Musings ~ Herstory ~ Poland, Ukraine and ancestral mysteries

 

One of the perks about being psychic: You know stuff. One of the liabilities about being psychic: You wanna know more stuff.

Let me explain…..

As I become more at home with my psychic or intuitive abilities ( these labels bother me), I realize that my frustration with the unknown often gets the best of me. I access information that often is helpful to myself and others, but sometimes it just does not satisfy me. Perhaps that is my ego talking, but nevertheless, this is where I am at. I am also acutely aware that I was spared by not knowing many life events ahead of time. The worry would have crippled me mercilessly.

Developing precious friendships with people all over the world has prompted me to contemplate my roots even more deeply. Learning  some more about the native countries of blogger friends  Monika ( Poland) and Glorialana  ( Belarus) have made me more curious than before about the gaps in my “herstory”. With all the current emphasis on Russia, Crimea, and the Ukraine, my curiosity has exponentially increased.

When I consider ancestral influences, I look back on those experiences that have made the most impact. For me that often translates into food and culture. I was raised with a strong appreciation for cuisine, the visual arts, literature, and music. I grew up eating plenty of pasta, brisket, cannoli, chopped liver, stuffed cabbage, baked rigatoni, potato latkes, and veal parmigiana. Sometimes some of these dishes showed up at the same meal!

While I can really appreciate with some insight the palpable presence of Italy ( by way of France apparently) and Russia in my blood, I know so little about Poland. The irony here is that I am Polish on both sides of my family. I never knew my paternal grandfather ( for who I was named) Linda , but my bond with my maternal grandmother was strong. They both were Polish through and through, unlike my parents or my generation, which is more of a  mysterious, patchwork quilt than a consistently patterned comforter. Still all these years later, they are gone and I have no sense of my Polish roots. Polish immigrants are an important part of the American experience and I know many Polish Americans. Yet the culture is not celebrated here beyond polka, pierogi, and keilbasa. Before the era of political correctness took over, Polish jokes dominated pop culture and mocked the beauty of Polish people. Most if not all of my ancestors were treated harshly upon arrival. They did not arrive here on the Mayflower, that is for sure! Yet over time some ( but not all) stereotypes were replaced with a more balanced appreciation of the unique contributions of each group. I am surprised and disheartened to admit that I do not see that happening yet across the board. I do not know if this phenomenon has anything at all to do with ignorance and fear being reignited during these transitional times of crisis. It still saddens me all the same.

 

Poland

wikimedia free domain

 

Take a journey with me as I imagine Poland to be. Imagine me emptying out my head and displaying the contents before you.

Historyhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Poland

 

Food

By Silar (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Silar (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) via Wikimedia Commons

wikimedia free domain

By myself (User:Piotrus) (Own work (taken by myself)) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By (User:Piotrus) (Own work (taken by myself)) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)  via Wikimedia Commons

 

I knew my mother’s maternal relatives hailed from Warsaw and that is about all. My grandmother had many stories to tell, but they were never about her family or their lineage.

So I will just show some pictures from Warsaw that appeal to me and pretend they have meaning:

 

Marek & Ewa Wojciechowscy [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Marek & Ewa Wojciechowscy [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)  via Wikimedia Commons

6_Warszawa_112

Marek & Ewa Wojciechowscy [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)  via Wikimedia Commons

Art

Stanisław Samostrzelnik (1485–1541)

Stanisław Samostrzelnik (1485–1541)

By The original uploader was Tlumaczek at English Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

By The original uploader was Tlumaczek at English Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)via Wikimedia Commons

 

Music

Chopin

Oil by Hendryk Siemiradzki (1887), depicting the Polish composer Frédéric Chopin playing his works before the aristocratic Polish family Radziwiłłs in 1829.

Oil by Hendryk Siemiradzki (1887)

 

 

What about the Ukraine??

 

When my parents took me to see Fiddler on the Roof, my reaction was intense. I identified so strongly with the characters, scenery, and plot line. I was also happy to see astrological symbols figuring prominently on the ancient synagogues’ walls. My dad said that his mother grew up in a town in the Ukraine similar to the one in the movie. So in my imagination, I became part of that family. I wanted to look like the pretty Hodel, but the book loving Chava was closer to my heart. The film is so enchanting. If you are unfamiliar with the material, visit the links below:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiddler_on_the_Roof_(film)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067093/faq?ref_=tt_faq_1#.2.1.4

 

Take another peek into my mind’s eye and imagine my “ideal Ukraine”:

 

By NordNordWest [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Nord NordWest [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)  via Wikimedia Commons

Architecture

Sergiy Klymenko [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Sergiy Klymenko [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) via Wikimedia Commons

wikimedia free domain

By Сарапулов (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Сарапулов (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Food

By Jason Lam [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Jason Lam [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

polish cuisine By MOs810 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By MOs810 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Tatyana Morozyuk, color processing by Off-shell (Own work, private communication) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Tatyana Morozyuk, color processing by Off-shell (Own work, private communication) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Borsch-ukr

By Ra Boe (selbst fotografiert DigiCam C2100UZ) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Ra Boe (selbst fotografiert DigiCam C2100UZ) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Thank you for taking this virtual journey with me as I attempt to retrieve lost parts of my heritage. During this Judeo-Christian holiday season of rebirth and renewal, it is important to consider those who came before us who endured numerous hardships so we could come into being. May the future generations know peace as their reality and oppression as a distant memory.

header image Battle of Grumwald by Jan Matejko (1838–1893)

all images courtesy of wikimedia.org

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17 thoughts on “Musings ~ Herstory ~ Poland, Ukraine and ancestral mysteries

  1. Hi Linda.. catching up on my reading and what a wonderful post this is… so much love, ease and grace comes through… allowing all your ancestral lineage to come up and be released… and enjoying it along the way… take care Barbara x

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  2. I so enjoyed this posting. I love how you expressed your need for this journey. We are all intuitive in our own way, and it was inspiring for me to see how you follow the thread of your intuition. What a gift you have given today.

