Catharine picked up all the new panels I’m sending to HDTS in Joshua Tree. Here is the finished hand spun merino scarf:
We celebrated Great Grandma’s 92nd birthday last night. It’s hard to believe that when she was born her life expectancy was only about 50 years. She’s almost doubled it. I guess it was impossible for anyone to predict what changes would occur during her lifetime. Actually, the whole idea of life expectancy is kind of absurd since you can only look backwards to predict the future. That leaves out all the unknowns. But it’s the unknowns that make all the difference in the equation.
Her life has spanned the evolution of industry, earth shattering wars, epidemic illness, epiphanies in medicine, empirical nations rise and fall and the explosion of technology. How much of that, if any, was accurately predicted? How many of those ups and downs were factored into the government’s official life expectancy reports?
Robert and I watched 60 minutes last Sunday and they showed a film made of Market Street in San Francisco just days before the massive earthquake in 1906. The whole scene is nothing more than an ordinary day 104 years ago. The commentator pointed out that it’s almost certain many of the people didn’t make it through the quake. Of course while they were being filmed they didn’t know that they had only days to live. We know it now watching them but there’s no way to tell them. What would they do differently if they had known their time was running short? Would they have had regrets? Would they have faced their final days with fear?
Nostradamus seems to be a lot more popular now that 2012 is approaching. His predictions of total world collapse in December of 2012 are a hot topic after so many other accurate predictions and dates. Reading his quatrains about our future makes me feel a lot better about the government officials who set Great Grandma’s life expectancy at 50 instead of 92. Maybe making predictions of the future isn’t such a great idea after all. Looking at the list of world history during her lifetime reads like any given individual’s life history. It’s filled with ups and downs and everything in between. We can accurately predict that there will be ups and downs and that there will be an end just as sure as there was a beginning. But maybe the details are best left to be dealt with in present time. Just looking back on my own life, if someone were to tell me all the things I would have suffered, I wouldn’t want to go through it. Then again, if anyone could have predicted the great triumphs, I would’ve been too impatient to enjoy them.
I guess the point is that we don’t need to reach back and tell the people in the film that their final days were upon them. The final days are upon us all – give or take fifty years or so.