Then and Now
At the time, the circumstances of my arrest in Poland seemed trivial. I hardly thought about them afterward. But now, when I consider the fall of 1989, and the fall of communism, my little run-in with the Polish authorities seems highly suggestive of how things were then and what has since come to be.
Clearly, we now live in a new political epoch. The changes were apparently quick and revolutionary. We have seen the lifting of the "Iron Curtain"--that seemingly permanent barrier dividing the political East from the political West, the socialist bloc from the capitalist bloc, the free world from the totalitarian world. Not surprisingly, many feel disoriented; while others, with absolute certainty, foolishly proclaim future scenarios for the new world stage. But the banalities of my brief detention remind me of how fundamental the political changes have been, how they developed over a very long period of time, and how political "wisdoms" should always be doubted, at least a little bit more than they usually are.