That time when we were both dreaming of becoming tomatoes

That day we drove from Zagreb to Pula, to meet Danijela and Irka, with whom we were organizing an exciting conference at Rojc. You were thrilled to find out that there is a USB plug on the bus seat where you could charge your phone because: “More work to be done.” :)

Instead, we talked and talked for hours and we just paused from time to time to admire breathtaking nature on our way. I still remember how excited I was: after few disappointments, just a couple of months before we got a chance to start to work together, I’ve decided to give up on all of my social engagements, leave the city and plant tomatoes… and then I got this great chance to work with you. You wanted to join that tomato ride as you felt tired already at that time, apparently, only small gastritis, nothing serious, “but I’ll get better soon, I have to get some rest, those were stressful few months, well, years actually. But as soon as we both get some rest, we can start doing all these great projects we are talking about.” And you laughed all way long, turning all of my small worries into a fertile ground for constructive inquiry. Moments of working and spending time with you those couple of months looked like a most gentle breeze in the middle of a burning hot summer of deadlines and disappointments.

Just a month after you’ve sent me a message with those bad news… and for a year you fought that nasty beast like only you could have done it. To me, you always seemed to have these ‘godlike’ abilities that few people have…” nothing can happen to Matija, he is one of a kind”.

Things got better and when you rang me this April, that dull office day turned into a festival of spring. “Matija will come at the Ouishare summit and when Matija is there, nothing can go wrong.” And it didn’t: this summer those few people who had a chance to sip a coffee with you after our workshop couldn’t stop talking about great things that they would like to do, inspired by you…”and of course, to include Matija somehow, he is such a great dude.”

Your short stay on this stage of a journey touched and inspired so many people, dear friend, and this is surely not an end. Have a safe trip, you beautiful soul.

– Antonia Banović

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