Sunday, March 04, 2007

Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been?

Selected early stories by Joyce Carol Oates – is one of the current books I’m reading. It contains the short story of the same title, one of my all time favorites.

Today is: Purim. That Esther, eh? So later, I’ll have to share some of my latest chili conflagration, (I used a bit of Ajwain from Pakistan for the “digestive benefits”)with Lt. McCann, of Snakehead fame.

I’m listening to: Hotel Tara – The Intimate Side of Buddha Lounge and very much like it. Five stars, no, six stars for this one.

I’m Reading:

* F. Scott Fitzgerald, A Life In Letters – edited and annotated by Matthew J. Bruccoli

* Sacred Space by Denise Linn

* Voices of Savannah – Selections from the Oral History Collection of the Savannah Jewish Archives – Valerie Frey, Kaye Kole and Luciana Spraecher

* The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

* Passing In Light by Sharon Ewell Foster – whose first line dragged me right into the book.

I finished The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, and had the bittersweet pleasure of closing the covers for the last time. It was one of those reading experiences that will stick with me for a while.

Some things I dug about The Kite Runner – the description of Hassan, I could see him in my mind so clearly! A China doll, his moon face, eyes like bamboo leaves, his hairlip. The symbolism of the kites, the pomegranate tree, the watch given to him by Baba, and his subsequent dismissal of that watch followed by the reaction of the two little boys, whose actions were misinterpreted by Amir that they wanted his watch, and not what was in his bowl, the gorgeous descriptions of actions which revealed rich detail, a Bukhara carpet of characters.

What I’m Writing

I’ve been thinking a lot about my next writing project, and as usual, my mind travels in directions that are apparently written in Farsi or Cantonese About Bukhara carpets

A young tribal girl who has been taught the art of carpet weaving from a young age would probably have the following carpets and weavings in her dowry:
One Main Carpet (ghali) 9ft.10in. x 7ft.
Two small rugs (dip ghali) 6ft. x 3ft.
One engsi
One decoration for over the engsi (kapunuk)
12 small personal belonging bags 2ft.x1.5ft. and 4ft.x 1.5 ft. (mafrash & torba)
two large bedding bags (chuval or Juwal) always made in pairs
three decorated tent-bands (aq yup) 50 ft long and 2 inch to 1 ft wide

Understand, a six foot rug takes well over six months to make. Say she begins to weave shearings from her family’s sheep when she’s seven or eight – how much of her life is spent creating items necessary to appeal to a husband? He shows up sporting wood, she gets to spend years of her life weaving, shearing sheep, combing and sorting wool.

This is her dowry, her ‘hope chest.’

Dowry: Huge word, huge concept.

More later

No comments: