Skip to content

Archive for



Indira Ganesan, Noon Like Moon, 2014

Indira Ganesan, Noon Like Moon, 2014


I heard the coyotes again last night– arise of yelps pitched high with barks. I once saw them a year ago circle in the horse farm, late at night. Was it coyotes New Englanders heard when they condemned women as witches at Salem? They did the same in England. The sound is unearthly, frightening, because there is an edge of agitation, animal unease. I thought my cats would dive under the bed at the sound last night, but they were merely alert, curious for a while.

Now it is later, and it has been raining since yesterday. A gaggle of geese and ducks are swimming in the neighbor’s lake that two days ago was a field. The horses still have pasture, but I their coats are wet and dirty from rolling in the mud. The white horse died a month back, from age, I think. She did not want to get up, but when pushed, her owners walked her around the pasture. I spied from a window, unable to move away, as they called the vet. Later, a day later, a bulldozer came to dig a grave, and she was buried. She was old. When I fed her carrots last summer, she was hungry, but could barely chew. A new horse came to stay in the fall. So the number is back to five. I wanted to offer my condolences, but did not know what to say, or how. Still, I might have gone down to the farm, to show my respect.

A circle of condos surround the horse farm, and I have been told that long ago, children rode horses where I live now. I am in my third and possibly final spring at the Long Term Residency at The Fine Arts Work Center, and since I moved in, I have been grateful for the presence of the horses. Today I am grateful for the rain which seems to finally usher in the season, though there might be urban flooding.

If this were a Garcia Marquez story, a very old man with enormous wings would appear in a backyard. Maybe he already has. As it is, the geese honk, the rain patters, and  the cats are busy watching and bathing.

As I finish up this post, the rain has given way to wind, howling.

Everyone’s Paris-II


I found Hotel du Dragon on Rue du Dragon, a small street which connected with St -Germain -de -Pres.  Entering the dark lobby, I rang the bell for the concierge.  I dislike ringing bells for people, and I wonder if my entrance was heard.  In any case, I think the concierge was having her meal with the family.  I was asked to pay in cash when my reservation was found, and given a key and shown my room.  Up a staircase to a small room, which had comfortable soft bed, and a zinc Napoleonic bathtub, more deep than wide.  Later, I would learn all about Hotel du Dragon because later, there would be an internet.  I thought it was a hole in the wall hotel, forgetting that no other than the daughter of my British agent had arranged the room for me, and she must have known what would appeal.

There used to be a website for the hotel, which highlighted the rich literary history of the hotel, but the present website is more practical than romantic.  Richard Hugo lived at 30 Rue du Dragon, a medieval street, which in 1991, boasted only a forlorn pizzeria cafe at the end of the street.  I set off for Cafe de Flores very next day, and had a perfect cup.  Outside, men read newspapers, student tourists talked to one another.  My Paris was everyone’s Paris, but still mine.

I would like to go back to that hotel, and see what I can remember, or start again.  I wound up moving hotels after just a night, because I had a peculiar anxiety of being able to exchange my American Express checks for cash to pay the bill.  So I looked up a hotel in a borrowed copy of  Let’s Go Paris, packed my small suitcase, and called a cab whose driver raised his eyebrows when I told him my destination was Hotel Americain.  It was a block away.  I could have walked, I remember thinking, laughing out loud with the cab driver.   (Looking up Hotel Americain on the internet just now, I see it is located in the another arrondissement, so either the hotel re-located or changed hands.  My memory? Mais non!) Nevertheless, I found a room, a dozen or so flights up, with a tiny balcony, with a shower several flights down. I almost immediately locked myself in by accident, or thought I did, but the resulting drama enabled me to meet two charming traveling companions.  Accompanied by baguettes and brie, we set off for Chartres the next day.


