THE BOOKSHOP WINDOW
I walk past this bookshop window almost every day. It does two things to me. In fact three. Firstly, it inspires me, like standing on the top of a mountain inspires me, with all those live minds hidden behind those hard and soft binds. From Augustine’s Civitas Dei to Ibn Arabi’s Bezels of Wisdom to Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself the bookshop window is a constantly changing surface affecting the psyche. Naturally, being Warsaw, most of the titles are in Polish, though I have found a couple of bilingual editions here and there. However much it frustrates not being able to read these books, (and here's the second point), I take quiet solace in simply being able to see them bound in that communist cloth that clothes and smells so well. I rejoice in the fact that I can still see a bookshop window so full of uncelebritized names (the third point), so full of obscure (yet enlightening titles) by people called Korzbyski, Witkacy, Potocki, Ingarden. Indeed, every morning at 11am, the window dressage is an event in itself. Slowly, as if with the seasons, the gist of the window changes so that a springtime of phenomenal fleet-of-foot leads through a summer of northern european art to an autumn of reflection and questioning and a winter of cold, wide thinking. Slowly, the year passes philosophically as perhaps it should, whilst I continue to marvel and wonder at what on earth some of those titles behold behind that finely woven communist cloth.