When we moved to Lecco, we consolidated the contents of our household from Milan with Enrico’s parents’ stuff from their apartment in Rome (they were by then retired to a much smaller place on the seaside in Abruzzo).
In this way we acquired some beautiful furniture, fixtures, knick-knacks, and paintings – all lovely stuff, but… it wasn’t mine, and didn’t reflect anything about my life, nor even our life together.
I did have a few items to contribute, such as these paintings – the one on the left my mother commissioned for Rossella from Iowa artist Killy Beard, the one on the right Mom had done for me by a Thai artist many years before that.
Our ground-floor half bath also displays some of my Asian history (along with our collection of humor books, for those who like to read while enthroned).
There’s a Balinese mirror frame (from my stepmother, Ruth) and two Javanese shadow puppets (Samar, the dwarf protector of the city of Semarang, and Arjuna). Reflected in the mirror is a Kathakali dance mask I bought in India in 1980.
^ During my recent trip to India, at Dilli Haat I bought some leather shadow puppets, if I remember correctly they come from the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. The figures are (left to right) probably Sita, definitely Ganesh (who else?) and probably Lakshman.
But my favorite is this guy:
Ravana: there were several versions of him, but I couldn’t resist the shit-eatin’ grin on this one.
Finally, as you can see in the photo at the top of the page, I have hung outside a long string of Tibetan prayer flags that my classmate Teeran gave me for my birthday this year. I probably failed to observe the auspicious time and style for hanging them, but at least we are in the mountains!
post script: I later returned to Italy after a trip to the US (or maybe after I’d moved back to the US) to find that Enrico had taken down the prayer flags. “The neighbors asked about them,” he said, “wondering if we were having a party.” Sigh.