Saturday, May 31, 2008

Paris meetings

Two days of meetings in Paris.

With the publisher of the book of the project “The most beautiful people in the world”.
The renowned French legend Robert Delpire.
And long conversations about the book with Mr. Delpire’s collaborator Georges-Emmanuel Arnaud.
Discussing issues like how to present the most beautiful people in the book.
Will we group them by country or mix them?

There were also meetings with sponsor manager Chantal Dewéy.
A strategy had to be developed which company to approach to consider becoming a sponsor for the project “The most beautiful people in the world”.
What exactly do we want from a sponsor and what are we prepared to offer?
One issue in this discussion is that the companies to approach must have a product that relates to the project “The most beautiful people in the world” and to the political and social principles of everybody involved.
This is why a company like Coca Cola is excluded.
There is no beauty in obesity inducing liquids.

Again, there was also a meeting with Baudoin Lebon.
He has the art gallery that represents the conceptual photography of this artist-photographer.
Now that there is a complete new series of conceptual images made in Mexico this Spring, a strategy had to be developed how to present this to the art market.

There is still much to do in Paris.
The publisher asked to stay longer as the design of the book is in a critical stage.
To postpone all coming flights to Amsterdam, Los Angeles and San Jose del Cabo.

But after 3 months of non-stop traveling to India and in Europe, it feels it is very much time to return to Mexico and to the contemplative and healthy life lived there.








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Beautiful images

A day of printing with master printer Peter Paul Huf in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
The second group of conceptual images made this Spring in Baja California, Mexico.

It always seems an easy job that will be done in a short time.
But rarely are the occasions that not some complication or hurdle is met that asks time and technical wisdom to be solved.

To print 10 images took 4 hours.

But then they are of very high quality and achievable.
To go to Galerie Baudoin Lebon in Paris, France.







© Misia Guicherit


© Misia Guicherit









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Thursday, May 29, 2008

To understand is to control

Another day of extraordinary and beautiful experiences.
In such an extreme way that the question comes up why those things are happening.
How come?
For what?
What is behind it?


These questions are asked to long time and best friend Mandira.
She is explained in detail what is all happening and asked if she can explain.

Mandira says:

“To wish to understand is to want to control”

She gives the wise advice to simply experience all those fantastic events and not think about it.
“Just let them happen and deeply enjoy”, she says

Those are very wise words.
Finding fertile grounds.

Off now to Paris with a head and heart filled with beauty and a suitcase full of fantastic prints.








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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

It's about sexuality

In India there is the world-renowned temple town of Khajuraho in northern Madhya Pradesh that is designated by UNESCO as a world heritage site for its archaeological and historical monuments.
We find there the famous erotic sculptures on the sides of the temples.






Made in the 10th century A.D., at the time in that society, no objections nor restrictions were present to openly show images of sexuality.

If we are conscious of the current situation concerning sexuality we must realize that the way a society relates to sexuality can change.
And can differ from another society.

There can be a time and a society where openly exhibiting erotic sculptures is no problem and a society and a time where one bare breast on TV creates a general uproar.



We also see social geographic differences.
What is possible in one country, is forbidden in another country in the same time.

For example nudity on beaches in Europe is common while nudity on American beaches is banned.

Another example occurred last night when there was a conversation with 3 Polish women who explained that all of them were wearing G-strings as underwear.


And that in summer time they are not wearing underwear at all.
Because it is cool and gives a special feeling.
Not only was this information revealing but also the fact that these women were openly talking about it without any hesitation or shame.
Not in any other country was this experienced yet.

A last example is that in Brazil, for some time already, many people shave their pubic hair.
In that society this is not an issue and has become a socially accepted way of dealing with the body.
This shaving of pubic hair has now also reached Europe where it has become a common practice as well.
In places like the sauna and the beach this can be witnessed.

These are examples how people live their sexuality.
Experiment, test and liberate themselves without being punished, jailed or made feel guilty.
You’re lucky when you are living in a liberal and tolerant society.

