How I Met My Dæmon



Ruins of the palace in Morysin

When I need a little bit of solitude, I usually wander or cycle in the old, deserted park of Morysin on the outskirts of Warszawa. It is a small forest preserve, covering a triangle-shaped area of approximately 50 hectares, lying on a peninsula, with picturesque remnants of a palace from the early 19th century. I called these ruins the temple of Hestia, because the building was styled after the shrine of Vesta in Rome.

One night the moonlight came down on the only broad path. It resembled a silver fabric sliding gently on the trees, bushes, and palace walls. That was enchanting. The other night there were so many fireflies there that it looked as if a miniscule galaxy had fallen from the sky.

I`m afraid to go there at night, I would not deny it, but once I said to myself: in Morysin I could only face all those terryfying things which had already been in my head. 

It had been forbidden to enter Morysin without permission until 2014. The forest is not a well known place among the inhabitants of Warszawa, because it is not easily accessible (especially after rainy days), so I rarely meet other people there. Instead, I often see many animals: frogs, squirrels, ducks, sometimes even roe deers, and wild boars. They almost always avoid me. The only exception was the cutie below:


Proud model


A strange iron object found in the grass

majowo Morysin

Poplar pollen

There are also other buildings in Morysin: the abandoned forester`s lodge from the middle of the 19th century, and the remnants of the guardhouse from around the same period (I called it the tower of wild boars).


 Forester`s lodge

Morysin zima 2


Morysin roses

Rose bushes

The Tree

“The tree”. Photo by Jacek Biernacki

Kanał Sobieskiego

Once I wrote a short, fantasy story, Asalda, the Queen of the Mice (in Polish), inspired by this magnificent place.

Talking about Morysin, some days ago I had a strange, symbolic dream: I was wandering in a similar forest. Suddenly I heard a voice of a screaming child, so I run there to see what was happening. I found a terribly scared boy on a clearing, probably 8-10-year-old, and a wild boar approaching him. I got frightened, nevertheless, after a moment I realized: If the animal attacks, the boy will be absolutely helpless, but perhaps I could be able do something, so I shouted at him: “Don`t move”, and quickly stood between the boy and the boar. The beast started to run fiercely around us, it resembled a big patch of menacing darkness. The boar eventually disappeared from my sight. I didn`t understand why that happened but I felt a great sense of relief and woke up. Unfortunately, I didn`t manage to talk to the boy.

The following day a friend of mine said that I had met myself in that dream. I suppose, it`s not far from the truth.

This extraordinary situation which happened to me might be described as something along the lines of “one entity in two bodies” – as Philip Pullman depicted in His Dark Materials. He masterfully created a world in which dæmons – in the form of animals – almost constantly accompany “their” human beings, as the external manifestation of one`s psyche. However, my dæmon (using the term from his trilogy (*)) took the shape of another human being.

(*) The name has nothing in common with biblical satan, but rather was inspired by Socrates` daimonion, his inner voice.

Unless stated otherwise, the photos in this post were taken by me.

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