Clean and Elegant

Clean and Elegant

Thursday, 7 April 2016

The Erica Museum

It appears I have left the sub-continent.
Now I am in Canada. Montreal, as fate would have it.

I thought that India would involve more sex, and more blogging. But that’s okay. Now I have a whole bunch of extra condoms I can put in the Erica Museum I’m about to blog about.

The girl I am subletting from for April kindly emptied her plentiful shelves. I am curating the shelves with my suitcase and two backpacks full of stuff. Since returning from India, I have added an extra suitcase to my life. At first, this generated mixed feelings; however, I think that ultimately it expanded my curating options. Isn’t curating a delightful word?  One might also say, Curation, though I am not entirely sure about that.

 
Me and My Life with the Extra Suitcase
My room is large and sunny. It came with two beds, two sets of shelves, and a weird pale peach coloured dresser. Included on the biggest bed was a Canadian Version of the Ugly Polar Fleece Bedsheet. It reminded me of India, and this instilled unrivalled comfort. I have nicknamed the Canadian Version of the Ugly Polar Fleece Bedsheet (CV/UPFB), the Deer Duvet. As a source of sexual gratification, it is working reasonably well, as such polar fleece items generally do. These days I tend to leave the Deer Duvet rolled up.  
Deer Duvet
Palm Tree Wallpaper. The photo does not do it justice.
On the walls, there is absolutely nothing apart from three long strips of palm-tree covered wallpaper, framed together. I’ve never seen framed wallpaper before, not even in India. What good fortune. If I had tape, I would add to the walls a birthday/going away card from my sister. It is a picture of a photographer taking a photo of a whole bunch of people’s bums. Full Moon Portrait, it is called. My sister generously labelled some of the bums with names and initials of some folks whose bums I saw and/or came close to seeing this year. How nice that at the birthday dinner table, my father and his girlfriend got a sense of what I’ve been up to.
Full Moon Portrait. If you don’t see your name on a bum, blame my sister.
As it happens, I do not have any tape.
However, I am the very proud owner of scissors. And they made it into Exhibit One of 19. While I was in Delhi, I purchased a large pair of blue scissors for 90 rupees. Since then, I have been cutting my own hair and it is one of the greatest joys of my life. Travelling with scissors means that on airplanes, you no longer qualify for the prestigious Strictly Carry-On luggage status. But let me tell you, it is totally worth it.
Exhibit One of 19 + Scenes from a Haircutting Party, Bangalore
Exhibit One of 19 also features the Juno nominated children’s CD, “(name concealed due to the Dignity of my Somewhat Famous Relatives),” in addition to the intermittent presence of my I-pad mini, whose redness brings together a rewarding motif of primary colours.

Now we are going to skip the purse, shoes and broccoli t. shirt exhibits to get right to Shelf Nine of 19. Purple Combination Lock and Chain. Purple Combination Lock is from back in the days when cardiovascular fitness was still a concern and I used to go to Public Lap Swims. I took the combination lock all the way to India and used it to keep various beach house shacks secure. Somehow I remembered the combination which I wrote down in a cloth covered fushia journal in approximately 2009. The journal now exists in an unknown location. I really really really like purple. Same thing for fuschia, despite its elusive spelling.
 
Chain from Shelf Nine
The Chain from Shelf Nine was given to me by my Friend Franck. Franck is a rather spiritual and unusual fellow. In the winters, he hangs out in Rishikesh, writing, helping with a digeridoo factory and talking to God. In the summer, he builds boats in Montreal. Like a real Boatman, not just an arbitrary name I made up for blogging fairy tale purposes. Oh well. Anyways, when I went to Rishikesh, Franck took me up the mountains on his motorcycle. Everyone is dying to know what happened and so we are both going to write a story called, “No Garlic, No Onions, No Toilet Paper.” Franck’s version and Erica’s version. Franck gave me the chain after the motorcycle trip, for my eighteen-hour train ride to Varanasi. God is a big deal for Franck. He talks about God all the time. Even so, he thinks you should lock up your bags on the train. I wanted to leave my chain in Goa, but my Israeli friend convinced me to keep it, in case I ever want to be tied up.
Me and Franck on our way up the mountains.

