legs crawl alongside the nerves of Chopin’s spine, sending electrical signals to his heart, causing sharp pains, as she gleefully taunts him day and night.
“I’m coming for you, Chopin. I’m coming for you and your family, and your friends, and your neighbors, and there is nothing you can do about it, you weakling,” she says to him.
She screams in wicked pleasure and laughs in terror–a witch’s cackle, cranked high, fever pitch. And to drown out her terrible laugh, Chopin moves his fingers across the lines of the keyboard, black on white, and dances, dances, dances, fingers dancing with the rhythm of his heart on the table top of the song that carries the sound to match, mimic, or perhaps drown out, perhaps even nullify, the terrible cries of Terrible Mother taunting his dying heart day and night.
You feel Chopin’s spirit near you. He urges you to hurry. Time is of the essence. He tells you. No more distractions, he tells you. You must start playing on your own black keyboards. Keep the fingers moving. You noticed the rotting color of your left engagement finger where the knuckles are. It looked bluish, greenish, like rotting carcass, and this surprises you. Upon closer inspection, it was the manicurist’ lamp light shining on you, like x-ray machines, that had given this perspective, but somehow, you know better. The rotting color serves as a reminder that you are actually on borrowed time. You have been since 2013, the year you should have died. Never forget. You should have died.
It was a supernatural intervention that delivered you from hell, literal path to hell, for this one assignment you have been blessed to carry out so stay focused because this is bigger than you, much more meaningful than you can even imagine, much more life transforming on the world stage that you can even begin to fathom. You must walk the line.