Two books accompanied me along my journey: Die schönen Kriegerinnen, edited by Cornelia Sollfrank, and Staying with the Trouble by Donna Haraway. Wonderful conversations I had along the way with inspiring people like Spideralex and participants at /etc confirmed and reinforced the inspiration and motivation I found in these books. Once I was ready to rejoin the world of my everyday life in Linz, I found inspiration and motivation again in this world too.
As part of the Art University series “Relatifs”, organized by Karin Harrasser and Anne von der Heiden, there was a Donna Haraway evening at the Gesellschaft für Kulturpolitik, where I even had an opportunity to personally ask Donna Haraway about her thoughts on spaces where “making kin” can be possible, because that question kept coming up in my mind in the spaces like Calafou and XM24, where I was reading her book.
Although the timing didn’t work for anyone else from servus.at to go with me to /etc, of course servus.at was still here when I returned, feeling even more grateful that we are fortunate enough to still have an initiative like servus.at in Linz. There is so much to be done, so much to be written in support of servus.at, and I feel excited and motivated to be part of that.
The overarching theme that accompanied me throughout my journey and all the way home was storytelling. Storytelling is a vital practice that we need, in order to counter the insistent and ubiquitous narratives of capitalism, commercialism, populism. In order to be able to create alternatives, first we have to be able to imagine them. We have to be able to describe what is wrong, in order to make something right. For that we need storytellers. Along with so many storytellers I respect and admire, both of my sons are storytellers too, for which I am deeply grateful. That means, of course, that their lives will probably never be easy, comfortable or safe, but I have nothing but the greatest admiration for the choices they have made, and I want to find ways to contribute to this effort as well. I think what I found most of all along my three-worlds-in-two weeks tour is that I need to write again. Finding myself with time to write again after retiring, at first I felt as though I had nothing left to write about, but my journey in October certainly changed that.
Tomorrow is the seventh anniversary of Peter’s death. Yes, I am still counting. I have not forgotten Peter or the good life we had together, and I am grateful to all the people who do not feel uncomfortable or concerned because I still enjoy talking about him and sharing memories. I also look forward to joining him eventually – but first there is so much more I need to write.