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powazek productions
{ personal log }

bags packed

Today I walked out of the drug store with three kinds of allergy medication, four digital video tapes, six roles of film, and one Wired Magazine. A quick trip to the book store and I added Chuck Palahniuk's latest (I always wind up reading him on airplanes) and a pocket Polish/English dictionary.

I packed all of this in a suitcase along with three different cameras (digital still, film still, digital video), a wad of socks and underwear, and whatever clean t-shirts I had left. Then I ran all over the apartment throwing in random stuff. A voltage converter. A jacket. Some earplugs. Gum.

I packed it all up nice and neat (and heavy) and stared at it. Here's where I say, "I'm ready," and blast off into the great unknown. That's what I really want to say. But I'm not.


This trip. I keep looking for the right word for it. Trip sounds too trivial. It's certainly not a holiday or a vacation. I'd call it a journey, but that's a lousy 70s band. My dad calls it a pilgrimage, but I don't know. That sounds too ... Mayflower.

It's a duty for me. A duty. That's it. Duty.

Sixty years ago the Germans, Russians, and Polish people conspired to destroy a lot of people, including each other, including my family. Fifty years ago the few remaining Powazeks came through Ellis Island to the land of the free: New York. Twenty years ago my dad my mom, and their 6 year-old son (me) and 4 year-old daughter moved to California. Ten years ago I left LA and drove north to college in Santa Cruz, then life in San Francisco.

And today I'm taking this heavy bag and flying back to where it all started with my dad and step-mom. I want to come back with photos and videos to show my grandma that it's okay now. That it's all over. It's my duty. To her. To us.

My bags are packed, but I'm still not ready.

{ 1:46am }



» I'm not sure what to say, but I'll say it anyway.

Despite the gravitas of this voyage, don't dwell on the past too much - you have no control over it - you only have control over the present and to some extent, the future.

In my experience, and in the experience of my country, dwelling on the past has meant we have been fighting ourselves for 800 years - Catholic against Protestant, Irish against British. Over that time, there's been genocide, murder, war, and God knows what other atrocities. Only in the last 15 years have people really decided to look to the future. And it's a lot better than dwelling on the past. Instead of despair, it brings hope. I guess that's why I say not to dwell on history too much - it makes people crazy.

That could be useful to you, Derek, or it could be a load of (I hope not offensive!) crap...but either way, it comes from the heart...and I wish you the very best of luck.

Tom Cosgrave  { 5.24.01 @ 2:26am }

» Safe expedition!
....come home soon.

– Joe Scales  { 5.24.01 @ 7:50am }

» and bring back lots of great stories for us!

Mike Thomas  { 5.24.01 @ 8:14am }

» The past is another country. But is another country the past?

Travel safely. And be open, yet see.

kristina  { 5.24.01 @ 8:24am }

» Derek, you may see this as your duty. But this is also an act of joy, and an act of love. Experience this not only for your family, but for *yourself.*


roe  { 5.24.01 @ 9:30am }

» Embrace this adventure!!!! Go with love.

(I just got chuck's latest, too! Thanks for turning me on to him!)

– Halcyon  { 5.24.01 @ 1:04pm }

» You're making a trek that I'd love to make myself one day. Have a safe trip.

Dan  { 5.24.01 @ 6:35pm }

» Maybe it's a quest. An act or an instance of seeking or pursuing something; a search. I hope you find what you're looking for ... and more. And return to share stories with us, whose best wishes bid you safe journey.

– John  { 5.24.01 @ 9:08pm }

» Polish people did not conspired to destroy, they conspired to survive, to fight for freedom. In 1939 german battleship Schleswig-Holstein attacked Gdansk. We were victims, not attackers.

– Tomasz Bielecki  { 5.25.01 @ 12:12am }

» We will get to see Poland thro' you. Come back with lots to tell us and like Halcyon said, go with love!!

– anisha bordoloi  { 5.26.01 @ 1:58am }

» go see aushvitz, or however you spell that.

ohad  { 5.26.01 @ 5:40am }

» Palahniuk and Elliott Smith (another of your favorites, I believe) -- Portland guys! I'll have to check out "Choke". The site you linked to got my attention.

christopher naze  { 5.29.01 @ 10:56am }


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{ news }
» Goodbye old friend.

» Don't miss the photos and audio from Fray Cafe 2.

» Psst. Hey kid. Wanna buy some swag?

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