Food for the Spirit and the Soul

Because the diverse parts of human nature need to be nourished in different ways.

September Offerings – Part XI: Something to Delight both Head and Heart


Below – Graydon Parrish: “The Cycle of Terror and Tragedy: September 11, 2001”

American Art – Part I of V: Sherry Karver

In the words of one writer, “Sherry Karver combines photography, painting, and narrative text to create new media works that focus on urban life and the individual’s place in a crowded world. Featuring public spaces from New York to San Francisco, she addresses themes of identity, voyeurism, and surveillance that form part of modern existence.
Born in Chicago, Karver has spent her life in metropolitan areas. Her work reflects the multitude of issues and truths of living in large cities. Karver describes aspects of urban living as, ‘loneliness and alienation in our fast paced society, the concept of personal identity and the loss of it, the individual as part of the crowd.’ In placing personalized biographical details, sometimes humorous, over selected figures captured in a crowd, Karver seeks to highlight individuality and establish connection within an otherwise anonymous sea of life.”

Below – “Be Present”; “Without Hesitation”; “In the Near Future”; “Crosswalk”; “Avenue of Possibilities.”





A Poet for This Day – Tom McGrath: Part I of VI

“Route Song and Epitaph”

Living on catastrophe, eating the pure light
What have we come to but the mother dark?
Over our heads, obscurely, the stars work
Heedless. They did not invent the night.

From the Music Archives – Part I of III: Johann Sebastian Bach

Reflections in Summer: Jeff Rasley

“My own experiences in the wild rank in value just behind the birth of my children, my wedding, and the memorial services and graduations I’ve attended. I am permanently affected by those solitary encounters with land, sky, and water, and all that’s contained within. I don’t really know if I am a better person because of them, but I am happier for them.”

American Art – Part II of V: Roberto Santo

Sculptor Roberto Santo (born 1953) earned degrees from the University of Oregon and the Art Center College of Design.









A Poet for This Day – Tom McGrath: Part II of VI

“Against the False Magicians”

for Don Gordon

The poem must not charm us like a film:
See, in the war-torn city, that reckless, gallant
Handsome lieutenant turn to the wet-lipped blonde
(Our childhood fixation) for one sweet desperate kiss
In the broken room, in blue cinematic moonlight —
Bombers across that moon, and the bombs falling,
The last train leaving, the regiment departing —
And their lips lock, saluting themselves and death:
And then the screen goes dead and all go home…
Ritual of the false imagination.

The poem must not charm us like the fact:
A warship can sink a circus at forty miles,
And art, love’s lonely counterfeit, has small dominion
Over those nightmares that move in the actual sunlight.
The blonde will not be faithful, nor her lover ever return
Nor the note be found in the hollow tree of childhood —
This dazzle of the facts would have us weeping
The orphaned fantasies of easier days.

It is the charm which the potential has
That is the proper aura for the poem.
Though ceremony fail, though each of your grey hairs
Help string a harp in the landlord’s heaven,
And every battle, every augury,
Argue defeat, and if defeat itself
Bring all the darkness level with our eyes —
It is the poem provides the proper charm,
Spelling resistance and the living will,
To bring to dance a stony field of fact
And set against terror exile or despair
The rituals of our humanity.

Below – Edward Henry Potthast: “A Family at the Beach”

From the American History Archives: The Mountain Meadows Massacre

11 September 1857 – The Mountain Meadows Massacre takes place in Southern Utah. Mormons dressed as Indians murder 120 men, women, and children. In the words of one historian, “In early 1857, several groups of emigrants from the northwestern Arkansas region started their trek to California, joining up on the way to form a group known as the Baker–Fancher party. The groups were mostly from Marion, Crawford, Carroll, and Johnson counties in Arkansas, and had assembled into a wagon train at Beller’s Stand, south of Harrison, to emigrate to southern California.
The Mountain Meadows massacre was a series of attacks on the Baker–Fancher emigrant wagon train at Mountain Meadows in southern Utah. The attacks culminated on September 11, 1857, with the mass slaughter of most in the emigrant party by members of the Utah Territorial Militia from the Iron County district, together with some Paiute Native Americans.
The militia, officially called the Nauvoo Legion, was composed of Utah’s Mormon settlers (members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or LDS Church). Intending to give the appearance of Native American aggression, their plan was to arm some Southern Paiute Native Americans and persuade them to join with a larger party of their own militiamen—disguised as Native Americans—in an attack. During the militia’s first assault on the wagon train, the emigrants fought back and a five-day siege ensued. Eventually fear spread among the militia’s leaders that some emigrants had caught sight of white men and had likely discovered the identity of their attackers. As a result militia commander William H. Dame ordered his forces to kill the emigrants.”