But fortunately worldwide something is evading and escaping the scrutiny of the religious and political authorities in more strict countries.
Although they try in many ways to control the people and limit them in their personal growing process, there is not much they can do by demonstrations of sexuality that are presented on the Internet.

The Indian sculptures on the temple walls now in cyberspace.
Wherever a person lives, access to Internet is most of the time possible.
And there are websites where people can be seen enjoying sexuality without limitations, restrictions, shame and shyness.

If one would make the effort to find these examples one would see thousands of people who are all openly and publicly celebrating sexuality and using it as a way of liberating, to have pleasure and promote growing.

In general it is a most interesting process to look for boundaries inside oneself.
Planted there by education, religion and tradition.
This works very well concerning sexuality.
To imagine a sexual activity and feel the fear, the shyness and the impossibility to respond to the imagination.
Personal growing and becoming more complete as a person is exactly that though.
To look for the boundaries and restrictions and to break them down.
To pass them to reach new territory that is owned by oneself.
Where one can be one and oneself.

This liberal attitude towards sexuality should preferably be experienced together with another person who is in the same process.
Embedded in love and affection, in a situation of total trust, respect and support, both protagonists can challenge and help each other to proceed to where religion and tradition don’t want them to go.

This is important to do.
Because finding liberty in sexuality spreads to all other areas in the thinking and in the feeling.
A liberated person has a different value in society compared to a person ruled by restrictions, taboos and dogmas.
It is the difference between the glorious avenue and the dead end street.


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Sometimes celebrations of sexuality can be found at:
www.cactusboy.com








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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

This is not about sex

Fervent and loyal blog reader Ben from Las Vegas asks if maybe there is something to write about sex.
It is a general policy never to disappoint fervent and loyal blog readers but in this case the request cannot be honoured.
There is not much to write about sex.
Because sex is an activity disconnected from the rest of a human being.
Like his or her emotional household.
Sex is like animals behave and this blog is not intended for dogs.

However, if we would speak of sexuality, we get into a completely different situation.
Because sexuality is a complex of activities integrated and embedded in the whole of a human being.
Strongly connected to the emotions and to other people.

Our ability to enjoy sexuality is a major power of man- and womankind.
It is a gift that can be used not only to reproduce, but also to give joy to life.
And most importantly, it can be enjoyed as a tool to liberate oneself and become more the person one really is.
Sexuality as a tool for personal evolvement.

Because in most societies sex is mixed up with sexuality, it is an aspect of human beings suppressed.
Sexuality in many societies is more or less taboo and made suspicious, dirty, forbidden and turned into a producer of feelings of guilt.

For this religions are responsible, but Governments as well.
They have an interest to have their people not become true individuals and complete and evolved human beings.
Who would believe otherwise the Mullah preaching that Allah is great and who would believe a President trumpeting that the mission is completed?

We are supposed to be like sheep and this is why in the USA violence in its most extreme ways can be shown to all ages on TV but nudity is completely banned and even punished and fined.

It is therefore logic to be in favour of having sexuality in life in a complete free way.
To ignore completely any restrictions coming from so called rulers and coming from self-imposed norms from within a society.
To use sexuality as an instrument to become more complete.
By breaking down all that has been imposed concerning sexuality by education, religion and traditions.
To discover and create sets of norms and values that are truly of oneself.

This attitude makes it so interesting to discover within oneself all that has been implanted there.
Things that are not of oneself, but that have been indoctrinated there by religion and tradition.
These things will only come to the surface after a person decides to have the courage to live his or her sexuality.
To go for the challenge and to break down inside barriers build by others.
To listen to and respect and honor desires, fantasies and preferences.

Of course these actions of growing and evolving sexually come with feelings of guilt, embarrassment and shyness.
That are exactly the demonstrations of the effectiveness of the brainwashing.

The persons among us who choose to live their sexuality as they feel it and not as it is supposed to be lived decided by society, need to be able to experience feelings of guilt, embarrassment and shyness in a way that it is not blocking.
Once this becomes a possibility guilt and shyness and embarrassment evaporate.
A person can feel shy masturbating in front of others but after the fifth time the shyness is gone.
After which it can become an intense pleasure.

