Tag Archives: Racibórz

What is a home?

Yesterday was a long day in a train.  Speed train, recently delivered Pendolino. Comfortable trip from the North to the South of Poland. Within 8 hours instead of 13 just few months ago. I was coming home.  Raciborz, my first home till I was 19 years old. Then it changed into Wroclaw for another 13 years to continue with Gdansk for the recent 6… Between each home certainly there was a period of a blurred limbo when neither the new one nor the old one where my real homes.

What defines a home? When this particular feeling starts to grow and develop in your heart or mind or both? Is it when you make your first friend in the new place or is it just the first fire at the chimney? Is it the unpacking of your books on new shelves or baking first apple pie in the new oven?

I was desperately looking forward to leave Raciborz and start new life in Wroclaw. I left my first home with a bunch of high school friends making the landing as soft as possible. So it was soft, indeed. In the warm arms of the biggest city on Odra river, Silesian capital city, I felt home when after my first year two of my best friends came to the city to live and continue their studies and I had the chance to show them what I already loved there, all the cheap beer bars, great dance floors, open till mornings afterparty dives and evergreen parks and river islands…

After 13 years, when the date of move to Gdansk was getting closer I started my farewell through never ending friend night talks, old city wanderings, river bench cigarettes, one farewell party after another and in the meantime finishing first sketches of my first novel, impatiently waiting for the trip to Gdansk and already mourning the last day in Wroclaw…

Gdansk became home of course much quicker than within a year. When you fall into sleep next to your beloved one, your heart even if full of uncertainty already feels like home and that first drunk night with your new friends, when you leave the bar and go to the beach to listen how the birds welcome the sunrise…

Fluent borders of feeling like home, winding between old and new, filling the new with hope and promise, and leaving the old with gratitude and love.

and you know what? The best thing of all is that all these homes remain your homes for ever. So am I now back at the first one, planning to see the second for the end of this week. See you there! 🙂

A Silesian Mansion…

I’ve been dreaming about this Silesian Mansion House… Not once, twice, but many times.
Each time I walk these wooden stairs up to the spacious and bright ball rooms with wooden floors and big windows opening to the park behind the castle. 19th century floor is creaking delicately and when I get closer to the window and open it the fresh air comes in together with the birds tweets…

In 1989 when the State Owned Farms were liquidated the wind of change had also reached Rudnik Mansion House.
My auntie, who used to live in that house as one of the Farm’s Accountant, emigrated within few months to Germany through the opened borders with her sons and daughter. Right after the inhabitant left the apartments the Mansion was sold immediately by the Agricultural Real Estate Agency to an unknown private person and that was the beginning of the end… Later on the Mansion was sold to a Foundation which was deliberately established to rip out some mortgage money from these still in good condition buildings and that was it. Today after almost 15 years, the interiors are completely devastated with almost nothing left but bare floors and walls. The roof starts leaking as somebody started to collect the roof tiles…

The local community claims that the situation is hopeless since the Foundation is in liquidation status and there are no moves from it in order to sell the property. Anyway the local authorities somehow managed to localize two of the Foundation members of the board but just by talking to them the community has been convinced that these two people were just substitutes in order to blur the real owners of the Mansion, who most probably left the country with the money years ago…

There are only two possibilities which may help to rescue the once beautiful property, either the creditors will call for their money/property back or the Agency who sold the buildings will try to take them, but in order to do so it wants a big favor from the community and wants to sell their other ruins from the neighboring area…Real Gordian knot. Will anybody find the Gordian or is there no hope?

I had a dream…the last one of the series was that I had established a Foundation and in the next twink of an eye the Mansion was full of young people, running around and painting the walls, decorating the rooms, planting azaleas in the garden…

Believe it or not but that dream happened to me before I knew about the REAL Foundation!

The same foundation/mortgage/escape scheme happened to hundreds or even thousands of Mansion Houses across Poland.
If anybody can help the Rudnik’s Community let me know.
I promise, my dream will become real soon…