Below – Mountain Meadows; a memorial at the scene of the massacre; a memorial in Harrison, Arkansas.



Reflections in Summer: Harvey Broome

“Where wilderness can still be found, the ancientness of the land and the nobility of man’s struggle emerge. Wilderness is vastly different from the clutter and clatter of much of our civilized world. In wilderness one experiences exhilaration and joy. In freedom and simplicity, in its vitality and immense variety, happiness may not only be pursued; it is ofttimes found.”

American Art – Part III of V: Nona Hyytinen

Artist Statement: “Growing up, I entertained myself by illustrating stories and characters from books, and as an adult, I still do. I naturally became a figurative artist for that reason. I continue to be inspired by literature and history, myth, my Finnish heritage and love of dogs and horses.”

Below – “Orpheus and Eurydice”; “Girl with Pug”; “Artemis and Her Hounds”; “No Frigate Like a Book”; “Sauna Girl”; “The Wanderer.”




Sauna Girl


A Poet for This Day – Tom McGrath: Part III of VI

“Gone Away Blues”

Sirs, when you are in your last extremity,
When your admirals are drowning in the grass-green sea,
When your generals are preparing the total catastrophe—
I just want you to know how you can not count on me.

I have ridden to hounds through my ancestral halls,
I have picked the eternal crocus on the ultimate hill,
I have fallen through the window of the highest room,
But don’t ask me to help you ’cause I never will.

Sirs, when you move that map-pin how many souls must dance?
I don’t think all those soldiers have died by happenstance.
The inscrutable look on your scrutable face I can read at a glance—
And I’m cutting out of here at the first chance.

I have been wounded climbing the second stair,
I have crossed the ocean in the hull of a live wire,
I have eaten the asphodel of the dark side of the moon,
But you can call me all day and I just won’t hear.

O patriotic mister with your big ear to the ground,
Sweet old curly scientist wiring the birds for sound,
O lady with the Steuben glass heart and your heels so rich and round—
I’ll sent you a picture postcard from somewhere I can’t be found.

I have discovered the grammar of the Public Good,
I have invented a language that can be understood,
I have found the map of where the body is hid,
And I won’t be caught dead in your neighborhood.

O hygienic inventer of the bomb that’s so clean,
O lily white Senator from East Turnip Green,
O celestial mechanic of the money machine—
I’m going someplace where nobody makes your scene.

Good-by, good-by, good-by,
Adios, au ’voir, so long,
Sayonara, dosvedanya, ciao,
By-by, by-by, by-by.

Below – Huck Finn lighting out for the Territory.


Reflections in Summer: Edward Abbey

“A world without huge regions of total wilderness would be a cage; a world without lions and tigers and vultures and snakes and elk and bison would be – will be – a human zoo. A high-tech slum.”


“All people dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their mind, wake in the morning to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous people, For they dream their dreams with open eyes, And make them come true.” – David Herbert Lawrence, an English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic, painter, and author of “Studies in Classic American Literature” (which every American should read), who was born 11 September 1885. In the words of one critic, “His collected works, among other things, represent an extended reflection upon the dehumanising effects of modernity and industrialisation. In them, some of the issues Lawrence explores are emotional health, vitality, spontaneity and instinct.”

Some quotes from the work of D. H. Lawrence:

“The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted.”
“Men are free when they are obeying some deep, inward voice of religious belief. Obeying from within. Men are free when they belong to a living, organic, believing community, active in fulfilling some unfulfilled, perhaps unrealized purpose. Not when they are escaping to some wild west. The most unfree souls go west, and shout of freedom.”
“Art has two great functions. First, it provides an emotional experience. And then, if we have the courage of our own feelings, it becomes a mine of practical truth. We have had the feelings ad nauseam. But we’ve never dared dig the actual truth out of them, the truth that concerns us, whether it concerns our grandchildren or not.”
“Sanity means the wholeness of the consciousness. And our society is only part conscious, like an idiot.”
“It’s no good trying to get rid of your own aloneness. You’ve got to stick to it all your life. Only at times, at times, the gap will be filled in. At times! But you have to wait for the times. Accept your own aloneness and stick to it, all your life. And then accept the times when the gap is filled in, when they come. But they’ve got to come. You can’t force them.”
“Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically. The cataclysm has happened, we are among the ruins, we start to build up new little habitats, to have new little hopes. It is rather hard work: there is now no smooth road into the future: but we go round, or scramble over the obstacles. We’ve got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen.”
“No form of love is wrong, so long as it is love, and you yourself honour what you are doing. Love has an extraordinary variety of forms! And that is all there is in life, it seems to me. But I grant you, if you deny the variety of love you deny love altogether. If you try to specialize love into one set of accepted feelings, you wound the very soul of love. Love must be multi-form, else it is just tyranny, just death.”
“Life is ours to be spent, not to be saved.”
“It is a fine thing to establish one’s own religion in one’s heart, not to be dependent on tradition and second-hand ideals. Life will seem to you, later, not a lesser, but a greater thing.”
“I want to live my life so that my nights are not full of regrets.”
“This is what I believe: That I am I. That my soul is a dark forest. That my known self will never be more than a little clearing in the forest. That gods, strange gods, come forth from the forest into the clearing of my known self, and then go back. That I must have the courage to let them come and go. That I will never let mankind put anything over me, but that I will try always to recognize and submit to the gods in me and the gods in other men and women. There is my creed.”

