Now more than ever do I realize that I will never be content with a sedentary life, that I will always be haunted by thoughts of a sun-drenched elsewhere” – Isabelle Eberhardt
My name is Joanna. I come from Beskidy Mountains, in the south of Poland. I like coming back there, to the fragrant orchards, gardens full of flowers, and to the oasis of rustling trees above the stream, right at the foot of the green mountains. And I often come back there from distant corners of the world, of a different texture and smell from that I know from my hometown.
Ever since I remember, I have always been fascinated with dusty old artifacts and tales of „a long time ago, behind mountains, behind forests”. I dreamed about archaeology, and I became an English philologist, but with a heart wandering along the Seine. Someone in a kind of Joan of Arc. I spent a year in Paris. Alongside English, I have been studying French and the French style architecture vibrating in the soaring spaces of towering cathedrals. In Poland I continued my studies of Art History.
Later, there was a six-month stay in London, where I was absorbed by the culture and literature of my beloved Middle Ages. The Medieval course only sharpened my appetite for history. Increasingly, I was asking questions about the cultures and religions of ancient civilizations, and with the learning of Spanish, I moved my thoughts to the distant Mesoamerica and the Andes. Traveling from the Gothic Europe to the 12th century India and from the rugged coasts of the Celtic lands to the Egyptian Copts’, I find and absorb the spirit of past civilizations. What I enjoy the most is the opportunity to share my passion, especially when I write, translate and give lectures on art to students.
Currently, I am listening to stories about archaeology at the university in Dublin.
By Joanna Pyrgies
Faculties of English Philology, Archaeology and History of Art University of Silesia in Katowice; University of Wrocław; Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw, and University College in Dublin.