Plus Me, In the Mountains
No Garlic, No Onions, No Toilet Paper
Exhibit 16: Books.

The Book of Stuff and Whatnot: I helped a bunch of teenagers put together this anthology of short stories, drawings and poems. Perhaps this in itself counts as a sort of curating. In any case, narrowing down my book collection to contain 50% teenage poetry and creative writing was not a terrible choice.  A few excerpts:

The Struggle:
My heart feels ever so heavy.
I’m about to stumble. I’m feeling unsteady.
I feel like I could forever fall. I just can’t stop hitting this hard, brick wall.
My head spins.
And I feel like I’m not going to win.

The Hardest Part:
Even though my mind knows it, my heart refuses to accept the truth.
That you are gone from me.
Forever...

Curiosity Killed the Cat (A Sonnnet)
They say curiosity killed the cat.
Now and then, notice where your head is at. 

The Book of Stuff and Whatnot + a book about Ashtanga Yoga and Having Babies
Yoga Sadhana for Mothers: Shared experiences of Ashtanga Yoga, pregnancy, birth & motherhood: For someone who has no desire to bear her own child or be a mother and/or practice Ashtanga Yoga, I read this book incredibly quickly. I think I am going to pass it on to my Pregnant Friend, who is no longer pregnant, but who has remained my Pregnant Friend in my psyche. Maybe you have friends like that.
 Hazy Indian Currency/Condom/Bandaid/Broken Rock Mini Museum
Indian Currency/Condom/Bandaid/Broken Rock Mini Museum: Here we have the leftover Indian currency, the leftover Canadian condoms I took to India – there were more than two, but I gave some to friends, and selected these specially for my exhibit – and the broken brown rock that my friend Naomi gave me to heal my painful gushing periods. And bandaids. I smashed the menstrual rock in my seven-dollar hotel room in Rishikesh. From that point on, menstruation ceased for over four months.  The blood came back two and a half days after I curated this exhibit, and the morning before I went to visit Franck. Franck takes full responsibility.

Teenage Poetic Interlude:
The Serenity of a Journal Entry:
As you can see, I adore poetry.
Reading and writing are skills I carry.

(End of Interlude.)
May we all carry these skills all the time.

Some of my clothing made it onto the shelf, including a somewhat fuschia and multi-coloured dress I bought in Goa for 500 rupees, the Threesome Tights, and a fancy frilly shirt my mother game me.
Threesome Tights on Legs, with Birkenstocks
Other exciting exhibits feature Tarot Cards, the Fanny Pack Museum, Generic Spiritual Objects A, B and Others, Burgundy Doc Martens and A Letter from Cambodia. The Erica Museum will be on display for the month of April. That is to say, it is a limited edition. Also, I will need a new apartment come May. And/or another country to live in.
To learn the Secret and Exciting Location of the Erica Museum, please get in touch. Curating/Curation Workshops are also available. The fees are not exorbitant.  But if you’re super short on cash, in lieu of money, I could sort of use a decent sized book for balancing on my head during meditation. I gave, Not That Kind of Girl to some rickshaw drivers in Agra.
Not That Kind of Girl, passed on to young rickshaw drivers in Agra
 
Not That Kind of Girl, on my head
And it seems the teen poets are winning the day.

At the end of The Book of Stuff and Whatnot, they generously wrote me a bio. Whoever taught them how to write bios was an okay teacher. I am pretty happy with this:

Erica Schmidt (Coordinator)
A woman of character and just a touch of both serious and childish nature. An altogether fearless mentor to the writing club, she is fearless in her writing, as well as in real life.

Book: The Book of Stuff and Whatnot
Genre: Murder, Mystery and Imagination

The End.
See you at the museum!


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