Curious, but cautious, introspective yet extraverted. Non-conformist, hedonist and sporadic autodidact. Professional dilettante, eternal amateur, dabbler, tinkerer. Jack of all trades, master of none. I could have been so many things -- a writer, a composer, a fashion designer, an architect, a minister of education, a botanist, a multi-lingual translator, or (according to my parents, anyway) a mathematician. What I am is a pianist and music teacher who writes poetry and prose, gardens, occasionally dresses eccentrically, is fluent in two and a half languages and has a loving but purely platonic relationship with math. I'm a soul-searching, pun-loving, irony-spotting polyglot-wannabe. I still "wannabe" a lot of things. Still shedding the remains of my hubris. I'm full of potential, which gets realized in unexpected spurts. I have an aversion to all things normal, average, mediocre, standard, conventional, main-stream and otherwise restricting.
Though I am not, and have never been, a student of philosophy, I feel that "philosophical" is an accurate way to describe myself. I find history, anthropology and religion (from an atheist's point of view) to be some of the most interesting fields. We need some perspective to show us how fleeting our silly little conventions are. Look at our whole recorded history -- things that are standard practice in some corner of the world during some particular millennium or two are taboo at a different time and place, then everything repeats all over again. And yet we always think that NOW we got it, HERE and NOW, unlike any other time and place, people finally know right from wrong. So many people are limited in their views by that "here and now", which to them seems to constitute the entire human existence. A friend of mine once said, moral judgment can only exist in a universe that has a purpose, and only if that purpose is known. I try looking at life in that detached sort of way, as if from another planet. Some call it Zen, but I'm not into labels. I'm not one to follow any established tradition (and I'm not only talking about religion), be it encouraged by the majority or trendily rebellious. I tend to stay away from politics because I don't like taking sides -- there are always too many. Don't ask me to give you an unwavering yes or no on such issues as abortion, gun control, death penalty and the like; the best I'd be able to do is come up with a very conditional answer, with lots of caveats. I base my opinions on provable as well as anecdotal evidence combined with what I consider to be sound reasoning, but I'm terrible at debate.
I think the experience of coming from a different culture, and having managed to retain it while at the same time embracing a new one, helps me be more flexible. I believe myself to be empathetic and accepting of people in their diversity; I hope these traits are evident enough from the way I live my life. I usually manage to see something worthwhile and, on occasion, even beautiful in every human being I encounter. I like people much better as individuals than as representatives of something bigger; large numbers of people, when acting as one, can be capable of great things as well as horrific ones.
I am a non-vegetarian tree-hugger and a bit of a hippie. My dream is to live in harmony with nature and grow as much of my own food as realistically possible. (I used to dream of owning a cow, but when I looked into it some more -- purely theoretically, as I don't think the zoning laws are that flexible here in low-density Virginia suburbs -- I realized that may be a bit more trouble than I'd be willing to go to ;-) I want to raise and home-school a brood of child prodigies, learn more languages, visit every country in Europe and, perhaps, explore South America a bit more than I have so far.
Моё детство прошло в Новосибирском Академгородке. Одно из моих ранних воспоминаний: мне 3 года, я сижу в песочнице и палочкой пишу на песке своё имя. Чей-то очкастый папа (не мой, родители опять меня кому-то подкинули) зачитывает вслух результат моих усилий: "АНУТА". Ошибка, объясняют мне, в 3-ей букве: должна быть "Ю" вместо "У". Вот чёрт, опять. Я с этим уже сталкивалась, и не раз, но привычки тяжело менять. Я терпеливо начинаю заново. Аккуратно вывожу "А", затем "Н", потом... Ну вот, опять. Ну не начинать-же опять сначала! Нет, жалко затраченного труда. Я аккуратно зачёркиваю упрямую букву... Нет, надо-бы ещё раз перечеркнуть, а то теперь стало похоже на букву "Х"; ну вот, теперь, вроде, ни на что не похоже. Пройденный этап, двигаемся дальше. Как-же пишется эта сложная, заковыристая буква "Ю"? Получаются, почему-то, две буквы... Чужой очкастый папа читает: "АНЖНОТА". "Послушай," предлагает он сочувственно, "а не написать-ли тебе просто "АНЯ"? Это всего три буквы." "Аня" звучит чужевато, ну да ладно, последуем доброму совету. Пишу: "АНR". Всё, теперь никто не придерётся.
I am eloquent, eclectic, and discerning
*note: I listed these books because I agree with their main points; however, that does not mean I wholeheartedly agree with every word. I find that, unfortunately, even highly intelligent and educated people all too often fail to be entirely objective and rational when it comes to their strong convictions.
Movies -- too many to list, so here are some directors: Eric Rohmer, Ingmar Bergman, Roman Polanski, Rolan Bykov, Eldar Ryazanov, Sergey Bondarchuk, numerous films by various other great foreign directors, but also many American indie films, some Woody Allen (though he does get repetitive). Documentaries that have recently made an impact on me: The Corporation, The Business of Being Born, An Inconvenient Truth<--EVERYONE SHOULD SEE IT!!! Anything narrated by David Attenborough (I can watch nature series for hours on end).
Music: Classical. From the most cerebral to the most romantic and any combination thereof. (Palestrina, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Schumann, Brahms, Debussy, Ravel, Rachmaninoff, Bartok, Prokofiev, Shostakovich etc. -- you get the idea).
Food: slow food, organic and beyond organic, sustainably farmed/hunted/gathered, free-range, grass-fed/pastured, pesticide and antibiotic-free, unpasteurized/unprocessed, ethnic, authentic, imaginative, inspired, adventurous. Anything raw, like steak tar-tar or oysters. Sushi is one of my favorites (the taste and feel of sea urchin with quail egg in my mouth is nearly orgasmic).