Thursday, 26 December 2013

india diary 1

Whenever I've travelled, I've almost always wished afterwards that the writing  I did  at the time had been less personal, more descriptive, less reflective. And yet this seems to be what I do. You could say it's just an obsession with the self, but it doesn't feel like that, in the sense that what interests me is not myself, per se, but what it feels like to be a human in a body; to be an awareness, perceiving, a consciousness in this world. This is really what this blog has been about so far - what does it mean to be an awareness in the world that is trying to create, to make art, to play music?

What helps this awareness to create, what stuffs it up and stops it from flowing? How does consciousness and mind and feeling interweave with creative products coming into the world, or not? From this point of view, it seems to me that I might be able to document this journey to india in a way that is relevant to the overall aims of this blog.

As I go to sleep my first night here in Dubai, I have an image of being clogged up with smoke, of being congested, stuffed up with lists and intentions, with thoughts and plans, coiled up and crunched into a tiny ball.

A few hours earlier, in the  arrivals hall, back here in the middle east, where all of my adult adventuring started, I begin to feel myself open to the huge world that for so long was the only home I knew. Crisp white cotton reaching to the floor, the Arab male constantly rearranging his perfectly non-creased red and white headscarf, the religious figure, provenance unknown, in a long navy gown, dark female eyes ringed with black, profiles from India, Arabia, the Philippines, Thailand.

Lyng in bed, I  feel the smoke that I didn't even know was there starting to clear, my lungs starting to splutter and cough and heave as the accumulated blackness of decades begins to heave itself out of my system.

This morning, in the warm, breezy winter sun, I begin to feel my spine gently uncoil, remember how softly straight I felt at the end of my last trip to India. Some sort of weight is already slipping off me, a scaly snake skin eager to drop off and leave itself behind. Sitting on the roof of hotel looking out across the city skyline, the drawing that so often feels like an effort is as natural as breathing. I think of Matisse leaving his wife and child in winter for the sun of Morocco, of impressionists going south for the light. Perhaps I just don't vary my environment enough in normal day to day.



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