www.martinnaef.ch / 1.2: Briefe > To Katrin B., 14. September 1992

To Katrin B., 14. September 1992

Unexpected letter from an old friend! Hope to find you in relatively good shapes with hopes left and occasional energy to struggle and fight with life! Dear Cathrin! I have been over at Migros to get some fresh bread and some copy, your favorite Espresso. On the way back I met this neighbor of mine from Lausanne, whom I know just a little bit because of his ex-wife. The mailman had already been here, when I was back at our door. I am searching my way into this day ...

In a few hours I am going to have a meeting with the left overs of Anna Göldin-Gymnasium. This self-governed alternative school had almost collapsed this summer (because of augmenting conflicts between various groups of students) and we are trying to figure out, how the few people who want to continue with this project could do so. Self-government on the level of a Gymnasium is really rare over here and the school had for some years been something quite special in the cyrcles of Swiss alternative schools ... But dreams just don't seem to last forever!

O speaking of dream! A few days ago I met good old Andres. Do you remember him - my first love-affair with a man which did not just happen in my head but had also at least some "reality" to it! - He came to see the play that I am presently involved in, and we spent a couple of hours together afterwards. ... Dreams don't last forever-, maybe -, but I realize how much I still love him ... When I sat in the train going back to Basel I was all melancholy and sad. Why did he leave me then - 6 years ago! - ... Why couldn't this dream go on forever?

Well this life of mine! - Two days ago we held the annual meeting of the Swiss association of alternative schools, in the founding and developing of which I have been quite involved since I've finished my book on alternative schools. At present work within this association is quite rewarding for we're a good group of four or five active people trying to really do something there. We're also publishing a journal on question of alternative ways to and models of education, a project which we might give up at the end of this year however, for we're just too few to do all this on a real quality level. - Journal - alternative school association -our play in Zürich - another group for educational reform in Zürich - my new and true love Renzo – accordion  lessons: these are the things, which keep me busy these days.

Renzo is a teacher like you. He teaches elementary school kids who do not speak German. He is supposed to work with them for one year. After one year they should know enough German to attend a regular school. Renzo has been an office worker in insurances and bancs etc. for almost 20 years before he became a teacher. When I met him just about two years ago he had just begun the Lehrerseminar in Liestal. This summer he got his teaching certificate. He is there for not an experienced teacher yet, and he is not sure, whether he will ever become one. Somehow he feels that he has still not found the place in life, where he really wants to be. ... Well: Renzo and I - that's another story! He always reminds me of a house, which looks quite simple and boring from the outside and it is only when you open the door and enter into the building, that you start to discover all kinds of really nice things (attitude, thoughts, feelings ...).

Looking from the outside, Andres is more "special"; his life seems more interesting. After having worked in a cooperatively owned and run restaurant and hotel near St.Gallen for two or three years, he has now began a job on a little farm in Tessin, where he's in charge of the goats and gets involved in all kind of other new things. Renzo's lifestyle is (compared to the lifestyle of Andres or to my own way of life) much more bourgeois, more settled. But in spite of this external differences Renzo and I are having a very good time together, somehow much better (less tragic and dramatic) than my time with Andres. Our love affair seems by far less romantic than the one with Andres, but somehow it seems more real and reliable ... Of course: sometimes I wish very much, that Renzo would be more alive, more undertaking, less anxious etc., but ... well, he just isn't. And who knows ... He turned 40 this summer, and sometimes I think, that his life has just begun ...

Well. I am getting cold. I think I want to practice my accordion a bit to warm up and to prepare a folkdance-evening in the Ecole, where I am asked to help with my accordion and clarinet. This evening is part of a little ceremony or celebration for Ruth Cohn's 80th birthday.

O Kathrin. There is so much we could and should discuss and talk about... There are also so many things in your life, I would like to know more about: your love or non-love-life, your work‑situation etc. etc.! This letter should be ten times as long, but then it will never get to you!... Therefor: just have it as it is - short - sketchy - incomplete! Have it and maybe respond to it one of these days! Tell me: "what is on your mind"! So long for today!. Much love, Martin