But the Russians I've been thinking about have nothing to do with Putin.
They're the Russians whose music has thrilled me since I was young. To listen to them after long absence is to think of Dad and his record collection, the albums of Khachaturian, Borodin and Rimsky Korsakov. Dad air conducting while their music blared on the stereo.
I came upon two Russian pieces on my iPod the other day: a Prokofiev piano concerto and Shostakovich's Festive Overture. Big, fresh, urgent — these pieces have great hearts and big sounds. I felt Dad's spirit in them. I walked faster. And I smiled.
(a hill that seems vaguely steppe-like)