That car was an absolute luxury. Of course, it was just a small and scrappy mare, but it had a USB port and heated seats. What more could we ask? The car didn't need to be fancy since driving faster than 90 wasn't permitted anyway. As we slowly drove out of the city and got accustomed to the signs in Latvia, we talked about life, goals, and feminism (currently a recurring issue with me). Surprisingly, very few women around me think about feminism. I am not sure why that is, maybe because the pressure from the outside is not as strong as before. I am not into the current academic discourse. To me, it's as much about questioning myself as it is about examining the society in which I grew up. Why do I think about how I will shape the life of my potential future children? Why do I have to justify my travelling and listen to questions revolving around the ticking clock that is my uterus? What kind of consequences would the decision, to have no children of my own, bring? Would I like to stay the cool aunt forever, the cool world-traveling aunt that the nephews and potential nieces could visit during the summer holidays? Would I regret it in the long run? What would I be missing? Is the wish of a big family an inherent desire or a taught wish? In Poland, I was looked at with amazement when I said I was 28 years old. There the norm for motherhood lies around the age of 25 (or earlier). Our hostess in Riga, on the other hand, was almost 40, and gave me a friendly smile: "You've got sooooo much time!" I KNOW! Why are these thoughts in my head, they have no business being there. Didn't I say I would deal with problems as they occurred? That's what I said... And stop! Stop! Problem? It's just some weird movie in my head (ger: Kopfkino)! Where did feminism go?
With K, I listened to the podcast "The Guilty Feminist" with Deborah Francis-White (my personal hero) and Sofie Hagen. I laughed out loud, well, at least I couldn't suppress a smile. For K this was all relatively new. It doesn't matter in her life. She feels comfortable in her current role in the office and finds the thought of one day staying at home with the children not easy either. She lives in the here and now, while I am still thinking about the end goal (is there an end goal?). The question of whether the wish to bear children is learned or inherent is central to me, not to her. The juxtaposition is quite beautiful, as it reveals once more how many roads potentially lead to Rome.
Sitting in the car, side by side for a few days, was great. We thought we drove through quite similar landscapes but realised that one must look closer. We stopped along the road, took our cameras out, and I ran ahead to one of the lakes that had sparked our interest. First, I took a few photos. The sky was grey, and the water rippled from the wind. I had hoped for some beautiful reflections but was disappointed. It was not a very nice motive. After a few minutes, I looked down at my shoes. My boots had sunk in a little I was standing in a puddle of water. Pretty scary. Everything was swampy and in a few holes in the ground you could see that there was water only 5 centimetres below the ground we stood on. Unfortunately, I was not able to capture it in a photo. To dark. We were witnessing the struggle of nature. In real time. The trees threw off their leaves and needles. The roots prevented them from floating away, thus forming a thin layer that slowly decomposed and turned into the soil on which we were standing. Sounds logical. Perhaps it is even true? I decided to ask my friend R when we would be in Stockholm. She usually knows stuff like this. (I asked, and it's exactly that.) The landscape looks a bit different each day, and slowly we approached the outermost corner of the coast.
The first night, we slept in Kolka right on the outermost corner of the land. The wind was so strong it blew the heads from our shoulders. It even held us up when we leant into it. The accommodation was basic but welcoming, in the summer there is a campsite with an eco-toilet and an outdoor shower. Our hostess is doing sustainable tourism. The Livonians (we suspect that our hostess might be one of them) are the indigenous inhabitants, whose language and culture is almost extinct, and the last of them live here in this place. In the summer, she offers local food producing classes. An approach to tourism after our own heart. Should you ever be in the area, go for a beach walk whatever the weather.
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