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Fjaka - Between Times
By LivingStone Magazine | Published  08/6/2009 | LivingStone Magazine , Culture And Arts | Unrated
The fjaka, as a specific state of mind and body
Text by Jakša Fiamengo, photo by Ivo Pervan



 
Fjaka nije samo „izum“ Mediteranca, ali umnogome je odredila njegov karakter


  Između vremena

     Kad bismo sva naša raspoloženja rasporedili po godišnjim dobima, za fjaku kao posebno stanje duha i tijela mogli bismo reći da je eminentni proizvod ljeta, rezultat njegovih omara i općeg tjelesnog i duševnog raspusta kad zavladaju opaki visoki Celzijevi stupnjevi i nije nam ni do čega.

No, to ne znači da se u njoj, u fjaci - jer ona je prvenstveno stanje, a onda sve drugo - ne nađemo i u drugim godišnjim dobima, osobito za južina koje znaju pritisnuti vlagom i stijesniti nas na manji i uži prostor, učiniti nas klaustrobičnima i, ma koliko fjakast čovjek po naravi bio simpatičan, nekako „izvan regula“, ispražnjenima i obuzetima nečim ničim. Uza sve što se o njima misli, fjakuni su ipak u svom slatkom južnjačkom „dolce far niente“ („slatko je ništa ne raditi“) položaju zapravo nježni ljudi i nije ih volja reagirati čak ni ako ih se zasmeta u njihovoj usporenosti, u bezvremenskoj oazi.

Definicija „fjake“
     Dakako, fjaka je jedna od najtipičnijih osobitosti Mediterana, za koji se tvrdi da je izmislio i sve dobre i sve loše strane naših stvarnih života. Kako je fjaka svojevrsno blaženo stanje koje izmiče kontroli pa time i čvrstim definicijama i nazivima, nju ne možemo svrstati ni u zgubidanski nerad ni u ležerni odmor od svagdašnjosti, ni u flegmu niti u dokolicu, kroničnu pospanost ili puku usporenost životnih funkcija. Zapravo, ona i jest, a opet i nije mješavina svega toga.
     Ma koliko djelovala kao autodoping, na nju se gotovo i ne može utjecati - ona je poput lake nesvjestice, stanja izvan sebe ili – kako se uzme - duboko u sebi, specijalna vrsta opće nepokrenosti, pospanosti i obamrlosti, posustajanja i indiferentnosti spram svih važnih i sporednih potreba, letargično mrtvilo i opća pasivnost na putu u posvemašnje ništa. U njoj se gubi pojam o vremenu, a njezina usporenost i svojevrsna lijenost doimlje se poput blagog magnovenja. Točnije: ona je napola negdje, napola nigdje, uvijek nekako, nedefinirano, između.
     Valjda upravo zarad toga što fjaka nema čvrstih povoda ni granica, jer nije uvijek uvjetovana ni meteorologijom ni željom za odmorom, fjakuni su poput osobenjaka, njihovoj naizgled nekorisnoj izuzetosti iz realnog svijeta sve opravdavaš, moguće i opraštaš. Oni su na neki svoj osebujni način simpatični, onako začahureni u svom drijemežu, u danovnom drimu, što bi (u plastičnom prijevodu Nikole Šopa) rekao veliki Marul, očito kadgod i sam podložan dobrom virusu fjake. Njih, fjakune, i ne možeš tretirati drukčije nego kao - zanimljivost ljudske vrste.

„Ko'la fjaka“ filozofija
    Fjaka je, moglo bi se reći, tipična za sva živa bića, primijetit se može i kod divljači, a osobito je vidljiva kod kućnih ljubimaca, napose mačaka i pasa kad se lijeno protežu ili pak umrtve na suncu, legnu posred trga ili u hladovini te oslabljelih životnih funkcija i usporenog disanja drijemno pribavljaju snagu koja će im biti potrebna kad živnu i vrate se u normalu. Stanje fjake i stanje lakog drijemeža koji put je nemoguće razlikovati, oboje imaju posla s podsvijesnim, pa i s metafizičkim, koji struje njihovim rashlađenim krvotokom.
     Fjakuni su obično nezamjetni - ljudi su skloni uočiti agresivne pojedince, a one umrtvljene, fjakaste prepuštaju njima samima, poput rublja na sušilu, ali onog koje nikakav zmorac ne može zanjihati. Oni doduše i ne traže da ih se vidi i registrira („Molim vas da me ne primjećujete“, znao bi reći pokojni redatelj Tom Durbešić), njima je samo do onoga „Pusti me stat“ i time zapravo počinje i završava sva njihova („ko'la fjaka“) filozofija. Srećom, ona ne traje dugo, iscrpi se sama od sebe i nikome ne škodi.
     Tijelo uvijek nastoji biti u pokretu, stanje fjake (slično kao i ono snovito, onirično) poništava tu osobinu, usporava život koliko je potrebno da bude izvan uporabe, ali da ipak sasvim ne odustane od sebe. Fjaka moguće i jest mediteranski izum, ali na nju ćemo naići i drugdje. Klasična je slika Meksikanca koji sjedi ili čuči pod trijemom u ponču i sa sombrerom nabijenim na oči. On je u istom blaženom spokojstvu fjake kao i naš otočni težak na kućnome pragu ili na pristavi i kakvoj kamenoj skalinadi kad mu se ništa ne da i kad mu možeš pomoći jedino tako da ga pustiš na miru.

