Transparent Dreams - An India Journey
A Lyrical Memoir
Susan Tait Charman
Nearing midlife, Susan leaves her home, son, and family in the Gulf Islands of British Columbia, embarking on a journey to find her younger brother, gone for twelve years on a spiritual quest. Upon arrival in southern India, she is joyously reunited with her brother and drawn into his home, the experimental international community of Auroville. Her life begins to unfold in undreamed-of ways as she becomes deeply immersed in the magic of India and drawn to the idealistic tropical lifestyle of Auroville; she stays for the next fourteen years. After an initial stint as a photographer, Susan returns to working with fabric, her first passion, and establishes a studio. The intensely concentrated nature of the projects forges bonds with her expert local tailors. Her creative work changes and grows, inspiring her and eventually sending her in international directions. Susan’s life is thrown into upheaval when one of her tailors is accused of murdering his wife and jailed. In the aftermath of the death, she has to take a stand and make a number of difficult choices. The painful and often lonely times that follow are a challenge, but also a powerful catalyst for insight and personal growth. Transparent Dreams—An India Journey is a compelling and passionate memoir of a significant time in a remarkable life. Compiled from a collection of spontaneous journal entries, notebooks, and correspondence, this intimate work opens a window into the experiences and feelings that underlie individual transformation.
Susan Tait Charman has been an artist and designer, mostly working with cloth, since the 1980s. A move to the International City of Auroville (in South India) in 1986 evolved into full-time studio work, including designs in clothing, interior décor, and sets and costumes for theatre and dance. Susan has had exhibitions and collections in Holland, England, France, Australia, and Rome, as well as many locations in the United States, Canada, and India. Susan returned home to British Columbia in 2000, filling a need for quiet, fully personal work. In addition to creating designer works with cloth and hand-painted functional glass, she loves to cook for people. She lives with her husband Dan on their Pender Island farm in the Salish Sea. Susan’s mother, who lived on her own on Pender until just after her 90th birthday, insisted that “we must do something creative every day.” Susan tries very hard to live up to that.
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