Storyteller per una sera

«And now I ask Luca Beti to come on stage and tell us his story». Cuore che batte a mille, mani umide e gambe molli. Salgo i tre gradini che portano al palco e poi sono sotto i riflettori. Mi metto la medaglia al collo, con gesti che non mi sembra di riuscire a controllare, alzo il viso e vedo tanti, troppi sguardi puntati su di me. Nascondo il nervosismo dietro un sorriso. «Buonasera», ho deciso di iniziare muovendomi sul mio terreno. Poche battute in italiano per farmi coraggio. E poi, da lì in poi, navigo a vista, parola dopo parola, frase dopo frase, paragrafo dopo paragrafo. Un’altra maratona, meno faticosa, ma non meno emozionante. Arrivo all’ultima frase: «The number 8, she wrote to me by e-mail, if you spread it horizontally, it means infinity, infinite gratitude. Thank you». La sala rimane in silenzio per alcuni istanti e poi un generoso applauso mi avvolge e mi travolge. Scendo dal palco, stringo mani, sento tanti complimenti. Il mio racconto è piaciuto e ha avuto un successo strepitoso. Wow. Che gioia sapere che so trasmettere emozioni anche in una lingua che non è la mia. Senza volerlo, sono finito sul palco di una serata dedicata agli «storyteller» (True Storie Told Live), specie di menestrelli moderni. Il mio racconto parla delle mie fatiche alla maratona di Christchurch e della mia idea di abbinarla alla raccolta fondi per la nuova Motueka Steiner School.

Le immagini sono del fotografo Oliver Weber

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Run for a school

The marathon, fortunately, is over. Goal. Medal around the neck. Banana. Glass of cold water. And then what? And then nothing more. It’s over. Fortunately. Never has the finish line seemed as far away as that of the Christchurch marathon. 42.195 endless kilometres. The first 25 kilometres in a hurry, with the joy of being there. Then, kilometre after kilometre, the muscles stiffened, the legs made of lead. At kilometre 30, my family, the most important people for me, were waiting: Marzia, Enea and Matilde. An intermediate goal to regain energy and to face the last 12 kilometres. A little more than an hour long, but not endless effort. And then I really had to scrape the bottom of the barrel to take it home, this marathon. Of course, the weather played its part: 4 degrees, sometimes heavy rain and wind. The route, which forced me to run several times on the same road, overcoming gigantic puddles, took its own to crush me. Yes, I suffered. But I never thought about throwing in the towel. That never. And now what?

Memories remain. Because, in the end, they are the ones which remain. And the memories take me to the Marae of Motueka. Early May. I follow the presentation of a vision, the vision 2020 to build a new school. I only understand shreds of sentences. But then I realize that I don’t have to listen with my ears, but with my heart. That Tuesday in May, the Steiner community emanates an energy that is difficult to describe. On few occasions have I felt as much enthusiasm and passion around me as I did then. Building a school for your children, for everyone’s children. A school where the future citizens of an inclusive, tolerant society, governed by love and trust in others, can be born and grow. Wow.

Is enthusiasm and passion enough to turn a vision into reality? No, you also need money. Sitting in the middle of the Steiner community, in the Marae of Motueka, a place full of mystery and charm for me, a Swiss who grew up between two crowns of mountains, I wonder how I can contribute to this project. I also want to make a small contribution to the construction of a school where a better society can grow in the future. I also want to help a community that six months ago welcomed us, Marzia and me, our children Enea and Matilde, with a warm embrace.

It takes an idea. And the idea comes to me there, among the carved wooden figures of the Marae. Launching a fundraiser combined with the Christchurch marathon at the beginning of June in which I intend to participate. I write an e-mail to friends and family, asking them to accompany me symbolically during the race. They have the possibility to support me from the first to the last kilometre. At first their contribution is modest, as is my effort to cover the first few kilometres. One franc for the first kilometre, two for the second, three for the third… But then when the legs are made of lead, the face is dripping with sweat and energy is running out, then the support will have to be more generous, up to a maximum of 42 francs for the last kilometre. Thanks to this fundraiser I could have given 1098 francs or about 1650 New Zealand dollars to the new Motueka Steiner School.

But instead! The passion and enthusiasm that I felt during the presentation of the Vision 2020 went beyond the oceans, deserts, prairies, plateaus and mountains and reached the hearts of our friends and family in Switzerland. How many were accompanying me along the marathon? So many, indeed so many. Maybe 50. No, more. Wow. Wonderful. At the start I was moved, almost to tears, to know that I had so many friends and family by my side. And then the generous support for the Rudolf Steiner school in Motueka filled me with joy. It left me speechless. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. In just over three weeks I have raised 3600 Swiss francs. It’s about 5500 New Zealand dollars, or rather 11000 dollars, since every dollar is doubled by an anonymous donor.

Fortunately, the marathon is over. Goal. Medal around the neck. Banana. Glass of cold water. And then what? And then there’s the number 8. Michela, a former student of mine, also wanted to participate in the fundraiser with eight francs. Not many, you’ll say. I thought so too. But she didn’t choose that eight by chance. The number 8, she wrote to me by e-mail, if you spread it horizontally, it means infinity, infinite gratitude. Thank you.

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