Paris, this new home-I


I have started a new online writing course with Cynthia Morris. In it, we explore our Paris, write, and complete a short story in a moth’s time.  There is a small online community, a host of images, and prompts.  My Paris is very small, steeped in a memory of a trip taken in 1991 to visit my French publisher and meet the French translator of my first novel.  That novel will have a brand new life as an e-book from my American publisher.

I spent three nights, four days in Paris, and I can recall nearly every hour, from the rough crossing on the hovercraft( where my seat-mate grimaced and efficiently handed me the bag provided for such occurrences when I mentioned I felt a little sick. The concierge or the hover hostess then  quickly came by to take away the contents of my lunch, bagged and warm in my hands.

In Dover or Calais, I boarded a train bound for Paris, headed for Hotel du Dragon, on rue du Dragon.  My new seat-mate, shocked on discovering I did not yet have my metro tickets, immediately opened her purse to give me some.  My love-affair with France began.

Sleeplessness comes uncalled

Indira Ganesan, Dreamflower, 2013

Indira Ganesan, Dreamflower, 2013

Sleeplessness comes when you least expect it, and yet, perhaps you consciously court it.  Why else eat popcorn laced with your aunt’s special Sesame-cumin-dal powder, followed by spoonfuls of hazelnut chocolate? What matter it isn’t Nutella but organic, as is the popcorn and powder? Sunday before Monday, and you eat, in full knowledge, yet are still surprised to find it is half-past twelve, and in four hours –less, really–the alarm will go off, and you must get in a car and drive.  You have disturbed the cats who were quietly slumbering as you tossed in bed to get comfortable, finally getting up to microwave a  mug full of milk with saffron and honey, leading them to foolheartedly follow you to the kitchen, thinking they will be fed.  You wonder why on earth isn’t the milk working, and you read an article about yet another person who has given up dairy, knowing you should not reach for the computer, but you really do want to know when the nasturtiums will bloom at the Gardner.  It will be in April, but as long as you are there, in cyberspace, why not check what is happening at the MFA, the ICA, only you type in CIA-Boston, and get the wrong information, leading you to wonder if you are now on a list.  You spent the morning having brunch with a table of interesting, vibrant women, and you came home to get caught up on work.  You finished reading an article on Arundhati Roy, which leaves you feeling exhilarated and happy to be involved in novels, although you suspect she would disapprove of your work, although you hope she and a host of other South Asian writers, as well as the rest of the world, frankly, approve and exclaim over everything thing you do, for is that not why you secretly write to begin with? You drift off to sleep, having tired out your mind, knowing that the alarm will ring too soon, and of course, without fail, it does.

A Round of Robins


In searching for the term to describe a collection of robins in the sky, I discovered the word “time-slice.” A slice of time is the time assigned for a procedure scheduled to run its course.  Wikipedia suggests it is interchangeable with “quantum,” a word that seems as mysterious as a black hole, but not as mysterious as slicing time on a wooden block, with a sharp knife.  This is when I regret dropping high-school physics for Mythology, though the few classes in Physics are clearer in retrospective memory.  A flock of robins is called a round, and I was surprised by one as I drove by the beach early this morning, the streets covered with snow a few hours old.  Spring and snow, robbins, and that term of Keats, not the double negative, but the negative capability, to understand two opposing entities at once.

This is what the outside and inside of the Cutler Majestic Theatre looks like, first from back in 1882 in a print from the Library of Congress, and from some iPhotos I snapped after yesterday’s performance of “Man in a Case” with the inimitable Baryshnikov.  A difficult, intriguing, and ultimately provocative and memorable performance, it held the negative capabilities of the worlds of drama and modern dance; of Chekhov and Baryshnikov, and the intricacies of love.

All in a beaux-arts theater  in the 21st century.

Majestic Theatre, 1882, Boston. Library of Congress Depository, Detroit Publishing Co

Majestic Theatre, 1882, Boston.
Library of Congress Depository, Detroit Publishing Co

image image

%d bloggers like this: