Saturday, September 18, 2004

Villa Sarabhai

These sites refer to the house that I visited in 1997.

What I remember first is the sultry garden where I sat drinking thick, cool cane drinks under the canopy of nim trees, enveloped by the jasmine scented air on the 3rd level of grassed plateau intregal to the Villa Sarabhai.

The coveted invitation to dine came by submitting my portfolio to the biochemist, Anand Sarabhai. I had asked for an interview through the head of the architecture school in Ahmadabad.

Listening to monkeys cajoling each other in the invisible branches above the gravel drive to the house as the conveyance called a 'three wheeler' brought me to the sanctified entrance; I was encapsulated with the mystery and heightened awareness of this gift of opportunity. Admittance through armed guarded barbed gates beyond the stoned fortress surrounding the enclave began an enchantment, an evening of promise and beguile.

Cobusier had planted part of his soul here. I was entering a timeless homage to an exclusive lifestyle and home to 50's and 60's art.

My sculpture had let me enter. My writing about cultural phenomena in the west of India gave me the means to experience this Corbusier architecture and the owner's passion for modernism.

I am writing about this now, 6 and a half years later, because, although my thoughts were documented in a full-page article I wrote in the Times of India, I have no insight into how this momentous and other extraordinary Indian based experiences relate to my present life, and I need to find a means of finding the magic, regenerating the immediacy and discovery, the beauty and depth that occured at that time in my life.

I was blessed by many eminent events while in India. My work was accepted, and honoured. Since I returned to Canada, life has not been kind. I have been stripped of art and I struggle to remain free from resentment. Caring for loved ones during their crises was needed. Developing a rewarding relationship is decisive, but not enough to fulfill. I need self-fulfillment.

More later.


There are a few 'things' I need to address, occurring simultaneously, some trying and discouraging, others welcome and interesting.

Completing a payment to a school I attended this year that does not deserve the money is one task that requires attention. A stretch financially, and irritating, considering their (owners) false earnestness and smugly irresponsible persona's, as well as paying for supplies not supplied, instruction not given... Smarmy people will others into submission as they mirror our unease with evil. We can face the underworld we fear existing in our presence, thriving, and we can be lulled into inaction by the uncanny presence. They disguise calculation and contrivance with monetary stability, enabling false hope to satiate the senses. This is especially troublesome because I think that I am somehow endowed with a big label attached to my forehead that indicates that I am a target for these predators. The partners have written me, calling me disingenuous because I did not complain fast enough. Certainly, I am not quick enough to complain about problems, relying on others probity instead, which is not forthcoming. Complaining people get more for their money. I am considering paying them off in a truckload of pennies, which would be inconvenient for them. They wouldn't like pennies. I like this idea.

Secondly, I am curious about a sequence of circumstances that enabled a telephone conversation with someone from my distant past. This is especially abstruse as I cannot comprehend the meaning of this intersection of our lives. A website was found. "How did I find the website?", is a good question... " I find things" , was my reply. True. I can find information that seems impossible for others to discover. I can. This is not an ostensible fact. It is a demonstrated truth. However, there was an opportunity to reconnect with this person, many months after finding the site, and I liked reconnecting. Maybe there is no meaning, no purpose, just fun. Fun is fine.

Yet I do get muddled, unable to coherently speak; wavering words and strayed sentence structure force the conversation into stiltedness. There seemed to be more to say. He does not tell much, no personal stories, or even less private conversational reciprocation. Not now. Not for some time. I like to reveal. I love to impart stories. I enjoy communicating. There was a restless spirit met on the phone. He was not at ease. Yet... I loved the surprise I created. I need to address this event because he has twice previously - not exactly heralded, but symbolized a foreshadowing, a change in my life's direction. I like to think another transitional phase for me exists, and new beginnings are about to transpire. I need change, and I want to believe that a change is about to take place. Inevitable?

Saturday, September 11, 2004


Wandering between present and future allows me to evaluate the past. Funny how the timeline in one's life seems saturated with one of those three segregations. Past/ present... Present/ future. Past/ Future... and all the degrees between. Or just past, present and future. Strange.

Sometimes, just living doesn't necessarily have a desgination, until after the moment, the afternoon, or day... week - month - year... decade and suddenly, in retrospect, time becomes that period of wonderful achievement, the day where I became aware... the year when I struggled, those happy occasions, my querulous youth, my disconcerting thirties...

