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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Milestone marks momentum

I forgot to notice the anniversary of the the Declaration of War in Poland.

On Sunday, December 13, 1980 -- thirty years ago -- Poland declared war on itself. We called it Martial Law. They called it war.

I woke to the news and was traumatized like everyone else in and in love with Poland. Tanks on the streets, three-man patrols marching in lock-step on the sidewalks. It was the start of a terrible last chapter of Moscow-heavy, thug-driven rule in Poland.

Most significantly, it shut down Solidarity, the rogue labor and social movement that had been growing through the past months. It was viewed as a serious threat to Communist rule. Hundreds were sent to prisons and draconian regulations were imposed on society. Months later, my good friend told me, "I don't think at all."

Those are the words of a man suffering from a traumatic distorder. I recognize those words, and know them all too well.

This year is the 30th Anniversary of Martial Law, or Poland's war on itself.

And I was so busy celebrating Sancta Lucia on that same time, I forgot!

I count this a victory. In an odd way, it feels like I'm moving on. It takes away nothing, none of my empathy for Poles. But it is a positive sign of looking forward, looking and diving deeply into life, rather than looking back and focusing on trauma and sadness.

For the first time in 30 years I didn't feel it in my bones, in my senses, my body. I was too busy living. I hope that we never forget the sacrifices others make but I hope the Polish people can get to where I am, so deeply in love with living that death doesn't hold as much power as it did.

The light returns!

Belated, and sincere, Happy Lucia! Happy Light!

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