There is no illusion that sexuality can be lived freely and openly in countries like the United States and Saudi Arabia.
It is too restricted and controlled in those countries compared to Europe.
But this should not stop even Ben in Las Vegas.
One lives in a society that makes his or her world.
But one can change that world around him or her by replacing it with a world created by oneself.
To get the opportunity in the own world of growing and evolving in any way desired.

Once enough people have created their own liberal worlds, eventually they will connect and a new kind of society will be created.
Where it is OK not to show violence to children and to adults as a form of entertainment.
Where it is OK to celebrate and be open about sexuality.

Tomorrow we will discuss sexuality in the daily life in a more concrete way.
For example, why shyness disappears after five times.








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Monday, May 26, 2008

The sun shines everywhere

On Sunday March 2nd, the Mexican Senorita drove the permanent pilgrim to the airport of Cabo San Lucas in Mexico.

Within a few hours there was touchdown at Los Angeles International Airport and a dinner was enjoyed in the home of good friends in Santa Monica.
Before to depart for Europe some items needed to be purchased at the Apple Store and at Frysk’s electronic shop in Los Angeles.
The American Dollar has a difference of around 60 % with the Euro and this makes shopping an experience as if each purchase comes with an enormous discount.
This is possible because every business deal made with the images of the nomadic photographer is in Euros.
Euros coming in from everywhere and spend like Dollars in the USA makes overhead low and gratitude high.

From Los Angeles a plane to Amsterdam where a few days available to see family and friends to experience the horrific experience of the nephew ending dramatically his life.

But soon a Finnair plane flew the team of the project “The most beautiful people in the world” to Mumbai in India.
During three exciting, hot and tiring weeks the project was performed with fantastic results.
And an extraordinary experience to work and live in Mumbai in the Hare Krishna Temple with the two fabulous team mates: Ms. Karine Versluis and Ms. Marjolein van Veen.

Returned from Mumbai, India, to Amsterdam it was after a couple of days a new journey started and this time for Krakow in Poland.
To work at cousin Jerzek’s place on the PS-series.

From Krakow, Poland the journey went to Amsterdam again and next to Paris in France.
Late April it was a good time to be back in the city so much loved.
Business was successful in Paris and soon a friend offered a ride to Normandy, in the very west of France to go and see the American painter Richard Harper and the Australian artist Karen Papacek.
For two days only to fly from Paris to Gerona in Spain to drive by rental car to the village of Cadaques that has been home for 5 years once in a lifetime.

Six days in Cadaques to return to Holland for one day to fly to Krakow again to start scanning negatives for the upcoming books.
Every day, starting at 6.30 am till 10.00 pm scanning, scanning, scanning.

Interrupted by a journey to the Ukraine.
To the city of Lvov and the village of Chodorow to search for the paternal root.

Tomorrow the heavy schedule shows a flight to Amsterdam, to work in the digital lab of master printer Peter Paul Huf, followed two days later by a flight to Paris for important meetings with the publisher and sponsoring manager of the project “The most beautiful people in the world” during three days to return to Holland for last goodbye parties with friends to get on a flight to Los Angeles on June 4th.
Final return to Los Cabos in Mexico will be on June 7th ending in the arms of the Mexican Senorita and finishing a 3-month long exhausting and gruelling journey.

Although this exceptional journey is far from over, already being back in the Fuso Szulc at Punta Boca del Salado with the Gonzales family is strongly on the mind.
Because it feels it is time to end this spectacular but very exhausting non-stop travelling.
To finish to live with only a suitcase, a camera and a computer in hotels and guestrooms.
To halt to meet new people all the time, to get involved with them, and this often deeply, to move on after a short time to a new place and to new people.

There is this strong longing to be able again to live in the most favourite way.
Eating simple, vegetarian food and lots of fresh exotic fruit.
Drinking no alcohol.
To be close to nature in warm temperatures and bright sunshine.
With the dear Mexican friends.
The daily exercises of running, yoga and Pilates.
And a wonderful daily session of deep meditation.