Reflections in Summer: Robert M. Pirsig

“This forest silence improves anyone.”

A Poet for This Day – Tom McGrath: Part IV of VI


I don’t belong in this century—who does?
In my time, summer came someplace in June—
The cutbanks blazing with roses, the birds brazen, and the astonished
Pastures frisking with young calves . . .
That was in the country—
I don’t mean another country, I mean in the country:
And the country is lost. I don’t mean just lost to me,
Nor in the way of metaphorical loss—it’s lost that way too—
No; nor in no sort of special case: I mean

Now, down below, in the fire and stench, the city
Is building its shell: elaborate levels of emptiness
Like some sea-animal building toward its extinction.
And the citizens, unserious and full of virtue,
Are hunting for bread, or money, or a prayer,
And I behold them, and this season of man, without love.

If it were not a joke, it would be proper to laugh.
—Curious how that rat’s nest holds together—
Distracting . . .
Without it there might be, still,
The gold wheel and the silver, the sun and the moon,
The season’s ancient assurance under the unstable stars
Our fiery companions . . .
And trees, perhaps, and the sound
Of the wild and living water hurrying out of the hills.

Without these, I have you for my talisman:
Sun, moon, the four seasons,
The true voice of the mountains. Now be
(The city revolving in its empty shell,
The night moving in from the East)
—Be thou these things.

From the Music Archives – Part II of III: Moby

“I like tea and yoga, but I don’t do yoga.” – Moby, the stage name of Richard Melville Hall, American singer, songwriter, musician, DJ, photographer, and animal rights activist, who was born 11 September 1965.

Reflections in Summer: Edmund Wilson

“If I could only remember that the days were, not bricks to be laid row on row, to be built into a solid house, where one might dwell in safety and peace, but only food for the fires of the heart.”

American Art – Part IV of V: Deon Matzen

Here is part of the Artist Statement of Deon Matzen: “I am a painter. When I started in 1995 I painted in watercolor exclusively. In 2002 I returned from living in China and felt that oil would better lend itself to painting the scenes of China. Since that time I paint in oil and find it the best medium for the style of painting I like to create, representational work. Bordering on photorealism, my work shifts colors, rearranges the scene and pops up the contrast of values, abstracting the original somewhat.”







A Poet for This Day – Tom McGrath: Part V of VI


Sixty years at hard labor
In the stony fields of his country.

I think of buffalo bones,
Broken hame straps,
Tractors rusting beside the abandoned farmhouse.

Reflections in Summer: Robert Heinlein

“Anybody can look at a pretty girl and see a pretty girl. An artist can look at a pretty girl and see the old woman she will become. A better artist can look at an old woman and see the pretty girl that she used to be. But a great artist-a master-and that is what Auguste Rodin was-can look at an old woman, portray her exactly as she is…and force the viewer to see the pretty girl she used to be…and more than that, he can make anyone with the sensitivity of an armadillo, or even you, see that this lovely young girl is still alive, not old and ugly at all, but simply prisoned inside her ruined body. He can make you feel the quiet, endless tragedy that there was never a girl born who ever grew older than eighteen in her heart…no matter what the merciless hours have done to her.”

Below – Auguste Rodin: “The Old Courtesan”

From the Music Archives – Part III of III: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

A Poet for This Day – Tom McGrath: Part VI of VI

“A Coal Fire in Winter”

Something old and tyrannical burning there,
(Not like a wood fire which is only
The end of summer, or a life)
But something of darkness, heat
From the time before there was fire
And I have come here
To warn that blackness into forms of light,
To set free a captive prince
From the sunken kingdom of the father coal.

A warming company of the cold-blooded–
These carbon serpents of bituminous gardens,
These inflammable tunnels of dead song from the black pit,
This sparkling end of the great beasts, these blazing
Stone flowers diamond fire incandescent fruit.
And out of all that death, now,
At midnight, my love and I are riding
Down the old high roads of inexhaustible light.

Reflections in Summer: Terry Tempest Williams

“My spiritual life is found inside the heart of the wild.”

