Monday, November 21, 2022

Thanksgiving, November 24 and Christmas Caroling Party, December 17, 2022 in Beverly Hills

Alicja Bobrowska's rose relief, a wedding gift for Marcin and Agnieszka Depinski

The most favorite annual event of Helena Modjeska Art & Culture Club is our Christmas Caroling Party, held, according to the American custom, before Christmas. This year it will take place on Saturday, December 17, 2022 at 18.00 at the elegant and welcoming residence of Helena and Stanley Kolodziey in Beverly Hills.

We will listen to a mini-recital of Polish music performed by an excellent pianist and our member, Prof. Wojciech Kocyan, we will sing carols together led by Olivia Kierdal, who already has over 15 songs on Spotify, we will share the Christmas "oplatek" with wishes of health, happiness, and prosperity, and we will sample a rich array of Christmas delicacies prepared by our hosts. 

Admission is free for Club members (because there is no valet parking!) and the cost is $30 per person for guests. RSVP until December 9, 2022 at PayPal or checks to P.O.Box 4288, Sunland CA 91041-4288. Please sign up for the list as soon as possible, because the number of places is limited at the Kolodziey  residence and at these events we always have a surplus! Please also supply the buffet with your favorite drinks. We will send the address by e-mail.

"Mission" - Relief of Alicja Bobrowska, a longtime member of the Club, photo by Maja Trochimczyk from an exhibition at Hellada Gallery, Long Beach, 2015.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the Modjeska Club Board, I wish you all the best wishes for a peaceful, healthy and happy Thanksgiving. For many years, these holidays were absent from the Polish calendar; similarly to American Valentine's Day or nightmarish Halloween; "you were the peacock of the nations and a parrot".... as Juliusz Słowacki wrote prophetically. Our Harvest Festival or the feast of Our Lady of Herbs (Matki Boskiej Zielnej, 15 sierpnia) are the closest to this idea – of gratitude for the gifts of the earth, thankfulness for food, flowers, herbs, trees, and all the beauty that is a daily gift to us.

In the hierarchy of positive emotions, gratitude is at the top, next to love, and shame and guilt are at the bottom, next to fear and anger. As wrote the great eco-philosopher Henryk Skolimowski (1930-2018), a longtime professor at the University of Michigan, author of over 30 books and friend of Leonidas Dudarew-Osetyński (1910-1989), our task on this planet is to live in harmony with the whole world, with a sense of responsibility for ourselves, others, and for all living beings. Our task on Earth is a life without mental toxins (negative thoughts and emotions) and physical toxins (chemicals poisoning our bodies and the entire environment, due to crazy experiments of so-called scientists).

In Dharma, Ecology and Wisdom in the Third Millennium, Skolimowski thanked Leonidas Dudarew-Ossetyński for the inspiration to supplement his eco-philosophy with an important aspect of physicality or of embodied knowledge, conveyed only in words. That is why the Greeks invented the Olympics, and Christ washed the feet of his disciples... The physicality of gestures, performing on stage "with the whole body" was an important aspect of Dudarew-Ossetynski's theory of acting. Our wonderful guests honored with the Modjeska Prizes in 2020 and 2021, Andrzej Seweryn and Jan Englert shared this focus on embodied emotions and embodied performance. We had the pleasure of hosting the Englert in California in September: in a series of events over 360 people had the opportunity to come into close contact with his personality and talent.​

In America, children used to put on plays with pilgrims and Indians, telling how they shared food and celebrated together. This is not true, because the first inhabitants of this land still remember the genocide, death and plunder brought to them as a gift by newcomers from Europe, Anglo-Saxons and Spaniards. More than 30 million died; almost everything was taken from them, leaving a semblance of sovereignty in the reservations. Their "revenge" took the form of casinos; they finally found a way to benefit from the greed of their conquerors! In this way, they can provide funds for the studies of their citizens and the rebuilding of the infrastructure on the reservations...

Because Poland was occupied by foreigners for many years (123!), we are very sensitive to the tragedies of the first inhabitants of America, but we celebrate Thanksgiving in the American way. Gratitude is a virtue in every religion; we are grateful for our roots in Poland, Polish culture, history and traditions brought from home. We are also grateful for our new country, freedom of choice, jobs, homes, gardens, careers, traditions, friendships and even the climate - we enjoy our new life that we have built in California.

In the 50-year-old Helena Modjeska Art & Culture Club, we are happy to remain in touch with old friends and make new friends in our extended Polish  immigrant family in California. We are grateful for the talents and achievements of our outstanding guests - lecturers, musicians, actors, artists. 

We would like to thank all club members and guests for their presence with us,  for their volunteer work, talents, achievements, assistance and cheerfully sharing good mood. Let this Thanksgiving and this Christmas really be holidays or "holy days" of Polish gratitude.

With warmest wishes, 

Maja Trochimczyk, President

Board of Directors: Katarzyna Smiechowicz, Vice President; Beata Czajkowska, Secretary; Anna Sadowska, Treasurer; Syl Ves, Director

Relief by Alicja Bobrowska

No comments:

Post a Comment