www.martinnaef.ch / 3: Briefe > To Franck W., February 1989, Basel
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To Franck W., February 1989, Basel

Hello there! I'm back in Basel, enjoing the different environment down here - enjoying our appartment at Landskronstrasse and enjoying the companionship of Urs, this bighearted and big minded, good person.

The weekend in Goldern was filled with sadness and all kinds of other wasteful feelings, feelings I hope to never ever have again in my life, feelings which do yet come back again and again. I have felt more disappointment and discust  cust with the Ecole than I have for quite some time. I have felt very strongly how much of an established stagnating institution this school has, how far away it is from a real pioneer-school or pioneer-place. It makes me sad that I cannot say more than "the Ecole is a good school" - I wish I could say, "it is a great place, the place, where I belong with all my heart and all my soul and mind!, a place alive with utopian spirit and filled with courage!" - O it makes me sad. Talks about how the school could be, how its spirit could be, ideally, if people would only see it and do it - talks about that (they do take place every now and then, always "outside" the school, with individual Kameraden oder with discontent Mitarbeiters) - talks like that make me sad. Also the sense, that "the school" - and that includes I'm afraid also Armin and Nathaly - the sense, that "the school" is not interested in change, in further development, in what it could yet become, but it is only interested in confirmation and pries and friendly words - that makes me sad. How did they receive you, when you came back from Santa Barbara? Where was their curiosity to hear all about it and to really exploit your experiences over there for their school, for the Ecole which they like so much. And where is their curiosity now? The "school" pays me to do research in its history; people up their know, that I have worked at the Ecole, that I have written my Thesis about it, that I have written about it later, too, etc etc. Am I wrong to expect, that they could maybe be interested in what my "findings" are. Am I wrong to expect that or do I not realize that they are interested? Should I be content with the little interested I sense here and there? Do I wait for magic Armin, the poor figure, to show interest just the way I wait for some beautiful charming young man to decide to love me like a fool and never let go of me again!

For that's another expectation I do have. I could sense it very strongly two nights ago, at the Fasnachtsfest of the Ecole. I met this guy from the University of Bern, who was visiting the school with some woman friend of Cathrins, and I just felt all this longing, all this crying and hoping in me and no strength what so ever to go for it, to approach the person and tell him about me and what I feel. - Here Stefan - that was the name of the guy - there Armin ... - all I feel is weekness and this silent cry inside me ... no strength. God has to change things; I can't do anything about it, that's how I seem to feel about me in these times of crisis.

So much bubbled up inside me! Maybe I should go back into some sort of therapy for a while, to get going again, to not get stuck in my life and die before I've really lived it, loved it and known it!

While I'm writing this I feel already better. I had a fairly good day here in Basel and just before I had a long and good phone call with a very nice young woman, a former student of mine which I met again last fall. - I do feel, that my energy is coming back again, slowly but surely.

I wonder what you think about the Ecole, about the livelyniss of the place, about its spirit. Is it really so special as many of us have liked or still like to think? And if so, what does make it special and unique in your opinion? When you recall the school and its atmosphere, do you feel, why I am sying over it, why I feel so sad up there? It is fatigue, sure - I do work like a maniac upthere at times, and going back thrue so many peoples lives, going through   birth, hope, marriage, war, old age and death so often is strenuous - I do feel that at times -, but is it just fatigue, which makes me feel about my beloved Ecole the way I felt about it these last few days.

I have written this poem about the importance of utopian spirit for our individual and our communal life! I must find it again! It not a very "good" poem, and I have - - - lost it - put it somewhere, because, well just because it's not a very good poem! - How little I seem to believe what I try to express there! - I must write another one one of these days!

O Franck! You always get these long letters! I hope that you reading them is as good for you as writing them is for me!

The day with Viktor, the one I will lead the November Seminar for unemployed folks with, was very good. We have worked together quite efficiently and in good spirit. I feel my stomac quever when I think about the concrete seminar situations; but I guexx I just let it quiver a bit! - I am looking forward to our June weekend on our visual handicaps and all that, and I am definitely looking forward to seeing you in the first weeks of April here in Basel. I do hope that you are going to stay with us again. You know, that both of us, Urs and I, would like to have you here for however many days you are going to be here!

Maybe you and I could do a weekend with the Ecole - something on stagnation, petrification, dreams and reality, revolution, commotion, stability, piece and happiness! Since Armin likes you, and he seems to like me too, he may be willing to join in on the idea, and we might ... Maybe a weekend is not the right form for the process we'd - I would - like to get started or restarted again.

Maybe we could - maybe we can; this is the man to man speaking: be it dark or be it light; have a good day and have a good night. (Unfinished poem produced by Poem Inc. Basel, Switzerland).