Mangos from the mango tree keep falling onto the driveway. A scorpion as long as a child’s hand just crawled into the bushes. The mosquitoes are out in full force. It’s The Heart of Darkness meets Love in the Time of Cholera.
I loved my balcony. I really did. High above a canopy of lush trees, six stories above the natural and unnatural world below, on that balcony I smoked cheroots and clove cigarettes while talking with friends who were poets and musicians and travelers and artists and lovers. In the distance shone the city’s most important pagoda: night or day, it lit up the sky. I had a wide collection of plants there: orchids, ferns, spider plants, and a large Bird of Paradise. That balcony was my own little paradise, whether I shared it with friends or sat there at sunset in solitude.
This week, I moved (again!!!) into a lovely old house with high, high ceilings, a garden, and a funky kitchen. I traded in a balcony for a lovely porch; I exchanged a view of the pagoda for a view of the garden. The past few mornings I’ve had my coffee out on the porch bench. I've walked on grass in my bare feet. A big and fluffy neighborhood cat comes and rubs up against my legs and purrs. If this isn’t “home,” I don’t know what is.
So many people have helped me in the big move: MT helped pack the boxes, UT ordered the movers, PK lifted heavy things, Ale and Frida K. helped me decide what colors to paint to walls, Nanny helped me unpack and gave me a much needed shoulder rub, Dancing Shoes helped me measure for curtains, and Frida K. took me sari shopping. [Those sweet men in “Little India” who sold us saris and gave us orange Fanta would be appalled to know that those beautiful wedding saris we bought (after much bartering) will be hung as curtains!]
I still have boxes to unpack. My computer needs to be hooked up. I can’t find my toothbrush or the box that has my underwear. But, I was able to find the vodka for the Cosmopolitans I served at Saturday Morning Art Brunch, where four of us –a Brit, an Australian, a German and an American- sat out in the garden and drew, using charcoal and getting our hands all messy. (Thank God for the numerous airline “refreshing towels” that Flying Monk left. They sure came in handy! Heaven knows we wouldn’t want to smudge our cocktail glasses.) We discussed Gertrude Stein… and all the great patrons and patronesses of the art world.
Hopefully, I’ll be able to find my writing journal for next week’s writing group that I'm hosting. And, I hope to install another mirror in the yoga room so Muffins can teach a jazz dance class. There’s been much talk among The Grappa Crew about using this house for a photo exhibition: we could accept submissions, create the show, and the proceeds could go towards charity. Shoulder Pads has suggested the theme of “Humor in Y.” (“Y.” being the city we live in), which is a challenging topic, indeed, but one only has to look at local billboards for inspiration.
Sometime soon, I’ll buy a TV so I can hook up my DVD player for a film night. I’d love to follow in Finally Has a Hot Chick’s footsteps and host a night of film where film buffs gather to watch and discuss their favorite flicks. Last Sunday we watched “Before Sunrise” and “Before Sunset”, with a break in between for Indian food. Interesting discussion, though I wish the “no talking during the film unless you put it on pause” rule had been enforced. (Did anyone else notice the symbolism of the vertical lines and the vanishing points in both films?)
It’s Sunday morning. The monsoon rains have arrived. The natural world is lush and humid and fertile. The human world has to deal with leaky roofs, mold, gigantic water puddles, and matches and candles that are too damp to light. Mangos from the mango tree keep falling onto the driveway. A scorpion as long as a child’s hand just crawled into the bushes. The mosquitoes are out in full force. It’s “The Heart of Darkness” meets “Love in the Time of Cholera.”
And I love it all: the mold and champagne and scorpions and mangos and jazz of the natural and the human world.