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ANNA ZAPALSKA

SONGSOPTOK THE WRITERS BLOG | 7/15/2015 |




SONGSOPTOK: ‘Marriage is a lifelong symphony with one central theme but the music is played in anew everyday’ – this is a rough translation of a line from a short story by Rabindranath Tagore. Do you feel that this comment, made in a period dominated by Victorian romanticism, is true today? 
ZAPALSKA: Yes, of course that's true and symphony of life is played in anew everyday, the rhythm is variable though. However, the most important if spouses are able to play it in the same rhythm, even though they play two different instruments. Rabindranth  Tagore also  said: "People forget that marriage is an art, it should be updated every day."

SONGSOPTOK: What, in your opinion, is the real chemistry of an intimate relationship? Do you think that the social institution of marriage is based on that chemistry? 
ZAPALSKA: To my mind  "real chemistry" evokes a very unique and delightful state when two people can feel like one soul in two separated bodies. They can speak with the eyes and simply communicate with the body language. But such a divine phaze is passing and can exist only  in a short period of time. It's rather connects with the infatuation than a marriage.According to the anthropologist Helen Fisher "love is like a drug." A passion as well as sex and drug are very short- term with a short effect when a marriage is based on constant Love just  like a "lifelong symphony."

SONGSOPTOK: What according to you are the main factors for keeping marital relationship alive and healthy? 
ZAPALSKA: In my opinion the fundamental factors for happy marital relationship are based on trust, respect, understanding, loyalty and spousal support. On the other hand quite needed  is also ability to forgiveness and ability to apologies.

SONGSOPTOK: Very often we see that a happy marital relationship results when one of the partners surrender to the other’s ego. Do you think this is how it should be? Especially since it is most often the woman that surrenders to the man, or more generally to the patriarchal system? 
ZAPALSKA: It is a very difficult question. I think it depends on the relation between a wife and her husband. The most important is Love and happiness of both of them and nothing is wrong as long as it's wrapped in the agreement of characters...According to me friendship and partnership is a very  strong foundation of a marital relationship.

SONGSOPTOK: Tolstoy said in his story THE KREUTZER SONATA “... a marriage without love is no marriage at all, that only love sanctifies marriage, and that the only true marriage is that sanctified by love”. We all agree that this is how it should be. That there should not be a tragic end to any marriage. What is the reason then for the increasing number of divorces in all societies? 
ZAPALSKA: I totally agree with the Tolstoy's words. He also said: "The only happy marriages I know are arranged ones."
I think the increasing number of divorces in all societies is connected to the dying out of values which really  matter in human life...As Saint John Paul II said: " The great danger for family life, in the midst of any society whose idols are pleasure, comfort and independence, lies in the fact that people close their heart and become selfish."

SONGSOPTOK: By the word ‘marriage’ we generally think of a well defined relationship built on the tenet of spending the entire life together. Do you think that this in itself creates a type of suffocation which leads to break-ups and divorces? 
ZAPALSKA:   A marriage it's a very big responsibility for another human.This is an act of will, so everyone should knows it's not for a while, but for an entire life.
Divorce is both very personal and all too common. A recent survey found that the most common reason given for divorce was lack of commitment (73% said this was a major reason)

SONGSOPTOK: In a very general way, marriage is understood as the cohabitation of man and woman with a view to reproduction. Can this narrow and very physical dimension be the essence of marriage? Doesn’t the success of marriage depends also on a communion between the personality, psychology and above all the soul of the married couple? What is your opinion? Do you think that in modern society such a definition of marriage is relevant and realistic? 
ZAPALSKA: I guess the essence of a marriage is reflected in oneness as a strong bond that ties two individuals. It's a companion for life and for eternity. And of course a marriage depends also on a communion. As I have mentioned above a lack of communion is the most frequent reason given for divorce.

SONGSOPTOK: It seems that in today’s society the clash of personalities, especially within marriage, is an unpleasant reality. Almost 100 years back, D.H.Lawrence said in Lady Chatterley's Lover “The modern cult of personality is excellent for friendship between sexes, and fatal for marriage”. In other words, he thought that the development of woman’s personality is actually a hindrance to successful marriage. What is your opinion? Do you think that it is the inability of the patriarchal society to tolerate the independence of women the main reason for the marital conflicts in today’s society? 
ZAPALSKA:  A patriarchal socjety consists of a male- dominated power structure, so it can be very difficult to tolerate the independence of women. But t's possible after accepting new duties and responsibility. However it's needed a compromise of both sides and also some personal freedom should be relinquisted.

SONGSOPTOKDo you think that society perceives a divorced man and woman in the same way? Most of the time we see that the woman is blamed for not making the necessary compromises. So the implicit assumption is that the success of a marriage is directly related to the woman’s capacity to compromise. What is you view? 
 ZAPALSKA: In my opinion it depends on the country, especially on the culture and mentality of people. In some countries divorces are too common, so nobody even asks about real reason  of parting. I agrre with the words of Rosamunde Pilcher, she said in the"Wild Mountain Thyme" that "it's never one person's fault. It's the sum total of a thousand little irritations, disagreements, idiotic details that in a sound alliance would simply be disregarded, or forgotten in the healing act of making love. Divorce isn't a cure, it's a surgical operation, even if there are no children to consider."

SONGSOPTOK: Do you think that divorce affects the conscious and the subconscious of the children? What, according to you, could be the effect of a divorce in their adult lives, positive or negative? 
ZAPALSKA:. Every divorce affects very negatively the lives of children. This is so stressful and they may become lost, anxious and depressed. According to many psychologists children who experienced the divorce of parents are at higher risk of facing the same situation in their own marriage.

SONGSOPTOK: Generally it is the mother who takes care of the children following a divorce. Although children need their mother more while growing up, what kind of impact can the absence of a father figure have on a growing child? So what according to you should be the role of the mother? 
ZAPALSKA: There's no  doubt that children need both parents and certainly growing up without a father due to divorce is associated with the negative effects, because  children never get divorced from their divorced parents. I guess every mother does all the best to support children to make them feel loved and safe. But also many parents need more support of the social institutions in regard to how to face up to a new situation.

SONGSOPTOK: What according to you could be the impact of the growing number of divorces on the next generations? Or do you think this is the way tomorrow’s society will evolve? 
ZAPALSKA: There are many neo- communism organisations today which aim at the degradation of fmilies, traditions and nations, but this all leads to blind alley, to depersonalize people and manipulate them. After all, human needs constant values, which are based on strong faith in God at all, but growing number of divorces is one of the main causes of degradation of morality.  Long time ago famous singer Anna German said:"A man shouldn't do anything against himself, against own convictions and character, against main values that really matter in life..."


 ANNA ZAPALSKA: POET LIVES IN LONDON.



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