At Play

I've been reverting to childhood lately: cutting paper and pasting it to more paper; only the scissors don’t have round ends, and the paste isn’t thick white goop, in a round jar with a brush attached to the lid. It was so enjoyable: no worries about not being able to draw, or how the wash will come out, or lost edges or any of that stuff.

Some friends dropped by with a wedding invitation, and it was so pretty that I grabbed it from R’s hands and lost all interest in the happy event (R was busy anyway, giving them a lecture on the wrongness of extravagant weddings, and the worse wrongness of inviting him to attend them. They didn't mind - we had just gone through the same routine a month ago, with another daughter.). Almost as soon as they left I cut it up and made it into a pocket,

and put in a picture of myself, taken 100 years ago or so, in a kathak pose, and a gift tag with a quotation from a letter which someone wrote to me, in Urdu, at that time:
How can this eastern candle (me!) burn in the palaces of the West?

I glued in the picture of Theda Bara as Cleopatra, to signify that the writer was having a little Orientalist fantasy of his own.

I went on to make several more pockets. I’m planning to bind a book with black pages and glue them in, as in a photograph album. The title of the book will be Où Sont les Neiges, which has two meanings:

1. Où sont les neiges (d’antan) (Where are the snows of yesteryear), because a lot of it will be about the past, about memory; and
2. Où sont les neiges because I live in the tropics, and ou sont les damn neiges, anyway?

Or because it's a monsoon land, maybe I can call it Où sont les nuages? I don't know. Anyway, on - or back - to paper dolls. Or mudpies, or something.

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