“A bunch of the boys were whooping it up
in the Malamute saloon;
The kid that handles the music-box
was hitting a jag-time tune;
Back of the bar, in a solo game,
sat Dangerous Dan McGrew,
And watching his luck was his light-o’-love,
the lady that’s known as Lou.” – From “The Shooting of Dan McGrew,” by Robert W. Service, Canadian writer and poet called “The Bard of the Yukon,” who died 11 September 1958. In the words of one literary historian, “His vivid descriptions of the Yukon and its people made it seem that he was a veteran of the Klondike gold rush, instead of the late-arriving bank clerk he actually was. ‘These humorous tales in verse were considered doggerel by the literary set, yet remain extremely popular to this day.’”

To hell with the neurasthenic members of the “literary set.” Read the following lines, look at the photographs below, close your eyes, and imagine . . .

From “The Cremation of Sam McGee”

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.

Below – The midnight sun, Yukon Territory; the Northern Lights, Yukon Territory; Lake Laberge, Yukon Territory.



Back from the Territory – Art: Mark Preston

In the words of one writer, “Mark Preston (Tenna `Tsa `Teh) was born in Dawson City, Yukon. He is of Tlingit and Irish ancestry presently living in Vancouver, British Columbia.
He learned about is Tlingit ancestry through family and school study. Initially, Mark began studying art through European masters such as Leonardo da Vinci but later discovered other notable masters: Bill Reid, Robert Davidson and Roy Vickers.
Mark has studied various mediums in paper, cloth, wood, metals, stone and most recently started working on glass. He began studying silver carving with well known master jeweler and carver Phil Janze (Gitskan Nation) at Hazelton, B.C.
‘When I think about what art is, it is more than illustration or objects to be doted over. Art is the magic, the glue that binds us all together. It is the language that transcends its forms.’”

Back from the Territory, I share this with you, before I light out again.

Below – “A Delicate Balance”; “Ancient Songs”; “Salmon People”; “South Winds.”




Reflections in Summer: Craig Childs

“This is not wilderness for designation or for a park. Not a scenic wilderness and not one good for fishing or the viewing of wildlife. It is wilderness that gets into your nostrils, that runs with your sweat. It is the core of everything living, wilderness like molten iron.”

American Art – Part V of V: Karen Kosoglad

In the words of one writer, “Karen Kosoglad’s figurative paintings capture women during their introspective moments. Her expressive style, sometimes monochromatic, sometimes colorful, reveals her interest in what she describes as ‘the gestural moments in everyday life and the balance between weight, rhythm, shape and color.’ Black contour lines highlight the curves and form of her live models who she has pose in chairs, with her dog, or occasionally outside in the landscape. She uses mirroring to increase narrative ambiguity in her works and introduce the idea of contemplation with figures pictured alongside their reflections. The paintings reveal various moods, not necessarily those of the models, but of the artist responding to the moment and process of paintings itself.”

Below – “Seated Wysdom”; “The Heart of a Girl”; “Natural Rhythms”; “Figure and Reflection (Pink and Yellow)”; “Two Women and Tea”; “Loke and Mary.”





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September Offerings – Part X: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of III: Christopher Harris

In the words of one writer, “Best known for the soft, painterly effects in his highly abstract compositions, photographer Christopher Harris often employs a hand- constructed pinhole camera and long exposures.
With the qualities of a subdued painted surface and quiet gradations of colors, Harris captures tranquil scenes that present boundless Northwest scenery. He often works in series, which include explorations of the Palouse region’s vast, agrarian expanses; Port Susan, an inlet of Puget Sound that he photographed from a single vantage point through all four seasons from daybreak to nightfall; twilight scenes of the Skagit Valley; and blossoms from the urban gardens of Seattle. His ‘Two Coasts’ series features seascapes from Cape Cod and Southern California and the ‘Prairie’ series captures the remnants of the original ‘Tallgrass’ prairie of the America West.”

Below – “Riot of Pink”; “Twilight Hills, Prune Orchard Road, Whitman County”; “Winter Tree”; “Prairie Path”; “Old Chevy”; “Approaching Storm.”






A Poem for Today

“Six Urban Love Songs
I. Central Park”
By Kate Light

Can one think, in sunglasses, in the park; think
with the children playing and the adult banter,
and someone smoking; and experiment, in ink,
through the invading dogs, and toddler-gallivanter—?
escape the Ice-cold-beer-and-Snapple hawking
and the ones who target you when you’re alone,
and so they stare, or come over, talking?
But how can I (who’ve been rather accident-prone)
forget it was just that dappled fate-and-chance—
and perhaps the shade of arrogance—
that brought me you? and though I tried to shake
you off (“Don’t bother me; I’m mean, I’m grieving”)
the discouragement didn’t seem to take—
so I came to accept that you weren’t leaving.
Then I’ll let these clowns distract me with their dance—
there’s a weird wisdom in persistence—
I’ll stick to my mount of grass and moss and clover,
writing things down, and thinking things over.

