On several occasions, my father was called up for military service. These trips were shrouded in an atmosphere of toil and humiliation. I didn't understand much of it. I knew he was going a long way, that he would be gone for a long time, that no one liked it, but it was something that you couldn’t talk about. Words like: training ground, barracks, reserve, second lieutenant were used in the conversations. They sounded strange and ominous. I tried to imagine all that, I kept asking questions, but I couldn’t piece together a coherent picture from the answers. I knew that there was a forest, a fence, that there were tanks driving around, I knew that my father would live with men like him in one room. This was the hardest to grasp. I knew there were other people in the world, even of similar size and all, but they were not like my father, but completely different. Imagining a group of people like my father derailed my imagination completely.


In any case, he would leave, be gone and then return. Sometimes he would leave again before coming back for good (one more word: a pass). I asked him what he was doing there. He would reply: nothing much. He would shoot a little, but not much, because there was a shortage of ammunition (?), he went to pick mushrooms, of which there was no shortage, and carved bark boats for me. Bark boats – for me – this is my association about anything military.


I broke through the first wall. The resistance was quite strong. It is easy to forget how difficult the beginnings are. I didn’t know how to begin, I tried with different solo instruments, I had no idea what tone to set for the beginning, so to speak. But I finally found it. It will be a soul/blues female voice, a soprano/tenor duet. There will be double bass and piano. And strings, of course.

(transl. Magdalena Małek-Andrzejowska)