Being a person who thrives within the chaos of an urban existence, I am enjoying the absolute isolation of Montalvo, where really it is nature alone and yourself that you spend most of your time with over here. In my studio in Baroda I have by choice very few windows, and so my cave-like world shuts out the outside sights and sounds, keeping me in a protected womb of peacefulness; and here, I have entire walls that are windows that allow the outside world to exist inside, along with me. The paradox of different needs in different environments is perhaps what I am reflecting upon and which makes you realise how opposite factors in fact bring the balance of harmony to one.
Zen gardens fascinate me too. The order of them that offers you the exquisite infinities of peace, is completely different from the rambling woods and groves that are the wild gardens of this earth; gardens of Eden that hold mysteries and unknown surprises in their disorder. At home in Sauparnika, Surendran often teases me that our tiny hacienda like garden is a wild jungle that needs to be kept more trimmed and neat. I, on the other hand, love plants to tangle and weave into one another; and want trees to bend their branches to brush against my hair as I pass. This is in complete contrast to the order and neatness that exists just a few feet away, inside our home, where all things have their designated place and nothing is left to tangle into anything!
Perhaps both the wild and the tamed are factors of emotion that need to co-exist. I know that my head is a consistent space of madness, where like a colourful kaleidoscope, it arranges itself momentarily into ordered patterns before scattering again into other complex configurations. However, my exterior composure most often, will never let you know the inner circus of my thoughts!
The struggle of Nasreen Mohammedi who fought her neuron disorder and continued with the precision of her art that required complete steadiness of her hands; is for me one of the most compelling life lessons where the conflict with opposing forces existed and how one often battles to find those infrequent moments of balance and harmony for oneself.
For me the conflict sometimes is in how much of the outside world should I shut out and how much must I let in. Like a see-saw, this is the balancing act of opposing forces to which my own plumb line of balance and harmony is connected. Sometimes I topple over, at others I can find that wonderful moment where everything in the universe is exactly right!