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  • Writer's pictureAnna Schreibert

The American Dream

I am not a music expert. I am a sensitive person, so I am sensitive to music.

The first musical figure, the first apart from obvious export products, Tina Turner from colorful America or The Rolling Stones from cool England, someone who immediately seemed a genius and kept me for more than a minute, was Krzysztof Klenczon.

At the age of 8, I didn't know who he was and that he was associated with Czerwone Gitary. He was an individual to me. When I heard "Let's go back to the lakes" on the radio, I knew he knew what I was thinking. He sang about my lakes as if he knew them as well as I did.

This man fascinated me. I was looking for everything that could bring me closer to his character. I soon found out that several years had passed since his tragic death.

I remember that it did not make me popular when, when asked by my classmate what I was listening to, I replied that Krzysztof Klenczon.

She didn't know who I was talking about, and I was extremely disappointed in that fact.

She simply decided that I didn't know much about music.

She was probably right.

Neither before nor after I thought I knew anything: neither music nor poetry, art, dance, or film. I just knew what I liked, what talked to me, touched my vibrations, worked on my waves, and what certainly did not.

Today I know my job, I know jewelry design and production, I know diamonds in their barest discovery.

It's my job, that's what they pay me for, so I believe that my decency requires me to know it and constantly deepen my knowledge. Besides, I really love what I am doing.

I don't know anything else. I know what moves me, I hear when someone talks to me, I am sensitive to the sensitivity of others. I love passionate people, I learn from those who never give up, I support those who have the courage to fight the whole world if it seems unfair. I lift my hat to those who are not afraid to live because I am not afraid either.

And just as at the age of 8 I loudly admitted my adoration for Krzysztof Klenczon, so today I admit, much more boldly, that I have unlimited amounts of respect and blind tolerance for those who live, not annoying anyone, life in their own way - regardless of the prevailing conventions, in spite of what the neighbors like or dislike.

I support gays, I support abortion, I support cohabitation and same-sex marriage. I support euthanasia, I support all religions, I support criticism and legal consequences of the vile deeds of the Catholic Church or any other person who has committed a crime. Generalizing my statement, I support freedom of choice, speech, spirit, I support humanity in the best and most loving sense of the word. I definitely support decency!

I am tired of the false messages of reality that surround me, posturing, people desperate to be someone other than they are.

When I hear Klenczon today, I still believe him. I have no doubt that he loved these lakes as much as I did. I come back to this music from years ago because there still is life, passion, and faith in us. I feel a brazen, even daring need to expose emotions, summarize reality, lick the edge of an envelope or stamp without fear that I will leave my DNA there. Krzysztof Klenczon was the first discovery for me.

Later, I believed that Markowski's father built an open-hearth furnace, that Ciechowski loved Poland deeply, that Kora was ready to face anything, even the sun.

I watched my musician friends and cheered on their need for self-realization, indulging in musical ecstasy, even when the world around them was not favorable to them. They had something to say. I perfectly understood what Panas meant when he sang, "Next year I'll be like I am today." What would he be like?

We artists do not change. With the same sensitivity we are born with, we die one day. Neither more nor less. Sensitivity is part of our genetic code.

There are those who dare to make this sensitivity public, share the sixth sense of perception. There are some who will never do this. And this does not diminish their sensitivity at all.

It is only a matter of courage because when revealing yourself to the world, you should be ready to fight the evil that surrounds you. Some people don't want to fight.

I am brave, so I admire and bow to those brave because I know how much defiance, rebellion, stubbornness, but also humbleness is needed to say NO. Even if at the beginning, the whole world we oppose is Mom and Dad.

Sometimes I think about when an artist can stop being a rebel, and then I remember Klenczon again and a simple answer comes to mind - never.

I get the impression that when He gave himself to the life others expected of him, He died.

I know that I am simplifying the topic, but it is not my intention to delve into the family meanders and recesses of Krzysztof Klenczon's life. I have neither the knowledge nor the permission to go in this direction. I believe that however, he arranged his life, he had no doubts that it was the best he could have done at the time.

From my perspective, over 40 years, I believe that he was an absolutely phenomenal musician, composer, ahead of his time, gifted with a spirit tangled rebellion and boyish sensitivity.

I was and am very impressed with what he created, how he discovered layers of joy, sadness, melancholy, childish freedom, or mature, conscious love. How he was not afraid to be himself, in today's controversial and then very deceitful and grotesquely censored times.

Klenczon's ghost faded in the glare of the American headlights. Not because America was too big for him or too powerful. I don't think He understood America and she understood Him.

Since I have been living in this country for 20 years, I have the courage to tell you about it.

America is a wonderful country, a basin of endless possibilities and freedom, often this freedom understood in terms of propaganda.

Unfortunately, I have the impression that we are forgetting the difference between America as it is and the American ideology, that is, what our perception of this country is. This image in the head, which we create on the basis of Holywood, spectacular basketball matches, or neon lights in New York's Times Square.

We are only people from different corners of the globe, with our habits, culture, and language. America opens its arms, ready to receive us, but it is us who must show a great will to fight, be vigilant not to let it suffocate.

America is a huge machine that we fall into gear when we choose to live here. I think that when we are young, instinct and bravado allow us to survive, find our corner.

It is a place where spaces open up to make your innermost dreams come true, but also if you are not vigilant or strong enough, it will absorb you like a meat grinder. Without knowing when you will become part of the luncheon meat.

Everything has a price.

My America was favorable to me because I had the strength to swim against the current.

Nobody taught me or explained anything to me. In spite of everything, I only listened to myself.

I think that this inborn rebellion of the artist played a key, if not the most important role here.

The American meat grinder couldn't grind me!

Though I swear there were times when I wanted to be ground.

Then I remembered Krzysztof Klenczon on stage dressed as Elvis Presley...

To this day, Klenczon is someone who stirred a spoon in a glass with the grounds of the Polish People's Republic music scene.

His charisma, sonic insolence, and artistic audacity, and authenticity were indisputably the American scent of the wind.

However, it is worth remembering that America is like an actress on stage - it looks much better from the viewer's perspective.

Still, I think it was one of the best plays I've ever experienced.



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