Fratarska fjaka
     Fjakuni su izloženi ne samo obamrlosti nego i bezbrojnim vicevima. Tipičan je onaj, što ga voli pričati Andro Tomić, Jelšanin, enolog koji od vina pravi poeziju, a doimlje se (ali samo doimlje!) kao čovjek iz 1001. fjake: „Sjede dvojica na pjaci ispod kampanela i jedan će: Ako slučajno pogledaš prema gore, vidjet ćeš koja je ura. Drugi će nakon nekog vremena: A kako te uopće volja govorit!“ Zbilja, ako je život između ostalog i svladavanje vremena, onda je fjaka način da to učiniš na najneutralniji i najlakši način. Da budeš izvan vremena, na način spokojnog opuštanja, ali ne i otpuštanja, odustajanja.
     Uistinu se može zamisliti niz sličica vezanih za fjaku i fjakavanje kad je i samo vrijeme obremenjeno slatkom tromošću na granici apsurda. Recimo,  samostanski prizor, onaj iza ručka kad tijelo oteža a otežaju i očni kapci i čovjeku nije dovoljna samo molitva, prebiranje čisla, učeni razgovori i šetnja ili pak kakav drugi, „zemaljski“ koristan posao.
     Možemo zamisliti i neke druge slike i prilike: recimo, one iz kućnih perivoja Hektorovića, Lucića, Gazarovičeva, Crijevića i svih znanih nam plemića, osobito onih dubrovačkih, s guščjim perom u ruci! U tim trenucima sijeste i popodnevnog sna, onog gosparskog i gospodskog, ali i onog pučkog s primislima na redovnu muku o' života, i fjaka je dobrodošli hijat, zijev između dva korisna vremena, predah koji uz ostalo ima i ljekoviti učinak što pomaže u obnovi energije i životnog ravnovjesja.
     Moglo bi se fjaku shvatiti i kao svojevrsno unutrašnje čišćenje ili iščitavanje, listanje knjiga prepunih bjelina koje na ništa ne obvezuju, koje su tek priprava za aktivno upuštanje u duhovni život. Mnoge dobre ideje zacijelo su i inicirane u tom polustanju, u blaženstvu sna koji nije san, svijesti koja nije svijest, vremena koje nije vrijeme. Zato nikad nemojte previše zamjerati fjakunima – oni se to samo smještaju u neki skriveni kutak sebe i počivaju podalje od svega, pa i od sebe samih. A ono što vam imaju učiniti, ne brinite, napravit će, nešto sporije i nešto kasnije, kad im se krvotok vrati u redovnu cirkulaciju. A onda možete i sami u neku svoju fjaku, pokrit se ničim i biti ništa jer to je koji put nešto najdragocjenije što sebi možete priuštiti.


The fjaka was not just “invented” by Mediterranean people, it has also in many ways defined their character


  Between Times

     If we were to attribute all our moods to the seasons, the fjaka, as a specific state of mind and body, could be said to be a conspicuous product of the summer, the result of its sweltering heat, and a general dissolution of body and spirit in the baleful high temperatures of the day, when we just don’t feel like doing anything.

But this doesn’t mean that we don’t succumb to the fjaka in other seasons as well – because it is primarily a state – especially when the south wind blows, which oppresses us with its humidity and squeezes us into a smaller and narrower space, making us feel claustrophobic, and, as much as a person affected by the fjaka can be likable by nature, somehow “beyond the ordinary”, empty and obsessed by a nothing. In addition to everything that is thought about them, the fjakuni in their sweet state of southern “dolce far niente” (“carefree idleness”) are actually nice people, and they don’t feel like reacting, even when their slumber in the timeless oasis is disturbed. 

