Connected \\ April 3, 2020
PEMcast Episode 16: Creative Constraint
Siddhartha Shah, Curator of Indian and South Asian Art. Photo by Bob Packert/PEM.
We learned so much about Shah’s own daily ritual, an elaborate and personal spiritual practice, and about the traditional Indian culture he grew up in outside of Chicago. It was helpful to have a daily dose of someone else’s struggles and observations through this strange time of global pandemic and social distancing.
Siddhartha Shah doing a daily mantra writing practice. Courtesy photos.
Derby helping with spring flowers. Photo courtesy of the author.
God knows when we are all so worried about the people in our lives, the love we share with our pets is helping.
Since we also like to be helpful, we hope you enjoy Episode 16 of the PEMcast, where in addition to sharing thoughts on a spiritual practice, Shah also introduces us to Hindu deities and the wisdom they can impart to us during this time. In this episode, you can also follow me on this spiritual journey … as well as my frustrations and discoveries as I make my way around a shuttered Salem in search of signs of humanity — and beer.
“May we never bear away when we see a friend in distress.” These words are from a toast offered during the anniversary celebration of the East India Marine Society in 1806. The foundational members of the museum (which went on to become PEM) knew that, when faced with tests of will and endurance, a higher moral principle must guide us. In their time, they spent months at sea, wrestling with the unknown, with dangers both seen and unseen. More than 200 years later, we find a salient common bond. We, as a community, are in this together.