Italian artist Barbara Bonfilio graduated with a degree in Painting from the Albertina Academy of Fine Arts of Turin in 2000.
Barbara Bonfilio

Barbara Bonfilio

Barbara Bonfilio

Barbara Bonfilio

Barbara Bonfilio


“Nothing is more dangerous than a dogmatic worldview – nothing more constraining, more blinding to innovation, more destructive of openness to novelty.” – Stephen Jay Gould, American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, writer, and historian of science, who was born 10 September 1941.

Some quotes from Stephen Jay Gould:

“The most erroneous stories are those we think we know best – and therefore never scrutinize or question.”
“We pass through this world but once. Few tragedies can be more extensive than the stunting of life, few injustices deeper than the denial of an opportunity to strive or even to hope, by a limit imposed from without, but falsely identified as lying within.”
“We have become, by the power of a glorious evolutionary accident called intelligence, the stewards of life’s continuity on earth. We did not ask for this role, but we cannot abjure it. We may not be suited to it, but here we are.”
“I am, somehow, less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein’s brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops.”
“We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes—one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximum freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way.”
“We are here because one odd group of fishes had a peculiar fin anatomy that could transform into legs for terrestrial creatures; because the earth never froze entirely during an ice age; because a small and tenuous species, arising in Africa a quarter of a million years ago, has managed, so far, to survive by hook and by crook. We may yearn for a ‘higher answer’– but none exists.”
“Skepticism is the agent of reason against organized irrationalism–and is therefore one of the keys to human social and civic decency.”
“Life is short, and potential studies infinite. We have a much better chance of accomplishing something significant when we follow our passionate interests and work in areas of deepest personal meaning.”
“Science is not a heartless pursuit of objective information; it is a creative human activity.”
“Homo sapiens [are] a tiny twig on an improbable branch of a contingent limb on a fortunate tree.”
“People talk about human intelligence as the greatest adaptation in the history of the planet. It is an amazing and marvelous thing, but in evolutionary terms, it is as likely to do us in as to help us along.”
“No Geologist worth anything is permanently bound to a desk or laboratory, but the charming notion that true science can only be based on unbiased observation of nature in the raw is mythology. Creative work, in geology and anywhere else, is interaction and synthesis: half-baked ideas from a bar room, rocks in the field, chains of thought from lonely walks, numbers squeezed from rocks in a laboratory, numbers from a calculator riveted to a desk, fancy equipment usually malfunctioning on expensive ships, cheap equipment in the human cranium, arguments before a road cut.”
“The most important scientific revolutions all include, as their only common feature, the dethronement of human arrogance from one pedestal after another of previous convictions about our centrality in the cosmos.”
“I would not choose to live in any age but my own; advances in medicine alone, and the consequent survival of children with access to these benefits, should preclude any temptation to trade for the past. But we cannot understand history if we saddle the past with pejorative categories based on our bad habits for dividing continua into compartments of increasing worth towards the present. These errors apply to the vast paleontological history of life, as much as to the temporally trivial chronicle of human beings. I cringe every time I read that this failed business, or that defeated team, has become a dinosaur and is succumbing to progress. ‘Dinosaur’ should be a term of praise, not opprobrium. Dinosaurs reigned for more than 100 million years and died through no fault of their own; Homo sapiens is nowhere near a million years old, and has limited prospects, entirely self-imposed, for extended geological longevity.”
“Obsolescence is a fate devoutly to be wished, lest science stagnate and die.”
“The human mind delights in finding pattern—so much so that we often mistake coincidence or forced analogy for profound meaning. No other habit of thought lies so deeply within the soul of a small creature trying to make sense of a complex world not constructed for it.”
“When people learn no tools of judgment and merely follow their hopes, the seeds of political manipulation are sown.”
“The facts of nature are what they are, but we can only view them through the spectacles of our mind. Our mind works largely by metaphor and comparison, not always (or often) by relentless logic. When we are caught in conceptual traps, the best exit is often a change in metaphor — not because the new guideline will be truer to nature (for neither the old nor the new metaphor lies ‘out there’ in the woods), but because we need a shift to more fruitful perspectives, and metaphor is often the best agent of conceptual transition.”
“Science is an integral part of culture. It’s not this foreign thing, done by an arcane priesthood. It’s one of the glories of the human intellectual tradition.”
“I had learned that a dexterous, opposable thumb stood among the hallmarks of human success. We had maintained, even exaggerated, this important flexibility of our primate forebears, while most mammals had sacrificed it in specializing their digits. Carnivores run, stab, and scratch. My cat may manipulate me psychologically, but he’ll never type or play the piano.”
“There are no shortcuts to moral insight. Nature is not intrinsically anything that can offer comfort or solace in human terms — if only because our species is such an insignificant latecomer in a world not constructed for us. So much the better. The answers to moral dilemmas are not lying out there, waiting to be discovered. They reside, like the kingdom of God, within us — the most difficult and inaccessible spot for any discovery or consensus.”
“The causes of life’s history [cannot] resolve the riddle of life’s meaning.”
“If we use the past only to creature heroes for present purposes, we will never understand the richness of human thought or the plurality of ways of knowing.”
“So much of science proceeds by telling stories.”