How to Define “fjaka”
     Naturally, the fjaka is one of the most typical characteristics of the Mediterranean, which is thought to have also invented all the good and bad sides of our real lives. Since the fjaka is a kind of blissful state which is beyond control, and thus defies set definitions and names, it cannot be categorized either as a layabout idleness or as relaxed respite from everyday life, or as a phlegmatic state, or as leisure time, chronic listlessness, or the mere slowing down of life functions. Actually it is, and at the same time it is not, a mixture of all of the above.  
     Although it has a self-doping effect, little can be done to govern it - it is like a faint unconsciousness, a state beyond the self or – if you will – deeply inside the self, a special kind of general immobility, drowsiness and numbness, a weariness and indifference towards all important and ancillary needs, a lethargic stupor and general passivity on the journey to overall nothingness. The sense of time becomes lost, and its very inertness and languor give the impression of a lightweight instant. More precisely: it’s half somewhere and half nowhere, always somehow in between. 
     This is probably why the fjaka does not have firm reasons or boundaries, because it’s not always caused either by meteorology or a desire to rest. Fjakuni are like eccentrics, you justify their seemingly useless withdrawal from the real world, perhaps even forgive it. They are in their own way likable, cocooned in their slumber, in a daytime doze as the great Marul would say (in the vivid translation by Nikola Šop), who obviously sometimes himself succumbed to the fijaka bug. You can’t treat them, the fjakuni, in any other way but as – a curiosity of humankind. 

“Ko'la fjaka” Philosophy
    We could say that the fjaka is typical of all living beings, since it can be observed among wildlife, and is particularly prominent in pets, especially cats and dogs when they lazily stretch or slump numbly in the sun, lie in the middle of a square or in the shade, and, by weakening their life functions and slowing down their breathing, they dozily gather the strength they will need when they liven up and return to normal. The state of fjaka is sometimes impossible to distinguish from the state of napping, they both have to do with the subconscious, even the metaphysical, which flows in the cooled-down bloodstream.
     The fjakuni are usually unnoticeable – people tend to notice aggressive individuals, whereas the numb ones, those taken by the fjaka, are left to themselves, like laundry drying on the line, but laundry that no wind from the sea can sway. Truly, they don’t ask to be seen and to be registered (“Please don’t notice me” was something the late director Tom Durbešić would say), their only concern is “Let me be” and this is where all their “ko’la fjaka” philosophy begins and ends. Fortunately, it doesn’t last long, it wears itself out, and it doesn’t harm anyone.
    The body always tries to be in movement, but the state of fjaka (just like a dreamlike, oniric state) annuls that characteristic, it slows down life to the extent needed to put it out of order, without completely giving up the ghost. The fjaka perhaps is a Mediterranean invention, but we can also find it elsewhere. The image of the Mexican sitting or crouching under the porch in a poncho with his sombrero over his eyes is a classic one. He is in the same state of bliss as our island farmer on his threshold, or on the dry-stone wall, or on the stone steps when he feels like doing nothing, and you can help him simply by leaving him alone.  

The fjaka of Friars
     The fjakuni are exposed not only to numbness, but also to a large number of jokes. A typical one is told by Andro Tomić, a man from Jelsa, an oenologist who makes poetry out of wine, and seems (but only seems!) like a man from the 1001st fjaka. It goes like this: “Two men are sitting in the square under the bell tower. One man says: If you happen to look up, you’ll see what time it is. The other one, after some time, replies: How can you even bother to talk?” And really, if life, among other things, is about conquering time, then the fjaka is the most neutral and simplest way to do it. To be outside time, in a state of peaceful relaxation, but without letting go, or giving up.
    We can pick a number of images related to the fjaka and about indulging in the fjaka, when time itself is loaded with sweet sluggishness on the edge of the absurd. Let’s take, for example, the image of a monastery, after lunchtime, when the body becomes as heavy as the eyelids, and prayer, or working through the rosary, or learned discussions, or a walk, or some other “earthly” useful work is just a little too much. 
    We can also choose other images and occasions: let’s mention those from the courtyards of Hektorović, Lucić, Gazarovičev, Crijević and all other noblemen known to us, especially the gentlemen of Dubrovnik with a goose quill in their hand! In these moments of siesta and of afternoon nap, of the nobles’ and gentlemen’s slumber, but also that of the common folk with their thoughts of the regular turmoil of life, the fjaka is also a welcome hiatus, a yawn between two useful periods of time, a respite with an additional medicinal effect, helping in the renewal of energy and in the life balance.
    The fjaka can also be understood as a kind of inner purification, like reading, leafing through books full of white space that does not commit us to anything, which is just preparation for active engagement in spiritual life. Many good ideas must have been initiated in this in-between state, in the bliss of a sleep that is not sleep, a consciousness that is not conscious, a time that is not time. Therefore, don’t judge too harshly the fjakuni – they are just nesting in a hidden corner of their self and lying far away from everything, even from themselves. And if they have something to do for you, don’t worry, they will eventually do it, somewhat more slowly and somewhat later, when their blood starts circulating normally. And then you can withdraw to your own fjaka, cover yourself with nothing and be nothing, because this is sometimes the most precious thing within your reach.
 

Formated for CROWN by Vibor Visković
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  • Comment #1 (Posted by Angela)

    ajme sto sam se nasmijala.It's so bloody true.fjaka,bunch of lazy bums.
     
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