I was afraid of cows for a long time. There were many reasons for my fear, with their sheer size being one of them. I found it difficult to comprehend how such a huge head could still be one and the same as their rump and the tail. Various stories contributed to the fear as well, such as one about my cousin, who was once chased across a field by a cow. The cow caught up with him and gored him. Or about an aunt, who, while milking the cow, was kicked in the head by it, and she fell off a stool and lost consciousness. 


But, above all, I was filled with terror and horror by the cow’s voice. Both by the bass murmur, when they were calm, and the baritone-tenor-like roar made in agitation. I didn’t understand their language. Their vocal productions somehow didn’t link with what I thought were their intentions. 


I was once given a cow horn as a gift. I was told that a cow had shed it. I stared at it for a long time, unable to believe it was the real thing. It seemed unnaturally small to me. I was surprised by its structure. In no way could I imagine how a cow would perform such an act of shedding.


And I recently stopped being afraid of cows. After meeting one Malina face to face. She was pregnant. I stood in front of her for a long time. Her baby was moving around in her belly. She looked back at me with indifference, no threat at all. She nudged me with her nose.


I got through a difficult moment in the piece. I wanted to combine one cheerful quote with an intensely sad piece of text. Because that’s what the text suggests and because I felt it was a very valid lead myself. But it wasn’t working out. I stood still, like a cow, for a few days. Until finally, yesterday, in one spurt, I wrote the entire piece. Minute fifteen, where I’m currently at, means that I am approaching the end of phase one (of two).


(transl. Magdalena Małek-Andrzejowska)