Some thoughts on comfort

Today, Ray posed a question to the class: when/in what context are we most comfortable expressing ourselves in words?/In what situations does our narrative voice come most naturally to us?

I didn’t immediately have an answer. I’ve found that my expression, whether written or vocal, is usually fluid and dependent on the context — I sometimes catch myself mimicking my friends’ speech patterns when I’m with them, or writing essays in whatever voice the topics/discipline calls for. So my inner antagonist immediately strove to counter that maybe I’m just comfortable adapting to each scenario as it appears… But the more I thought about this question, the more I thought of my brother. Only three years apart, we’ve grown to be very close and both being native-Swedish-speakers-mostly-Americanized, our conversations blend into this Swenglish hybrid that I don’t experience with any other family member. A lapse of Swedish vocabulary on some topic will results in the sporatic interjection of an English word, just as some childhood memories — names of places, television characters, candies, family nicknames — will require expression in our first language when there just isn’t an English counterpart. Whichever language we start with is seldom the same that ends the conversation; it is perpetual lingual identity limbo that lends a useful metaphor for our upbringing.

In the end, it’s still an unhelpful answer to a straightforward question; I exist comfortably in the in-between, the center shadow of a Venn Diagram. How this will play out in my project I don’t yet know…

One thought to “Some thoughts on comfort”

  1. Hi Miriam,

    I am happy to see that I’m not the only one who continues to think about Ray’s questions long after class. I enjoyed reading about your reflection process and your relationship with your brother. I love the line: “I exist comfortably in the in-between, the center shadow of a Venn Diagram.” I’m not sure if it resonates with me because I feel the same way about myself, but it’s such a vivid way of describing it. Thank you for sharing this important part of your life. I noticed that the majority of the class brought up a close family member in this discussion and I think there is differently a strong correlation between family and comfort. Even though you’re not entirely sure how this might work its way into your project, I think it’s great that you’re proactively thinking about this.

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