Miracle. All of It.

“There is a beauty in falling in love with a language—the strangeness of its sounds, the awe of watching the sea-surf of a new syntax beating again and again the cement of your unknowing. Learning to speak again can be erotic—the unfamiliar turn of the tongue, the angle of the mouth, the movement of lips.”

~ Ilya Kaminsky, from an interview conducted by Edward Clifford in the Massachusetts Review titled “(Not Quite) 10 Questions for Ilya Kaminsky”


  • Quote via Violent Waves of Emotion. Photo: Biancaa.R with mouth.
  • Post title Inspired by Albert Einstein’s quote: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”


  1. Story of my life. Married to a French speaking Swiss, my mother tongue is Swiss German (not German, it’s like another language), speaking French, E and G always mixed up, doing some Italian too (handy sometimes in Sw.) LOVING the pitfalls, mysteries and challenges of ea language…. count me in, mate!
    Shall read the link tomorrow. No time now. Ta, buddy

    Liked by 2 people

  2. now I better understand my desire to learn to speak Italian.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Now that I’ve quickly read Ilya’s Q&A I’m even more in love…. for me, writing, thinking, speaking in English has become nearly my first language, and yes, when even your husband hardly understands your mother tongue, you’d better get fluent in at least one language spoken by both. I so understand his writing in English because his family only spoke and understood Russian. That’s what parents do when they want to discuss stuff and their kids shouldn’t understand 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My mom spoke only English but always understood her mom’s and mom’s friends’ Fr. Canadian (Memere hailed from St. John, NB). I asked my mom to teach me some of the language, but it just didn’t work right until I pursed my lips. At 13, “sensuous” did not occur to me; I just wondered if I looked like a fish. Also, New Englanders don’t use their hands (automatons of the first magnitude, here), so I never learned Italian from my friends, either. I so admire people who speak more than one language!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. love it

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Language is the most beautiful thing! Can you imagine if we had no language?
    I didn’t learn a new language as an adult but I have a feeling Kaminsky’s sensual portrayal is accurate.

    Liked by 2 people

    • i can’t see any light at all between his mastery of language and yours. None.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you DK.

        I did teach Arabic to adults, and it was a beauty to witness as they started putting the pieces and sounds together.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Wow, just read the entire 10-question interview.
        So much inspiration there.
        Thank you so much for sharing.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s interesting, Sawsan. I once worked together with a Swiss woman married to an Arab and she was determined to learn Arabic. When That woman wanted to do something, she sure did. Sometimes she explained bits to us, and the endless meanings of a little bow here or there and we marvelled that anyone could be willing to undergo such challenging studies! (A bit like Russian to me, only different ;))
        Believe you me, you don’t need to know any other languages mastering E & A…. Here, in the greater Paris region, you could get by with Arabic!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. That article was so very interesting, David. Thank you so much for bringing it here for us to read.
    Language is such a beautiful and sensuous thing. We have spoken “Frenglish” in our family for a few generations, now. My whole family is perfectly comfortable in French or English and I thank my parents for insisting I attend both schools.
    I have picked up a little Spanish (did two sessions in college) and had learnt a smidge of German (also during same two sessions in college) but unfortunately, most of it is gone from lack of practice.
    I am now learning Italian because I am obsessed with all things Italy. Besides, they say it is a great way to fend of Alzheimer’s so, what have I got to lose except keeping a few extra connections in my grey matter?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow. Love your enthusiasm to get after this. Good for you Dale.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Re: ? you asked Kiki … P? For Portuguese? – yes, Months ago she mentioned in a comment about going to Portugal and I think she said something about looking online at Portugal and Spain real estate market…if I am incorrect Kiki will catch my error…

      Liked by 3 people

      • It was more of a tease to Kiki for just assuming we knew what her P stood for. I don’t remember reading anything about that 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Christie, I WISH….. what with would I buy property in Portugal?! Your (and my) imagination was running too wildly away with your ‘thinking she said’…. she never did. But you’re right in one direction: I REALLY want to spend a few weeks (3 at least but that looks already wildly out of possibility) in a lovely culturally steeped place in Portugal (thinking Lisbon, Sintra, etc). I want to know much more about this beautiful country, their helpful, friendly people and I no longer wish to ask for the English menu card in restaurants 😉 The best places were those where there were only freshly fished sardines and such, grilled before your eyes, served with salads, vinho de mesa, and the eternal patatoes – no card needed, just some little cash, not even much Portuguese!


    • Dale, you come back to Italy and/or Spain and you’d find that everything is nicely stored somewhere in the back rooms of your grey matter… I find that when going to Italy; I cross the borders and think ‘I’ve forgotten EVERYTHING and after 5’ words and turnings come just flooding back in and stay there. What you need is more hols in those countries.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. So nice

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am jealous of people who can speak multiple languages; I think I would struggle if I tried to learn a new one, but if Kaminsky is right, it sounds like it would be well worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: