Sunday, September 18, 2011

hmm, i'm title-less today.

pocket memories.

that's sort of what i want to call all these beautiful moments i want to stick in a pocket.

last night right near my house was this festival of music with clapping, and singing, and color and beauty. a girl in a pink dress sat on my lap while another girl with silky night sky hair and big eyes translated things to me in excited whispers.
one girl, tried to get me to go up and dance with a few of the men up front, i was tempted but i giggled and decided I'd rather play it safe sitting in the midst of all these beautifully composed women clapping along.

i had my first puja at school today. which was a sort of prayer moment with a man who sang and we all tied strings around our right wrist. red and yellow. then i received a red bindi mark on my forehead and at the end prayed over some warm incense that i then rubbed up to the crown of my head. at the end they gave us all this sweet sweet, bright snack-( below).
so great.

a desk in my room.

me, happy as a clam, next to some new friends asking whether or not I'm married or with boyfriend. this question is usually one of the first asked.
i sigh or giggle and more questions relating my love life always ensue.

my haven.
painting doors
in my little nook.

i've been lighting these candles i found for different people each night.
it reminds me of when i went to the notre damn with my mom in France. We each donated and lit different candle's with the thoughts of those we love in mind.
i hope you can feel it out there people! you're on my mind. wishing the best.
one of the corners i turn to walk to class.

and this you can't see too well but its basically the title for my life.

living my dream for sure.

a plus tard.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

the day yassin died

today our driver died.

i wrote the story out to my friend in new york, told him i wish i could record all that i'm seeing with my eyes and then translate it to him, but that i suppose that's what these words are for.

i keep thinking about that Ghandi quote that ram dass uses in the beginning of one of his recordings;
"one lives as one dies".

i even put it in here:

a short i had made before i left.
weirdly foreshadowing.

Yassin picked me up from my train, he would smile and point out the window at things that he thought I should see.
His smile was always on his face and was one of my favorites to encounter here. Some people when they smile their whole face scrunches into it, especially the corners of their eyes.
His was like that.

We went to the center of town
His body was laying in the center of a herd of people. Children on building rooftops looking over to see.
Someone is singing soft hindi music behind me. It sounds like mourning music.
I want to look but I'm afraid they'd stop if I do, so I wont.

I looked down at my little shoes in the mud, i felt so young as Nisha Mam was holding my hand and continually saying Courtney come with me.
They had to find the car, get me out of their as police were everywhere.

Finally we got got to it and piled in. I sat on her lap and I felt light even. I wondered how I turned so young and small.

I guess when you're foreign you acquire this new innocence and curiosity for everything.

The day is grey, more grey then I've ever seen here.
Before we got in the car I saw an orange monkey cross some wires over our heads as he passed from one house above a shop to the next. The shops and houses are all brightly colored and look like decaying castle's. I could reference Aladdin so you get the idea but it's much more vivid and magical then that.

i shared some animations with the other art teacher here.
he said "so you are more of an artist then?"
i laughed and said "well yes i am an artist", he said "well usually animator is commercial and 3d and your work seems to be more"..."personal?" i asked.
he said "yes, its brave, i would be scared".
i said yeah, i guess, but i dont really know how to be any other way.
it just comes out.
because i love what i do.
and i love my life, so my work tends to be about that.

these days continue to surprise me.
none the same.
i have no idea whats coming next.
i think a nap now.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

wednesday- the midle of the week.

Today i took a bike ride to see a banjaree, otherwise known as a nomad. They travel from place to place and set up there dark tents with colorful writing and sell medicines and other magic in little glass jars.
A woman in yellow and black looked at me curiously and helped me with my bike lock as i struggled. Then she helped me enter the tent and nodded in agreement when the old man who owned the tent pointed to the jar with a sandy grey powder in it.
she motioned to swallow so i did. Intense, refreshing and sort of clearing all in one take. Clearing of the senses and of the mind.
I pointed to a jar full of bark looking contents and took a piece of that. Turns out it was cinnamon.
I shared it with one of the servers back at home.

I sent Amanda an email about life as a series of doors and rooms. these choices you make, these doors you find and open and all of a sudden you're in a new room.

michael said, those doors looks like mine. it's like its there but it leads to nowhere, thats where i feel like I'm at. I said they all lead to some where, the all lead to the same place, exactly where you are at.

Every now and then you bump into someone along the way.
maybe you tap elbows or your eyes lock.
or u sit and stare at some clouds.

some rooms have hands to hold and some rooms you're on your own.
but even then you're never really on your own.
you have soap dish friends to keep you company. :)

and someone way over here or maybe over there is also looking at some clouds.

and you look at your wrist, the same as you may any other wrist, but its delicate and small.
and it makes me think of my little sister whose little wrists are like those of a little doll.
its a wonder she's not made of porcelain.

good night wednesday.

the midde of the week.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


So i made it here. one crazy train ride at 7 in the morning. it seemed like everyone was looking at me was looking at me like i was painted blue or green. Other-wordly, and I suppose to most people I am.
Different worlds. As foreign as I am to them this world here is just as foreign to me.
It's so interesting how many different cultures and experiences there can be in the world.
I got on the train and one man told another where I needed to get off. This man seemed to be like my guardian. Watching each stop and never holding eye contact long enough to acknowledge my smile. I think this was out of respect and culture.
After a chai tea for 5 ruppees from a man with a hot cooler and 4 hrs of watching villages and people pass, I arrived at a station called Halduar. This, I would find is less than an hour ride from the small village where I am staying.
Another crazy drive and I arrive.

