I doubt if Maria can see it from her end of things, she is deeply absorbed in the rich feast that is India, but from this end of things, it is clear. The trip, just two days in, is already a triumph of voice and perspective for her, she has already, and in the midst of exhaustion and so much to take in, found her voice there and in so many ways – photographs, videos, words and emotions.
Her writing sparkles with feeling and detail, she is a writer now, as well as an artist. And her visual skills infuse her videos and pictures.
India calls out her great heart as well.
In the above photo, Maria is teaching some of the victims of sex trafficking how to make tote bags to sell that are, in her style, spontaneous and free-form. This was a revelation to some of the girls, as they have been following forms and patterns. They loved drawing freely, and this, of course, is pure Maria.
I can see from a distance on this trip things that are so familiar to me, her radiance, generosity and visceral creativity.
Art and love are an integral part of her being, India calls them up. These gifts are so natural to her, they are simply who she is. India is the perfect vehicle for her gifts. It is a feast of good and bad, happy and sad, love and cruelty, prosperity and poverty. Also a tapestry of color and life, I am so happy she got to go on this trip and am overwhelmed by the richness of her voice and feeling.
You can follow her trip here.
Next time, I think there will be a next time, I'm willing to go if I am invited. Maria wants me to come. I had a dream last night of bringing my camera to Kolkata. I wondered if I would be able to handle it there, my heart and all. But I know I can. I'll just make sure not to leave in a howling blizzard.
I've always loved Maria, from the first time I saw her, trying to keep her dog Frieda from eating me. From here to there, wow. And now I admire her greatly as well as love her.
As Dahn texted me from India, "you know this but I'll re-iterate. Your wife is amazing." Yes, she is.