Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Diwali: Festival of Lights


I have been beating myself up lately for my lack of organization, for running my life all willy-nilly. I need to work on becoming more structured, more organized in many aspects of my life: diet, exercise, finances, housework, yardwork, artwork, sleep. Seems I'm waking up too many days and racing off to work thinking that TONIGHT, and maybe for the next couple of nights, I will stay home and work hard, and scratch several things off of my to-do list...and then sit back and revel in the forthcoming serenity.

This evening, I showered early, crawled into sweats, and dug into doing rough sketches for icons for software developers. Elves and Ogres are in order, I will brainstorm from 6 p.m. until 11 p.m.; my sketchbook will be full.

And my friend, Ilaiy, who happens to be from India, called me and asked me "Lori, do you know where the (U of I) quad is?" I've lived here all my life. Of course I know. "Take a break, I have a surprise. Come to the quad with me." He would not tell me what it is, this surprise. Ok. I'll bite. I bug him all the way to the quad, as I give driving directions. WHAT is it?

He is tight-lipped. Not knowing he is teasing, I am irritated when he finally leads me to believe it is "Flash Night," and that sorority girls will be lifting their tops. "Why in the HELL would I want to see that?" I snipe, chapped that I was tricked into leaving my artwork.

We parked and walked in, and I see from a distance...lights..everywhere lights. "Have you ever seen THIS?" he said. No...this is not right, unless they've lined the sidewalks with lights since last I was here. It's candles! Thousands and thousands of candles!

It is Diwali, the Festival of Lights, an Indian holiday. The festival on the quad is sponsored by the Indian Graduate Students Association.There are hundreds of students and families there, wishing one another Happy New Year. The literature we picked up reads:
It is through light that the beauty of this world is revealed or experienced. Most civilizations of the world recognize the importance of light as a gift of God. It has always been a symbol of whatever is positive in our world of experience.
Darkness represents ignorance, and light is a metaphor for knowledge. Therefore, lighting a lamp symbolizes the destruction, through knowledge, of all negative forces. Diwali emphasizes the journey from darkness to light."
And the photo doesn't do the evening justice, and there's still time for icons and housework, and tonight I am thankful for my undisciplined nature.

6 comments:

  1. this is beautiful. I'm glad you caught it.

    I don't see you as undisciplined. I see you as spontaneous, flexible, and adventurous. Organization helps things run smoothly but tends to "defat" your life. Wouldn't you rather lead a life rich with experience?

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  2. Wow! It is breathtaking!

    I'm very glad that you went. What a neat experience.

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  3. Anonymous7:18 PM

    The News Gazette had a picture of this on the front page tonight. Your picture looks better. RS

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  4. mad dog8:36 PM

    "Structured" is overrated. Why not shoot for something more exotic like "hirsute"? Gives you something to talk about at parties, after all...

    I like "word verification" here. This time it was "ocarpi" meaning "barnyard swindler" in Swahili (if my high school Swahili is right).

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  5. SS: YES!! Thank you; the next time I can't find a clean spoon in my house, I will rejoice; it is my adventurous nature that keeps me from putting soap in the dishwasher!!

    RS: Didn't catch the NG photo, but thanks. That shot took intense concentration and breath-holding, to keep still while the shutter was open that long. (Does a digital camera have a shutter?)

    MD: HIRSUTE?!! Ok, FIRST of all, I had to go look that up. For the vocabularian challenged, "hirsute" means "covered with coarse hair."

    I can't say I'm striving for that, but my chin is giving the idea a run for it's money. (TMI?)

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