Sunday, January 3, 2010


This Carving of a lion sits on the windowsill here in Cuesta Road, and seems peculiarly ill-positioned against what looks to be fierce wintry weather outside. That apparent blizzard is something of an illusion, however: the sideways slashes of snow are, in fact, a dirty window - still dirty outside, that is, from the fall's construction work to build a new portale (that's one of its handsome pillars on the left) - and the smears are the more visible since A's internal assault, two days ago, on the Inner Grime. Indeed, though, there is still some snow on the ground...

The lion comes from Kovalam, in Kerala, southern India - where someone was selling him in a little beach stall. Kovalam is one of those places I've been to twice - in, I think, 1995 and 1997 - and I'd love to go back, but at the same time dread that its quiet and beauty might have been spoilt - it was touristy enough, but in a very low-key Indian way, with men fishing at the edge of huge long breakers that slowly broke upon the sand, and moist salty sunny air, and lots of people selling mangoes and coconuts. He is one of the least New Mexican things in the house - and hence a complete counterpoint to yesterday's post. There's a baffling box of matches just by him - I guess intended for candles? Or fire-lighting? But, with plenty of south-facing windows - as here - one's more inclined to open them, even when the temperature is eleven degrees fahrenheit outside - than to light a fire.

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