Wednesday, April 17, 2013
why the Russian doll and multi-grains?
this is the image i first selected for my blog, and i've been contemplating a change, so i thought of expressing my love for Russian dolls first in case, on any given day, without prior notice, i decided to change this picture:
it's just a cute picture of Russian dolls among many other photos i had selected from google images. but WHY the Russian doll? i guess it's one of the unconscious passions one has for something the reason might be rooted in one's childhood and later in life we try to find reasons for it...
my dad studied in the Russian Soviet Union for six years (1958-1964) then he came back to our country, married my mom and they had 4 children, I'm the youngest. After the year of my birth 1979 he visited Russia several times, but on business trips at work and he brought with him Russian souvenirs and toys. i remember one time he got my sister and i two dolls with blond hair wearing traditional Russian outfits and when he took them out of his suitcase out came a group of blond ants!!! we were used to black little ants but BLOND ANTS? is everyone and everything blond in Russia? the hard part was that we had to kill these blond ants and felt guilty about it...
the main Russian souvenir my dad brought with him had to be a wooden Russian doll, there's something about Russian dolls that attracts and speaks to children so i felt in love with this "forbidden toy", yes we weren't allowed to play with it, my mom spread all 9 of them (and all 7 of the other one) on the piano and the book shelves in our living room.
a decade and a half later i read a novel in Arabic by Ahlam Mostaghanmi, and a paragraph stopped me, the man was saying to his love:
"أي امرأة فيك هي التي أوقعتني؟ كنت معك في دهشة دائمة.فقد كنتِ شبيهة بتلك الدمية الروسية الخشبية التي تخفي داخلها دمية أخرى. وهذه تخفي دمية أصغر، وهكذا تكون سبع دمى داخل واحدة! كنت كل مرة أفاجأ بامرأة أخرى داخلك. وإذا بك تأخذين في بضعة أيام ملامح كل النساء. وإذا بي محاط بأكثر من امرأة، يتناوبن علي في حضورك وفي غيابك، فأقع في حبهن جميعاً. أكان يمكن لي إذن أن أحبك بطريقة واحدة؟ لم تكوني امرأة..كنت مدينة"
أحلام مستغانمي - ذاكرة الجسد
"Which woman in you made me fall? With you I was in constant astonishment because you were like that Russian wooden doll which hides another doll inside, and the latter hides a smaller one, to have seven dolls in one! Every time I'd be surprised with another woman inside you, within a few days you resembled all women and I was surrounded with more than just one woman taking turns with me in your presence and absence so I fell in love with them all. Was it possible for me to love you in a single way? You weren't a woman, you were a city"
i don't know if this is a fair translation, but this was supposed to be a positive thing this woman heard from her love and i in turn fell in love with the idea of a multi-layered female whose man was in constant awe of who she is and the depths of her personality.
i've always been a disciplined female, as a school girl i finished my homework before i started to play, i acted in an acceptable and pleasant manner, i learned to play the piano and later on the flute, as a teenager i was consistent with my quite time and spiritual relationship with God, i wrote poems and rhyme stories... so part of who i am came to me by chance, which means talent, and another part was a result of discipline and hard work.
for some reason, or maybe a reason i'm aware of but will discuss later, during my teenage years i started to develope low self esteem, being a perfectionist made my low self esteem "perfect" too, so during the early years of my adulthood i started to work on fighting these negative thoughs about myself. here i have to give credit to my sister who once said to me (and in English too): "you care TOO much about what people think!!!" and a lightbulb appeared in my head, the work plan was put in action:
1.nurture positive self esteem
2.care less of what people think of me
the problem was that there's a thin line between developing a positive self image and high self esteem on one hand and cultivating arrogance on the other hand. this meant more work on being as humble as a good Christian can be and as special as ME can be, hens the Russian doll, but i didn't want to name my blog after it because i didn't want to identify myself with a "doll" or with a country i've never visited but would like to visit one day, so i started with the fact that i'm a woman (a female) which is an idea i reconciled with after hating my female identity throughout my teenage years (man, i had a lot of serious issues in my past, i'm afraid i'm still carrying some with me :( and i added to it my love for hole grain bread and multi-grain muesli to come up with the name of this blog "multi-grain woman" and the current (above) photo of the Russian doll.
speaking of self image... i saw this amazing video this morning, it's worth watching...