Monday, November 22, 2010

Why I love London

This is why I love London.  One day, we can see art like this...

The Wei Wei sunflower seeds at Tate Modern
(made out of porcelain and individually hand painted)

(A film on the making of the seeds can be seen here)

Even if we are no longer allowed to touch them or
frolic around on them

And the next, someone like me can rediscover a part of my heritage here...

Buddhapadipha Thai Buddhist Temple in Wimbledon

Jake's first Loi Krathong

My first Loi Krathong in about 30 years
(If you look closely, you will see something odd...
I look happy!)

Loi Krathong is the Thai Festival of Lights and for me, celebrating it in London was more fitting in many ways than celebrating it in Thailand.  Not only because my parents don't really celebrate it (and they live in Thailand), but because London has been more my home than anywhere else.  It was great to see half-Thai children running around and hear other Thai people speaking English the way I do, in an English and sometimes even an Anglo-American, accent.  After a lifetime of living everywhere but Thailand, it was the only time I felt at home around Thai people.  I wasn't sure I'd ever feel that way.  It also reminded me that Jake is half-Thai and that this is part of his heritage too.

As I was putting him to bed last night and we did our usual nightly singing of songs, I started singing the Loi Krathong song.  At first I was hesitant about singing it with him, I wondered if he'd be confused about the words being Thai and not English.  But I needn't have worried.  He simply started singing along, asking to hear it again and again and repeating the words like he repeats every other word he hears.  I've always felt ambivalent about the "being Thai" part of myself, because I've had so many difficult experiences around fitting in, but it doesn't have to be that way for Jake. 

At the Tate on Friday, Jake impressed me so much when he sat through the whole 15 minute film of the making of the seeds.  After having seen the seeds (or the stones as he called them), he was thoroughly absorbed in watching the film.  For the first few minutes, I explained here and there what was happening in the film.  But when I saw how utterly absorbed he was in it, I decided to stop and let him have his own experience of it. 

I worry so much about whether I am doing enough for him, I forget that more often than not, all I need to do is step back and give him the space to find his own way.  I am delighted and amazed, yet again, about how much he has to teach me.

1 comment:

tree shadow moon said...

Love you! So happy you went to these two lovely events - so glad you sang that song to Jake too.

You're fab, you really are! And that photo of you is so nice!
The festival looks so delicate and fascinating too!