Our own little battles

by Gabriella Sonabend

I speak to my father on Skype and I complain to him about the little battles I am fighting concerning the sale of some of my artwork. He laughs at me dismissively. He has read my most recent entry about the shifting roads and he asks me how I can care for these petty battles when outside my window life is continuing as it is. I feel somewhat embarrassed for my outburst and we say goodbye.

Ten minutes later, I realise that despite the roads and all of the people struggling to survive in this city and in this wonderful, mad and overpopulated country; despite my observations and small insights, my own little battles are still important. Without them I feel I have nothing of my own territory in this strange foreign land. In my white walled room, which acts as a refuge from the hustle and bustle downstairs, if I can’t sit here and worry about petty issues and everyday matters, which concerned me before coming to India, I would no longer have my sense of self.

These little battles do not take away from what I am learning to see and from what I am grappling to understand. On the contrary they add to my experience as they remind me constantly that no matter where I find my feet walking and my eyes falling, I am still connected to my own world, my own landscape, as mundane as it may seem from across the water. They are part of what brings the ‘me’ into this world and allows me to be constantly curious, open and fascinated by what I find.

Sometimes when there is nothing to do at night but write and listen to music, I cherish my own little battles.