Sunday, May 10, 2009

making friends

New friends can arrive unexpectedly as delightful surprises bearing the gifts of mutual experience and understanding. More often we have to work on making new friendships. In our sterile culture we're careful about giving too much information about our thoughts and deeper feelings. A lifetime of subjective lessons doesn't translate easily between acquaintances of short duration but we try and that can only be good.

This is a picture of a friend I made in the purely literal sense of the word. His name is Baba Ganoosh and he required more effort than I've had the time or inclination to spend on most people in recent years. Of course, most people would object to having their skeleton twisted of sculpture wire, their head and hands moulded and baked from polymer clay, muscles made from cotton balls and gauze, joints of wooden beads and all covered in the blue skin of a favorite spandex camisole. Baba didn't mind at all and only seemed to become more pleased with each enhancement. His braids and wild long hair were glued and sewn on bit by bit; his eyes and smile lit up with a little paint. His boots were fashioned from the fingers of an old pair of gloves given to me by my mother (thanks, Mam), pantaloons from a dress I bought one afternoon on Thayer St. in Providence and his jacket from a bookmark a friend brought home from Turkey. Best of all, nestled deep inside, is the pink amethyst heart pendant I wore as a child. It's a little cracked but Baba is healing it for me. That's what friends are for.

I met another friend recently at yes is red where I discovered this beautiful little painting. When I asked if I could have it to show you Rene spoke of having painted it a few years ago and I was triple delighted. It's always good to have friends who are confident of their talents and willing to share.

Happy Mother's Day to all my friends.


René Wing said...

Oh, if only I had little thumb-sized feet and I could beg a pair of those red boots... The last part of that post on Baba Ganoosh brought me to tears. What a marvelous healer you have brought into form. thank you for the honor of letting Buddha Dog shine alongside him (well, under him, but that's good too). Love to you~

Lisa said...

I am forever inspired by your creativity and your warmth, Susan. I don't know if I've told you how much I look to you for wisdom, grace and a steady, calm approach to things, but I do.

So I followed your link to Rene Wing and was fascinated by her blog, too. I especially enjoyed her approach to dealing with deer.

I am grateful for the new friends and the old. As you know, MathMan jokes me about collecting people, but I find that having a broad spectrum of friends and acquaintances is what keeps life interesting.

Thank you for sharing Rene's work with us.

Hi, Rene!

Seraphine said...

baba is amazing. i especially like the gloves for boots, because the boots are my favorite thing. but giving baba a heart, giving baba a heart, that's touching and something a mother could do.

susan said...

rene - Sorry I don't know how to do the accent aigu (?) with my keyboard. I loved your little Buddha Dog the second I saw him. There are many ways of bringing healing energy into the world and we need them all.

lisa - That's such a kind and sweet thing for you to say. It's just that I'm old enough now to have achieved a taste of equanimity.

The thing about groups of like minded people is that we can consult with one another and gain in wisdom. The internet means we can learn from a larger group :-)

sera - Baba hasn't made an appearance here in a long time but this is where he sits now with his hands in a mudra so he can meditate on my behalf when I'm otherwise involved. I love his boots too but the heart has been secret til now.

Spadoman said...

Very nice, very creative. The idea of the items used and the remembrance of them in a form is precious.
Wonderful work of art and spirit.

Gary said...

Lovely post Susan. And Baba Ganoosh looks like he appreciates your effort to not only bring him to life, but to give him an amethyst heart.

Utah Savage said...

Baba is so handsome and so beautifully attired. You are such an amazing artist.

And thanks for the new site to add to the blog roll. Rene sounds like my kind of woman.

laughingwolf said...

i love baba, the fat, golden god, and the wee painting, susan... thank you!

susan said...

spadoman - I don't tend to hang family photos as I can get lost in them but I do have some very personal icons.

gary - He does the work when I'm distracted :-)

utah - He's wonderful, isn't he? He was also one of the most difficult projects I've ever done.. and cost me a little blood too.

:D wolf - That's as close as I've come to making a little altar :-)

Lover of Life said...

I love this piece of art. You are so incredibly creative! This is truly a treasure. Thanks so much for sharing him with us.

Rene' also is a wonderful cook - check out her "red sauce"!

susan said...

lol - Yes, he's a sweet little guy and I swear his expressions change in a subtle way depending on my mood.

I rather like the rice pudding recipe and the oatcake one. I'm not much of a fan of Mexican food.

Seraphine said...

hearts are almost always hidden. you have to listen closely to even hear them.

dragonflydreamer said...

How fitting that I would arrive to your space in the blogosphere under the banner of making friends. I am in awe of Baba Ganoosh and the little cracked heart you gave him to heal has touched my little cracked heart. I've kept it hidden from everyone except my little family for so long that it has come flooding out and I am so grateful I was guided to Rene' and now you. Thank you for reaching out to me as I cannot tell you how much it has meant to me.

The Crow said...

Susan, you are my shaman of the heart. I am glad we have encountered each other.

Baba Ganoosh is so handsome; a beautiful work of art and spirit.

La Belette Rouge said...

Your friend is beautiful. I took a course on making such a friend. It was a lot of fun and a lot of work. I think it was an 8 week class. Hard but fun.

And, OMG, that Buddha dog is soooo cute. I am going over there is soon as I leave here.

Randal Graves said...

Baba is pretty damn cool.

Scarlet W. Blue said...

Happy Mudder's Day to you, too, Susan. Love the Baba...thing. The story of how Baba came to be is the best part.

Scarlet W. Blue said...

Not that Baba isn't very, very cool, because he is. I guess it's the sharing it with us, the story and all, that I really, really liked.

Oh, never mind. sigh.

Steve Emery said...

I LOVE the way you made him! Wonderful. And the amethyst heart is the crowning touch. Lovely to know it's there, though unseen. "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye." (A large part of why I love foxes.)

susan said...

sera - Yes, we do.

dragonfly d - Welcome to phantsy. I hope you're starting to feel better.

the crow - Yikes! So am I and I'm delighted you like him.

belette - He's been well worth the effort. going to meet Rene is worth even more.

randal - Yes, he is :-)

scarlet - I knew what you meant :-)

steve - Beautiful hidden things have a way of shining through.

Pagan Sphinx said...

Sorry to be late to meet your friend Baba Ganoosh. His name inspired memories of one of my first exotic meal preparation of the same name. I love his bemused expression. I think he and I would get on just fine. ;-)

Happy belated mother's day to you, Susan, with much love.


susan said...

pagan sphinx - The one thing about Baba is he doesn't mind waiting to meet new friends. When I learned his name I laughed :-)

Anonymous said...

Skippy sends her thanks for the Mother's Day wish. Making and keeping friends is indeed work, but like your art, the fruit it bears lasts a lifetime.

All seriousness aside, you may want to take Baba Gonoosh to outside once and a while. His blue complexion is a sure sign he may be need of some fresh air.