So, it’s been a solid week-and-a-half since my last update on here. I was starting to feel bad about it, which somehow made it harder to remedy the situation, but luckily, I came up with a (partial) solution to what I expect will be a recurring problem. I call it 3 Things from This Week.
One of my favorite things about personal blogs is that when updated somewhat regularly, they can serve as an archive of sorts for one’s feelings, thoughts, and experiences. Sound like a diary? Yep. The problem with diaries is, I get bored with them. Within days. I think it’s the whole privacy thing: I always get sick of writing for myself only. Not that this blog has attracted a vast readership so far, mind you; nonetheless, it’s out there, anyone could theoretically read it and, thus far, that’s plenty for me.
But I digress. The reason I started talking about this diary stuff is that I think I want Végane franglais to function as an archive. I like the idea of being able to look back on it, months and years from now, and be reminded of some of the things I read, saw, heard, or did during a given week. Hence 3 Things a Week, which (as you’ve probably guessed by now) will be about at least three things from a given week that I’d like to remember (or be reminded of) in the future.
To be clear, this may not actually be a weekly feature. Most likely, there will be weeks where I’m too busy to post—and maybe even weeks so boring or terrible that I won’t wish to remember much about them at all. Hopefully, it will also be about more than three things, sometimes—whether because the past week has proven particularly interesting, or because I’ve waited too long since the last installment, and things have started to pile up.
Oh, and in the spirit of this blog’s premise, 3 Things from This Week will be a bilingual feature. I might call the French version Les 3 choses de la semaine. We’ll see.
Cool? Cool. Then, without further ado, here’s three things from this week:
1) ‘The Deaf Body in Public Space’ by Rachel Kolb, via The New York Times.
This is a piece about alienation, otherness, exclusion, visibility, relationality and relatability, and the ways in which certain bodies and their means of expression are made to feel or seem too loud, or like they take up too much space, while others are validated, essentialized even. I like this paragraph a lot:
“When I reflect on this memory two decades later, I recognize how my childhood friend, whom at the time I had found to be so accusatory, had really gaped at me with a sort of wonder. My signing challenged the rules of social conduct she’d absorbed from adults, and to her I must have seemed ignorant or radically rebellious, or perhaps both. But pointing was a truly fundamental act for me; it was how I expressed what my grown-up scholarly self would call relationality — the idea of being in the world in relation to others. Through sign language, a properly poised finger allowed me to say you and me and he and she and they. If I did not point, how could I make a human connection?”
This is also, I think, a piece about self-empowerment and self-affirmation through language, and specifically through sign language. On that topic:
“When I sign, when I use my body to communicate, it indeed elicits a different state of mind, one that invites and guides the physical gaze, but this need not feel discomforting or unwelcome. On the contrary: looking at me, at my body and everything it says, shows me that you are paying attention. We meet each other in the midst of this physical and linguistic self-expression, and our connection surpasses a disembodied voice and expands to include our entire beings. Right here, looking back at you, I feel like I have made contact.”
Mental note: I should really start learning LSQ (Québec’s sign language) again.
2) ‘Texts from Jane Eyre’ by Mallory Ortberg, via The Hairpin.
This just made me laugh a lot. I know it’s from 2012, but I don’t care. Here’s my favorite part:
“RELATE TO ME THE VAGRANT GLORIES OF THE RUINED WOODS
do you really want me to describe my walk to you
MORE THAN ANYTHING YOU POCKET WITCH
it is fairly cloudy out
looks like rain soon”
3) Yamato (California) by Daisuke Miyazaki.
This is the first FNC film my partner and I went to see this year. It was being shown at UQÀM’s Judith-Jasmin Annexe building, which I’d never been to before. The projection was followed by a short Q&A with director Daisuke Miyazaki.
Yamato (California) takes place in Yamato, Japan, the director’s hometown. In Yamato is the Atsugi Naval Air Facility, which is the largest U.S. military base in the Pacific Ocean. The base is like an American island within Honshu Island: the soldiers have everything they need on the inside, and so seldom leave the base, and all mail addressed to them is sent to “Yamato, California”. The film follows Sakura, a young aspiring MC influenced by American rappers, who lives with her mother and brother. When Rei, the mother’s absentee boyfriend’s daughter, comes visiting from San Francisco, she and Sakura become friends.
I’m happy we went to see Yamato. I really liked the way it portrayed the friendship between Sakura and Rei, and it was especially interesting to share the director’s insight into today’s Japan. I’d like to watch it again someday.
Well, that’s it for this first installment of 3 Things from This Week. I did it! And you made it to the end! Congrats!
Thanks for reading,