SYW: Shopping, Drawing, Questionable Music, & Awful Jobs

I really like the questions Melanie has presented in Share Your World this week! So here goes!

QUESTIONS

In your opinion, what do you buy way more of than most people? I asked my husband what he thinks I buy too much of, and he said “nothing.” And in truth, he has to convince me that it is OK to buy something I really want but I am reluctant because it’s expensive. I often want to buy some new clothes but I don’t really need them and I think it’s wasteful of resources to buy excessive amounts of anything. I should shop at resale shops!

Which workers have the worst jobs?
The jobs most Americans won’t do, but are much in demand, are often done by the lowest paid workers. They do the drudge jobs, including working in fields of large agricultural farms, bending over in the hot sun for long hours; cleaning toilets; factory work where there is dangerous machinery or an assembly line processing meat products (separating the organs and guts from the ‘good’ meat). These jobs are stressful, have long hours, and no job security. Here is an interesting article about the worst jobs in America: What are the worst jobs in America?

Opinion.  John Cage is a composer who composed a piece named 4’33” for any instrument. The performers are instructed not to play their instrument for four minutes and thirty-three seconds. Is this music or is this art?  A combination of the two?   Neither, it’s stupid.  Your opinion?
I have seen this “performed.” I thought it was weird. In college I had some music nerd friends who really got into this avant-garde type of music. John Cage was a preferred composer among these people! But not for me!

How good are you at drawing? I am pretty good. I have been drawing all my life. I’ve only recently started learning how to paint. But drawing is still my forte. Here are some of my personal favorites, ranging from 1973 to 2022!

Which one do you think is the oldest? (Some of them are dated.)


GRATITUDE SECTION (as always optional)

Feel free to share one amazing thing you’ve experienced (any time frame).

Travel – each trip more amazing than the one before. I was amazed on my first safari, seeing wild animals roaming free, and no further than a few yards from us! They amazed me with their natural behavior and their antics – a mother cheetah playing with her cub, elephants playing in the water, lions and giraffes mating. There’s nothing that can compare with being among these creatures who share the earth with us.

Cheetah mom & cub, Ndutu-Serengeti, Tanzania

On the other hand, I was also amazed – gobsmacked! – by visiting the ancient Egyptian monuments and realizing that they have endured thousands of years! The famous pyramids and sphinx were created over 4,000 years ago and yet they still stand! And visiting tombs and monuments where I got to see beautiful artwork – carved on pillars and walls of monuments, sometimes with the paint still visible, and the beautiful, colorful artwork in the ancient tombs. I just find it so amazing that these things have endured for more than 3000 years and we can still visit them. The Ancient Egyptians did create these tombs and monuments to last for “millions and millions” of years, but thousands is already very impressive!

From the tomb of King Ramses VI, Valley of the Kings, Egypt. Photo credit: Mohammed Fathy.

Perspectives Great & Small

Sometimes a photograph cannot convey the bigness or smallness of something unless it is given perspective by including another object whose dimensions we are familiar with. For example, I can post photos of the immense pillars of Karnak in Egypt, built 3,500 years ago, but you can really get an idea of how massive they are when I am sitting in front of one of them. How tiny I look in comparison! Yet these same pillars were constructed, put in place and decorated by people my size or perhaps smaller. To do this as intended, the ancient Egyptian artisans had to have the perspective to see how large each figure had to be relative to the overall design covering the column when chiseling the images. They always started at the top, using hills of sand covering the rest of the wall or column, on which they would stand, and remove layers of sand as they worked their way downward.

In a similar way, sometimes we think of something – like an insect – as small, until another familiar object is included in the picture. To see how large this early emerging mosquito is – in mid-May, relatively early for mosquitoes around here – my husband put his hand next to it to gain perspective of how large it actually is!

As soon as I took the photo, I opened the door and quickly went out – I didn’t want to be in the same space with THAT giant mosquito!

Square Perspective, 7/3/20

January Square and One Word Sunday: Cacti & Petroglyphs in Saguaro National Park

We visited Saguaro National Park in Tucson, Arizona late in the afternoon, where I got some great backlit shots of saguaro, such as this one:
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I am fascinated with saguaros, which are the trees of life in the Sonoran Desert, because of the interesting shapes that sprout as “arms” from their main trunk.
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Saguaros grow very slowly, so these photos are of cacti that are fairly old. These majestic giants live as long as 200 years!
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The saguaro harbors a variety of life forms – such as woodpeckers (who make holes in their trunks) and elf owls (who live in the abandoned holes), as well as many others who shelter beneath the cactus – snakes, rodents, and other animals. Native American tribes traditionally collected the fruit of the saguaro, which was used in their diet. They would use long poles to get the fruit down or collect it after it fell to the ground.
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During its long life, the saguaro stores water in the folds of its trunk and arms – the folds act like an accordion, expanding in years with more rainfall, and contracting in dry years.

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Late in life, a saguaro may have many limbs, which form curves and other shapes.

Even when this giant dies, creatures take advantage of its large bulk, where they burrow and lay eggs. Native peoples stripped its stems and used them as building materials.

Note the tangle of curved arms in this saguaro!
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Another interesting sight to explore at Saguaro National Park are the petroglyphs carved on rocks by ancient peoples who lived in the area.
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Swirls, curves, wheel-like circles, suns, animals, and other carvings were symbols which had religious or social meanings for their creators.
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Posted for:
Becky’s January Square – backlight.
One Word Sunday: Curve