Reflections in Summer: John L. Culliney

“The oceans are the planet’s last great living wilderness, man’s only remaining frontier on Earth, and perhaps his last chance to prove himself a rational species.”

A Second Poem for Today

“Bad People,”
By Robert Bly

A man told me once that all the bad people
Were needed. Maybe not all, but your fingernails
You need; they are really claws, and we know
Claws. The sharks—what about them?
They make other fish swim faster. The hard-faced men
In black coats who chase you for hours
In dreams—that’s the only way to get you
To the shore. Sometimes those hard women
Who abandon you get you to say, ‘You.’
A lazy part of us is like a tumbleweed.
It doesn’t move on its own. Sometimes it takes
A lot of Depression to get tumbleweeds moving.
Then they blow across three or four States.
This man told me that things work together.
Bad handwriting sometimes leads to new ideas;
And a careless god—who refuses to let people
Eat from the Tree of Knowledge—can lead
To books, and eventually to us. We write
Poems with lies in them, but they help a little.

Below – Annie Fourgette: “Tumbleweed”

Reflections in Summer: Ryel Kestenbaum

“The old school of thought would have you believe that you’d be a fool to take on nature without arming yourself with every conceivable measure of safety and comfort under the sun. But that isn’t what being in nature is all about. Rather, it’s about feeling free, unbounded, shedding the distractions and barriers of our civilization—not bringing them with us.”


From the Music Archives: Johannes Brahms

Reflections in Summer: Michael Pollan

“Anthropocentric as [the gardener] may be, he recognizes that he is dependent for his health and survival on many other forms of life, so he is careful to take their interests into account in whatever he does. He is in fact a wilderness advocate of a certain kind. It is when he respects and nurtures the wilderness of his soil and his plants that his garden seems to flourish most. Wildness, he has found, resides not only out there, but right here: in his soil, in his plants, even in himself…
But wildness is more a quality than a place, and though humans can’t manufacture it, they can nourish and husband it…
The gardener cultivates wildness, but he does so carefully and respectfully, in full recognition of its mystery.”

A Third Poem for Today

A Poem for Today

“Odysseus to Telemachus,”
By Joseph Brodsky

My dear Telemachus,
The Trojan War
is over now; I don’t recall who won it.
The Greeks, no doubt, for only they would leave
so many dead so far from their own homeland.
But still, my homeward way has proved too long.
While we were wasting time there, old Poseidon,
it almost seems, stretched and extended space.

I don’t know where I am or what this place
can be. It would appear some filthy island,
with bushes, buildings, and great grunting pigs.
A garden choked with weeds; some queen or other.
Grass and huge stones . . . Telemachus, my son!
To a wanderer the faces of all islands
resemble one another. And the mind
trips, numbering waves; eyes, sore from sea horizons,
run; and the flesh of water stuffs the ears.
I can’t remember how the war came out;
even how old you are–I can’t remember.

Grow up, then, my Telemachus, grow strong.
Only the gods know if we’ll see each other
again. You’ve long since ceased to be that babe
before whom I reined in the plowing bullocks.
Had it not been for Palamedes’ trick
we two would still be living in one household.
But maybe he was right; away from me
you are quite safe from all Oedipal passions,
and your dreams, my Telemachus, are blameless.

Below – Nona Hyytinen: “Circe and Odysseus”

In 2009, Australian figurative painter Claire Bridge won
both the People’s Choice Award and the Living Art Award for the Stan and Maureen Duke Gold Coast Art Prize.”






American Muse – Part I of III: Hilda Doolittle

“At least I have the flowers of myself,
and my thoughts, no god
can take that;
I have the fervour of myself for a presence
and my own spirit for light;

and my spirit with its loss
knows this;
though small against the black,
small against the formless rocks,
hell must break before I am lost;

before I am lost,
hell must open like a red rose
for the dead to pass.” – From “Eurydice,” by Hilda “H.D.” Doolittle, poet, novelist, memoirist, and author of “Sea Garden,” who was born 10 September 1886.


All Greece hates
the still eyes in the white face,
the lustre as of olives
where she stands,
and the white hands.