Future imaginings can be just as indubitable and clear as any memory, sometimes more distinct than the present. Preceding, previous, current, prospective, erst-while, foregoing, forthwith, now... define time. Instantly, momentarily, sometime... Ever! Shedding these segregation of experience seems important to progress, learn, yet the need to define time is satisfying, to ignore the delineations, disruptive. I need the comparison to thrive.

Thursday, September 09, 2004


Yes, the 7 - 10 foot expanded mesh aluminium tetrahedrons created as a visual description of the segregation of the insular west coast has now been remembered in song. The Winks ( have just sent me a secret sample of the new song. I must say, the imortalization has been a little disconcerting, as they say I WAS a sculptor. A lesson in artistic life is in order, I believe.

Creation has a life that can endure without physically acting on a thought. It inhabits every encounter and action of daily life. Sometimes years pass without adding to the oeuvre. This dormancy can be misconstrued. There are many artists of note that the hiatus was considered abandonment. Perhaps sometimes this is true. However, miraculously as sunshine after a winter of inclement weather, the muse embodies the artist, and drives a renewed spirit to make something meaningful. One does not make for the sake of making. Art must be about something. And more. It must situate itself in the world for all to see, experience. The strength of the work reflects that disturbing, unspeakable, genuine notion that everyone is sensing, but cannot describe. Sometimes these intangibles take the guise of sculpture. Vancouver is notorious for being a photographic haven, a place where photographic and now digital input thrives. Three dimensional insight, configuration and delivery of precious intricacies of life possible to create only in sculpture do not belong in this part of the world. I doubt I will ever work as a sculptor here again. That doesn't mean I am no longer a sculptor. I just need to move elsewhere. Meanwhile, I gather.

Sunday, September 05, 2004


This is a test. NO. This is not a test. Pick one. Real, not real. If every experience is a prelude to the next event in one's life, how can each encounter, every conscious act be purposeful and not ambiguous, be the ultimate action of its kind? Everything counts. Everything is a learning experience. Everything must be chosen well. Everything cannot be chosen. There is no choice, only destiny. There is always a choice to direct one's destiny. I am not convinced of any truism. I just keep moving, and sometimes not.

I want direction where I am utilized by the best possible environment. And I am not now. I fear the worst consequences as I am not a numbers person. I do not thrive where numbers are concerned. IF I can delegate that responsibility, I can concentrate on my strengths. Why not?! WHY should I have to numerate?! AND be responsible for other's money?! This makes no sense. I am ridiculously unprepared for this responsibility. I don't want to do it. I must challenge this, resist this power of confusion which draws me to a vortex of poor judgement and stress. I have the power to say no. I know I do. I must remember this simple syllable. NO.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Hurricane Warning

My aunt lives in Florida. Earlier, forecasts predicted an east coast disaster. Now the 'cane' seems to be on a western coast finish. Yikes! The CNN weather plotting shows that Frances will hover over Tampa tomorrow. All people affected by natural disasters have my sympathy. However, when the safety of one of my own seems to be threatened, emotions rise to the peak of concern.

I am a lover of severe weather. The tremendous tree shattering thunderstorms of my youth, pelting rain pinching my hair follicles, magnificent, blinding blizzards that blanketed the entire house with shelves of snow, golf ball sized hail stones pounding the terrain to smithereens, flooding river gulping the banks away in a night , a prairie brush fire devouring all grasses in a second, any tree in a minute... All these I have witnessed. I have found these acts of nature enthralling. High winds have been especially exciting to me. I enjoyed the sting of airborne dirt nip at my cheeks, the push of the force swaying me off balance. If I was in danger, I did not feel it. Yet the power and devastation of a hurricane has remained distant to me, an event that was read about, televised and confronted vicariously. Now, a loved one can be hurt, or worse. I find my senses numbed, my inability to act on her behalf upsetting. She has been a resourceful woman. Surely she will prevail. I need to believe this.

Thursday, September 02, 2004


The computer at work was waiting for the opportunity to cease because I needed a major stress to re-evaluate my situation. Why, when I have just found steadier work, the proverbial rug gets pulled out from my complacency. I was again, yet again unaware of the riddles of work-life, where monetary needs override my artistic persuasions. AND the cosmos never leave me, always striving to make me see myself differently, always setting a trial to overcome. The lost clusters may mean a loss of a job, a job where I have only worked one day. My hope is that I may be dismissed without having to pay for a technician from my earnings.