Friday, April 30, 2010

Things that make me happy this morning.

  • My painting from Ubud, Bali. My lovely mother got this framed for me for Easter (since November it had been sadly rolled up in the corner of my room). And now every time I'm home I get to look at this.

This makes me smile every time I look at it. Because it takes me back to a little second floor art gallery in Ubud, a town of monkeys and rolling green rice paddies and streets filled with this crazy hybrid of deep, intense, incense soaked Balinese spirituality and art and Western, hippie, expat joy. It takes me back to a rooftop Italian restaurant in that same town, when the lights in the whole town cut off (these black-outs are common in Bali). In most restaurants in the United States a black-out would mean the restaurant was closed. But here in Ubud life continued, albeit with more candles. We sat for hours in the growing dark, munching on the best Italian food I've eaten outside of Italy, bruschetta with anchovies, crips, cold white wine, listening to music from our laptops as long as the battery remained, reassured by the staff that the food would keep coming, even without electricity, as the sounds of bugs and birds filled the warm air around us. When I saw this painting, I knew I would think of Bali every time I looked at it. And I was right. Because this painting is Bali to me, an explosion of blues and greens in every shade imaginable, fluid and strange and surrealy gorgeous, less an island than a dream of an island.

  • My baby niece, Lemma. She can be the biggest pill sometimes. She screams and spits up on me and takes (FOUR) massive poops in one day alone. And yet I miss her every weekend when I come back to Richmond. And if you want to see something so cute it mights just make your head explode, this is one of her adorably chubby thighs with a little Snoopy baby band-aid from where she had to get a shot at her last check-up (!).

  • Clay court tennis! I've said it before, and I'll say it again. While Wimbledon and the US Open are without question my favorite tournaments, there is something about clay court tennis that is so visually arresting. I can't get over the image of burnt red clay kicked up by crisp white shoes and bold yellow tennis balls. Plus nothing looks cooler than these big muscular players sliding around so gracefully on the clay, almost every point puncuated by an acrobatic glide across the dirt. And Rafa is once again kicking ass and taking names, so of course that makes me smile.

  • A dream, still in its very baby stages, of going to Africa to teach. Who knows if it will happen. All I know is that a year before I went to Thailand I had no idea that was going to happen. So who knows where I'll be in a year from now. I've spent so much time this year frustrated by what I can't do, the jobs I can't get. But lately I've been turning my attention to the flip side of that, the wide open expanse of maybes in my life right now. And that's pretty darn cool.

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