I Keep Trying to Find Balance. An Interview with the Writer

Waldemar Sulisz talks to Andrzej Stasiuk, writer and co-owner of Czarne Publishing House (Fragments) (...)

What did you learn from your father?
- Something really important. I’ve always had a problem with my father. I would run away from home, I didn’t want to live like him, follow in his footsteps. Looking back I remembered that every day for 50 years he went to work and always came back. Not until I became a grown man, did I realize he was a real man. It is more of a challenge to come back home every day than to go on a space expedition. It is not always nice and comfortable at home, sometimes there’s trouble, hardship. That’s what learnt. To be a man.

And from your mom?
- My mom is like a bird. From her I learnt the art of storytelling. She is a very intelligent woman.

What are your conversations with your dad like today?
- Now he never stops talking. They’re old, almost 80 now. You don’t interrupt them. I ask him how it was to live in a village and he replies with a monologue. It’s easier to have a conversation with my mother. (…)

You live in Wołowiec, a little village, and you built yourself a study in a granary.
- It’s an old shack. We moved it there. I sit there. I tell my family: “I’m going to work”. Like my father. When you get confused you go out of the shack, look at the frost covered trees. That’s how I live. In silence. You watch the sun rising in silence. My sheep come to me sometimes, bells at their necks ringing. Standing there and looking at all this is like meditating, like praying. A miracle. It’s still a miracle.

You’ve been with your wife for over twenty years. Are you still in love with her?
- The fact that I am in love with her is one thing, but what bewilders me is that she’s managed to put up with me for all this time. What is so unusual about being with one woman for more than twenty years? I’ve never hesitated for a single moment that it could be different. I know that there comes a time when people try living different lives or, in their sixties, find a young girl and think that maybe it will work out. It won’t work out. (…)

What’s important in life?
- Faith, hope and love. (…)

From: Dziennik Wschodni, 20.11.2011