This is desire and dreaming.
That can blind.
In Poland right now the sun shines like in Mexico.
For one who is not blinded the sun shines everywhere.





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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Wildstein the pebblein part 2

Prominent Polish journalist Bronislaw Wildstein claimed that Lwow and its territory currently in the Ukraine should be returned to Poland as it was confiscated in a completely illegal and unjustified way.
But that no action should be taken out of fear for angering big brother Russia.

Hence, the logical question was asked why Poland on its territory was accepting the deployment by the USA of new anti ballistic missiles.
Angering not only Russia, but China and other countries as well.

Prominent Polish journalist Bronislaw Wildstein is one of those people who have been influenced by the Bush-Cheney propaganda machine.
He says he feels threatened and needs to be defended and this is where the Americans come in with their new anti ballistic missiles.
The threat he is made to feel is that possibly one day Iran, North Korea or any other so called rogue nations may be able to launch a weapon of mass destruction heading for the United States.

The truth is that we are not threatened at all but the military industrial complex need a situation of fear to make money.
A country that is not an enemy is made into an enemy because enemies are needed to continue to make money through violent conflicts.
It's no surprise that KBR Inc. , a division of Halliburton, had $17.2 billion in Iraq-related war revenue for 2003-2006.
KBR is one of the largest construction and energy field-service companies in the world.
It has a long history of collaborating with the U.S. government on war-related construction.
And it needs more business.
What it costs in human lives, in political disruption and lack of peace, is of no concern to them.

This installation of anti ballistic missiles in Poland is not only a breach of all kinds of international treaties to limit the development and employment of weapons, but it is also a demonstration of aggressiveness and belief that with weapons problems can be solved.
This is a typical American attitude that has resulted in devastation, death and destruction worldwide.

The Polish Government meanwhile is not so convinced anymore that deployment of American anti ballistic missiles is such a good idea.
They hesitate and this has a result that the American Government is now putting pressure on the Polish Government to make a favourable decision.
Most European countries are very opposed to new American weapons on European soil, but Boryslaw Wildstein says that Poland must convince the others in Brussels, the headquarter of the European Union, what a good thing those weapons are.

On the one hand Boryslaw Wildstein decides not to get involved in claiming Lwow out of fear for Russia’s anger.
But he doesn’t hesitate to side with the aggressive and illegal politics of the Bush administration angering not only Russia, but China and many other countries as well.

A journalist informing the general public as Wildstein does, should be balanced in the opinions.
And be not afraid to take independent points of views.
To refuse to be intimidated by possible anger and to avoid to run like a lunatic behind dangerous ideas.

Prominent Polish journalist Bronislaw Wildstein is a silly guy who drinks too much.
Lacking any sign of spirituality and enlightenment.
Whipping up cream with his publications that make people sick.

Once he began strongly imposing vodka flavoured with chilli and honey on his conversation partner, it was time to leave the room.
Following the example set some time before by the artist and expert of horses Misia Guicherit after prominent Polish journalist Bronislaw Wildstein had lightly harassed her.
It was the only wise decision possible.

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To learn more about the deployment of American anti ballistic missiles in Europe, click on:
http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20070425/64384966.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antiballistic_missile
http://www.alemania-hoy.com/dw/article/0,2144,3333050,00.html

To learn more about companies that profit from wars, click on:
http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/41083/
http://www.endevil.com/warprofiteer.html
http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/CompanyFocus/WhosProfitingFromTheIraqWar.aspx




Only comments that are not anonymous and have full name and e-mail adress will be published.






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Wildstein the pebblein, part 1

The interior designer Barbara Wojtkowska lives in a beautiful renovated farmhouse in the village of Tyniec, not far from Krakow in Poland.
Mrs. Wojtkowska is specialised in Feng Shui designing.
A holistic approach to creating living spaces involving nature and electro magnetic fields.

