A desert

Autor: 
Lewandowski, Robert
Tytuł oryginalny: 
Pustynia
Gatunek: 
Dramat
Postacie: 
the Abbot Peter and the Guest;
Szczegóły obsady: 
background: Gregorian choirs
Miejsce akcji: 
a monastery cell; time: from dawn to sunset

A mysterious play for two elderly men and a choir 

(Tycho de Brache – nickname of a Polish writer) 

After years of absence, its former tenant and founder returns to the monastery. He is not expected – the doorkeeper takes him for a ghost. The Guest returns not only as a penitent, but also as an accuser. He demands an acceptance and judgment of the past. Years ago, involved in the play of ambition that pushed him into a fight with his mate Peter, he rejected bishops’ regard. As a result Peter became the Abbot and the Guest burning with desire to win him over decided to lock himself up in his cell. This extreme form of retreat gave the entry for the demons of pride and revenge. He put the fire in his cell and ran away when it started to spread. The flames became a sort of catharsis, purification from dirt and sins. But the Abbot rebuilds the monastery and he announces that the handful of ashes are the relics of their dear brother who lost his life in the flames. Thus, for the society he is dead and his grave is famous for miracles. “What do you want now?” the Abbot asks. “You are a martyr here. And a saint!” The Guest wants the Abbot to call back the lies. 
The question is: which of them is closer to the heavenly realm? The decent Abbot with his simple faith and profound care of the community, or the Guest, conscious of his faults and wishing the truth to be announced? The Guest comes for punishment, he wants to be judged. The Abbot’s answer is no. As an excuse he uses Christian mercy, but there is a strong willingness to preserve his comfortable situation. The penitent yearns for purification of everything that once has been spoiled. “Your goodness is nothing but cruelty!” he shouts to the Abbot. But the latter smiles. He listens to the choir of the monks. Who would dare to break their peace of minds?