All Greece reviles
the wan face when she smiles,
hating it deeper still
when it grows wan and white,
remembering past enchantments
and past ills.

Greece sees, unmoved,
God’s daughter, born of love,
the beauty of cool feet
and slenderest knees,
could love indeed the maid,
only if she were laid,
white ash amid funereal cypresses.

Below – Dante Gabriel Rossetti: “Helen of Troy”

Reflections in Summer: Rob Schultheis

“There’s a silent voice in the wilderness that we hear only when no one else is around. When you go far, far beyond, out across the netherlands of the Known, the din of human static slowly fades away, over and out.”

American Art – Part II of III: Joe Velez

Joe Velez (born 1978) is a self-taught painter.







American Muse – Part II of III: Georgia Douglas Johnson

“Rise with the hour for which you were made.” – Georgia Douglas Johnson, poet, playwright, member of the Harlem Renaissance, and author of “The Heart of a Woman,” who was born 10 September 1880.

“Common Dust”

And who shall separate the dust
What later we shall be:
Whose keen discerning eye will scan
And solve the mystery?

The high, the low, the rich, the poor, 

The black, the white, the red, 

And all the chromatique between, 

Of whom shall it be said:

Here lies the dust of Africa; 

Here are the sons of Rome; 

Here lies the one unlabelled, 

The world at large his home!

Can one then separate the dust? 

Will mankind lie apart, 

When life has settled back again 

The same as from the start?

Reflections in Summer: John Muir

“Raindrops blossom brilliantly in the rainbow, and change to flowers in the sod, but snow comes in full flower direct from the dark, frozen sky.”

Back from the Territory – Art: Ron Stephens

In the words of one writer, “Ron Stephens, reduction stoneware potter, painter and sheet metal sculptor, was born in Kitchener, Ontario. In high school, he took a potters course. The craft came naturally to him. After graduation, Ron hitch-hiked west in the late 70’s and found work in a pottery supply house in Calgary, Alberta. In 1983 he started his own wheel thrown high-fire production pottery business near Vancouver, B.C., distributing his wares throughout the west for 20 years.
His current love and inspiration is metal sculpture. Ron designs and produces by hand a full line of honest depictions of wild life and domestic creatures.
Each rustic metal sculpture is real rusted metal (just like his car). Ron delights in bringing metal to life by hand-cutting and bending and welding (like origami metal) and allowing the west coast humidity to slowly rust the surface, “bloomed” to develop a finish that is unique, variable and natural. Then the surface is sealed. Your hinterland creation may be used as an indoor shelf or outdoor garden ornament.
Because the sculptures are already rusty, you can leave them outside without any maintenance. The rust will act as a paint and they will not rust away, but continue to get that rich pitted textured surface. If you want to freshen up the finish, spray on some clear urethane.”

Back from the Territory, I share this with you, before I light out again.

Below – “Bear”; “Moose”; “Salmon”; “Bear Head Hook”; “Moose Head Hook.”





Reflections in Summer: Edward Abbey

“I thought of the wilderness we had left behind us, open to sea and sky, joyous in its plenitude and simplicity, perfect yet vulnerable, unaware of what is coming, defended by nothing, guarded by no one.”


American Muse – Part III of III: Amy Clampitt

“The music is a vibration in the brain rather than the ear. ” – Amy Clampitt, poet, writer, and author of “A Silence Opens: Poems,” who died 10 September 1994.


First daylight on the bittersweet-hung
sleeping porch at high summer; dew
all over the lawn, sowing diamond-
point-highlighted shadows;
the hired man’s shadow revolving
along the walk, a flash of milkpails
passing; no threat in sight, no hint
anywhere in the universe, of that

apathy at the meridian, the noon
of absolute boredom; flies
crooning black lullabies in the kitchen,
milk-soured crocks, cream separator
still unwashed; what is there to life
but chores and more chores, dishwater,
fatigue, unwanted children; nothing
to stir the longueur of afternoon
except possibly thunderheads;
climbing, livid, turreted alabaster
lit up from within by splendor and terror
— forked lightning’s
split-second disaster.

Below – Tracy Tauber: “Thunderclouds with Lightning”


Reflections in Summer: Sigurd F. Olson

“Wilderness to the people of America is a spiritual necessity, an antidote to the high pressure of modern life, a means of regaining serenity and equilibrium.”


