Sunday, February 18, 2007

A Sort of Anniversary

I was surprised yesterday about having estimated the amount of background fabric correctly. I find in Friday's Wall Street Journal article on the benefits of aging that I should revel in one of the positives of a brain that's been around 60+ years. I quote from an article, "synapses that encode expert knowledge are written in stone," It seems that anything in which we have become expert, unless we let it lapse entirely, we keep and, in fact, improve. And I have been guesstimating fabric amounts whether for garments or quilts for many, many years.
Brain sceintiest learned about the capacity of well seasoned brains in experiements with air traffic controllers -- and for sure we want them to be at the top of their form ... do you ever think when circling a a busy airport how many other planes are nearby in the air? I do. Likewise, good news for the crossword puzzlers, which I am. As long as you don't stop reading, your vocabulary improves. This makes a good crossworder but as my daughters proved to me recently, it does not necessarily improve your Scrabble game where there's a dependence on word that are short and use the commoness letters ... oh, well...

This is my 100th post on the blog. I think I'll celebrate that with a few very favorite pictures never before shown on this or any blog and a few words about them. First of all, above is a sunrise in the steppes of Mongolia; it was lovely to wake early and walk to a hill above our ger camp and watch the sun come up. Then there is a valley in small mountains in the Gobi Desert with an "ovoo", a cairn or stones piled by passers by, marked with a blue [sky blue is the official color of Mongolia] kata (scarf) with various offerings added to the cairn by those with something to be thankful about.

Below, in the scanned group of four pictures: the top left is the marble tiles on the terrace around the sancturay of the Taj Mahal. This pattern is the pattern that is the background of my Migrating Monarchs quilt about which I wrote a great deal during December when working on it. Next to it is my favorite picture of myself in one of the most wonderful places I have ever visited, the high mountainside area in Tibet, some 30 miles outside Lhasa, called Drak Yerpa with many medtation caves used by mystics, including, legend has it, Milarepa. The monastery once there has been destroyed but a new stupa and some new cave shrines have recently been build. There is a snow storm in the distance over the valley below. A mystic place, incredibly beautiful and fortunately not on the tourist route so not likely to be further spoiled by the Chinese efforts to Disney-fy Tibetan sites for American and other tourists.

The bottom left picture is one of the best I ever took of my grandchildren and their mother, my daughter, Rachel. By now the oldest boy is a sophomore in college and the other two are in high school. And the sleeping man at the right is one of my series of pictures of people sleeping in public. I made a quilt of some of them -- I still occassionly take "sleeper" pictures because I am touched by how vulnerable are people who sleep in public ... and yet, also warmed by the fact than in a way, if the place is very public they are protected by the fact that if anyone were to try to hurt or rob the sleeper some witness would probably interfere. Yes! Skeptics, I believe people would protect the sleeper.

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