About Belarus, as usual
In California, heard about Belarus, but they know about it is not enough either, and nothing at all. So it seemed to me during my speech at the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian research Stenfardkaga Institute (Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, CREEES) November 14, 2007. I suggested the topic "How Firm Is President Lukashenka’s Grip on Power in Belarus?", Ruling analyze social and economic support of the regime and provide some sociological calculations. Adnak Vesling Rob (Rob Wessling), Deputy Director CREEES, recommended me to tell about Belarus something more simple. Say, come listen to students, for which at least the title of Belarus on the map, so you should do enlightenment. Well worth showing some pictures, no pictures because such a presentation of no interest to the audience.
I came to Stanford on November 5. A day or two I took to make sure that in the archives of the Institute of Guvera (Hoover Institution), that sheltered me almost a month, there is no material for my research on the history of Belarusian political emigration, I said for a scholarship (Bernard Osher Fellowship) in California . A week later, the time is not hard as long as I worked on my story about Belarus, mastering caches in PowerPoint on a laptop and downloading the desired pictures from the Web. That there was something like a succinct overview of the new history of Belarus — from opening Kurapaty in 1988, before the presidential election of 2006. Vesling doctor, who warned that people will listen to me 10-12 (presumably to advance to warn my disappointment) was very surprised when a small room where I read, crammed more than 30 participants. Such on his seminars, he told me later, was not long.
Before returning to Prague remained two weeks. Since filing Lukashuk Alexander, which temporarily became the principal executive editor of Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, I was appointed in December and January as Acting Director of the Belarusian service. My previous plan — to sit in California two months and write a book about a significant piece of emigration — was cut in the bud. What can do in two weeks?
No Kissing or Hugging at Stanford
I decided that during those 2-weeks in California will not do anything completely. Take for himself, so to say, a vacation from the cycle of everyday life and think about the essence ekzystentsyi. Away from work and colleagues, away from family, in a place where I did not have anybody and where exactly all no me no wraith. These incidents Nadar me if not for the first time in 20 5 years of my life as a home — husband and father.
Byyear was gorgeous. The sun was shining, the temperature once a day above 20 degrees front of the cabin in which I dwell, ripened oranges and pomegranates mandarynki. The air was laden with the scent salodkadurmanlivym neither citrus trees, nor sekvoyav and eucalyptus. Campus drove around the institute free buses could get anywhere — or to the station in Palo Alto, which pulls the train to San Francisco, to the shopping center or in a place with the title of San Antonio. Structures Institute, scattered throughout the city Stanford, were in a "colonial" style and stood in the middle of palm trees. Almost all the students went to the Great. Most of the students had Asian features — the inhabitants of the country of the rising sun, Koreans, Filipinos, Indians and race and nationality, which I could not identify. All this created an atmosphere and irrealnastsi zvyshchasovastsi … Sein und Zeit braked for me, and I began to hover somewhere over the place …
"Pay attention, Ian, that there is no student couples who stroll arm in arm or kiss" — Beware of me in Prague, my co-worker Irena bure Ukrainian service, which was at Stanford a few years back. "They’re not thinking about love, but only about a decent job in Silicon Plain after graduation." I sent a note — indeed, in all my time in the Campus I found one two couples who walked arm in arm.
In California, everything seemed legkavazhkim and inconsequential. I remembered the words of Roger Voterza of "Pink Floyd", the beloved poet of my school-student years: All you touch and all you see / is all your life will ever be. (Maybe there is some adequate Russian translation of this excellent couplet, I did not go further follow: You always lived with you / it is not more than uzreesh eye and hand tronesh). California aerial perspective of life has become seemingly more understandable and applicable. Like the idea of death. (If could take this awareness and acceptability is on the ground!)
But on the third day of my metaphysical messing around I felt some itching in my soul — I was bored and May legkavazhkasts neprysutnasts in California. What at first seemed like empty space perfectly and light days, early stimulation and gnyastsi eventually became unbearable burden. I split and contacted on Skype with his wife and brother in the Czech Republic in Poland. I landed and went to work …
A few quotes from the wisest men
During the 10 days that remained before my return to Prague, I turned four poems by Vladimir Orlov in analogy Belarusian poetry that will be released in This year in Wroclaw, more than half of spouses zredagavav translation "Conversations with God" Valentine Akudovich (for Wroclaw) did with his brother under 80 percent of Internet pages devoted Podljassk language and read booklets with 6 Oxford series "A Short Introduction» on P . Barth, Heidegger, postmodernism, poststructuralism etc., so as not to go to Minsk with an empty head, when it go there … At the same booklet Akudovich I ran into one fascinating place in the essay "Work": The fact that the Belarusian work — this is not something that provides human life, and the place itself is life … Belarusians are not made for the world, they are designed to work … So that’s what it turns out. That’s why I do not live just fate and soar in the air …
Already in Prague, I turned "Unbearable Lightness of Being" Milan Kundera and read that lightness or heaviness of existence is dependent on our metaphysical perspective. If we believe that we lived life will never happen again, almost nothing prevents us to live it and just irresponsible. But if our lives would be repeated in the future, the understanding of this would make the life of the greatest burden (das schwerste Gewicht by definition Nietzsche). Kundera writes: Greatest burden crushes us, we absyadaem under him, he presses us to the ground. But in the love poetry of all time lady wants to be pressed against the weight of a man’s body. Means at the same time have the greatest burden richer way of filling life. The greater the burden, the closer to the earth is our life, the more it really and truly. On the other hand, the complete absence of gravity causes that person becomes lighter than air, soars high, is removed from the earth, becomes napavsapravdny and his movement as free as insignificant.
To tell the truth, I’m not very interested in the idea of endless return. I like more down to earth approach Akudovich: Belarusian either works or drink vodka. As there is no work, nor vodka — he misses. I was found in California and work at hand, and wine. And I tried them uvadnachas rather than alternately. Clearly, I was not at all boring.
About Belarus, as usual