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.