Pictures from our visit to the Miffy art installation at the Museumplein in Amsterdam.
Gregory Orr, “The Pond” fromThe Caged Owl: New and Selected Poems(2002: Copper Canyon Press, 2002). http://www.coppercanyonpress.org
They never come back
like lost socks, hair-ties, countless ballpoint pens
Tupperware boxes handed out after parties
for that morning snack, extra mithai, tomorrow’s lunch
Monday night jolted me
A little boy in ‘trash pack’ pyjamas
“You be brave”
“No, you be brave”
“Do you think they will keep you here forever?”
“I will stay forever with you here”
As they placed the oxygen mask
I looked at him
His eyes were like saucers
“Now is not a good time to take a selfie”
Wednesday afternoon and I’m still foggy
Sleep comes and goes
I feel tranquil
You tasty temptress morphine
Clock hands, that’s all I remember, and a coiling blue orchid
Silent stones they call them
Not now, not now, not now
One by one
Pasta, cham-cham, dhokla, crackers, kruidkoeks
These boxes keep showing up at the door
Ringing the bell
Making themselves at home on the sofa
Pouring cups of tea
“Parents interrupt girls twice as often and hold them to stricter politeness norms. Teachers engage boys, who correctly see disruptive speech as a marker of dominant masculinity, more often and more dynamically than girls.”
Soraya L. Chemaly writes about feminism, gender and culture. She writes for the Huffington Post, Feminist Wire, BitchFlicks and Fem2.0 among others.
Last year at the ISA (located in Amstelveen) I bought this second-hand book. The book was last issued from the library in 1995 and they had decided to part with it. I paid very little for it.
Firstly, I love botanical drawings. The precision with which they are made is stunning. My pictures veer more towards kawaii, anime, folk art, lacking realism and aiming more for abstraction, exaggeration (not as much as caricature) and sometimes color. Botanicals remains a field I am greatly attracted towards and can not replicate. I love the work of Marjolien Bastin and Beatrix Potter. In my dream house I often imagine a stark plain white wall corridor of botanicals ranging from the Mughal botanicals to the more modern works of Vera Scarth-Johnson, with a Bastin squirrel here and a Potter rabbit there, and at the end of the corridor you would find a cottage garden with a pond and warm welcome corners, and butterflies.
Secondly, what attracted me to this book were the library cards at the back. While studying in Delhi, in school, in college and at the British Council Library I remember using library cards. The stamp on the book a reminder of when the book was due but what I liked reading most (apart from the text) were the several names before me who had read the book, and my name and date there present with the rest, marking my place in the history of that book. When we moved to Dubai in 2004 I got a digitised card to the library and this sojourn with names I did not know ended, well almost, once I found a bus ticket in a book, a postcard in another, my mind trying to weave tales around these forgotten objects. When I chanced upon the website Forgotten Bookmarks imagine my joy and relief that there were other people like me.
I had written earlier about my love-hate relationship with electronic reading devices, I think this might well be one of the reasons the acceptance has been a hard one. Anyhow, I leave you to enjoy the pictures of this book, which has brought me much joy.