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  • Writer's pictureKonrad Piwowarczyk-Saban

You live with who you are, who you want to be, with who you would like to become. You live alone with yourself. The sooner you understand it, the more beautiful, deeper and more important this life will be. You live with someone you have inside you, someone who knows you better than anyone. Sooner or later you should love the one you live with, because it is someone real, maybe even more real than yourself. Never ignore him. Never forget him. Make peace with him when you argue, don't take offense for too long. Feed him and make him never suffer from thirst. Respect him. Take care of him, how you care for yourself and maybe even more. Remember that your pain is also his pain, but share with him not only the worries of life, but also share joy. Listen carefully when he whispers something, appreciate his advice and blame him for your mistakes. Know yourself. Live so as to understand that someone who shares your name.

  • Writer's pictureKonrad Piwowarczyk-Saban

Right next to the entrance to The Gesher Theatre in Jaffa there is a tiny cafe, which owes its name to a certain bear. Albert is a bear-traveler. At the beginning he was only a product of a child's imagination, but one day he slipped beyond its borders and that's how a place, called for many of its customers a "home" was brought to life. All of Albert's belongings are hidden in a blue purse, which our sweet bear never leaves behind. The blue purse carries all the memories from Albert's adventures.

Albert is showing his age already, so it's clear that a dozen of expeditions took place in his life. He stopped here and there. Sometimes there, where the sun was shining beautifully, sometimes here, where the sea and its quiet waves could heal the wounds inflicted by life. Sometimes Albert stopped somewhere, where something was happening, and sometimes, where there was not happening anything at all. Sometimes Albert paused in his adventure only for a moment. Tired of the journey he was waiting for a train, plane or ship (ships he liked the most), which will take him even further beyond the horizon. Sometimes bear stopped for a long time with the hope of finding someone to join the expedition, because it's briskly to travel together. And although Albert did not have a camera, every day more and more pictures from his trips were placing into the blue pouch on his arm. How strange, colorful and beautiful was this album of travel memories...

In the pouch there were monasteries of the Greek islands, a big white sails of Italian ships, rowan necklaces from Mazury. The wild forests full of black berries and a flock of wild geese. The paddy fields and pink lakes, coral reefs and the Lisbon trams. Houses with red brick and mountain streams. Sour wine and sweet cherries. Guitar, piano and a dozen of street cats. The Persian bracelets and multicolored Indian pendants were clinking in the purse too. There were hibiscus flowers, an old nargila and Muslim mosques inside. There were black eyes, strange tattoos and smiles of passing pedestrians too.

Although there was obviously much more memories, our bear could still bear his purse easily. Heavier than the bag was only a thought in the bear's heart that there will be always a place where Albert will not be... When someone close to his heart will cry far away, Albert will not be there. When someone will be born or someone will be dying, Albert will not be there. Albert will be far away.  This thought was so heavy that one day bear needed a moment to sit down on a hot stone to soothe his saddened heart.  That day he suddenly realized that if you live from day to day, if you travel around the world in search of your path, if due to your inner need of owning a home you built one wherever you stop... something extraordinary happens. When you stop for a moment of time, your time for a moment stops with you. This is your chance to get settled. That's how the places that at first seem to be simple stops, slowly become your havens. And the path creates itself.  But to make it happen, to make it possible, your heart needs to balance the weight of the blue pouch with a growing recollection of what you left behind. Otherwise, any journey would not be possible.

Go on Albert! Go on with your adventure! And you and you and you!

  • Writer's pictureKonrad Piwowarczyk-Saban

The first breath was enough for Kuku, who had just hatched from the egg, to understand that the Greek air smells sweetness, happiness and serenity. It's a smell of the sun, the olive tree, overripe wine, figs and pistachios. One inhale was enough for the tiny heart of the hummingbird to start beating with joy to the rhythm of the hexameter. In the gently weaved nest, safely set between the thorny branches of our bougainvillea, the great odyssey of the smallest bird on earth began that day.

This story has something of Julian Tuwim in it, because when I saw Kuku for the first time, I just heard words in my head, beloved words from childhood poem:

"Thus he started chirping, peeping, Warbling, shrieking, chirp-a-cheeping"

Kuku chirp-a-cheeped at me in the kitchen window. Eliyahu was still asleep, while I was brewing my morning coffee and I could not believe my eyes. I've never seen a hummingbird in nature before. When it hung in the air and looked into my eyes, I remembered that once a dragonfly came to my apartment. The admiration of a mysterious winged newcomer - nomen omen - a symbol of immortality and rebirth - lasted only a short time though, because in a fraction of a second my cat caught it and ate it.

Immediately after the recollection of tragically killed dragonfly, another distressing thought came to my mind (a strongly exile and patriotic memory) of "The imprisoned swallow" by Stan Borys. So I decided that it would be safest to close the mosquito net in the window in order not to imprison the beautiful creature in our kitchen. But when I raised my hand, Kuku shook himself, nodded his head left and right several times, then, as if nothing had happened, he asked:

- Can I tell you a story? It will be as short as life. Fleeting like me. Beautiful like flowers in your garden. It will not be sad, it will be rather pensive and melancholic. Because if one's life is short, ephemeral and beautiful, there is some melancholy in it. This is going to be a love story. This will be a story about the journey. However, to understand this story, you have to look at the world through my eyes...

Basically, I think that animals familiar with human speech should be carefully listened to. Just like you should hug trees and feed cats. So I nodded rather boldly. At the same time the world became sweet, the heat hit my head, the air smelled of honey, sun and love.

That morning I became a hummingbird.

That's how I've learned to love.

Kuku, painting by Eliyahu Saban, acrylic paint & ink pen on wood

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