Can I make a confession and please don’t judge me but I don’t read. And I don’t mean that every blue moon I read a book; no, I don’t read books at all ( unless it’s for school and that is a chore I can barely get through) When I see authors and writers on Instagram and this blog; go on and on about the books they read; I actually feel stupid. In a sense they make me feel as if I am stupid. Because I know there are some who think that you can’t write if you are not an avid reader; I don’t really have a rebuttal. I just want to talk about why I don’t read. Here’s the thing: I love to write. Sure, my grammar isn’t the greatest but I think I am proud of what I’ve written; it comes from the heart and I try to be honest and I just enjoy expressing myself. I love writing poetry and have just started trying to write fiction and it’s a lot of fun; creating characters, dialogue, setting the tone, giving them a backstory; I love it. I just have never been focused enough to read; I can’t get through a few pages without getting lost or distracted and within about 15 minutes; I give up. Maybe it’s because I have ADHD or I’m a visual learner but I have such trouble reading. And people have suggested audio books and again; I just can’t focus on a voice going on and on unless it is about a subject I really am interested in. What’s I find to be interesting is that fact that I pride myself on having a large vocabulary and a way of expressing myself through words and people say you can only get that way by reading a lot; I got that way because I truly believe my writing abilities are a natural talent ( not bragging) and maybe one can be a writer without being an avid reader, I don’t know
And I love to learn; I think being a spectrum; I have this obsession with learning, you know. I can talk about history or music or different cultures all day long. At one point I downloaded over a thousand documentaries on every subject imaginable and although I lost most of them; I watched a lot and learned so much about history, cultures ( different subcultures) music, social movements, documentaries about autism and mental health disorders., nature and animals, biblical history, space, more BBC documentaries than i could ever watch in a lifetime. I consider myself an avid learner who is hungry for knowledge. When people go home and watch reality shows; I’m watching a 12 part series on Civil Rights; not because it’s required but because I genuinely enjoy it. The weirdest part is that I learned to read at a very early age with very little help. My parents say when I was 4 or 5; I just started reading on my own; without any help. I never struggled learning how to read at all; it came naturally to me. So maybe I just have to accept that reading isn’t my bag and it doesn’t make me stupid; despite what some other writers and published authors may think. Maybe it means my writing is pretty damn good; considering I haven’t cracked open a book since I was about 10. Just had to vent.
Anyone who reads my blogs or has met me in person knows that I love music; it is my refuge; my escape from a chaotic world. Ever since I was a little boy; I loved to sit alone in my room and listen to music after a tiring day; it calms me down and as an adult; it inspires me to write. I love to escape into art; whether it be through music, film or writing; I immerse myself in it. I have also had an eclectic taste in film and music; I like things that are unique or different; often films or songs that are much older than I am; art that makes you think and look at the world in a different way; I don’t like what everyone else is listening to or watching. I started exploring film a few years back and realized I loved foreign films; I love hearing a new language and learning about different cultures; I appreciated other countries take on film making and how it made me see film from another perspective. I learned to enjoy reading subtitles; instead of seeing it as a chore of having to read the movie ( like many see it as). And here was the thing what made the film beautiful was the fact that it wasn’t in English; it was the way they expressed themselves and the words seemed to flow and an almost jealously on my part that I couldn’t speak that language; English to me just sounds so boring to me ( maybe it’s because it is all I hear) You may not know this but my father and his family are from Cuba, I remember sitting with them at lunch and hearing my father converse with my grandparents; I had no idea what they were saying but it sounded beautiful to me. In fact I felt my father had two personalities; who he was in everyday life; speaking English and this other person when speaking Spanish; it amazed to me for some reason. And maybe that where my love of foreign languages began why I seek it out in art.
A long time ago I decided to teach myself Spanish; lamenting to myself that I never got the chance to have a conversation with my grandmother; I knew she loved me but communication was impossible with such a language barrier ( she spoke no English). I figured that besides looking at my dad’s old books in Spanish and using a Spanish/English dictionary; I would watch the Spanish channel and listen Spanish language radio to lose myself in the language until I could learn it. It helped that all the women on the Spanish channel were beautiful even if I had no idea what they were saying. So I ended up teaching myself a lot of Spanish by watching and listening to Spanish language media. I then start exploring music in different languages; a lot of it were used in some of the foreign films I watched and I realized how that the language wasn’t important; it was the music itself. In fact the inability to understand the language added mystery and intrigue and made me like it even more. I ended up buying some bossa nova records ( I love Portuguese sounds like a mix of Spanish and french; a really sexy language) and finding a lot of old foreign music on Youtube ( thank god for the internet) It’s not the type of music you can play at full blast in your car with others and do car karaoke but it’s the kind music that you’d listen to after a long day to relax and unwind and escape to anywhere you want; Italy, German, France, Japan, Cuba; anywhere). Watching foreign films and listening to world music allows me to go places that I’d never be able to go to otherwise and that is the reason why I go to it. So I encourage anyone to go exploring and you might find English media to be a little bland and boring after discovering what the world has to offer.
One of the first foreign films I fell in love with “L Eclisse”. Bellisimo
Do you have 15 1/2 hours to spare for this German masterpiece?
Me voy comenzar de esribir en espanol porque necesito la practica y tengo ganas de hablar el espanol si esta bien. No hay tema, no es un poema solo es mis sentmientos. Y tambien no uso un diccionario de espanol o google translate asi que mi espanol no es perfecto. Bueno te dire una historia sobre el razon que hablo dos idiomas ( obviamente ingles es mi idioma primero) Soy Cubano Americano pero cuando era un nino nadie me ensenaron el espanol porque no podia oir bien y tenia problemas aprendiendo de hablar. Mi abuela no hablabla ni sigueria una palabra en ingles. Asi que nunca tenia el opritunidad de hablar con ella directamete que me hacia triste. Cuando estaba en mis 20’s decedia de ensenarme el espanol. yo miraba television en espanol y escuchaba el radio ( celia cruz) y leia libros en espanol. lo que podia encontrar. estaba determinada de aprender espanol uno palabra en un tiempo ( at a time) Aprendi los dias de la semana, los numeros, los meses. Muchas cosas. Estaba aprediendo muchas palabras todo el tiempo. Entounces un para de anos despues tome una clases de espanol en la universidad y hice muy bien. Mis grades ( como se dice?) eran muy bueno y me encantaba de hablar el espanol. Ahora trato de hablarlo mucho porque es imporant para conocer mi cultura por el idioma. Yo se que mi espanol no es tan bueno pero es mejor que nada. Gracias para escuchar.