Brenna, 10 July 1974
I was very moved by your letter – my memories returned, no one understands you now like me, for I have gone through it. To look at the torments of the person dearest to you, on the one hand you want to save him at all costs, just so that he would live, and at the same time you realise how horrible it is, that it would probably be better if it all ended – these are very difficult, horrible moments. The worst thing is that these experiences simply invade your brain and come back for long, long years. I remember the last five days of my mother1 as if it was today, her every movement, thousands of terrifying details. This is the worst experience in life and such long dying is the most terrible thing. And although we pray, “protect us from sudden and unexpected death”, I ask for just that. I don’t know how things are with you now, for every day is crucial. I feel for you and understand you.
Your letter arrived during my absence – I was in Warsaw, about my books. They will accept two. “Rabka” will appear in late 19752 or even in 1976. And the deadline for the other one, which I entitled “The world of imagination and dreams”3 (the bosses at the Ministry did not like it, for we are not supposed to dream or imagine things, but to enjoy our reality), is 1 February 1975 – I chose it myself, for it is hard to believe, but the paste-up got lost at the publishing house and I have to do everything from scratch. Besides I am to select the poems myself, which is also very difficult. But I’m happy that they want to publish it, now the whole book somehow arranged itself into a story about human life from the cradle to the grave – there will be 11 cycles, such as birth, love, loneliness, departures, transformations, nothingness, etc. The size is supposed to be 23 x 25, offset printing. This is my whole life now. I still want to make more photos and change some of them, but I know that this book will be somehow the most my own. The worst thing is that I can hardly do anything right now, almost two months away from home.
Now I am in Brenna, near Wisła and Istebna with Maja and her little daughter, to help her a bit. Worst of all, the weather is awful. I come back home about 20 July. On 1 July I will probably go to Rabka with Agatka [Augustyńska], we are to settle all the details about “Rabka” with the municipal authorities and the author of the text, a writer from Kraków Pagaczewski.4 On 15 July I go to Yugoslavia for two weeks, and about 4 September to France – if we get passports on time. I come back around 20 September. And then the toil will start – a semester with students, making money, and the most important thing –the book.
My dear, I’m writing to Szczecin, for I don’t know what is happening with you, where you are, if you can, write to Gliwice, for I will be there on 17 July.
Yours and waiting Zosia
1) Zofii Rydet’s parents died almost at the same time in 1957.
2) The paste-up of the album Rabka was accepted for print by the Sport i Turystyka publishing house, but the book was never published.
3) Ultimately, the book was entitled The World of Feelings and Imagination and it came out only in 1979 (Krajowa Agencja Wydawnicza).
4) Stanisław Pagaczewski (1916–1984), a Kraków writer (author of Przygody Profesora Gąbki), journalist, traveller active in the Polish Country Travel Association.