[Paleopsych] islamic radicalism

G. Reinhart-Waller waluk at earthlink.net
Fri Mar 11 19:21:25 UTC 2005

Dear Val,

I'm always pleased to answer considerate emails like 
the kind you write and I will do my best to try solving 
your puzzle.

Yes, I can relate to the emotional rush you feel when 
you read Russian or listen to Russian folk songs.  The 
same thing happens to me when I recall the East Coast, 
particularly Massachusetts where I was born, and 
educated and the place where I raised my daughter. 
When I hear a song from my teen or college years and 
later, I undergo horrible pangs of nostalgia.  Now I 
rarely listen to stereo or radio.  A life without music 
for me is both dismal and depressing.

When I watch young mothers walk hand in hand with their 
children.....I recall the play groups or afternoons at 
the beach that my daughter and I would spend together 
building forts and castles in the sand.  I watch in 
envy as these new moms gather together in play groups 
or stroller exercise classes and wonder what it must be 
like raising an infant in our apartment compound.

My friends and family continue residing back East but 
after my father's death, our family lost contact so 
other than visiting an old friend in Cambridge, I have 
no need to make contact with them.  When I search 
Public Library shelves for a text, I recall my 
educational training and the many years I spent hanging 
out in the numerous uni. libraries back east.  There 
are times when the loneliness is so powerful that I 
need to leave the library as quickly as possible.  I do 
live close to a major private university here in 
California but their libraries actually contain very 
few books....lots of computer terminals though.

Each day I wait for a change in the weather but other 
than cloudy mornings most of the year is bright 
sunshine with the same boring places to walk or drive 
to.  On the days I go grocery shopping I spend a brief 
while planning a menu for the week and that's when I 
can actually taste treats from back East....pastrami on 
rye with a sour pickle or deep fried clams or shrimp 
always pop into my head.  So does an evening ice cream 
cone from the local dairy stand.   I then sink so low 
that it takes a good while to raise my spirits before I 
trek to the market.

For you my advice would be to spend time in Moscow and 
reacquaint yourself with the area.  Maybe you could 
find some type of employment or if you are in 
retirement, a place to volunteer or an institution with 
which to affiliate.

For me, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my daughter 
soon will graduate in her PhD program here and will be 
looking for a job.....once that has been settled, I can 
better gain a glimpse into my future.

Hope this helps.
Gerry Reinhart-Waller

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Val Geist" <kendulf at shaw.ca>
To: "G. Reinhart-Waller" <waluk at earthlink.net>
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2005 8:46 PM
Subject: Re: [Paleopsych] islamic radicalism

> Dear Garry,
> Thank you very much for your kind e-mail. Your really 
> touched a nerve, one that has been touchy for nearly 
> four decades as I am groping for an answer. You are 
> more likely than anyone to relate to it and explain 
> something that is a puzzle to me.
> As you are aware, Russian was my first and only 
> language, which I spoke fluently till six years of 
> age. German followed to the total exclusion of 
> Russian, and I lost it. At the age of 23, in Canada, 
> doing my PhD dissertation research, I was isolated 
> for two years hermit-like in the mountain wilderness 
> of Northern British Columbia. I studied Stone's sheep 
> and other large mammals and saw no other humans for 
> months on end, as my closest neighbors were 40 miles 
> away. That's two days by dog sled one way! We had 
> built a nice warm cabin, and during winter at that 
> latitude just short of 60 the nights are very long. 
> What better time to re-learn my Russian? I had 
> obtained the three-volume set of lessons from the 
> Moscow foreign languages publishing house. And so, I 
> began. There were 32 chapters to go through, but I 
> only went to 16 because by that time matters were 
> flooding back and I began to read Trotsky and Pushkin 
> and Tolstoy. To my surprise I could understand 
> sentences even though I did not know specific words. 
> And I was so eager to read, as I understood, and I 
> enjoyed it. I re-learned well enough to read original 
> Russian for my PhD dissertation, but soon discovered 
> that the east Germans had translated virtually 
> everything I was interested in and I lost my Russian 
> as second time. However, that's not what I am 
> concerned about. I soon discovered in reading Russian 
> that my ability to read had limits, because I would 
> suddenly be sitting in tears. And I could not control 
> it. Here I sat trying to figurer out why I was 
> crying. It made no sense, and it would stop only if I 
> laid down the books and did something else. Ditto 
> with Russian folk songs. I can get past the first 
> verse, more or less, but must quite on the second and 
> definitely by the third. And that has haunted me for 
> four decades. I loved the novels I read then, I love 
> the folksongs, but invariably something turns on the 
> spouts and I cannot proceed. Any answers?
> Sincerely, Val Geist

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