Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Nirel's Adventures

Tonight we adjourned to the Linus Pauling House (his boyhood home on Hawthorne Boulevard in Portland, Oregon), to listen to my friend Nirel (whom I haven't seen in ages) recount her adventures from around the world.

She'd started in Calcutta, with her two adult children, a young man and young woman, both beautiful, as she is, and rejoined with her yoga teacher, some hours outside the city, in a truly isolated area. After some weeks of this, they'd traveled to Goa by train, at which point the siblings went back to America, first the daughter, then the son. Nirel stayed on with her colleague. They were to work on a high end art book in Paris, about yoga and the human form.

Her adventures took her onward to Paris then, followed by Athens, the Greek islands, Amsterdam, Italy, Norway and then home (I'm abbreviating the trajectory, which was more of a pinball machine). Her culture shock upon arrival in Paris, after months in India, was severe, though she ended up loving Paris too. Italy, arrived at by ferry from Greece (some stories there), was beyond charming. Milano, where Bruno began, was in full fashion.

Her photography is superb and unvarnished, with special attention to signage, iconography, how they do hygiene. She's an inveterate anthropologist and loves humans enough to not weary of these journeys. This makes her lovely to be with, and it's no mystery why she has so many friends around the world, true admirers and fans (myself one of them; I wave to all of you others).

I left pretty early after the talk, wanting to buy Tara some tea. The venue was packed, as one would expect. This was a highpoint of 2010, I have to confess. I wish Tara could have come (she was definitely invited), and Lindsey too.

Walker got hit by a car again, at night in a crosswalk, light in her favor, and is pulling yet another all nighter at the DIY bike shop, getting the tractor bike back into shape for the big adventure. The front wheel was destroyed.

As some Cult of Athena guy, let me just say I feel surrounded by enlightened souls, praise Allah. These are amazing human beings (among other animals).

Speaking of other animals, they're kind to cows in India, but not to dogs so much. Bhutan seemed friendlier to dogs to me as well. Lots of anthropology here. Lets show Best in Show in Calcutta sometime (note to ambassador), also Goa?