Andrzej Solecki, Wroclaw, 1975

Up - Down - Between

There are Three Parts of the Universe:
Inside, Outside and Between.


Yes, that's almost evident. We don't enjoy bustled playing any more, our childhood is coming to its end. We are through with dinosaur races and mammoth big games, whirling in a capsule around the Earth and interstellar jumps. We are even indifferent to the final score. We have always won (losers: St.George, the dragon, a mammoth, Elisabeth, Mary Stuart, the Moon; they are gone). We are left with so little after this dance on the tight-rope of the time.

The existence only.

So why not play Between? We seem to be created for playing it. No matter that until now we have been so clumsy at it.

But we must work up the rules. Make them so imprecise that the game could not make anyone weary. Because playing it now and then we have clipped it so much that it has remained a `Between this and that' instead of being the `Between everything and everything'.

There was: Between interior and exterior.

We separate the Universe with the epidermis and make believe that two resulting parts are essentially different. To one of them we give the name `interior', to the other `exterior' and then we feel so much attached to these names.

First we discover the osmosis. We carefully watch the impressive interflows: an angry reaction of the liver to the coffee --> the feeling of acidulousness and vexation --> barely perceptible change in the motions of the people just outside. Or: an extraordinary constellation of planets somewhat influencing the climate --> the feeling of freshness --> stabilization of the rhythm of the heart's beating.

We slowly learn the new measure. We bravely compare the so called milimetres in the deep interior and the so called parsecs in the far exterior. And soon there is no more a helpless rebelled `why', there appears `because'; that's obvious: proximity of the pair of the unwilling eyes gives as strong impulse as the abscess just under the skin; the death of a thousand persons a thousand miles from here is as unimportant as waning of the hemoglobin in the blood by a promille. And it's obvious that the inner whisper happens to sound like a shout and that not for us the distant bell tolls.

Thus, step by step, we discover the equivalence of the interior and the exterior; we discover the inversion with respect to the epidermis. And the epidermis' amoral egoism.

The egoism. Id est existentia.

There were also other Betweens, say: Between matter and idea.

As if one could find an idea without its materialization, not being coded in an acid, silicon, cell, cellulose … As if one could prove the existence of the matter without the annoying non-material concept - the idea of motion. One partition and such fun it provided, so much joy for the generations of the inventors - the wizards of penetration. (We might call the left-wind osmosis the `sublimation', the right-wind osmosis the `realization', on the other way round.) The surprising metamorphoses: the rough pancake - into a symphony; a word flung at the mob - into a massacre; a hen's egg - into the harmony of the spheres; Maxwell's equations - into garrulous boxes.
And for a long, long time we weren't noticing the isomorphism but were blabbing of the primogeniture, of Plato and Aristotle … And for a long time we couldn't find ourselves - the sensitive membrane between the spirit and the substance.

Is there a need to give the full register of our previous Betweens? And among them: Between sleeping and waking, good and evil, intention and realization … Nearly each pair of the antonyms led us to a new game; and when we had missed the antonyms we created them, in a more or less meaningful way: matter - antimatter, Earth - antiEarth, language - antilanguage. Only time resisted these mechanical operations; time: biological, psychological, slowed, looped or ramified was no enemy of time. All we could do was to turn the arrow of time - consciously, dreaming of journeys backwards, or more discreetly, making history to oppose futurology, or science (which depends on logic, which in its turn cannot exist without `before' and `after') to oppose `non-scientific' attitudes (which hold that `before' and `after' are buzzing of two wings of the same bumble-bee).

Thus, we were following our path of constant negation, always rebelled children, making sometimes funny mistakes (as when to God we opposed the Satan, His most faithful servant for the special errands) but never losing any of our Betweens. Sometimes our penetration into everything stopped for a long time when generation after generation, hardly feeling our way straightforward to Between, we oscillated in a game from one side to the other, slowly approaching the place from which both sides are seen to be separated but unified. Our slowness was due to the lack of understanding that the vanishing amplitude, the stabilization in Between did not imply the immobile senility, but the maturity which is conscious of its own place. The place that allows watching, while feeling and understanding, but not destroying. The existence hardly curving the space, the observer minimally falsifying the picture.

Yes, that's almost evident. Our multi-centennial path leads us here. Here we are, a delicate and durable, sensitive membrane, spanned between everything and everything in the mysterious Universe.

   Polish original