universallightphotos http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/ universallightphotos After endless preparation, we're finally on the road to the 2007 Universal Exposition of Light at Columbus, Ohio, USA. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164135 60164135 Last minute bonnet adjustments. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164136 60164136 Golden was wide awake. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164137 60164137 Starbuck wasn't. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164138 60164138 At the Expo, unpacking the tubs and setting up the tables was just like our weekly Farmer's Market. We've had lots of practice at that. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164139 60164139 We finished up and went back to the cheap motel for the night. We've been staying there for years now. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164140 60164140 We arrived early, ready for anything. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164141 60164141 Except, perhaps, the opening Drum Parade. Regulars call this part "The March of the Wizards." http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164142 60164142 It was noisy, colorful, and everybody seemed to be having a good time. By the way, we're sorry for the fuzzy photos. Our hot -shot digital camera doesn't let us simply modify the aperature or shutter speed. Instead, we must choose between the Little Doggie and the Ice Cream Cone icons. We're learning. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164143 60164143 People began arriving almost immediately. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164144 60164144 The Yellow Hat Buddhist monks from Tibet come every year, witnessing for their faith in a very foreign place. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164145 60164145 Each year they carefully create a beautiful symbolic mandala on a slate topped table . It was only a few yards from our own booth. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164146 60164146 Working in shifts, the six monks spent much of the two days bent over the tabletop, trickling colored mineral powder onto a chalked outlinr.. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164147 60164147 The food was excellent, especially for us vegetarians. Larry here has wonderful lentil soup. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164148 60164148 Curious people stopped by regularly. We always tried to have someone available to answer questions, and to ask them. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164149 60164149 Many attenders came to visit the various holistic healers and spiritual advisors. This lady uses a tool belt filled with tuning forks to help focus her work. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164150 60164150 There were usually many more people than this. We only had time to take pictures when things were slow. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164151 60164151 By the afternoon of the first day, the monks were ahead of schedule and began to slow the pace. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164152 60164152 The mandala's colors and patterns symbolize inward and outward aspects of their faith. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164153 60164153 We sold raw honey, pure beeswax candles, herbal skin care products, raw propolis, and whatever else we could think of. No fruits and vegetables at this market, though. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164154 60164154 We also had Pendle Hill and FGC Bookstore catalogs, Tract Association pamphlets, Wider Quaker Fellowship booklets, and excerpts from various Quaker journals. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164155 60164155 Plus we had OYM literature available, Disciplines, Advices and Queries, a few New Foundation papers, and an eclectic selection of our own outreach tracts. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164156 60164156 The monk's table contained offerings of religious items, fresh fruit, and Spearmint chewing gum. We don't know why Spearmint is the preferred choice. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164157 60164157 People asked questions all the time. A common conversational opener was, "I thought you were all dead." We hear that one a lot wherever we go. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164158 60164158 Our dedicated evangelists were present to demonstrate that it was not so. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164159 60164159 Our younger representatives more or less went along with the flow. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164160 60164160 There were many mineralogists at the Expo, selling both crystals with various metaphysical attributes, and high-quality scientific and collector specimens. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164161 60164161 Back at the motel. we decompressed with enthusiasm. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164162 60164162 We relented and let the children turn on the television set for awhile. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164163 60164163 The operational principle of the television is the vacuum tube. Turn it on, and it sucks your brains out. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164164 60164164 Sunrise came too early on Day Two. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164165 60164165 Again, we were ready for anything as the Expo opened. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164166 60164166 We were even ready for the approaching Drum Parade this time. They were loud enough to hear a long ways off. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164167 60164167 The drumming lets everybody wake up and get ready for the day. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164168 60164168 Lots of theater and noise. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164169 60164169 Especially noise. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164170 60164170 One customer used her pendulum to select between varieties of honey. Here, Ohio Wildflower Honey passes the test. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164171 60164171 Ohio Black Locust Honey did not pass the test. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164172 60164172 The many booth vendors offered psychic readings, spiritual healings, and various other services. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164173 60164173 This cheerful man sold holistic body oils and rubs made with propolis and emu oil. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164174 60164174 Everybody was happy, friendly, and welcoming. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164175 60164175 One vendor sold handmade wands with inset crystals. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164176 60164176 Very pretty. Expensive, too, sometimes. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164177 60164177 A local beekeeper sold some of the nicest-looking honey we'd ever seen. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164178 60164178 Raj makes excellent chanamasala, but didn't bring his lentils, which are better. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164179 60164179 Palmistry and Tarot card readings were very popular among many of the vendors. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164180 60164180 By late afternoon, the monks had completed the mandala, and were preparing for their closing ceremony. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164181 60164181 The completed piece of art was five feet across, and was the culmination of hours of work and much expense in traveling to the United States. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164182 60164182 The monks donned their formal ceremonial robes, dug out their drum, horns, cymbals, and began the ceremony. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164183 60164183 During the procedure, the monks dedicate the mandala to the deity, and then formally destroy it. They sweep up the sand with an old paint brush and hand it out to the spectators. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164184 60164184 We handed out Bibles, at least ten of them. We lost count. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164185 60164185 The Expo ended at six o'clock, and the suddenly calmed down to a slow walk. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164186 60164186 We will be back next year. http://www.conservativefriend.org/apps/photos/photo?photoID=60164187 60164187