Saturday, January 19, 2008

Even in these circumstances

A quote from Shantaram:
The chain restricted my stride to tiny steps. Walking at any faster pace required a shuffling, hip-swinging gait. There were two other men in my room with leg-irons, and by studying their movements I gradually learned the technique. Within a few days, I walked that rolling, shambling dance as unselfconsciously as they did. In fact, by studying them and imitating them, I gradually discovered something more than necessity in their shuffling dance. They were trying to give some grace to their movements, put something beautiful in the sliding, weaving steps, to soften the indignity of the chain. Even in that, I discovered, human beings will find an art.

An existence proof of Dissanayake's idea of art as making special, even at the bottom of society in a Mumbai prison. It's something necessary that we do, not a luxury or frill on the surface of life. Here are some notes from a reading of her books, and some related thoughts.

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