Showing posts from May, 2015

Spending Quality Time with M. C. Escher, Mathemagician

Over the winter, the National Gallery of Canada hosted a major exhibition of the work of M. C. Escher. It turns out that they have one of the largest collections of Escher’s work in the world, because Escher’s son George lived in Nova Scotia and gave a large number of prints to the museum. I was fortunate to go to Ottawa before the exhibit closed to spend some leisurely, up-close, and high-quality time with 54 of Escher’s prints.
There is an advantage to going to see an art show midweek during the day after it’s been open for a while: you will have the gallery pretty much to yourself, and can take as long as you like looking at each image. The disadvantage was that there wasn’t enough time for me to go back up to see the show a second time. This show would have been well worth a second viewing.
Escher began his career as a landscape artist working in Italy. I didn’t know this, and I was stunned by the images he created during this period. Here is Bonifacio, Corsica, a woodblock print…

Bad luck? Good luck? I'm confused!

I’ve thought about luck for a long time. For me, luck is what happens in our lives that we cannot control - which is a big chunk of all of our lives. We learn early to judge, so we label the stuff we can’t control “good luck” and “bad luck”. When I look at the luck in my life over the past year, I find myself using those labels often to describe what has happened. I wonder how useful they are.

All of my exercises in writing a short biography, which is something you do if you are active on social media sites, as I am, have included the word luck. One of my earliest attempts at summarizing my life included, “Although no one will remember me when I die, I am one of the luckiest people who has ever lived.” Since my lung cancer diagnosis, I’ve decided those words would not be easy for another to understand, whether or not I still believe them, so I’ve rewritten that part of my short biography as, “I’m very content to be one of the little people, whose names aren’t recorded in history books…

Knitting Blog: Stashbusting in my Favorite Color

When I was diagnosed with stage IV cancer, one of my very first thoughts was that I would never knit another sweater for myself. It’s hard to justify the work if you aren’t going to be around very long to enjoy it, right? However, I have changed my attitude, and have proceeded with my knitting with two precepts in mind:

1) I do not know what the future shall bring.

2) I can knit whatever I want to.

A particular group of eight skeins in my stash was calling to me. Beautiful Classic Elite Yarns Inca Alpaca in a rich, complex shade of coral. I bought the yarn as a closeout when a yarn store went out of business, and realized later that while the yarn was a bargain there were also three dye lots included in that bundle of eight skeins. Mixing dye lots is a perilous business, as yarn dying can vary slightly from batch to batch. It’s sad to realize that you have a demarcation line in your work where the color changes, and once you see that, you cannot unsee it.

I finally decided on a project wh…