Wednesday, August 11, 2010


August has begun, and with it, the season of festivals. This month began with a wonderful, unexpected treat. Last weekend, we saw a wonderful film celebrating women artists and their ability to juggle family and other obligations with their urge to create; what better way to celebrate creation than thus?

This was made more meaningful because I could attend this function bracketed by the two generations that have defined me, my mother and my daughter. This event was attended by a group of artists and the treat was the discussions that accompanied this event.

A central problem sounded by the film that especially resonated with me, was the general assumption that women feel that they have to give up motherhood to be creative. It is true that I choose my daughter's needs over my need to write and this does cause a great deal of frustration for me, spilling over into other parts of our life. I would, undeniably, love to have more "me-time" and spend days, mornings, nights to just let my fingers have their will with the blank screen. However, a greater truth is that my motherhood has been responsible for every creative impulse I enjoy. I would have been a really hollow, empty shell had my relationship with my daughter not enriched me deeply.

Readying oneself for the festive season means finding one's centre, steadying one's inner core, and clarifying one's vision of self. This event adjusted my focus, priorities, reminded me of the reason why I am.

The film also pointed out the inevitable connection between women's routines and house work. In spite of resenting housework, I must confess to the rightness of it, the necessity for it, realize domestic chores as expressions of the nesting instinct that defines women's realities.

This afternoon has been a wonderful way to begin the festive season. I find that I look forward to the holidays, in spite of being so far from the building excitement that would be brightening up the long evenings in des. Comforted in my most creative relationship, I have bought rakhis for my brothers and nephews, to further affirm my relationship within the family, and shop for rakhi hampers with a genuine enjoyment. I hope to celebrate the birth of one of my favorite gods this Janmashtmi, and bid a celebratory farewell to the god of beginnings this Ganesh Chaturti. I shall dance with the goddess this Navratri, and plan out the illuminations, enjoy fireworks, and teach my fingers to find creative expression in decorating my thresholds with rangoli this Diwali.

As the monsoon clatters window panes, the winds sing a prothalmion of plenty and fertility, and Demeter begins to ready her daughter for her husband's house, it is difficult to resist the hysteria, affirmation, nostalgia, and unreasonable joy that is the music of the season.

The un-named protagonist of "Mother Holle" shakes the bed till it snows, in full understanding of the cosmic import of her domestic chores, heralding in Autumn festivities, lighting home lamps to celebrate and welcome.