I was in Warsaw on Tuesday. Originally, I had planned to go to the Retooling Residencies Res Artis conference, but I also had to take care of some things at the U.S. Consulate and only had one day in Warsaw – actually, more like a few hours. I have a 5 month old son, so everything, including going to Warsaw, is a bit more complicated. The plan was that we (my husband, son and I) would go to the embassy, take care of what needed to be taken care of – Consular Report of Birth, Passport and Social Security card applications for my son and myself (renewal) – and then I would go to the conference while my husband took care of my son. Easy enough in theory, but in practice it turned out that everything took a whole lot longer than we had anticipated. On top of that my son’s been teething (but no teeth yet), so he’s been a bit cranky. Going to the conference would have been impossible and a bit selfish.
One thing that always hits me when I am in Warsaw is how different it feels from Białystok. Warsaw is like any big capital in the sense that it has this feeling of people rushing and a fast pace of life. It seems like there is almost no place to breathe there. Białystok is definitely a much slower, more lazy city, which is exactly what I love it for. For most of my life, I lived in Chicago, and now I realize why my life since moving here feels like I live in a completely different world, because in many ways it is.
This is exactly why having an artist residence in Białystok makes sense – artists and writers can come here and take a breather from their worlds.