It’s the next day when I write this story. National museum, I did my homework. The show was on Rama, ramakatha, 101 miniature paintings, I was seeking inspiration as the show date was nearing. But I wanted to walk, walk to the museum. I wanted to experience the heat and the sun, the humidity. And also working in the space of jan-path, the art research space, this was a break since I was either there or finishing up some work. So it had to be a meaningless journey even if tiny.
An artist had mentioned as he saw the works scattered on the glass table, how the A 4 size works were a world inside the sheet and the marks on the wall were in an opposite direction. I wanted to discover something of this world today…
I could hardly walk on this crushed stone path. As I changed my route, I had no choice as my shoe stepped in cake like mud path soaking the sole with wet mud.
I took an opportunity to sit in the shade and clean my shoe as I waved it in the water lawns at India gate. I also wetted my shoe further in such attempts. In these moments, or action of floating the shoe, I noticed a tiny wing of a large bee struggling to survive but nearly dead and spinning.
I do remember that I saved the ant whom I had flicked into the backwaters of kerela, few months ago. Early morning when I saw the ant walking on the edges, I threw the ant into the still waters… When I saw the ant making efforts to reach the edge wall, and swimming left towards me, I decided within seconds to save it by extending a stick as a support.
I saved that ant but this time since my socks were wet, I had taken one off to dry and the humidity and my mood, I did not make the effort to save it. I was also seeing the efforts being made by the bee and also I had not pushed it in the water, so I did not feel the need. I kept on watching it if it would shake one of the wings.
Even at night, at home I thought about the bee, I felt in its moments of floating, it was as much part of the green waters as I was watching it. I imagined it to be sinking into the few feet, may be two meet base and been eaten by the water insects, how each part of it will be used up by the other living organism around it.
I kept clicking with my newly bought I phone for that perfect image I would put on the blog and make a connection to the existing drawing project. I was not sure of the connection but knew that the use of the fly is no coincidence.
I did wonder, now I’m wondering what wonder means to me! I did wonder how the bee got into the water. I know for sure the bee can not survive in water. It is meant to fly and it is not a bee which can survive under water. So how did it… Was the bee wounded, or was it hunting for something and got attacked by a fish or an insect in the water. Is It a sick bee and just could not fly anymore and found the surfaces such as the ground, or the tree or the water as something to lie on and die.
The phenomenology of everyday experiences
‘What we normally think of as being the ‘physical world’ is part of what we experience. It is not apart from it. And and there is no mysterious, additional experience of the world ‘in the mind or brain’.
Photo sensors in the eye respond to electromagnetic energies radiated, reflected and refracted by such entities in the external world.
Quotes taken from Understanding Consciousness, second edition, Max Velmans, Routledge, 2009
I could not hear, touch, smell the floating bee, I could only see it and understand something as I would see the wing move once in a while. I am sharing what physics would explain about the visual sensory function.
As I write I also think, or I did think for a moment of the bee and its ability to see me, maybe it wanted me to save him or her. Would I feel the same when I see a leaf, or the water. It is of some relation to me, to experience some one looking at me. I write in context of where I can not communicate through language. The bee could not say or shout that it needed help, but I’m sure of something…
I also question, does a drawing, a sketch have an effect of communication to me and the viewer. do I transfer this experience of memory when I draw a moment. How do I find drawing as an effective way to capture such thinking.
I never reached inside the museum. I read outside that its closed on Monday’s. But since I wanted to have the visual experience I decided to walk the city. What struck me was the condition of the trees, how they have been harmed so brutally. In my colony the construction trucks, bulldozers, water tanks often tear the tree in many places. This tree stood by itself and I could not resist going back to it and taking a photo. The whole road was getting constructed, rather the sides of the footpath. This tree was part of the sidewalk.
I did think of the trees I had recently drawn. They were from the miniature art world, a slight perspective. None of them were wounded. They were all happy just like a miniature art painting.
I had reached the end of the path, had moved away from the crushed stone route… Had reached the main road, main here means the road where there is traffic, where you can not discover anything, a route which is there on every map.
Before I jumped the little gate, the little iron spike gate left from the colonial period, I turned around to see the slush marks on the wet surface, where the machines had torn the surface as if like froth or cream.
When I make a mark, it is on a surface of the paper, this seemed like digging into a surface with colour, scale and noise, an effort of the machinery and it is not a miniature format because the driver is going over a large canvas and it is in a space without any boundaries. I do capture through the lens of the camera, but I also see it through visual senses, as an area which focuses it self and the surrounding images become blurred. It is for those moments when I reflect back at what I intend to see.
‘Ruskin advocated an ‘innocent eye’ in order to see truly’
Joined Up: Contemporary Collaborative Drawing, Michelle Fava, 2009