Saturday, May 23, 2009

Nadja Lebedeva

Nadja approaches us and announces firmly that she has no need for a translator, that she wants to speak English, as she is able to speak SIX languages and wants to become an interpreter. As she starts to form her curly sentences, as Masha describes it, she tells us that with every new language she studies, she feels more trapped. That she in fact feels that knowing so many words and so many expressions for everything literally makes her feel paralyzed. I suggest, that I don’t think it’s the languages themselves that seem to make her feel trapped, but that I get an incredible sense of pressure and ambition from just watching and listening to her. I ask her if she ever feels, that she might have also an other side, a side that is not so responsible, a side that sometimes just wants to sleep or be lazy. She says that she doesn’t think that she has such a side and if did, she would not be interested in it! There is so much work to do! I tell her about my own struggles of letting go, my struggles of wanting to control everything and that sometimes this tendency of mine just ends up killing everything I have just created, because it’s so hard know when to let things be or have faith that they will keep growing by themselves. I tell her that I have discovered that after creating something or working on something, that one has to give this new entity a chance to take on it’s own life and have it’s own personality separate from one self, like a seed that one has planted; It’s important to allow a sense of trust. Only with this trust life can really start happening.

She does not seem to like what I am telling and keeps talking about what she wants, and that she wants to work in group and that one has to think about who would be the leader of such a group and, and, and… I feel like she is not hearing me. Then I ask her to repeat what I had just said. She then repeats my sentence word by word, which is incredible because coming from her, my sentences do not seem to say the same thing as how it sounded coming from me. That’s quite something! Let’s wait until the group meets and see what they have to say, I suggest.

In the group we again are being confronted with her vast language skills and everybody starts to become very annoyed. In that moment Masha explains to her that she is walking a very dangerous path, that she is identifying with her linguist/translator identity so much, that she is in real danger of losing her knowledge of all her other aspects that she should do a project not involving her language but some other form of expression. Finally she, tgether with the group comes up with the idea of asking people in the streets about their childhood fears and then drawing them, to help them seeing them more objectively and so letting go of the fear entirely. 

Here, we are discussing, whether it is really such a good idea to wear a silly hat when asking people about their childhood fears. I say, If you went to the bank to open up a bank account and the clerk would wear such a hat. Would you feel comfortable to deposit your money with them? It's about trust. If you want people to trust you, you have to be a bit serious.

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