I am home, recovering from a 12 hour time difference, and mulling over impressions from my tour of India. There are so many things I want to be sure to remember...the myriad of smells and sounds on the street, the impossibly clashing but stimulating color combinations, the smiles of the people with lives of extreme simplicity, and the endless creativity of those who had nothing but time on their hands.
One thing that really struck us was that the people who had the least - still had COLOR. The women who lived in the most primitive and challenging of conditions, wore the most saturated colors, and the most interesting color combinations.
For two weeks I watched no TV, and severely limited my exposure to the outside world. (With the exception of checking the news on our Colorado flooding.) I wanted to create a clear context, with which to experience the colors and creativity of India. I wanted to limit the distractions of modern life, and be as present as possible with the people I met each day. It is so easy to gloss over the difficult aspects of day-to-day living in a developing country. We don't even realize when we are looking away, not wanting to see...
So I looked. I looked at everything. I took as many photos as I could, so the camera would see and remember what my eyes and brain could not process when I was overwhelmed and oversaturated. What the camera saw was the exquisitely detailed handwork on the textiles, but also the twisted limbs of the beggars along the River Ganges. The camera saw intricate designs in the tilework of the mosques, but it also saw the ravages of time and a hard life on a mother's face. I wanted to see all of these things, and more... to remember.
Ever since I arrived in India, I've had some of the most colorful, detailed, long-winded dreams at night. The first night I was there, I had a powerful psychological nightmare that gave me something to think about during the day. The trip was an empty crucible into which my subconscious dumped itself every sleep cycle. It was an opportunity for self-discovery that went way past Creative Inspiration.
It was a brief moment in a lifetime, for a cleansing, a healing, and a rebirth. I don't know what it means yet, but I know the soup that has been bubbling in my subconscious crucible will reveal itself in so many ways, as I live, love and create in the next several months.
We are accepting comfort quilts for Colorado Flood victims. You can drop them off or ship them to us at:
5455 Spine Rd, Suite E
Boulder CO 80301
I have an artist friend who lost her home and studio, and all her artwork. She lived in the town of Lyons which is still evacuated and unlivable. We will call upon our local contacts to make sure that each donated quilt is personally delivered to someone who has suffered a great loss in the flood. Many thanks to those of you who have offered to send quilts!
*The photo above was taken at the Amber Fort in Jaipur...the Three Golden Muses?*