Full Moon in February: connectedness

January 30th, 2007

FINALLY, enough snow to cast shadows in the moonlight.
Enough to light the way to drive familiar country roads in the dark.

Tonight I had mango sorbet in Sully's… the cozy restaurant right next door to the gallery. It's bone-chillingly frigid outside.

Why am I eating an icy dessert in the full dark of winter in Vermont?

Because I am so darned lucky..
In the first place, we are now starving for color, for the vivid warmth of that tangy leathery, mango peel.
Secondly: the sorbet is there.
One tiny nibble of delicate sorbet and I am transported to the scents and sounds of my mother's kitchen in the shade of an immense mango grove in Asuncion, Paraguay. Dark tile, and soapstone; chopped garlic and onions and raisins in simmering chutney. My mother accumulated mango and avocado recipes. Her own creativity and inventiveness, sprung loose by the abundance of the crop. Outside the kitchen window, just beyond the jury-rigged wringer washer that my father kept cobbled together for years, raucous kiskadees would congregate and call: bold bright yellow birds.  Audible chaos: wind in the leaves; the neighbor's chickens, the neighbor's radio; the neighbor's children playing; the #7 bus careening down the road in front of the house.  Everything echoed within those walls, and the sorbet brought it all back.

Rich and vivid imagery, trapped in my mind, sprung free by a spoonful of tropical flavor.

We played mango polo in the pool, under the shade of the trees, tossing lethally dense fruit at each other. The native Macah peoples loaded the oxcarts with mangos when Mom was finally overwhelmed by the annual harvest. Swarms of yellow jackets hovered over the rotting fruit on the red sand soil.

Tomorrow is my youngest brother's birthday. There was a small black and white tv in the kitchen where he & I would occasionally watch Kung Fu dubbed in Spanish. Now he designs propulsion systems that send satellites into space, and manages/directs a sizeable, aerospace company.

These sensate moments are intense.  Their emotion, sound, color and texture and detail are the palette of my imagery. Although I chose specific components for the composition, they are all part of the fabric of my life. Emerging when I least expect them to tell me something… perhaps about who I am, and what I should do next. Connecting the hemispheres of my brain, and of the continents.

I am acutely aware of how fortunate I have been to have had this opportunity, this vivid experience, then and now. I WORRY so much about the WORLD. How can I be writing about sorbet and my young adulthood, when thousands are dying senselessly in Iraq, and Darfur. It seems incredibly indulgent to make art. And yet, I do. It is the most constant thing in my life since childhood.

Back to Sorbet…
The particular reason they have mango sorbet at Sully's tonight was for their culinary participation in Art in the Snow, a town wide arts celebration, organized to bring a little pizzazz to the dead of winter. The fabulous cooks at Sully's created a "Starry Night Special" of duck with mango sorbet sauce with blueberry swirls. Terrific. Additionally 16 artist's studios were open, merchants about town had fun specials. There was music in the bookstore and at the tavern. All good energy in our little town, on the last days of January.  Check out www.artinthesnow.com

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