In the beautiful house of Mrs. Wojtkowska many people are received to socialize, discuss, exchange ideas and have a good time.
It is like the Bohemian times in Paris in the 40’s.

Recently one evening, among the visitors was this permanent pilgrim, the artist and expert on horses Ms. Misia Guicherit and the journalist Bronislaw Wildstein.
The latter was dressed in a black costume and quickly it was realized that he is one of the most famous journalists in Poland and abroad.


This reputation he has acquired after he had smuggled, in January and February 2005, a file of informers and victims of the former communist secret police out of the Institute for National Remembrance (IPN) and then distributed it among fellow journalists.
The file is commonly referred to as "Wildstein's List".
(In Polish: lista Wildsteina).
These days Mr. Wildstein works as a prominent freelance journalist for newspapers and TV and publishes books on political subjects.

Therefore an interesting fellow to ask why it is that in Poland nobody is raising one voice to demand that the former eastern part of the country, with at its centre the city of Lwow, has to be returned to the motherland.

Most loyal and fervent blog readers will remember how in 1944 President Roosevelt of the USA, Prime Minister Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom and Marshall Joseph Stalin came together in Yalta on the Krim in Russia.
These three guys decided what would be the new borders in Europe after Germany had been defeated.
Stalin demanded to get the eastern part of Poland and both Roosevelt, already physically very weak and exhausted, and Churchill as opportunistic as he could be, gave in.
They were too afraid of Stalin who they needed to defeat the Nazis.
Without consulting the Poles themselves, who had a Government in exile in London, Roosevelt and Churchill simply gave away a large eastern part of Poland.
This was justified by giving Poland the eastern part of Germany but this was a price to pay not in the books of the Allies.

Looking back how this has been going, one can only be totally astonished and amazed.
Imagine that the President of Mexico, France and Spain get together and decide that California will belong to Mexico as of 2010.
Without asking or consulting the US-Government.
All Americans currently living in California would have to move north or east and loose everything they had.
To be replaced by Mexicans coming up from the south and happily settling in San Diego and Los Angeles.
Would that be acceptable?
Isn’t that a thought that can only be classified as totally ridiculous, preposterous and plain mad?
Nevertheless, US President Roosevelt and English Prime Minister Churchill applied this kind of political lunacy out of fear for Stalin’s eruptions of anger and its possible consequences.

So, why should Poland accept the current situation?
Lwow and its territory have now become, after the collapsing of the Soviet Union, the independent nation of the Ukraine.
Having land, villages, towns and cities that have always been Polish.

So why, prominent journalist Bronislaw Wildstein was asked, is there not a national movement in Poland promoting the idea of seeing Lwow and the eastern Polish territories, now in the Ukraine, returned?
To correct a rejectable and condemnable injustice committed by President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill?
What stops a nation to ask back what has been stolen?

Mr. Wildstein agreed that the eastern part of Poland with Lwow at its centre was confiscated and occupied by the Russians with the consent and blessing of Roosevelt and Churchill without any legal justification.
Chasing away millions of Poles from their homes loosing all their belongings.
In principle Mr. Wildstein agreed that the land and its villages, towns and cities should return to Poland.
But he explained that if a strong voice would start to advocate this demand and promote the rectification of injustice, it would inspire a new anger with the Russians.
Who don’t want to see the Ukraine loose a large part of its territory and see the border of Poland and Europe move closer to their Russian territory.

So, the Poles are afraid of the Russians, Mr. Wildstein?
And this he confirmed.
Out of fear for Russian reprisals and retaliation, the Polish politicians and journalists have made the issue of seeing Lwow return to Poland a too delicate subject to even openly talk about.
This is said by a man who belongs to a people who in history have repeatedly fought the Russians and even occupied Moscow once.
The bravery and strong nationalism once so prominent in Poles, seem to have been washed away by maybe too much drinking of vodka Mr. Wildstein was consuming in high quantities.

If the Poles are so afraid of the Russians to open the Lwow issue, the next question that comes up is why the Polish Government is considering to collaborate with a plan of President Bush to extend and modernize a weapon shield by planting new American antiballistic interceptor missiles in Poland.
An intention that has raised strong anger not only from the Russians but from the Chinese as well.

