Reflex reporter Katerina Kadlecova spent a week alone in the silent darkness at Dr Urbis’s facility at Celadna.
for the full and original post in Czech, go here.
The day I departed to Celadna, I was on edge. My mood swings have already begun to bother me even themselves. And any brake squeal louder and unexpected sounds to me maddening as well as critical remarks superiors, overflowing with boxes of my diaries plan resembled a losing battle.
I gained confidence that week in a quiet house, surrounded by trees villa in Matmata, can not hurt me, and that I will be happiest being in the dark, where you get one lux of light, I will not see a soul and hear only PhDr. Andrew A. Urbis, therapist and father of the whole idea of therapy darkness in the Czech context. So if I want to see me once a day for a minute gone. And I’ll want. Doctor Urbiš holds the world record for staying in the polarium at a temperature of -123 to -129 ° C (Cryochamber lasted eight minutes and ten seconds) and also in March this year spent ten days in darkness and silence fallout shelter in Ostrava Dole Yeremenko.
A former top manager is a man of extremes, and even when they claim that does not force anyone recipe for a happy life, seems to have found its way successfully. Guinea pig in a black hole into a small orange house without windows enter Friday, April 2 after nine o’clock in the morning, immediately after a series of necessary medical and psychological tests. “You’re a bit of a guinea pig in front of you, we have had only four clients,” scares me at the outset scanty třiašedesátník Urbiš for some geeky esoteric, the other leading Czech expert in feng -šuej and enthusiastic Taoist.
It shows me where in the narrow hallway behind the double doors and put every morning “dumb” Operation bowl of vegetable and fruit salad bowl, where it will become a thermos of tea neslazeným where we may have to take a bottle of water and cereal bars. In the main room, simply furnished room with an area of about twenty square meters, I can navigate quickly: a wide bed, desk with chair, bicycle, chair and closet in which I save what little clothes that I brought.
“Alcohol and cigarettes, you do not light either, so even surrender your mobile phone. And the voice recorder, too, shines his light. Absolute darkness must not interfere, ‘Ober my doctor about the latest achievements of civilization that nadvěsek brain produces melatonin in the dark, hormone-antioxidant that prevents some cancers – and even the slightest light of this production stops.
Then show me a toilet and shower in a small koupelničce pleasing scent of almonds. (That would be cyanide? No, liquid soap IKEA, which can then in the dark, thinking in terms of shampoo, I’ll week wash your hair, which eventually would rather let his hair cut.)
Then I was introduced to four insurance systems in case I panicked: there is a direct one-way phone line to the nurses, to the chief of a doctor Urbis, switch rozsvěcející after pressing the light at the nurses’ station and causing the emergency room, then another switch with a fuse, I decided to light (thus my stay irreversibly ended), and sealed trezorek with a key, if not enough light up and I was locked out of the building decided to run straight.
And then Andrew Urbiš goodbye, goes out, closes behind one door and the other two locks. Everywhere descends incredible dark and unnatural silence. TMA, quiet and TAO U note that this therapy has to return my body to harmony with nature and that it would be in the spirit of the teachings of the Old Master, Lao-c’a, let things flow and not to interfere with natural processes between heaven and earth, at ten AM carelessly fall asleep.
I wake up to a nightmare – in the corner of the light came on, I accidentally bumped around a switch and everything is futile, I’m done with therapy, report nor the promised better life … It was not just a dream. But before he can get back to sleep, I hear from the next room a woman’s voice: “What is it with you? At the nurses’ me twice flashed emergency light! “I answer, it must have been a coincidence, and thought I tap on the forehead So I did some of that crazy – maybe you believe in the power of thought? Telepathy and psychokinesis it begins, after a while you start talking with the dead.
And that surprise fall asleep and sleep for short breaks throughout the first three days. My peace cancels only sounds audible through a triple layer of insulation from the outside, which are also good orientators time – muffled hoot of a train sprawling nights and tractor engine, sometimes curiously jezdícího day near the villa. On the first day of my stay I have left to reduce the temperature in the room air from twenty-three to twenty degrees, but despite the relative coolness seemed the most natural move between walls nude. From the first time I do anything impacted.
Unfortunately, I did during those three days komatických almost forgot to eat and drink, as I pointed therapist Urbiš at its third regular visits. Probably take me in this direction encouraged brought me my favorite dessert. Tip, even two! Perhaps in them is not real butter, I thought, trying to observe here advocated a vegetarian diet. I ate them but without remorse and full of energy finally wrote down dreams and sensations of the previous day on a paper accordion, the folds suggest a kind pohmatné lines and guarantee that the writer nehňácá lines over himself (which also provides metal paperclip that a person marks the line where the writing ended).
