Sunday, August 24, 2008

"There are things you do because they feel right & they may make no sense & they may make no money & it may be the real reason we are here: to love each other & to eat each other's cooking & say it was good." Storypeople

I am home. I feel I've been away months. I'm disappointed to find that Edinburgh is still being ripped up for a tramway system (I'd hoped that I'd imagined that nightmare and when I got back it would be all back to normal) and dubious planning developments.

I feel I've been on a very long journey. Ot Azoy ! is a crash course in Yiddish at SOAS in a week. I'm amazed but I feel I've made enormous progress in a week and actually feel I have a chance to actually learn the language. I now realise that the feeling that I had no facility for languages has more to do with the bad way we we taught languages at school than any actual bearing in reality.

Next year there is a three week course in the summer in Paris and I'm terribly tempted to go. All my fellow students were interesting and varied and participants came from all over Europe, Norway, Sweden, Romania, Austria, as well as the UK. My only criticism being that the singing session where this non musical person cheerfully sang Yiddish songs badly and enjoyed it often ran over cutting the possible time to chat to participants from other classes. I found in the evenings my brain kind of fell apart into a sort of dazed fitfulness and so got up at 6am ! to do my hame arbeit with my brain fresh. The last time I got up at 6am to do work was when I wrote my first film script.

It feels right to do this and it makes no sense (many students are learning Yiddish as their grandparents spoke it - mine didn't - it was a total accident that I ended up in a Yiddish class one autumn evening with no idea what to expect).

BUT all the great things I have achieved have had a strong streak of at once feeling right to do and at the same time very illogical and making no sense. We have to listen to the non-sense and follow it.

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