Reading Russian



Does anyone else think “man, I really wish I could read Russian?
I don’t even need to write in it or be fluent, yet. Just read it.
As some may know, I’m in the process of learning a few foreign languages. One thing they have in common is a familiar alphabet. Whether or not I have learned the words I can come upon any paragraph, sentence, caption etc. and have some idea of what it could be saying. Attempting to read words I don’t understand is an enjoyable process for me because it feels like it’s adding something to my brain.

Not so much with Russian. I mean sure, I’ve seen the alphabet thanks to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, but it’s left my head just like anything else that has to do with Winter Olympics.
“You bet I’ll keep up with all the international figure skating competitions!” an eager fan once said.
I even looked it up online to get a more thorough idea since they were so fast during opening ceremonies. Unfortunately, without having any real grasp on the alphabet or the language, it might as well be Japanese.

Why do I wish I could read it?
Because just like any other culture in the world, there’s beauty in it and it’s a way to connect. Be it through art, literature, music or just thoughts. And when I follow or interact with people who share their art and parts of themselves, I don’t scoff and think “wish they’d write in English sometime.” I think, “dammit, wish I knew more languages.”

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Back in My Hands


Looking at my shelf of books read, if I were to choose one to read again, it would be Miranda July‘s No One Belongs Here More Than You. I purchased the book on a whim two years behind its release, after recognizing the name from Me and You and Everyone We Know. I wasn’t sure what to expect from her writing, but once I started reading, I was smitten. Many criticisms accuse her of trying too hard to be “quirky” or “kooky.” I view her methods as far from traditional or typical, a characteristic that drew me to her. I didn’t have the impression she was going out of her way or otherwise “trying too hard.” Her style felt natural, open, honest. Aspects of her characters or the situations she placed them in resonated with various parts of me. Thoughts her characters expressed, would make people feel vulnerable for having them or ashamed to admit. I appreciate that she encourages us to examine ourselves and the relationships we have or wish to have. My reading of these stories coincided with a puzzling transitional period in my life. The timing might have made me more receptive to the content, but I doubt it affected the experience by much. It would be interesting to see how I feel about No One Belongs Here More Than You now. I haven’t followed her work as closely as I would like, so perhaps revisiting will put me back on track to exploring more.