We returned from 17 days in India Sunday afternoon travel weary, stiff and sour-smelling, with our luggage over-stuffed with treasures and our minds over-flowing with images. Monday bright and too early Curtis motored off to work and I trudged in to face my desk and the luggage and the household details that had piled up while we were gone. More than 800 e-mails pulsed at me from the cue...blink...blink...blink... Since then Curtis and I have been in overdrive pushing forward, working our way through the mess, allowing our recent trip to recede, as if the past weeks were nothing more than billboards beside the Expressway. In a certain room in my house, along with assorted other reading materials, I keep a book called Art & Soul: Notes on Creating by Audrey Flack. Art & Soul is a collection of snippets, observations, quotes related to art. On occasion--regardless of how busy I am--I have reason to sit in that room with minutes to ponder. This morning, during one such enforced break from my monster to-do list, I picked up Art & Soul. I turned to the following passage:
Day 5: Late Afternoon (page 141)
I walk rapidly to the East Wing of the National Gallery to see the "Sculpture of India" show. I have exactly one hour until the museum closes. I urn up the stairs, into the elevator. I want up--the tower; it goes down. Pressured for time, overworked, overstimulated, I finally enter the exhibition space and am met with calm and serene buddahas, goddesses, and bodhisattvas, bestowing grace and wisdom. For the first time in a week, the tension drains from my body and I am at peace in front of these ancient statues. What a blessing. I silently thank all of those ancient sculptors and stonecarvers for the years of loving and caring--every jewel, every bead precisely chiseled and sanded. Thank you.