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    1. thank you so much for your comments here. This is a different type of post for me but very emotionally based. The images were purely intuitive and I am so glad you enjoyed taking this journey for me.

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  3. Dear Linda, I was enthralled in reading about your Family history and loved your visual journey which you took me along.. One I love architecture, so the photos you chose were fascinating.. Two I enjoy most foods in fact I try anything once.. So those mouthwatering dishes sent my taste buds into meltdown.. 😉 ..I really enjoyed this post… and pray that Peace will prevail in these lands where so much suffering has already been felt throughout their histories ..
    Love and Blessings
    Sue xox

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      1. Yes Me too.. it seems some in the world want conflict… Wars create profits, and enable growth believe it or not.. Something those in power know how to manipulate.. But I hope our thoughts and intentions for Peace around the world help create the right energies to allow Peaceful solutions to these long held problems .. Which people hold in their perceptions as thinking we are separate and different… We are not.. We are ALL ONE.. but the indoctrinations of set beliefs and cultures have been ingrained for so long down the lines of families.. Its hard to break through the barriers built…. War has no winners..

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      2. I have often heard that it is up to each individual to live peacefully and radiate peace before conflict will end on our planet. This may require a huge shift. What do you think about this?

        Regarding war and profit, when I first heard of this I was stunned, but Capitalism is the dominant system in the West. We shall see when that moves into a more loving , just, and collective way of being.

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      3. We are already ‘shifting’ our awareness.. Many now are waking up to the realities of the world and seeing how Big Business/power/governments are all inter-linked within each others pockets.As

        As our awareness shifts and more and more minds link together in harmonious ways of living we will then see how the Mass Consciousness shifts the energy… Did you ever see how On 911 day the Energy spiked in conciousness around the planet it was measured… Look it up… You will see how our hearts/feeling/ Conciousness have greater affects.. THOUGHTS are living energy… so what we think we create.. Our INTENT has great effect… Thats why the Media is only playing on the negative.. it drones on and on keeping the masses de-pressed/ suppressed… It has a function.. We as LIGHT workers also have a function.. we came here to wake up the Masses… One step- One day at a time.. but like the ripple effect.. it spreads out.. its been on going for decades.. but at last its gathering momentum too.. We are the Warriors .. We are the ones we have been waiting for Linda…
        Keep spreading your light and using your intuition..
        Peace in our time..
        Love Sue xox 🙂

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  4. I enjoyed seeing this Linda, because like you I feel a deep connection to ancestral roots but my family here does not have much actual connection- in my case I am strongly Scottish and Irish, and as you would imagine the history of the Celtic people and their spirituality and folklore deeply resonates with me.

    I have also been enchanted by Monika and hearing about Poland through her. Chopin has always been one of my favorites artists, and learning more about Poland through Monika has helped me understand more of the context.

    About Ukraine- there is a huge immigrant population in Tacoma where I teach and I have had many, many students who are first generation here, having immigrated to the USA with their parents in their lifetimes, in some cases only a few years previous. One general pattern I’ve noticed is a huge emphasis on family much more so than people who have grown up in the USA. I also want to learn a lot more about this culture now with the crisis.

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    1. Hi Gray,
      I always enjoy hearing from you. For many years, I was much more enamored of any and every culture that differed from my own. Lately my interest has shifted, especially in getting to know people who are from the lands of my ancestors. I know so little about life as an Eastern European and typically we know more about Western Europe here in the US.

      I hope you continue to explore your Celtic roots and discover more about the Ukrainian students. Life always gives us more chances to learn more about ourselves through each other!

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  5. Linda, this is such a sweet post. It’s interesting for me to interact with people like you, with mixed descent because I’m 100% Polish, through and through. Sometimes I’d love to be more complicated.
    I gotta say, though, these photos of Polish food, especially number two and three, are quite weird. I do not know what that is. My favourite Polish food is: bigos, zurek and potato pancakes.
    Good luck with exploring your roots. You are definitely on the right track with Chopin. When I’m listening to his music and close my eyes I just see typical Polish country roads lined with weeping willows. So romantic.

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    1. I want to thank you for inspiring me to do some more exploration. I recently re- watched the Sopranos episode where they visit Naoles and Paulie fails to appreciate true italian culure. It reminds me that I am more American than I realize. Having said that, I long to know more aobut where I came and the people who helped me get here. My people have not been in America that long so your homeland may still have some of my lineage( if they survived the Holocaust).
      I do not know bigos or zurek but I do know and adore potato latkes, My grandma made them by hand with the grater and there is nothing like the home made kind 🙂

      It was Glorialana ( do you know her blog?) who introduced me to Chopin. Had no idea he was Polish!
      It is through communication and sharing of knowledge that our unique cultures can be acknowledged and embraced.

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  6. This is incredibly fascinating to me, Linda, that you are beginning to dig deep into your ancestral line as I have been. I’ve also noticed this to be a theme with many of “us” here on WordPress.

    Last year I learned that one of my greatest contributions in this lifetime will be to unravel and heal the wounds of my ancestral lineage. What I failed to realize is I am not alone in the fight, and I am honored to be doing the work along side you and the others who have been called to do such work as well.

    Thank you for following your intuition and speaking out with your beautiful voice. Love you!

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    1. Hi Lehua,
      Your comments here are very encouraging and inspirational to me. As I watch what is going on in Eastern Europe shaking my head and frustrated to witness what I thought was finished decades ago.

      Documenting what we witness and telling our unique stories will definitely make a difference..

      love you too ❤

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