Title borrowed from the poet Lee Herrick
Tag Archives: lockdown
An hour is not a house
Last year I discovered the poetry of Jane Hirshfield. Award-winning poet, essayist and more, she set aside her writing to study Zen Buddhism for many years.
Reading poetry is a deeply personal experience. What resonates with me in her poetry is the minimalism, the spirituality shorn of all excess, and the “moments of insight” that every poem reveals.
Sketches while reading An hour is not a house –
Books of 2020
Like everyone else, I probably broke my all time record for reading in 2020, so this is going to be the first of a series of book posts over the months.
Spring 2020 – Grapefruit by Yoko Ono, Daily Rituals by Mason Currey, Michael Rosen’s Book of Play and Keep Going by Austin Kleon.
Grapefruit was an experience – I found that it was an “early example of conceptual art“. I go back to The Book of Play and Keep Going again and again, both are inspirational and great for sparking ideas.
I don’t remember much about Daily Rituals, though, except that it gathered the routines of a large and diverse set of people, and it really doesn’t matter whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, or whether you get up at 5 am like Medium articles recommend! Here are some of the sketches I had made while reading it – about Patricia Highsmith and Frederico Fellini.
Some other book posts from 2020: Sputnik Sweetheart (So many vaccine puns :P), a bit from Ruined by Design in The Difference between Friday and a Fried Egg (mustread for designers today) and Letters from Tove in Fjords & Islands
These are the days
Those weird lockdown days were strange, so strange…and while the world was coming undone this song by 10,000 Maniacs was playing on loop in my head. I was feeling lucky, so lucky, and still so thankful for every single moment.
Although I cannot see your face
Honestly who would have thought that we would spend a quarter of a year in physical isolation from each other. A story to recount in my old age.
And speaking of old age. Umberto Eco once wrote that books are the most robust format of content transmission that we have seen over centuries, and so that if nothing else, my sketchbooks would probably survive till my old age at least, and I will look back on these days and laugh…
"Although I cannot see your face As you flip these poems awhile Somewhere from some far off place I hear you laughing - and I smile..." Shel Silverstein
Ever since we have been together the brown boy and I have spent a few hours a weekend with a ritual of drawing and drinking coffee.
One way to get through these new lifestyle changes has been to keep to our rituals and find sanity in those moments of calm and pleasure. Hope you’re having a restful weekend.
Lunch in 3 parts
This is from my lockdown journal, the usual day at work and eating lunch between meetings, but we had sandwiches that day!
And it was yum 🙂
Happy Friday folks!
That practice of hugging
My sister and I were utterly confused about this practice of hugging for most of our life. We had many questions. We grew up in Kolkata where no one knew about hugs. And why would we…
Transcript: We the Basu sisters were so alient to the concept of hugging. And why would we? Who would want to hug hot sweaty Bengalis all the time? And then how close is close? I mean does “close” have to be reciprocated in distance? What if someone thinks they are closer than you think you are…
And then which body part do you hug? I have no choice but to hug tummies, being super short.
But when I met this boy, who really enjoys hugging, and this little thunderstorm who is a bony little hugger, I had to tolerate it sometimes. But apart from these two, I am hugely grateful to social isolation. No more random social hugs! As my friend Toinks says “Do namaste instead”!
Full Circle Bookshop closes
One of our favorite places in Delhi, Full Circle Bookshop in Khan Market closed down due to the lockdown. I loved their curation, and spent hours every week browsing through it’s shelves.
This drawing is from my last visit there in Feb2020.
Like most people who draw/sketch I filled up a lot of my time drawing.
Here are my sketchbooks from 2020. The red one is from Jan-Feb, when I wasn’t drawing at all, and I started the green one when lockdown started in March.
Things were of course very worrying and unsettling…
But did you know that these stages are not linear? I was so grateful for being able to work from home, having my favorite people around me and countless other things, when so many around us were suffering…
Anyway the one thing we did to keep a semblance of normality was “always the same little things in the same order and then the day can start”…
like eating breakfast…and finding ways to keep our spirits up.
Ate noodles for dinner and found TS Eliot thinking about home:
Home is where one starts from. As we grow older The world becomes stranger, the pattern more complicated… …a lifetime burning in every moment…We must be still and still moving
So in the pursuit of stillness…
and birds flying north.