My sweet friend Katie from Obaitori asked me to write about my day here in India and with out hesitating I chose the same day as I received the question, it was a very timely question.
I love sharing my life and thoughts and dreams here, I feel myself holding back a lot of my ordinary life, this is a result of my creative immersion which seems to overshadow the normal daily process so here goes the details in 2 posts
I was dreaming of my teacher, in it he was napping on my couch, I came into the room and he sat up to discuss a few interesting issues with me.
I awake, Chimme and Dakini sleep in my bed and if one of us wakes up the others by instinct will have eyes opened within a minute or two... Chimme points to the shapes on the donna cover I tell him what they are- star, balloon, rabbit he practices saying the words after me.
First thing I do is boil water for tea and never actually get around to making and drinking it... I survey the messy house, with a sigh!
I’m saved from the tasks by our house cleaner who is at the door a woman we trusted enough to give a job to, she is a single mother with 4 kids living in one room just up the road, she works for around 2 hours going back and forth the 15 meters between our house and her kids who are being looked after by the oldest boy, it's a "feel good" exchange although I don't like taking her time away from the children, often she expresses her gratefulness at the job, those two hours a few times a week is a lifesaver for her, both as a break and as a way to support her family.
I go to the art gallery while Urgyen organises things in the house, to check my messages and orders, write addresses on packages and start preparing for the jobs of the day. I decided to stop Internet in the home and only access it in the gallery, which means I don’t bring my work into the family space. The gallery is very close, through Urgyens brothers place and into the double shop front that runs along the road.
Dakini has already gone to her class, the un-schooling situation is very interesting at the moment, we live opposite the Tibetan school which has student teachers from different countries come for 2 months, at this time of the year The teachers are from Canada in their early 20’s and spend their free time in the gallery cafe, and have become good friends with Dakini who became interested in the classes they give, mostly drama, dance and the homeland subject on Canada but I have heard she has shown up in economics and history too, she completely free ranges the classrooms picking what she likes and passing on classes she finds uninteresting, she self manages her time going to sleep early so she doesn't miss the first class of the day, her favourite one drama. Often she will be sitting in the cafe discussing the teachers performance they ask her what she thought of the class, what she found fun or confusing and she tells them what she thinks.
When she’s not hanging with the teachers critiquing there performance or in our gallery café she is playing with the neighbourhood children, her brother or practicing her skills at cream board, she makes music lists on the computer and can be found dancing instead of walking from one place to another. I think my daughter is amazing. Every day I become more and more pleased with our unschooling decision, what I see happening around me with her self direction, blossoming interests and communication skills is so heartening.
Urgyen has made lunch out of 3 ingredients, our pantry is bearer than old mother Hubbard and I find the whole aspect of cooking very annoying when there is little to choose from and avoid it, so as we wait for our lunch I eat some Gulab Jalam that I ask Dakini to buy at the shop and then we begin to rumble with tiger cub style, rolling and tickling and gentle roughing each other up, we all love it, although more times then not someone gets fed up and cries, this time it’s Dakini she’s not winning the game and I encourage her to be more stealthy and unobvious.
Sherap my sister in law and carpet weaver has run out of orange carpet yarn and asks me to dye some white wool this colour, which has me opening the box of indigo powder and natural dyes that arrived last week, which I have been awaiting a free moment to do, I have to go into town now to buy some vinagar to fix the dye I’v choosen from my Ashford dye collection, of course this is much harder then one would think, 7 shops later and the best I can come up with is non fruit based synthetic vinegar, I bring it home and will see how it goes.
After episods of play Chimme has fallen asleep on my lap and so I gently move him onto the cushions and look at Urgyen with big eyes, quick I say lets do some work, I get my camera and items to photograph and he goes to the gallery to work on new designs. The next two hours are spent writing and photo editing and drinking coffee or tea in the cafe. I do really enjoy all the camera and computer work although it can be rough on my eyes and back and never ending.
In many ways my home and work space feels like an dimension of Australia or international territory it changes as soon as I walk out the door and gets increasingly Indian style by the time your out of the Tibetan village.
Tibetan areas have a softer, less chaotic and more neighbourly feeling to it, I tend to keep within it's territory as I feel safer, although when I need a change of scene I have a few places to go in the district by walking or the family car.