Monthly Archives: June 2011

Windows for loved ones.

I spoke to my mum on the phone yesterday and she was upset that she feels disconnected from what I’m doing, so far from home. It’s definitely the case that even with the ease of connection in our digital age, without making the effort, it’s all too easy to feel totally estranged. I blame myself for not working harder to share with the world what I’m seeing and thinking and experiencing. Here’s some windows for my loved ones – a little peek into the small things I’m gathering over days here. And I promise i’ll try harder.

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Encouragement.

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If a man wishes to be sure
Of the road he
Travels on
He must close his eyes
And walk in the dark

–St John of the Cross

I found this quote and this sculpture of St John within days of each other. I call those ‘tap on the shoulder’ moments – little signs of encouragement along the twisting path.

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Frozen in stone.

‘The sense of hearing striketh the spirit more immediately than any other senses.’
–Francis Bacon, English philosopher, scientist, and lawyer.

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From a trip today to the National Gallery of Art in DC.

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Worth a thousand words.

I have a very visual memory. In school I used to draw cartoons to help me remember things like lists of kings and how cells divide. I also used to write poetry and songs sometimes – one named all the parts of the earth using the metaphor of an apple – it was pretty silly but I still remember it!

These days I don’t have so many formulas to remember, but it always helps me to illustrate quotes and ideas to really make them stick.

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HipstaFantastic

Everyone I know these days has the Hipstamatic app for iPhone. It’s so ironic that in a digital age we’re all crazy for the clunky, unpredictable results of a cheap instant camera. I’m kind of in love with it too. It uncovers the hidden poetry in the most humdrum of images.

This is the view from where I’m staying this week in DC. Tonight I watched the sun set on this Japanese maple while I practiced violin. While the tanpura played (from my iPhone, dear God) I played Raga Charukeshi and Kedar. The fireflies danced over the grass – one of the most beautiful sights here. Simple and sublime.

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Star flowers.

When I’m traveling I try and keep at least my morning walk consistent. While I walk I chant on my japa beads. It’s always my favorite part of the day. When I was young, we’d always pick flowers on any walk to take home and put on our altar. The habit is firmly stuck, and I try and find an altar space or a deity, or a dear friend to give a flower, whenever I’m out.

I found these unusual star flowers the other morning while I walked around the upscale suburbs of New Haven, Connecticut.

Now I’m back New York city, where I crave trees and flowers like a tall drink of water on a hot day. As I walk through the streets, bustling and clouded with smoke and noise, it’s a delicious surprise to come across a cool, green walled garden. Or even a stray rose, peering over a fence.

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