|March 03, 2015||Ghost Wars||no comments|
|February 26, 2015||A Room Of One’s Own||no comments|
|February 24, 2015||Wabi Sabi?||no comments|
|February 19, 2015||Audacity, Clarity and Plain Speaking||no comments|
|February 17, 2015||It Takes A Life Time||no comments|
|February 12, 2015||The Clean Air of Pittsburgh-Not||no comments|
|February 10, 2015||Practicing Gratitude- Or Not?||no comments|
|February 05, 2015||The New Office Supply: Make More Happen||no comments|
|February 03, 2015||As Is Your Deed As Is Your Destiny||no comments|
|January 29, 2015||His Memory Is A Blessing||no comments|
With all of this ridiculous over-coverage of Netanyahu’s speech today, the more important story of Iraqi Force pushing to control ISIS-Held Tikrit has been pushed to the back burner. I’m not sure how I happened upon it at this particular time, but it’s never too late to read Ghost Wars, the Pulitzer Prize winning history of US involvement in Afghanistan from the anti-Soviet uprising in the 1980s. Coll explains in a remarkably patient, non-partisan way, the ugly history of the US government in Afghanistan since the Soviet invasion in 1979. He gives the complete bird's eye perspective of the geopolitics of the Taliban, al Qaeda, Afghan communists, Massoud's Northern Alliance, Saudi royals, Iranians, the CIA, the Defense Department, the State Department, Soviets, and countless mujahedin warlords.
The original sin of America’s involvement in Afghanistan was our clandestine arming of the mujahedeen and then our abandonment of the country after the Soviet retreat. To compound the problems, we watched as Pakistan openly dragged its feet challenging the Taliban concentrating instead on its nuclear treat to fight its equally nuclear-armed neighbor, India.
American diplomats spent years pressing Islamic allies to force the Taliban to give up bin Laden. President Clinton spent hundreds of hours poring over satellite images and intelligence reports trying to pin him down before he attacked us. He failed and thousands of Americans died in 9/11 and the two wars that followed, but Ghost Wars proves that U.S. military leaders saw 9/11 coming years before it happened and chose actions that made us had a zero percentage of stopping it. I would hate, hate, hate to see us make the same mistake twice!
Both coming from previous marital experiences, Steve and I form a new-age reconfigured family. Of our five adult children, only one is currently in a traditional family structure.
The Census Bureau reported that in 2010, the proportion of married households in America dropped to a record low of 48 percent. Fifty percent of the adult population is single, compared with 33 percent in 1950. The median age for getting married has been rising, and for those who are affluent and educated, that number climbs even higher. In the same year, 2010, nearly twice as many single women bought homes as did single men.
The book, Unhitched, decouples and undermines the taken-for-granted relationships between love, marriage, and parenthood of the one-size-fits-all vision of family values. Taking on prejudices of left, right and center, Unhitched, poses an empirical challenge to the belief that the nuclear family and confirms that family diversity is here to stay.
Through compelling stories of real families navigating inescapable personal and political trade-offs between desire and domesticity, Sex at Dawn, uses evidence gathered from human physiology, archaeology, primate biology and anthropological studies of world-wide pre-agricultural tribes to give an accurate sense of where we came from, why we are the way we are, and why certain aspects of family feel like a bad fit, encouraging more tolerant openness about sexuality and marriage.
It’s a small comfort to know that we are no longer an anomaly but still I wonder when and how we will get to a consensus of family values that allow true acceptance of multiple family forms.
Wabi Sabi is the Japanese art of finding beauty in incomplete impermanent imperfection. It is a mind-set of nuances and subtleties that embraces the cracks, crevices and marks of time and action in the natural process of irregularity, intimacy, earthiness, unpretentiousness, and simplicity.
Think of your favorite anything. It is worn, faded, softened, used; yet you love its underplayed beauty deeply and intent to hold onto it forever. That’s wabi-sabi.
I have been increasingly conscious, for the last 10 years or so, of deaths among my contemporaries. My generation is on the way out, and each death I have felt as an abruption, a tearing away of part of myself. There will be no one like us when we are gone, but then there is no one like anyone else, ever. When people die, they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate — the genetic and neural fate — of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death.
I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved; I have been given much and I have given something in return; I have read and traveled and thought and written. I have had an intercourse with the world, the special intercourse of writers and readers.
Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure. Oliver Sacks
I begin with my experience- recalling past projects that fit into the same classification. For example, someone is interested in a curtain- I look back at all of my curtain projects and see what will help me this time.
I search through other pieces of art that will engage my creativity looking for innovations that will help make this piece better.
I go through the materials and organize them to make sense for this particular project.
I decide on the format- do I need a drawing? a pattern? a series of cuttings? Are there different components to the project- does it need a border- will it be used as wall art? What is the backing?
Finally, the work begins, a very organized and speedy process of cutting, piecing, ironing, pinning, observing, correcting, noting, quilting, binding....................
How long does it take to make a quilt? A lifetime of experience.