My room is small and bizarre and magical and has beautiful white paint peeling down the walls. This sort of decay has this unbelievable charm and magic to it that Ive always been drawn to. Probably why Ive always been interested in deconstruction.

The food here is incredible. But if you are like most people I have grown up with who think eating with your hands is wrong, well get ready for change. Eating with your hands Is the way here.
And quite honetsly, it rules.

My pictures are out of order, but I'm impatient and want to write and share all I've been seeing. Ive been documenting so much and yet I find myself seeing things that I just wish my eyes could record and transfer.
These children on their bikes, their eyes could stop the sun from spinning around the earth. Its like immobilizing. And the colors of their dresses, the idea "your body is a temple" is truly displayed here. Its as if each women's body was a castle or a present, wrapped in the finest of silks or the brightest of papers. The occasion for beauty is solely dependent on the fact that you wake up breathing.
Quality of life here is something I can't fathom.
For people who would seem to have so little they are so happy. I mean because really they have so much, they take such pleasure in the simple things, simple jobs, simple tasks. Its like their fuel is just love and family.
I cant say this for everyone and of course this is surface level interpretation but the surface is much brighter than some paces of life Ive previously encountered.

This is one of the teachers I work with, finding a loose thread on her shirt. She is stunning like most of the women I work with. And she worries so much about the children. Really it's the sweetest thing Ive ever seen, her sincerity. Asking me how we can best come up with fans for the recital for founders day and how to teach simpler dance moves so that the children will remember.
I am in love with every child here.
"Good afternoon mam".
One group of eleven yr old's I have are the cheekiest little things ever. And they have me rolling on my tummy in laughter. I can't even get mad at them.

today i went to this celebration titled Uman. Its celebrated in Kerela (South of India) for ten days where they celebrate the return of this king to his people. The king was known as someone who was a great giver and before he departed he wanted to get ten days with his people. And so this holiday arose (there's quite a bit more to the myth but in the heat of today that is all I could retain). It is said that there is a moment, when you're facing conflict, or where you are at your most vunerable or truly being tested, that is the moment man has the ability to become god-like. I liked this notion, the notion of shinning or rising to an occasion.

I sat in on a class of 3 to 4 year olds the other day. They went around saying what they wanted to be when they get older. Two said spider-man, about 5 said police, maybe 3 said doctor, and about 20 said Ram or Krishna. (Which is God). Wow, more culture. I love that fact their goals were to become god's. Too bad these little beauties already are little gods, there faces even within mischief shinning with light.

So at the celebration we sat on the ground and were served vegetarian indian dishes on banana leaves-- oh my delicious. Eating with my hands has even become a sort of graceful act....-ha not, but I'm getting there, slowly, I told Nisha Mam as she smiled at me adoringly (like I was 5:) that I would learn how to, and she laughed and agreed.
Then there were games.
I will never forget this 80 yr old little fiery woman in her purple sari pushing me out of the way and running around during musical chairs, this lady was a serious competitor. It had me giggling like I didn't know I could. It feels good to smile this much. Eventually they had to tell her to calm down and I was called back in for a game after she had pushed me away from a chair as the music had stopped. I tried to plea not to go back in and face this sweet little beast but they insisted as they always do. I took second- In the end, Sister Anna, one of the nuns at the celebration, won. She looked very content about this and I was happy to have come after her. I was a bit afraid of sitting on her, as sometimes when I get engrossed in a game I too forget manners and the like. (not like my 80 yr old friend here but hey.)

You wont believe what came next, or maybe you will. Pin the bindi on the woman. EPIC.
I have no words for this, its basically as you can imagine it.
Here's an image or two.

- i really just like the clouds in this picture, there was something about them today. white soft pillows my camera couldn't completely catch.

Well its ten thirty and I teach tomorrow , or float rather, thats sort of how teaching has been- floating around helping. I love it and there are always surprises.
More images to come as this is really the bare minimum.

Monday, September 5, 2011


so i got into delhi.
to find an old face from high school waiting with her driver to take me to her home.
traffic was crazy but i suppose that was just normal, the way people honk and speed past each other it was like everyone was racing each other home. everyone in a rush and everyone somewhere to be. women in beautiful sari's sat on the back of the men's scooters and i just watched in awe at the length of their hair or the way they sat so calmly in the midst of chaos.

later we took one of these auto's to a little bar where some of kendra's friends were.
i sort of just watched everything happen. in it but not of it.
a girl from switzerland couldnt believe i had only arrived a few hrs ago and said that i had a lucky welcome here to delhi as her arrival and been nothing but hectic.
i agreed, somehow though it felt beyond luck, sort of just faith. because even when it doesnt seem to work out, it does. its just not how you expected and thats where you can trip up.

then today i went here:

he Lotus temple in delhi.

unfortunately i forgot my camera, but i did get a sweet healing/prayer card and i got to walk barefoot on wet pavement into a very silent giant flowered sculptured building.

there were birds inside there and you could hear the women's jewelery jingle as you sat there in silence.
i looked up at the skylight which was a gold gem that looks like the inside of a flower.
a gem in the lotus.

many people asked to take pictures with us, which was funny and sweet, it reminded me of when i was in taiwan with cleo and the same happened at night clubs there.

were heading out soon for some music at this little cafe in Hauz Khas village and then tomorrow morning bright and early i take a train out to the countryside to start teaching.

i'm having trouble typing because i feel a bit slow right now. like molasses trying to pour out of a bottle or walking through snow on a very bright day.
its all very nice, and all very alluring, but at the same time its happening in this slowed down way. like i'm sitting on the remote control and without thinking i've hit pause.
sped up and slowed down all at one time.

well universe and good people out there, wish me luck and send me energy to go work with these children.