Saturday, August 14, 2010

Home Again, Home Again, Finnegan!

It's 4:30 a.m. here in NC and Jet Lag has me in its grasp.  I forgot to take my Melatonin last night and am paying the price.  I don't really think all the remedies for jet lag work, but you do feel as if you are doing something to counteract the body's confusion.  So, I stayed awake for 15 of the 17 hour flight to LA and the 3 hours it took to get a car and drive to San Diego, arriving at 3:30 a.m., slept 4 hours, spent the day exchanging working tips with another artist, trying out some new tools and sharing design ideas, watched the video Little Whit put together of our trip, and crashed, after taking a Melatonin, at 10 p.m.  Slept all night!  Thought I was home free!  Left for NC at 11 a.m., arrived home about 8 p.m. dog tired and went to bed at 10....ooops....forgot the Melatonin.  Woke up at 1 a.m. and here I am.  The really weird thing about jet lag is the sporadic state of mental paralysis you experience while your physical body goes on about its business.  It kind of feels like the opposite of REM though all those rapid eye movements have become your wakful physical self while your mental self is asleep.  Perhaps I am actually asleep now but don't know it.

Being wakeful in the middle of the night is always swimming in a sea of ideas.  Being away from my studio for almost six weeks, away from working, is a time to gather fuel for the process.  The fuel from San Juan Island and then Malaysia is much to think about.  But since the most recent bowl of curry was had in Penang, my eyes and mind are still engaged with Chinese art and architecture.  These doors evoke a sense of the ancient, but also a connection with the hands that made them - the fine caving on some, the hand oiled surfaces, patinas from many decades of care.  The paintings of this wealthy and revered Chinese couple remind me of the craftsmen laboring in the building of their mansion, filled with the finest tiling, cabinets, furniture and paintings.  Standing on the cool tile floors, feeling the dark shuttered shade in deep rooms echoing from high wooden ceilings, I am struck with the grace of silence.  I can feel the ghosts of this family's servants who were murdered by the Japanese in WWII.  The family had escaped and the home lay vacant for 60 years, nearly ruined.  A great-grandson began the renovation.  And the renovation spurs my connection to craftsmen who came before me half a world and a century before.

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