I often think of the classic scene in Catch 22 where Yossarian thinks he has saved Snowden by putting a tourniquet around his thigh, only to open his jumpsuit and find his guts pouring out under is armpits. In this context it came to mind comparing my daily concerns about recycling and driving my car after reading this article in the PG about Pittsburgh air quality. A CMU professor generated maps that identified 70 sites from the Shenago coke works on Neville Island to the Heidelberg-Carnegie area close to Route 79 to the East Busway in Oakland with unexpectedly higher pollution levels.
95 percent of the United States complies with the EPA’s standards, set in 2012, for fine particulate matter, a type of air pollution known to cause premature death but Allegheny County is part of the 5% that is out of compliance. What can we do?
Get familiar with NACAA, the national, non-partisan, non-profit association of air pollution control agencies that encourages the exchange of information communication and cooperation among federal, state, and local regulatory agencies. Join The Breathe Project, a coalition of residents, businesses, government and many other groups in southwestern Pennsylvania whose mission is to promote a collective understanding and vision to improve our region’s air quality. Start with the their absolutely fascinating BreateCam and invest in ways that support all of their recommendations:
(1) Every reasonable step should be taken to ensure the largest local industrial air pollution sources are subject to stringent emissions controls and are not in violation of their permits. “Pay to pollute” is not a viable way to regulate facilities with violations.
(2) A comprehensive plan to reduce diesel emissions should be developed and various strategies should be employed to decrease their contribution to the problem. These efforts should include idling law enforcement, adoption of clean construction policies and retrofit/replacement projects. We should emulate some of the institutions in Pittsburgh that already have taken the lead to accomplish these goals.
(3) Mass transit, bike lanes and carpooling should continue to be incentivized.
(4) Laws on wood burning should be strengthened and enforced. There is no reason why entire portions of neighborhoods should be smoked out by a handful of wood burners whose emissions infiltrate into others’ homes and make yards virtually uninhabitable.
(5) Inventories should be conducted in the neighborhoods, schools and parks where we and our children live, work and play to assess their air pollution burden and contributing factors. With this information, steps should be taken to reduce sources within their control and to demand that regulators work harder and faster to clean up those sources outside of residents’ control.
I have spent my whole life on the quest of being taken seriously. It stems from that naturally occurring underdog place in our society being a female, being Jewish, being a fiberartist. There isn’t an event that doesn’t occur (I know that is a double negative) where my defensive lens doesn’t (now it’s a triple negative) cast a shadow.
An example is at hand with all of the great publicity I received last week. There was this wonderful article in the Post Gazette about the theme of my exhibit at the American Jewish Museum of The Jewish Community Center and this report about my visit and talk at Allegheny College in Meadville.
Here is my question-how would these two articles have been written if I were a white unaffiliated male painter? Do you see the source of my discontent- my inability to simply be happy and accepting-the nagging feeling of walking along a razor edge rather than a sandy path?
What would Bubbe say to all of this? Louise, you are who you are. You have worked hard. You have learned life-long lessons. You have accomplished great feats. Be grateful. Be faithful. Continue to forge your unique calling. It was meant to be.
I heard on the news yesterday that Staples is buying Office Depot. Have you been in Staples lately? I love how they have updated themselves to consumer needs. They have broadened their categories, streamlined their offerings and added an actual USPS post office that compares its prices to UPS- all with no lines and a free parking place. When you go, tell them Bubbe sent you!
The greatest hunger in life is not for food, money, success, status, security, sex, or even love from the opposite sex. Time and again people have achieved all these things and wound up still feeling dissatisfied- indeed, often more dissatisfied than when they began. The deepest hunger in life is a secret that is revealed only when a person is willing to unlock a hidden part of the self. In the ancient traditions of wisdom, this quest has been likened to diving for the most precious pearl in existence, a poetic way of saying that you have to swim far out beyond shallow waters, plunge deep into yourself, and search patiently until the pearl beyond price is found. The pearl is also called essence, the breath of god, the water of life…labels for what we, in our more prosaic scientific age, would simply call TRANSFORMATION. Deepak Chopra, The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life
Secret #1: The Mystery of Life is Real
Secret #2: The World Is in You
Secret #3: Four Paths Lead to Unity
Secret #4: What You Seek, You Already Are
Secret #5: The Cause of Suffering Is Unreality
Secret #6: Freedom Tames the Mind
Secret #7: Every Life is Spiritual
Secret #8: Evil is Not Your Enemy
Secret #9: You Live in Multidimensions
Secret #10: Death Makes Life Possible
Secret #11: The Universe Thinks Through You
Secret #12: There is No Time But Now
Secret #13: You Are Truly Free When You Are Not A Person
Secret #14: The Meaning of Life Is Everything
Secret #15: Everything is Pure Essence
The Source of Happiness is: Nonlocal, Detached, Impersonal, Universal, Beyond change, Made of essence. Happiness is not a unique thing. It is one flavor of essence among many.
May you and I be safe
May you and I be well
May you and I be happy
May you and I live with ease
Arthur Jaffe created the most exciting innovative collection of over 4,000 artists' books and ephemera at the Jaffe Center for Book Arts in the Wimberly Library at Florida Atlantic University. His selection includes the widest parameter of aesthetics and book structures that defy traditional content and structure to be found anywhere. He encouraged, supported, and loved book artists like no other. I am proud to be a part of Arthur’s legacy and I’m saddened to lose him.