This was the next subject discussed with the prominent journalist Boryslaw Wildstein that finds its continuation in tomorrow’s posting.

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To learn more about the Chinese art of interior designing called Feng Shui, click on:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feng_Shui



To learn more about the Polish journalist Boryslaw Wildstein, click on:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bronis%C5%82aw_Wildstein

To learn more about the plans to install new American antiballistic weapons in Poland, click on:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=20070225&articleId=4928








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Friday, May 23, 2008

Tears needed

Sometimes people make in their life sentimental journeys.
They go back to a place where they once lived and re-live the emotions.
They often cry there.

Another possible sentimental journey is to go to a place where a father or a mother has been living.
A place only known from stories and never visited before.
Plenty of tears are often shed there as well.

Before to go to Lvov and Chodorow it was asked how sentimental it all would get.
How emotional it would be to walk the same streets of Lvov as the father once did.
To be in front of the sugar factory in Chodorow once run by the grandfather.
To visit the small church of that village where the father definitely has been praying, good catholic as he was.
To stand in front of the grave where the grandfather is resting since 1934.

Did any emotions come to the surface?
Did the heart start beating faster?
Was there an uneasy nervousness?
Did tears roll down the cheeks?

To great surprise, it was noticed, both in Lwow and in Chodorow, that hardly any emotions were waken up.
It was more like a fact-finding mission discovering what was being looked for.
A very factual expedition experienced almost like a scientist, a detective or an investigator.

And this makes sense because, is someone supposed to cry in front of a grave of a grandfather who has never been met and about who not even one story has ever been told?
A totally unknown man therefore.
No tears or other sentimental feelings were welling up except for a certain gratitude.
For grandfather to be indirectly responsible for current existence.

Is someone to become emotional walking in 2008 the boulevard of Lvov where the father paraded with his fiancé in 1938?
It was simply experienced as a curiosity.
A funny twist in the matrix of reality.

The expedition to the Ukraine and into the paternal history was fascinating and unique.
But not sentimental.

As a contrast to the journey to the Ukraine recently, the last two days have been spent in the city of Krakow and this almost all the time in the presence of a most remarkable person.

Every one of us is carrying a field of energy that spreads around us.
Depending who you are and how much you are evolved with your charisma and personality, this field of energy can be between weak or strong.

Many people are not aware of these fields of energy, but once this knowledge has been acquired and it has been learned to feel and read these fields of energy, it becomes a relevant part of being aware of the existence and presence of other people.
The combination of listening to and respecting the intuition in connection with reading and feeling the energy field, makes it a very special experience to meet other people.

This person of the last two days had a very strong field of energy and in there could be found tremendous beauty and harmony.
It was an extraordinary experience to share the own field with the other and it became addictive.
Every moment possible was looked for to have this sensational phenomenon happen.
It grew and grew in beauty and intensity.

To make it a very painful experience to eventually separate.
To feel later the hurtful after effects of the disconnection of the two energy fields for a very long time.

To the contrary of the journey to the Ukraine, the last one to Krakow was loaded with emotion.

What to do with this hole in the own field of energy suffered in Krakow?
How to fill it up?
With tears?







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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Lovely Lvov

There was most of the day available to spent in Lvov, the Ukraine, before the bus with teachers would return to the town of Nowy Sacz in Poland.
An excellent opportunity to scout the city of Lvov.
And make pictures.




















Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The end and the beginning.

A third time the cemetery of Chorodow in the Ukraine was searched for the grave of Kazimierz Szulc Krzyzanowski.

And it was found.
By Irena, the wife of cousin Jerzek.
The grave was overgrown and she had pulled away all the grass and revealed the stone with the inscription.
Assisted by the most friendly taxi driver the ground in front of the grave was cleared and it almost felt like a victory.
To have found the grave making the expedition to Chodorow so successful.






