| Foyer| Dining Room| Living Room| Bedroom & Study| Di’s Lounge| Garden| Blog| Urgent

My Garden

The River Diaries

Wednesday, October 11, 2000, bright warming almost winter day

Here in my own world, I am finding the going hard. I feel very ill, worry about my pets, about what will be left of me for Di’s return in December. Then the river of history, the web of these words brings me Lepa:

Dear Joan,

It has been intensive days. I did not write because I could not produce one consistent thought. I wanted to write a short report in English of what happened in these five days but did not write in any language. I was so hectic, at moments rearranging myself, like throwing things and saying “Gone!” and then not feeling anything, then thinking how can I not feel anything, then all of a sudden on the street seeing someone and hugging with tears, then talking to friends. There is so much small news that it is incredible how to take it all in. Meanwhile the killer is in the mousetrap and still not dead! From time to time there are rumors that he might make a counter-coup and one cannot relax at any time. Also there are still those of the controlling regime in some functions who think they can continue to work on the same premises which in fact do not exist anymore.

So it is exciting, that’s for sure. I still do not sleep enough and I am trying to calm down before we open our eyes and see how there are not women anywhere in our political life, much less lesbians. We know it all already and we decided we shall not do any criticism of the new men in power in the first week, we need to rest from the hard times and then start working again. Last night we had a sudden party, so sudden like everything here, we decided Monday to have a party Tuesday in our Women’s Center—and usually around 30-40 women come here. It is not a big space, so we planned for food and drink. You can guess—it was just like the surprise we had on the 5th of October when so many people appeared on the streets of Belgrade—there were about 70 of us and it was hard to move around, much less dance. But we danced non-stop. It was a “Woman’s Party—He’s Done”— with a few gay men as usual, those who say you knew my identity is transgressing—so it was truly great, with so many different women. We invited all the Women in Black activists who were on the streets from 1991 and then all the lesbians came as well. You know how it goes—for a women’s party, there is not a need for more than a light-second and all the lesbians know where to go. There were many Roma activists who were in our Center for the first time and some so-called “old feminists.”

I am leaving for some meetings with the Women in Black International Network, and then when I come back, there is our Second Lesbian Week starting Tuesday.

I am still dreaming to rest in the new beginnings as you have said. But I have not arrived there yet, I am still on the move and sometimes in such a good mood. If I come in January to New York for a short time, I will put myself in between you and Di and lay down and talk of all that has happened before and now.

I will write next week. I said to all the lesbians that you had sent regards. Thank you for the warmness that you send me and such tenderness which fills me in so a beautiful way. It is incredible how words can touch body.

Lepa siempre

Today all I feel I have are words—each little letter carrying life.


© 2000 Joan Nestle, Lepa Mladjenovic

Messages for Joan? Problems with this site?
Please contact the WebMs.