When twenty-minute evening interview with a therapist, I was a little bit stretched and re-assured that yoga asanas you alone dare. Just the idea that ejects black legs into free space and I breathe deeply, my increased heart rate. Like the ominous hiss-slip foam mattress on the floor of the bathroom and a blue and silver flashes occasionally intersecting some reason blackness. The fear was unfounded. The entire stay in the dark is a bit of preparation for death, and that we’re afraid of everyone. Because, as the old Indian proverb often quoted Urbis:
Everything is unknown, it is great. In the darkening Dejo SE VĚCINejvětšího dimension it has reached an unknown third night. I woke up probably late in the morning, drenched in sweat, with a cold, rozdrásaným throat and other flu symptoms. To face someone breathing chill. In a small room could hear a pin dropping, so it is impossible that during my sleep, someone came from outside …
Who me then explain the obsessive feeling that the villa Matmata not alone? And those invisible hands astringent blanket to me infidel and quite rational woman, forced to tack and splatter Lord’s Prayer, which I did not even know his verses in control? From bad to me it seems to protect and again I fell asleep. He woke up the silent bell services – came to the hall to exchange for new ones untouched salads, which I gratefully almost all eaten. The crisis has passed. In the evening he told the therapist that she met in the same period of residence in varying degrees, all the patients except one.
The fourth day was Easter Sunday, and I instead of handing out Easter eggs lay in bed and dream. Into the unknown darkness of space, I expanded the sole purpose of evacuating a meal. During the following days I ate always a salad in the morning and picking up only his hands, thinking in the hall are tsp (were there).
The pleasure of eating hands was unexpected. I planted myself that I can distinguish by touch slice of kiwi slice strawberries, specifically vyjídala pieces of oranges and apples first letting fate. Post-crisis darkness became surprisingly friendly and I ceased to be afraid – and I recapitulated all of thrillers and horror from Wait Until Dark Circle and to the Blair Witch. Then I began to recapitulate other things. I remembered necessary group photo of his classmates from first grade, what each had dressed, and then I put all together and last name. How is it possible? I left eight years at another school and most of the kids I’ve ever seen in my life. I remembered just for the hell of it on poems from readers on verses from Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, the avian orders from singers after procellariiformes on Wolker famous poem Harvest, beginning with verse sun is a great poet, and dozens of lesser known, retracted for ballast. Like I defragmented the hard drive and then anointed unnecessary files. It went like clockwork. It seems that when disregarding the brain in the way round in the form of daily routine operations, is capable of incredible things. He tried to someone already in the dark learn French? Girlfriends LÁHEVČtvrtý a fifth day as the water fled; There was no boredom. I enjoyed while out on the light, but before I planned what surely will come, I dreamed about what could be. Free association pleasantly chain-linked, sometimes I did not have an overview of whether dreaming or awake.
I thought of the people whom my therapist told to Celadna come after me – filmmaker filming a documentary on the dark Balkan painter painting in the dark images – even for those who are already here in the darkness were – on a writer who, after seven days in black room he did not actually even bites, but on paper fan wrote half of her new children’s book. Just me no eruption occurred creativity. I, childhood hyperactive kid, I wanted nothing more than to lie. When I had to get up, I took with me on a journey intuitively bottle of water. Probably need a friend in the dark, I told the therapist on the fifth day and he confirmed it for me. On our short sessions, in my estimation early evening, I was not analyzed more like herself than to me he said something. When he talked, he talked mainly about his former managerial practice and how therapy is dark suited for top executives as practicing extreme situations and stress prevention.
He talked about the danger of holotropic breathing on his famous clients, and particularly klientkách among actors and singers. I’m on the wagon, on a goat, one might ask – and yet I was the daily visits enjoyed. In its accompanying exercise our discussions, I almost always strained a muscle because the body was not used to anything other than the horizontal position.
The sixth and seventh day I brought the country particularly bizarre dreams about large, flightless birds or poker room, where he played with towering red card tables with beer. I could eat it twice a day, I even reached for granola bar and a piece of bread. I enjoyed the smell of salads and a slight murmur is heard behind the wall, in which there was a bed; I had to laugh the transformation of a small child who first discovers the world. As if detoxified body again began to think about life.