How to live in harmony with yourself?

How to live in harmony with yourself?
How to live in harmony with yourself?

Dina Rubina told how to finally find time for what she loves.

How to live in harmony with yourself?

“As I get older, I have more and more good prospects. I don’t know what will happen at 85, but for now it seems to me that I have several pleasant decades ahead of me, and I intend to spend them pretty well with myself”

Dina Rubina was born in 1953 in Tashkent. The first story was published in the magazine "Youth" when Dina was 16 years old. In 1990, together with her family, she immigrated to Israel. With the novel "On the Sunny Side of the Street" she became the winner of the "Big Book" award for 2007. The new novel "The White Dove of Cordoba" is published by the Eksmo publishing house

BEFORE: Dina Ilyinichna, what unnecessary things have you given up lately?

DR: First, from TV and the press. From 2000 to 2003, I worked as the head of the Department of Public and Cultural Relations, an Israeli organization in Moscow. According to the horoscope, I am a Virgo, a mandatory person and very self-constructing. Since I served and received a salary for it, I had to do my job well. Every morning, monitoring of the entire Russian press was delivered to my desk, and I had to watch everything related to cultural programs, political news and international scandals. Returning home to Jerusalem in 2003, I said to myself: “Dina Ilyinichna, and now you will take a break from the media!” And for six years now I have been resting from them.

Fenced off from any political interests. Although, of course, in the morning I look at the news on the Internet. But this is purely Israeli: as long as it doesn’t crash and explode somewhere, then everything is in order. I saved myself from the hustle and bustle of looking for fashionable clothes. I allow myself to wear what I like, what suits me. Moreover, over the years, less and less of what suits you appears in the wardrobe, and more and more of what hides flaws. Less time is spent communicating. To do this, I build certain barriers. Sometimes I don't even answer the phone. If I wrote poetry, then perhaps I would need more intense communication. But I am a prose writer. And this is a heavy barge of tedious work, which you need to harness and drag. So, I wake up at five o'clock in the morning, harness and drag all day. And less and less I find myself in some noisy company, and less and less I want to be in the center of public attention.

And now, when I finally exist at the expense of literature, I am relieved of the need to speak to readers around the world, making a living from it. So, life has entered some quieter, more orderly and more pleasant times for me.

BEFORE: Don't you want to be the center of male attention either?

DR: I am a happy woman: my husband adores me. When we first arrived in Israel, a Madrid gallery owner came to us to see and choose her husband's paintings. All his canvases, rolled up, we spread out on the floor of our miserable rented apartment. The gallery owner thoughtfully and carefully stepped over all my spread portraits with her heels, and then said: “Boris, you are a real artist. You are in love with your wife." So I've had enough of my husband's male attention all my life.

BEFORE: Your relationship with your husband probably changes over time as well.

DR: I guess I've become more restless, now I'm worried about his he alth. Before, I always knew that my husband was a he althy man, and I didn’t worry too much if something hurt him. He is a yogi, very fit, always exercising, some kind of ice douche … (brrr!)

But, apparently, age (mine) affects, and in recent years I suddenly began to look at him: why is he somehow lethargic today, maybe his back hurts? I suspect he's watching me too.

BEFORE: Do you care what your loved ones think about what you write?

DR: My first reader is a husband. He is a person with a good literary taste, so I look anxiously while he reads the manuscript: I can see from his face whether the thing was successful or not very … Sometimes I am confused by the possible reaction of my parents. For example, the new novel The White Dove of Cordoba has many erotic scenes. I was a little worried about how my parents would look at this: they have very strict rules for me. Nothing, swallowed. My son is also Russian. And the daughter is already a different “locality” person. She is engaged in archeology, reads in Hebrew and in English, she can read in Russian, but for her it is hard work. Sometimes she asks me to read something from what she has written. I read a story aloud to her, she sometimes cries. He says: "Mommy, you are a genius." And what else does a “mom” need, right? Okay, let her read Shakespeare, especially since she reads it in the original … Of course, this is a kind of scratch on my attitude as a “mom” and a writer. But after all, I myself sought this: for my children to live in their own country, in the national majority, feeling internally liberated. Everything else is my personal dramas that should not concern them.

BEFORE: In your books, especially in novels, the theme of missed opportunities and regrets about the past often comes up…

DR: The subject of regret touches and excites me, like any person. But I repeat: I am a happy person because I am a fulfilled person. And I'm more interested in the future - the next idea, new plans. Even in the everyday, everyday sense: for example, I can sell an apartment in one sitting and buy another. My husband is horrified, for some time life turns into a mess … But what a field of activity - a new apartment, a new place! Of course, there are some regrets, but this is such a common condition for any person! This is fine. Every person has something missing in life - this is the most common plot in literature.

BEFORE: But, unlike other people, the writer has the opportunity in the book to return to the past and relive it.

DR: Yes. We turn destinies on paper and we can reward anything. This is the happiness of a writer. I can now sit down and write a story about a girl who once was waiting for a boy for her birthday, but he did not come. And only 35 years later it turned out that her own friend, with whom she had been friends all her life, that day told this boy that the girl did not want him to come. So a possible life was upset… possible children were not born… and so on. But another boy appeared, another life arose, an unhappy first marriage and a happy second …

BEFORE: Is this an autobiographical story?

DR: Let me not elaborate. In any case, it is true that in the life of every person there are unlived possibilities, to which the writer can always return and live them, as they say now, “virtually”. You know, in creativity, maturity is the greatest joy. Now I know for sure that I can write about anything that comes to mind. Remember how Anton Pavlovich Chekhov said: “I can write a story about anything. See the ashtray? Tomorrow there will be a story called "The Ashtray".

I've been in print for forty years, but I've been writing since childhood! It would be strange if such an experienced craftsman did not know how to do something in his profession. Another thing is that all the time you are trying to discover something in yourself anew, you climb into areas that are unknown to you. I am a person who has to compose, fantasize, learn something new. This is probably the happy adventurism of my character.

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