When I gazed upon her beauty, I found peace within . The breeze filtered through my clothes, my hair commanded by the wind and still , I was taken my her. I walked by her sandy shores, her waters washed my feet, kissing the rocks as they bounced back and forth as if to tease them. The sun gave her a twinkle and the moon waited impatiently for the night to fall on her. I captured her , that I may take her away with me. She is I, my creative spirit, my symbol of freedom, my dreams, my solace, desire…..she took my breathe away.
I remember my father , the stories he told, the triumphs he rejoiced over , the trials that made his heart grind to a final stop. I remember my fathers eyes, his fury, his fear, his determination .I remember my father.
Unless you have seen my fathers backyard, you could never understand what drives me. I constantly encounter the ignorant who cannot believe how I strive. They could never hinder me for they know not what grows in my fathers backyard. Mosquitoes have sucked my blood and rats have nibbled off my toe nails but still I stand. I remember the will of my father , his voice telling me that I will not be deterred.
An outward expression of inner beauty, that her substance lies in that which is within her, far from what meets the eye. She is a woman of substance.
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I remember tying a scarf on my head and in my dunlop slippers, walking the dirt roads that lead to the Aswani market every Tuesday. The sweet smell of dried craw-fish in the air, hawkers balancing basins of pure water on their tiny heads and calling out “pure water!!!!! pure water!!!!!” to attract their market of customers and traders alike for they were essential to quench our undying thirst as we melted under the mercy of the mid-day sun, clothes sticking to our bodies as we perspired and dirt sticking to our sweat. Crowded markets and noisy streets blocked with traders wares. The un-ending traffic jam from commercial bus drivers who had no regards for traffic laws and yet in the midst of it all , we still manage to strike good bargains on food and fabric and what ever else the rowdy chaotic market had to offer. Even in the madness, I saw beauty; the beauty of people who lived a humble life, striving to make a living, the beauty of unfortunate innocent children playing in the sand with their bare bottoms covered in dust,the beauty of broken english spoken by the less literate, the sweet sound of multiple local languages and dramatic facial expressions that accompanied those who spoke them, the beauty of colorful bright red and orange tomatoes and peppers carefully displayed on beaten table tops by simple people who could never ask for more than to make a good sale at the end of the day.
“Aswani Tomatoes and Peppers” is on sale at Gallery Guichard, 436 E 47th St, Chicago, IL 60653
(773) 791-700 , contact:-