Sunday, December 26, 2010

Following Ganesh

Thanks to my mom, I just met cultural anthropologist and photographer Stephen Huyler at a recent screening of his film Sonabai (see film excerpt here) during my Christmas vacation in Maine. 

It's perfect how it happened, and it's another synchronistic story of how life works for me.

Several years back, my mom heard Huyler speak about his work with women artists in India and thought that I should meet him because of my experience living in Nepal's Hindu culture. She lives in Maine, and I'm based in the West Coast, so it didn't seem possible at the time.

Earlier this year, Mom saw an exotic looking Toyota Prius in a beach parking lot on the Maine coast. It had a unique paint job with a reddish paisley design--the kind you'd see on a Kashmir shawl--with a dancing Ganesh on one of the passenger doors and a small Ganesh statue mounted on the hood. 

Ganesh Hood Ornament. Brilliant!!!!

She gazed to the shoreline where she thought she saw Stephen Huyler relaxing with what looked like family members. She asked a woman near the car if Stephen was really on the beach. The woman said yes and that it was ok to say hello.  Mom didn't want to bother him, so she returned to her car and drove away.
She told me about what happened and suggested that I contact Stephen through his website. This was sometime back in the late summer of this year. I put it on my to-do list, but didn't feel compelled to do it when she told me. I felt I would know when it was the perfect moment to contact him.

Several weeks ago, I got an intuitive "ping!!!" in my head and I knew it was time to reach out to Stephen. In my email I explained how my mom saw him on the beach. I mentioned how it would be nice to compare travel notes over coffee in Maine or in California where he spends his winters. I'm in California a lot, so I knew it was a possibility.

Stephen replied with a warm message explaining how his documentary Sonabai was to play in a nearby town that night. He invited me to stop by, but knowing that he'd have many people to talk with, he suggested that I visit him in California this spring if I wanted a real conversation. He also mentioned how he tried to find my mom that day at the beach when she saw his car, but she had already driven away-- his niece was the one who spoke with my mom by Stephen's car and let him know that she wanted to say hi.

My parents took me to see his film, and when I met him in the lobby he noted how I contacted him at the perfect time. :-)

This is how life works for me. I keep repeating to myself how I am always in the right place at the right time. It seems to happen the more I say it. My life flows in such a miraculous way and I am grateful.

Even as I write this, there's a snowstorm outside. I just arrived in New York, and if I had tried to fly a day later, my flight would have been cancelled due to the storm.

As for Stephen Huyler, I think this is a "to be continued" story that I will use for a future blog entry.

Have a happy New Year and remember that you are always in the right place at the right time. Thank you for following my adventures. May all your dreams continue to unfold in 2011.

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