The I in the Photo

Indira Ganesan, Grove Street, 2013
Indira Ganesan, Grove Street, 2013

This is the view across the street from Buvette, a cafe on Grove Street in the Village. It is a romantic view, especially that winter afternoon earlier this month as I drank a perfect cappuccino and waited for a friend. There is something about a cafe in a city when I am travelling that cleans my slate. It is as if I can step away from my placid life and be someone capable of anything, making a meaningful life out of art and life. I am so comfortable turning in at ten, or even earlier, after a day of teaching or puttering about, cleaning, making plans for the future, that I wonder at myself. I subscribe to Vogue, yet dress like Walter Mitty.

Can one make a dramatic turn in a life, or is one doomed to remain who one has become? Can I dress in bolder colors, wear beads and gems? Live in the present, a friend implored, and though my work involves sketching the past and the might-have-beens, I want to take this good advice to heart. What do I have right now? The sound of my brother on the phone with a friend from his college days; the kitchen smells of my mother and niece making pancakes, the voices of my sister-in-law and father conversing, and me, at the dining table, a stretch of space, a clean slate, goosebumps.

The new book will be a continuation, beginning again with news of a pregnancy. I have created a storyboard on Pinterest. It is about gardens, color, women and dreams. It is a kettle of water placed on a flame. Soon, I will pour a cup.

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  1. Yan Jing's Family December 30, 2013 — 8:26 am

    Indira! You have me laughing, loung and long and clear, this morning! Walter Mitty and Vogue!

    Dress for joy and comfort and generousity! Fashion helps us live for today!

    Sweatpants, rhinestones, and lace!

    Cheers to your family, to you, to clean slates, to now!

    Love, di

    Cheers to your

    Like

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