Artist in Yemen

I will be in Sana'a, Yemen, May 27-July 10 2006. I'll be working on my Arabic language skills and painting every day, walking around asking questions about food and gardens and perfume and incense. I'll be studying and living at the Center for Arabic Language and Eastern Studies(CALES)in the Old City of Sana'a. Although I usually paint in reverse on glass, in Sana'a I'll be working in watercolor and mixed media on paper.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Last Day of School

My last class was today. I will miss my teacher, Sina, very much. She is a patient teacher, a wonderful answerer of all my questions about Yemen, and a friend as well. I have been to her house and met her family, and I love her wonderfully funny spirited mom.
I won't miss class though. I've never been much of a student and I'm still not. I don't have the patience to learn the words for parts of speech and grammatical constructions. I've been learning a lot from my informal conversations with Sina, and from my wanderings around town talking and listening and asking my 1000 questions.

So the next chapter begins: a couple of weeks of travel. I'm off on Friday at dawn, flying to the island of Socotra. It's out in the Arabian Sea, very isolated. The plant life is strange Dr. Seuss stuff. They don't speak Arabic there, but Socotri. I'll be there for a week. I am now kicking myself for mailing my snorkel and prescription mask home from France. Foolish me.

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don't go back to sleep. You must ask for what you really want. Don't go back to sleep. People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch. The door is round and open. Don't go back to sleep. -Jelaluddin Rumi