Thank you for taking the time to read my letter.
Even if now you might have forgotten what Time is, since you are existing in a different form, in a different world I would like so much to know myself, I trust that you understand and can hear my voice.
I will not present myself. I am ..... afraid! from where you are you already know me! Maybe you also know what I would like to tell you. But let us still carry on. Talking to someone who I believe will understand is what I want.
Just to make things clear for all those still out here, in the physical and oh! so perishable form, I have come to Prague a couple of years ago stepping into the unknow, into the unknow pain that has been pushing me to the ground for so long. It isolated me from all that exists. While surviving in there, there was always a voice inside me, something that kept me alive. This is the voice talking now.
Mr. Havel, for most of my life I have been in pain about this world I came into.
Even if for those who see, using their eyes only, assigning me an utilitarian purpose, I was OK- I was not.
I have purposely directed all my actions , as a martyr would do (this might resonate with you - I am an attentive reader even if rather susceptible when it comes to making the world better) to this purpose. And then the realization struck me.
The world will not be better during my lifetime, people will not put education, development, love and cooperation, mutual help on the first place, just because I am in pain looking outside and inside people. All I can do is make myself better, heal my pain and become a witness -the most I can do- for the pain of others. Most of the times, we only need someone to see us and understand that we are in pain and not want us to be fine for their sake.
Before we trust and try again, after a life of a burden when nothing seemed right, we need to be seen.
I have been reading some of your books, those I could find here. In the book, Disturbing the peace, written in the form of a long interview, they asked you :
If you're so full of fears, doubts and questions, are you sometimes afraid of old age and death as well?
You might be surprised to hear this, but I'm not. I dream about old age as a time of rest, when nothing more will be expected of me. What bothers me more than anything else about death is that I won't be able to see how things here will turn out.
So I decided to tell you.
Mr. Havel this might disturb your eternal peace again. I am very sorry.
Sometimes I am afraid of saying what I think, here in the real world where words are so charged and so I tone them down even if, in reality, I would like to yell at the top of my lungs, asking us all to wake up.
You might remember that your discourses and your language moved a whole country to revolt, to stand up and fight You, dear Mr. Havel, having used the power of language to express your mind and soul, to pour your spirit into life, this terrestrial live, know what I mean.
Every morning I walk across Václavské náměstí. Or that used to be the case a few months ago. I used to walk all the way back too. There are times when I walk purposeless but, somehow, I always find the way.
Václavské náměstí is my favorite place indeed. This is the center from where waves of energy, pulsing thorough a sea of people, listening to your voice talking about a new way of thinking and wanting to be treated as humans, swirled throughout the country. This is the center of Europe some say and I must agree - it feels like that. You must forgive me, I did not read all your theater plays and essays, I am searching for a copy of those but I feel and live that spirit still.
Here is a photo of this place now. Right above the National Museum I caught on camera my guide, the Moon. I call it the night sun or my guide through this wilderness.
It takes a longer song blasting in my headset, to cross the square. It might as well be me walking too fast! As I walk, I feel. I notice. I observe myself sometimes walking like a man. I am a woman and I have to walk like a man most of the times- to simply make my way through life.
But 2020 is a more complicated year. We are inside a crisis which infiltrated itself into our minds and soul unseeingly and slyly, as poisonous gas does. Unapologetic and abusive, the power of the system has caught us inside and we are suffering of cognitive dissonance, all our fears are bursting out and we are retreating. Our souls are flying away because this is no space, no land for humans to be.
I know, that you understand what I mean. You have lived under constant pressure as well. But this is a different kind. It is a more dangerous crisis , allow me to affirm that- it affects not only our physical selves, but it goes directly to our minds, to our souls. The crisis started in May this year and we gave it a name, and we have a cause for it, but we have no idea how to exit.
Mr. Havel, this is only the surface of what is going on inside out collective mind and soul. We are all sick and disconnected, we are in pain Mr. Havel.
Yes, we do have the freedom to say so, one can go outside, nowadays online, and scream about anything one deems suitable or just can't keep inside anymore, but...that is just that, a screaming voice, it adds to the noise Mr. Havel and we fall deeper.
