Wednesday, April 23, 2014

foreign

I deleted this post, but then decided to toss it back out there. Who knows, perhaps there are others out there who have similar thoughts, or have identified with the sense of feeling foreign. Everywhere.

How many of us feel as if we are outsiders/strangers/foreigners most of the time, even in--or especially in our hometowns? There are times when even familiar blades of grass are nearly too sharp for me to bear, and I wonder--how they feel about me.

Musicians appear to be able to bridge the formidable, visible and invisible gaps between cultures and individuals.

Take Valery Meladze. He is a Georgian by nationality, who has variously considered the Soviet Union, Ukraine, Georgia, and Russia his home. After several decades of constant performing, he's become a staple on the Moscow cultural scene, as ubiquitous as black bread.

Valery Meladze and his brother Konstantin seem to possess some magical formula--the ability to create lyrics, music and a stage presence that unites their listeners.

Here, in  this song, Foreigner, Valery sings: "I am everywhere a foreigner, yet I belong everywhere..." This reminds me of the fact that, near the beginning of their careers, the brothers were advised to change their last name to a more Russian-sounding one, but they weren't interested in this....




Yes, if I were among the adoring female fans in a crowd at one of his concerts, I might look for and recognize the sad glimmer in his eyes before Valery begins singing, the glance of one not-quite-belonging-anywhere, who belts his heart out.

But Konstantin, his brother the poet/composer/producer is the real resident alien genius of the two. If I could just be a moth on the wall watching him compose....


2 comments:

Cheryl Snell said...

My husband, who was raised in India, carried around the feeling of statelessness with him for a long time. Now he feels more at home in the wide world; a function of age, I guess. And, of course, I became his home. :)

Iulia Flame said...

Cheryl, thank you for commenting. I've just seen so much of this--the sense of either being foreign or being with persons who are foreign, caught between identities. It is so lovely that you became his home. :)

En plein air - in memoriam Andrew Bellon

A dreamless sleep falls from the shimmering leaves. --Sappho fragment, tr. Andrew Bellon I changed, thickened, ...

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