Skip to content

First, cake

Two months ago, I attended a Symposium on South Asian Art at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and at the Arthur M. Sackler Museum at Harvard.  These images are from an illustrated  manuscript from Bundi, Rajasthan, c. 1660-80.  My photography is imperfect,  not always capturing the full image, as I  wondered, too, about the rationality of capturing  an image in an image.

Radha Confiding in her Companion, c.1660-80, Bundi, India

Sound, 1660-80, Bundi, Rajastan, Arthur M Sackler Museum

 

From the Rasikapriya, 1660-80, Bundi, Rajasthan, Arthu M. Sackler Museum  

From the Rasikapriya, 1660-80, Bundi, Rajasthan, Sackler Museum

The vibrant reds, the brilliant blues. The pink, the orange, and yellow. I wandered, hungry for color, and conversation on image. It was a gorgeous, mind-blowing experience, which I can say without fear of sounding foolish because I am not part of the art world! I heard learned scholars speaking mostly in a language I understood.  I was in delight because most of these scholars were South Asian, a rare ( for me) intellectual majority here in Boston, geographically associated with my birth country.  I was the voyeur, interlocutor, taking notes, and dreaming of changing my major at fifty-seven.

A few weeks ago, I toured Agra with an old friend, and a photographer-guide, seeing the Taj Mahal for the first time. The best photos must be credited to our guide, Bobby.

I am able to do all this not only because I am not teaching this semester, but because I am realizing self-care is not just about pedicures and spas.  I find I am a  happy  student, delving into sight and sound, exhulting in art history, visual imagery, and buying books.  Years of reading fiction make me crave history books, though of course the word itself contains “story.”  Back home, the sky is winter grey.  November thankfully passes into December.  I am nearly over jet-lag.  Now a cat wants feeding, and the horses are brilliant in their still beauty through the window; a super moon on its way.  I see it at dawn, revealing its silver,  and ducking into the clouds. This too is a story.  I missed American Thanksgiving, but I know how lucky all this life is.

This post keeps appearing and disappearing.  I ought to edit, but instead, I’ll launch it again, this balloon full of hot air, and see if it will fly.

Cake?  It is what I ate before attending the first lecture at the symposium.

Transitions

Indira Ganesan, Incoming Tide, 2017

Indira Ganesan, See Two? 2017

November, for me, is a month of transition.  The surprise and delight of fall leaves on the Cape has given over to a duller gleam today, a more muted beauty.  Just a few days ago, the vividness of the trees and skies left me breathless, in the northern light that strikes here around four or five in the afternoon.  Soon, the days will get colder still, the leaves will blow off the trees, and winter will arrive.  In between, bookended by Halloween and Thanksgiving, candles are lit, and the last harvest celebrated.  I find myself lately melancholic, after an absurdly warn autumn, to see the sun shine bright, yet the wind too chilly.  Maybe it is a gardener’s bane, these days when the last flowering plants days are numbered, and the stakes lifted to be stored.  I have embarked on a house clearing, better suited to spring when windows can be open to let in fresh breeze.  Now, it is all pollen and dust and chill.  Yes: soup, tea, roasting vegetables, but I confess I’m only steady with one: tea, milky with sugar.  Living on the coast, in a beach town, the tide offers a good example of transition, especially at the salt marshes.  Here, we can see the way the vegetation richly comes alive with the water, and how it becomes parched without.  I recommend, for a wonderful look into the ways of life on Cape Cod, writer Robert Finch, whose latest volume is called The Outer Beach.

The other day I walked without expectation, and looking up, saw a rainbow, merging out of a cloud break.  There was no arch, just the rainbow palette of all seven colors melding into one another, in a sphere.  I had no phone-camera to capture the image, but googling, I discovered that my use of the word palette was not unique, and that the more technical term is iridescence, or irisation, caused, as radio Earth Sky reporter Deborah Byrd explains, is formed by tiny crystals of water droplets in the cloud. No matter what name the phenomena, what an apt metaphor for  the hidden pleasures in seasons of change.

 

 

Indira Ganesan, Wind, 2017

Indira Ganesan, Storm Tide, 2017

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

This

Just

Lonliness and Solitary Art

 

Moon Rising

Lonliness can crop up most unexpectedly.  It will throw a dart at you unexpectedly. After days of being solitary, for instance, happily reading, researching, and writing, feeling fortunate for living on Cape Cod where Jose  produced wind and rain, a little loss of power, but not much more.  There were six days of grey weather, but this morning, though the sea was covered in fog,  the sun was out.  Then, there it came, just a general feeling of missing family, and time stretching out, and a sense of what have I not accomplished.  You know this mood, which is not based on reality, but might be a combination of low sugar, and working by oneself.  You know the mood will pass, it always does, and in my fifties, it passes much more quickly. But here like a beacon came my cat, circling my feet, purring, and begging to be picked up.  I did, and ate dinner, cheered.

I had made a simple summer squash stir-fry with rice.  I was going to add a tomato, but the tomato was full of sprouting seeds.  This is a process called vouvray–no, I  joke–let me look it up–it is called vivipary, and the seedlings can be planted to produce tomato plants,  if it wasn’t about to be October, or if  you had a greenhouse.  Dinner and research. Here are some recommendations: this movie; this book; this music, all of which was recommended to me by family and friends.  Now, please go eat something and do some research.

 

SaveSave

SaveSave

%d bloggers like this: