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artifacts from past generations

Little Springtime took some embroidery with her to our family's Thanksgiving get-together, prompting my father to bring out a sampler his mother had made when she was in seventh grade, in 1920:

Here's the overall sampler:

sew a fine seamCollapse )

A sixteen-year-old"s engineering notebook, from 1913-1914Collapse )

And last is a photo not from generations past--it's from this most recent generation of oak leaves: an oak leaf gently afloat on a rolling cobweb sea, between the inner and outer windows:

I liked it--so restful, so liminal.

PS--big thank you to everyone who's contributed suggestions in the previous entry. I'm slowly listening to everything. It's going to be an excellent playlist.


Refugee songs

What songs would you put on a playlist about refugees? I'd put on "The Seed," by K'naan.

I was a seed
planted by lovers in a refugee camp and
overseas I grew free
I grew my roots and became a tree
so now they never gonna cut me down

What else should go on the playlist?

frost and flame

This morning the candles left over from Halloween were covered in frost.

frosty candle

I lit one.

frost and flame

Ancillary Mercy fan art

Sphene and Translator Zeiat had spent the last two days in the decade room, playing a game of counters. Or at least it had begun as a standard game of counters. By now it also involved fish-shaped cakes, the fragments of two empty eggshells, and a day-old bowl of tea, which they every now and then dropped a glass counter into.

P.S. I imagine the fish-shaped cakes as being taiyaki:

Photo by Armi Deticio, from this website

this and that

I heard something on the radio this morning, a story I don't remember any details about, but it used both the words "contentment" and "complacency," and since then, I've been asking everyone (well, three people):

How do you tell the difference between contentment and complacency?

I'm not asking for the dictionary definitions of them--I know what they both mean--but both from the inside (in other words, if it's yourself and your feelings you're talking about) and from the outside (if you're talking about other people and your perceptions of them), how do you know the difference?

In other news, I made a tumblr for quotes from Sphene in Ancillary Mercy. I haven't yet filled it up with all the quotes, but I've got a good bunch. It's at Ancillary Sphene. I hope to make a picture, too, of Sphene and Translator Zeiat at their game.

In other, other news, if it's nighttime where you are (as it is for me) and not overcast, you can take a look at the moon and all its craters and mountains in high relief, because the sun is shining on it slantwise. I got the idea to look from a two-days-ago broadcast of Strange Universe.

All right then... see you around the Internet.

Ancillary Mercy: completed

I adored the book. My review is here. The one thing I'll add here on LJ is this: In Ancillary Sword and Ancillary Mercy, there's some urgency about making sure that the Presger translators understand that organs, viscera, blood, etc., are supposed to be kept *inside* the body--sometimes with humorous effect, sometimes with pathos (and always with a hint of anxiety: this is a basic fact of how humans need to operate that we'd like others to understand about us).

That got me thinking about imagination. Imagination is something that's inside us--like (ideally) blood. But imagination works best (or at least, most generously) if we don't leave it there: if we get it outside us and into the world. We're all translators of our imaginations, struggling to find a language that will make it intelligible to others. When someone manages this, when they share their marvelous interior worlds with us, what a fabulous thing that is. Translator Leckie has done this. Well done, Translator Leckie--your imagination does belong outside your head, shared with the world.

welcome, traveler

May I offer you a plate of rain?

oak leaf and raindrops

Find a penny

Lesser-known lore relating to roadside coins.

If you find a penny and you *don't* pick it up, more good luck accrues to it. So, the more people walk by a penny (or other coin) and don't pick it up, the luckier it becomes--but only if they deliberately don't pick it up. If they simply fail to notice it, then it doesn't count.

So you can use this as a good-luck savings account: See a coin, but don't pick it up. Wait a number of days proportional to the amount of good luck you'd like to collect. As with all investments, there are risks. Someone else might pick up your coin.

littlemoremasks told me that it's only good luck to pick up a heads-up coin. It's bad luck to pick up a tails-up one. If you want to make good luck possible, you should turn the coin over--but you can't then pick it up. You have to leave it for someone else.

I'm not sure littlemoremasks is right about the bad-luck aspect of tails-up coins. It could be his way of ensuring no one picks up tails-up coins that he's investing luck in.

Irom Sharmila speaks directly to the world

Irom Sharmila, whose hunger strike has just entered its sixteenth year, is kept in isolation. If reporters want to talk to her, they must go through a bureaucratic rigamarole. International reporters must request permission to see her a month in advance. It's not surprising that not many do. Then, too, neither English or Hindi is her native tongue, so she speaks slowly in both--reporters can be impatient or condescending.

In an effort to share her thoughts and feelings directly with the world, she has sent out this video. (Note: She speaks very quietly, so you'll have to have volume up very high on whatever device you view this on.)

It's long, but if you listen to even a bit of it, you can get a sense of who she is, how she feels, what is important to her. The complete transcript is in the first comment on the video, but these words in particular moved me:

Laws which are meant to serve us, a democratic people, turn against us ... Why should our people remain contented just seeing me as a symbol of resistance? ... I just want to gain success, which is so rightful, with the intervention of the public, and I am really in need of their joining hands ...

The present Indian government is so hardly [i.e., concertedly, with effort] trying to be permanent membership of the UN Security Council, but just ahead of placing this title--I mean for membership--the Indian government need to show the real democracy by repealing this draconian law [the Armed Services Special Protection Act] ... I really am tired of this way of life, really tired, so please intervene ... Without the support of the masses how can I be fruitful in my demands? ...

While we’re living in this world what we really need to do is try in our ways to connect with each other ... We are every source of peace and every source of changes.

Please share widely.

leaf convention

They spend all their lives up in the air, up in the sky, attached to twigs attached to branchlets attached to branches, but in the autumn they all come to the great convention center at ground level. They are all so excited, swarming and rushing about, gathering in clusters, playing mad games. This is their carnival, their great parade, their festival of a lifetime. We ground dwellers--grass and snakes and dogs and people, etc.--smile indulgently and don't mind at all how they take over everything for these festival days. So they clog the thoroughfares and the parks, so what? It's a pleasure to see them all in such high spirits, and they don't mind at all if you join in.

Eventually they spend themselves and fall asleep, and all their dreams sink into the earth and the tree roots drink them in, and they are transmitted to the translucent baby leaves that unfold in the spring.

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November 2015



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