Interview: Piotr Grudziński / Riverside


It’s good we got to the human relationships subject, because next question will be about this. Actually what I’m going to say now is just my observation in this aspect and I’d like to ask you to share your thoughts on the matter. Speaking of human relationships, in my opinion currently one of their weakest elements is a tendency to hide any weakness. It relates to both sexes. Men, maybe due to the cultural role based on image of strong ones, try to be so no matter what. Women, on the other hand, despite their naturally developed deeper sensitivity and emotion, in modern times try to keep up with everything with men, so they also have a strong tendency to show only strength of character. In a broadly present pattern of such behaviour it seems that emotion is seen more and more as a weakness. I personally disagree with that, because it causes disappearance of one of the most fundamental parts of any sort of relationship, which is a conversation. Honest, direct, even if its difficult, but still a conversation. People often run away from sharing their thoughts which in my opinion is the biggest emotional connection which happens exactly when you disclose your vulnerable spots. When you open yourself with what hurts you and what is important to you, because between those vulnerable spots is where the most intense human relationship occurs. That is how I feel it, how do you perceive it?

I agree with everything you have said. This is what I do in my life. I disclose all my weak spots, but I am ready for the fact that it might hurt me at times, that somebody might take advantage of that.

Do you disclose it to everyone with no exception or do you put yourself behind some protective curtain at the beginning?

I used do it without any control. Because I trust people I think I still am a bit naive. So it does happen that somebody takes advantage of that. That is exactly why people don’t want to expose themselves. For fear of others exposing those spots or any emotional reaction might be a reason for mockery or making jokes. Those who react that way do not realize that this reaction was an act of opening. By exposing yourself you give yourself in to that person so it is a matter of trust to that man. I am not sure how many people’s thinking will go that way, that is actually was a full opening to you.

I’m wondering whether those who react with mockery or laughter do not hide something themselves behind such reactions. Maybe it’s their form of defence? Maybe they would also like to react emotionally, but they are afraid of being laughed at.

I think that with emotions it’s simple – you either have them or not. If you want to cry or something clutches your throat, you can control, but not always. If you want to laugh, you laugh but it’s easier to laugh than to cry, because emotions related with it are positive and not embarrassing, unless it’s laughter which distresses somebody. As you’ve said, I also think people hide their emotions, they hide behind their poses. Sometimes they go so far with it, that if it lasts for a long time, they basically lose those emotions. If you have that kind of attitude, you can kill emotion within you.

Next question will also be a request for your thoughts on one subject, this time a quote. These are the words of an Irish writer, George Bernard Shaw. Recently I came across this quite intense quote from George, who apparently once said: “There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart’s desire. The other is to gain it.”

Uh, that’s strong. I’ll put it this way, losing your dreams happens to everyone. I sometimes miss the time, when I was a teenager. I think it’s a beautiful period in our lifetime. You’re free then, you have dreams, everything seems so simple. Nothing is impossible. You have that rebel feeling within you which makes you convinced about things, you know you can do things and do them your way. You have your dreams and you know that if you just put some effort in them, they will come true. Yet with time you clash with the reality of adulthood and for most it is a tragedy. It happens that what their dreamt of or aimed at is destroyed by one life decision. Sometimes these are very ordinary things. I can give some simple examples. I know a few guys who had beautiful dreams of being a musician. They wanted to do this, they played music and they were really good at it. But then some personal situations happened in their lifes, mainly those man-woman type ones, in which for example a girl didn’t really approve his music involvement and was able to take away those dreams. Sometimes very abruptly, sometimes slowly, but gradually in a nasty way she was able to drag him away from music. That is only some small percentage of situations which can happen in life and deprive you of dreams. I think you realize that it actually was a tragedy only after 5, 10 or 15 years. At the beginning it’s just life, every day order of things, you focus only on that and don’t think about anything else. It is only after some years it hits you that maybe some things could have been done other way.

You’ve mentioned it when talking about your choice of becoming a musician, but how much fear is an element for causing the loss of dreams?

It’s is one of the factors, but not the only one, because as I said earlier, sometimes you are entangled into relationships that have an effect on your given decisions. To return to second part of your question, fulfilling your dreams is a tragedy in sense that it leads into self-destruction. If you have a feeling that you have already reached everything and you don’t have any dreams left, I think it leaves you with the feeling of emptiness. If that happens, if you don’t have anything to drive you in life, anything you could push for, to me that is also a tragedy.

Would you be afraid of that?

I’ve already said to myself that I have fulfilled my dreams in terms of music. I even surpassed them. I never thought I would play in a band which would be known. I never thought I would be a musician, that I would do it in life and could live off it. When you reach that level obviously new dreams are revealed to you. You want to make a record better than all the previous ones, create something you will be proud of. It all pushes a little bit further then. However, I also have dreams beside this band and this is a totally different level of what we are talking about now. It’s hard for me to imagine even a theoretical situation in which somebody achieved absolutely everything on every level of life and has nothing else to dream about.

I think of two tragedies from that quote and you can add one more and that is when somebody doesn’t even know what his dreams are. To have dreams and to lose or achieved them are two aspects, but there is also a third one, which is unawareness of one’s dreams. When people don’t know what they would like to achieve, don’t know which way they want to go – to me that is also a tragedy.

I agree. Setting your dreams, whether you fulfill them or not, does define your life where as not knowing them I think sets and defines the mistakes people sometimes make. By not knowing what you want you tend to do things that others around do or things that should be done without actually asking yourself whether they’re actually good for you or not.

Yes, but you know, it’s a little bit hard to achieve. Sometimes I get the impression many people are not able to learn from their own mistakes. People experience different situations, but lessons from their effects are not always taken and implemented in future actions. In order for those experiences to have a good effect on life first of all we must want to learn. We must have some self-criticism and think about one’s life. We can’t always think we are 100% right. By saying that we return to the weakness part, the weakness we don’t want to have in us. There is quite strong conviction that what we say should be always the ultimate truth, we want to be super perfect etc., but I personally think that is not exactly the right path to follow.

With this valuable remark on the necessity of humility we reached the end our conversation. Thank you very much for your time and all the answers

Thank you.

Riverside – Before (live)

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  1. Agnieszka

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    Świetna rozmowa. Obu panom gratuluję wrażliwości i umiejętności głębokiego spojrzenia na otaczającą rzeczywistość. Także dziękuję za zostawiony ślad ;) Życzę równie inspirujących wywiadów!


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