We are all screaming and nobody can hear what others are saying. Even the ones whom we are living with, eating together or making children with - we cannot hear them.
Mr. Havel, we are deaf. We are loosing our capacity to discern.
You might be interested to know that there is an election going on, in one of the most powerful and influential counties on planet Earth. The person who might win again is a pure example of human deafness and soullessness.
You might also like to know that, after decades, women now are also seen as thoughtful people, more or less. You know, humans who can actually be respected, listened to and followed. In Slovakia, our neighbor and your home (partially :)) Zuzana Caputova is the first and the youngest woman president of Slovakia.
Romania - my home (partially :)) had a woman prime minster until 2019 but that did not last long. Moldova -the other half of my home is as always going through difficulties in finding its voice.
Last week, a new session of presidential elections took place over there. Maia Sandu (a person I respect deeply) is on the list and in the hearts of so many Moldovans spread around the world. I have been reading about her too, listening to her and trying to understand what made her so strong. I had to see it - it is injustice, the vulnerability of the powerless, the abuse that we as a nation live in, made her speak up, putting herself in life threatening danger.
Women have to put up with so much criticism, their persona is attacked and critiqued while their actions are being downgraded, any success being assigned or thought be the result of a man's influence.
I understood from all I have been reading about your life, please do excuse me if that is wrong, that you had a difficult relationship with women. It looks like you were emotionally unstable and dependent on some woman. You marriage was fine until it was not and you found support (a certain type of) elsewhere. Your wife was like a grounding point for you, an anchor and even if years later you did divorce and re-married, she remained somehow always present.
Now- as you probably know, I have very strong opinions on that - on the role of women in our lives and how their actions influence us, pulling us down into the mud or giving us the power to grow wings and fly.
I am deeply disappointed by the state of womanhood we are living in now. We are living in a digital world, a plastic world which welcomes anyone looking for self appraisal - the harmful kind. There is a strong malignant request for that. Women, according to the world today, can chose to be either dolls or household machines. That is what they ought to be so that the world could see them even, to acknowledge their existence.
If a woman does not fit in this mold, it is instantaneously disqualified as a human of value.
Yes, I have had my share of criticism and people trying to pigeonhole me ( I worked in fashion which in some minds is the epitome of dullness - it can be but, it was not for me) but I also read too many biographies, to many books by women who spent their lives in the same way, under attack and devaluation, but they did not succumb morally, emotionally and mentally as it is happening now en mass.
I am thinking about the books (one of the spirits I would say, as books are alive to me) which saved my life in Singapore - Le Deuxième Sexe by Simone de Beauvoir, a classic. I am thinking about Milada Horáková and her fight (and death) for justice. I am thinking about Hannah Arendt, her voice being like a drop of water after drought, the first sign of rain.
I am also thinking about that woman I saw in Amsterdam, in the red district. She was standing in her doll box, half necked, selling herself and she was scrolling on her phone paying attention to nothing, actually she did not exist anymore. That is how hungry the world is, so depleted of live nourishment. You might know that scrolling obsessively is a modern age handicap, of all humanity.
As I was walking on that street, looking at those women, I was sure there was a moment in their lives when they could have chosen something else and still they made the decision to stay there, to sell their souls - this thought and the sadness related to it came over me again - as a collective ,we are sick and need to be resuscitated.
Yes, there are a few examples of women and men who refused to become instruments and chose to stay awake throughout their life, but these are like stars in the darkness. The majority of us is making stupidity a good choice, because we are lacking that insight that only the spirit can give us.
This is a short answer to you question, Mr. Havel.
We knelt down and we have fallen prey to our weaknesses.
Let me end this letter, citing one of the books about you, Havel, A life by Michael Zantovsky (what a life! I would say )
We live in Prague-
this is where
the revelation of the Spirit
will once occur...
Czech philosopher, writer, and poet, one of the leading personalities of the Prague underground
Thank you again for taking the time Mr. Havel. Please, whisper words of wisdom in our mortal ears as we are sleeping.