It turned out from the inscription that grandfather not only had been the director of the sugar factory but that he had also been on the board.
But strangely enough on the grave was no indication whatsoever where and when he was born and when exactly he died.

Because the grave was not maintained for many years, it was decided to try to find someone who could clean it up.
One man digging a new grave told he had no time and that all the other men of the village had gone abroad to earn better money.
Eventually a man was found who guaranteed he could clean the grave.
But he asked 800 $ (507 €) for the job.
While a receptionist in the hotel of Lvov makes 100 $ (63 €) a month.
So this man was said bye bye immediately.

Later, the friendly taxi driver offered to do the job of cleaning thoroughly the grave and its immediate environment for 100 € (157 $) and this offer was gladly accepted.
The taxi driver had been very helpful all day long and had demonstrated himself as a fine human being.
He promised to clean the grave in the next coming weeks, make pictures of the result and send them to cousin Jerzek.

Eventually, when everybody was outside of the cemetery again, this permanent pilgrim went back to the grave of grandfather just by himself.
And for quite some time he had a deep meditation standing in front of the grave.
Letting many thoughts and emotions come to the surface for grandfather to share.
The man ultimately responsible for the own existence.

After joining the others a simple lunch was enjoyed in a local restaurant when a wedding party passed by.
Immediately the eating was interrupted to run after this event to make pictures of it.






Later it was realized what a remarkable visit it had been to Chodorow.
The sugar factory and the paternal house found.
And the grave of grandfather.
These discoveries accompanied by a funeral and a wedding.
The end and the beginning.






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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Destination reached but where is Grandfather?

Reaching Lvov in the Ukraine, all the passengers of the Polish bus were immediately stunned by the beauty of the city.
The impressive buildings showing a wealth and richness indicating prosperous times.
The wide avenues with cobblestones and very few cars.
The sunlight falling on the many trees and monuments.

But the bus passed the city centre and headed for a parking place from where a hill could be climbed overseeing Lvov and its surroundings.

The frustration already high because of feeling trapped and jailed in this group of happy travellers, mounted even more realizing that it was getting later and later to go to Chodorow.
The place where father had lived and grandfather was buried on the cemetery.

Of course it could not be asked of the group of Polish teachers to change their program just because one permanent pilgrim wanted to go somewhere else.
Only patiently waiting was the single possible attitude but inside it was raging and the God lodged there must have been embarrassed by all the foul words He heard.

Eventually the bus went back to the city centre and near the main square everybody got out.
Quickly the luggage was taken out of the bus and the first taxi driver found was asked if he knew where was Chodorow.
He had to consult colleagues and after some debating they said they knew.


How much would it cost to go there?
50 € (78$).
A deal was made for 45 € (70$) and in the old Fiat Polonez dating from the 60’s the trip to Chodorow was started.

Chodorow is about 70 kilometres (43 miles) from Lvov and this took more than an hour due to the bad condition of the road.
A road going through a lovely landscape of hills, meadows, fields, forests and hamlets.

The village of Chodorow is just some streets.
Peaceful.
Calm.
Quiet.
Sleepy.


Right in the middle of the village is a rather big cemetery and there the search began for grandfather’s grave.



It seemed a hopeless enterprise.
He died before 1935 and since 1945 no family member has come to the cemetery to take care of the grave.
This goes for most Poles who are buried there and whose families were forced to move and relocate more to the west.
Many graves are now unrecognizable and overgrown.




After one hour on the other side of the street a beer was consumed and friends made.
Meanwhile a funeral passed by.






It was explained to the new friends what was the reason to come to Chodorow.
Another hour was spent looking for the grave and this time with the help of those friendly villagers.
But to no avail.

Therefore it was decided to go and visit the sugar factory of which grandfather had been the director.
This sugar factory was easy to find.
It has been a big plant obviously producing sugar on a national scale.
But now the factory is closed as the Communists have let it run down and this lack of maintenance has made it inoperative.

But the main building is still proudly there as well as the large villa next to it where grandfather and his family have lived.





Eventually it was decided to return to the cemetery and try for a third time to find grandfather.





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