Monday, October 18, 2010

Art Therapy at No. 11

Last Tuesday I had a bad start to my day.  Right after preparing breakfast for hubby I decided to change the mineral water in the dispenser.  It was heavy and I always had trouble doing this task.  As I was fitting the spout of the bottle to the water dispenser, it slipped, the bottle came crashing down, the pressure pushed the cap out and water came gushing to the floor.  Waahhh, not this early in the morning!  So to avoid further accidents or damage I cleaned it up immediately.  The mess was gone just as hubby got out of the room all set for work.  I went on my day but my spirit was dampened, pardon the pun, by that early morning water disaster.  And as with any bad day, all of these questions just popped to my mind: how long will I be in this situation (no HR-related work)? Will my 2 years be just holed up in our house (well that’s an exaggeration)?  Will I ever get back to work again?  You know, questions of someone who is having withdrawal symptoms from the everyday grind of a working woman.

So in search of something beautiful in an otherwise crappy day, I decided to go and check out No. 11.  No. 11 33rd Lane is the former Colombo abode of one of architecture’s finest, Colombo-born Geoffrey Bawa (  His talent was harmonizing the indoors with the outdoors.  Like pockets of garden in the house where elements of nature come in – sunlight, water, birds chirping, etc. 

It was not difficult to find the house but it was unassuming – precisely because it’s a house like any other.  No signage or other marker except the No. 11.

I was toured by a lovely lady in the premises and gave me a glimpse of what Geoffrey Bawa’s life was like.  His home was a museum of sorts – as he is in a creative field working with many creative minds like him and he was often gifted with their awesome creations!  He infused many different elements that are not necessarily symmetrical with everything else but in a way when you put them all together they create a stunning look (not created for the market i.e. Ikea but created as an expression of beauty overflowing from within).  And you know that this home took time to be what it is now.  At first he bought one townhouse, then as time when on and people started to sell their units, he bought all four of them.  The furnitures were also from different generations – some antique some modern.  It didn’t have any a “created” look but rather a “lived in” look.  One that spoke about the journey of a man and the man himself.

And a crappy day it no longer was.  To be engulfed in such beauty can turn any sour day into a better one.  My art therapy at No. 11.

That visit didn’t give me the answers I was seeking.  But made me think about this process I’m taking.  As my closest friends and family would know, I am an impatient person.  Always wanting things to be done now, to be achieved now, to be now.  But my mentor has taught me that I should respect the process.  And that it is what it is – a process.  My life can have all of these questions and days may be dampened by a spill or two.  It is a work in progress, something that takes a lot of twists and turns.  But like Mr. Bawa’s house, when you take a step back it always is a beautiful mosaic of people, experiences, places, moments and creations that speak about the journey of a woman and the woman herself.  It is ok not to be fixed, or not to be in symmetry or not “like” how I planned it.  It is ok to be a work in progress.  I just need open myself up to the experience and the possibilities that lay ahead.  And maybe let go of the past a little bit in order move forward to what life God wants for me now.  And for that, I had No. 11 to be thankful for.


  1. Loving the sights. And the insights!

    Looking at something beautiful always does wonders for the soul. :)

    Here's to embracing life as it comes. :)


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