Freewriting in a non-native language


When I practice freewriting, I usually start with listening. Sooner or later a word, an idea, an image pops up in my mind. The first sentences are often useless, but soon a powerful word comes, determining the direction of further thought. Does the same scheme work in my freewriting in English language?

The pale sun is faintly shining through the clouds, looking like a light gray circle, and in the same way my personality only barely shines through the veil of the foreign language. When I was writing this sentence, I was lacking some words like shine through or veil, and without them, there was no hint at the next step in my freewriting.

But there’s also another, much more important problem. I don’t feel the magic of the words in the same way as I feel it in my native language. So my main obstacle is not the lack of vocabulary knowledge, but the lack of physical life experience connected with words in foreign language. The foreign words still have meaning, but are neutral, aren’t charged emotionally. As a consequence, I get much less soul nutrition from my writing in a foreign language.

Paradoxically, I freewrite in English even faster than in my native language. I spend less time on evaluating my writing just because I am unable to detect all the content I could then find unworthy, and that’s good for freewriting, even if there’s more noise in it. In general, there’s less self-criticism and shadow in my English writing at the level of meanings, though there’s more of it at the level of grammar — sometimes I am feeling that I speak unclearly, lack the exact words or correct grammatical constructions. If only there could be a way to recreate in another language my inner map connecting words, meanings and feelings! But my thinking patterns are, like a message in a bottle, contained in the sea of my native language and I can’t get access to them from inside the other language. Or maybe there is a way to achieve it? The question is still open to me.

Searching for manliness


When searching for manliness, a man is actually searching for integrity. He is searching for power, but one of a special kind. It’s a power springing out of inner silence, quietude and wholeness. It’s like the silence of a forest — it’s silent, but not empty. It’s like the silence of Spirit — not ignorant, but knowing. This force is born in the silence of the heart, just like a spring is silently born in the deepness of the earth. It’s like a rock’s silence ready to amplify your voice. It’s like a tree’s silence with the leaves breathing, the juices flowing, the cells growing. The silence of an electrified thundercloud ready to become a fiery arrow. The silence of an age-old pond holding the heavenly abyss.

The Western Canon: Defining Classics


What people and works could be called the West’s most important classics? The Western Canon is a relatively recent (1994) book by Harold Bloom in which the author tries to select the most influential authors and books of all time. Despites the fact that the very idea of such a canon is disputed, the 26 authors listed by Bloom are definitely worth reading. As for the entire book list (about 2400 items), I only wish I could read them all.