We're waiting for a sign, anxiety in the air; people quieter than usual, hushed tones at the bus stop. Chopin in place of hip-hop, flags, flags everywhere, red and white or faded pink and grey, black ribbons fluttering on aerials, on trains.
Superstitions, prophesies... "my hairdresser had a terrible dream the night before it happened." A volcano is erupting. Symbols. Symbols. The End of Days. "The sedge is wither'd from the lake/And no bird sings". "One for sorrow..." a solitary magpie sits on my lawn.
"What's going to happen?""What will happen to my country? To my family?" weeps a distraught woman to camera. Ostensible stability; sensible, measured behaviour. Nothing's changed - or has it? Princess Di, John Paul II - but this is deeper; not melodrama, not rubbernecking, not an expected passing. This is History unfolding. This is Mass Psychology, this is a nation experiencing traumatic tension, the unease is palpable; I'm in the crowd yet alone. What is going to happen? Will the great and good manage to fly to the Funeral? Portents in the sky. God's displeasure?
A morbid, tense, angry election is in the offing. There will be 22 funerals on Monday, another 16 on Tuesday.
May I never live to see such accursed days as these ever again.
Here's the video version of this post - courtesy of Nick Morris.UPDATE: 22:21 FlightRadar24.com is down. Strange planes are coming in to land in Warsaw, driven south by volcanic ash.
A high-definition version is here (slightly longer download time).