American Art – Part III of III: Ed Kamuda

In the words of one writer, “Established artist Ed Kamuda creates abstractions that reveal a reverence for nature and a mystic bent that link him to Northwest School of painters such as Guy Anderson, Morris Graves, and Mark Tobey. The Pacific Northwest forests, Cascade Mountains and fields of rural Washington, especially the Skagit Valley are the inspiration for his works. He is known for his use of simplified shapes that symbolically and pictographically convey the essence of the natural landscape and the human experience. Form and line are reduced to primitive, bold elements, sometimes playful, but ever sophisticated.
Kamuda works with a palette knife rather than a brush, building up and scratching away oil pigments before finishing the surface with a wax varnish to enhance and give texture to the surface. This method results in lively, facetted surfaces that complement his bold lines and shapes, and serve to reinforce his interpretation nature strong and wondrous.”

Below – “Chance of Rain in a Dry Year”; “In Dry Country Near Pipestone”; “In the Cabbage Field”; “Singing in the Night”; “Roof of the World”; “Relic with Red Sky.”






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September Offerings – Part IX: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of V: Peter de Lory

In the words of one writer, “Photographer Peter de Lory works most frequently in black and white, creating images that formally and symbolically invite viewers to plumb their own memories and experiences for meaning. Long interested in the history and literature of the West, he explores the intersection of the natural landscape and human presence. During his long career, De Lory has followed the Lewis and Clark Trail, revealed Native American traces, documented iconic Western topography from the desert to forest floors to waterfalls. His works for Sound Transit and Seattle water department (now Seattle Public Utilities) show his versatility in dramatizing the urban environment.”

Below – “Night Passage, Northern Star Trails on the Burr Trail, Utah”; “San Juan de Fuca”; “Fool’s Progress”; “Smith Tower – Alaskan Viaduct”; “Cottonwood Tree, Pyramid Lake, Nevada”; “Icarus #1.”

A Poem for Today

By Elinor Wylie

My locks are shorn for sorrow
Of love which may not be;
Tomorrow and tomorrow
Are plotting cruelty.

The winter wind tangles
These ringlets half-grown,
The sun sprays with spangles
And rays like his own.

Oh, quieter and colder
Is the stream; he will wait;
When my curls touch my shoulder
He will comb them straight.

Below – John Everett Millais: “Ophelia”

From the Music Archives – Part I of II: Bill Monroe

Died 9 September 1996 – Bill Monroe, an American musician and vocalist credited with creating bluegrass music.

Reflections in Summer: Loren Eiseley

“It is a commonplace of all religious thought, even the most primitive, that the man seeking visions and insight must go apart from his fellows and live for a time in the wilderness.”

From the American Old West: American Horse

9 September 1876 – Sioux Chief American Horse dies during the Battle of Slim Buttes.

In the words of one historian, “American Horse the Elder is notable in American history as one of the principal war chiefs allied with Crazy Horse during Red Cloud’s War (1866-1868) and the Battle of the Little Bighorn during the Great Sioux War of 1876-1877.”

In the words of a second historian, “American Horse the Elder was an Oglala Lakota warrior chief renowned for Spartan courage and honor. American Horse is notable in American history as one of the principal war chiefs allied with Crazy Horse during Red Cloud’s War (1866-1868) and the Battle of the Little Bighorn during the Great Sioux War of 1876-1877. Chief American Horse was a son of Old Chief Smoke, an Oglala Lakota head chief and one of the last great Shirt Wearers, a highly prestigious Lakota warrior society.”

No photograph of American Horse the Elder is known to exist.

Below – Slim Buttes, the site of the battle in which American Horse was killed.

Reflections in Summer: Doug Peacock

“The whole concept of ‘wild’ was decidedly European, one not shared by the original inhabitants of this continent. What we called ‘wilderness’ was to the Indian a homeland, ‘abiding loveliness’ in Salish or Piegan. The land was not something to be feared or conquered, and ‘wildlife’ were neither wild nor alien; they were relatives.”

Below – Roland Gissing: “Teepees by a mountain river”

American Art – Part II of V: Frederic Kellogg

According to one critic, “Kellogg is one of a number of artists engaged in the search for what can be called a contemporary realism. Like others, he has been deeply influenced by the work of American realists Edward Hopper and Fairfield Porter, and challenged by the impact of photography as an art form, as well as the innovations of the mid-twentieth-century Abstract Expressionists and their aftermath. ‘Realism has to find a new legitimacy,’ the artist says. ‘It demonstrates what only painting can do in helping people to see what is around them but with new techniques and innovative approaches.’”






A Second Poem for Today

“Men at Forty”
By Donald Justice

Men at forty
Learn to close softly
The doors to rooms they will not be
Coming back to.

At rest on a stair landing,
They feel it
Moving beneath them now like the deck of a ship,
Though the swell is gentle.

And deep in mirrors
They rediscover
The face of the boy as he practices trying
His father’s tie there in secret

And the face of that father,
Still warm with the mystery of lather.
They are more fathers than sons themselves now.
Something is filling them, something

That is like the twilight sound
Of the crickets, immense,
Filling the woods at the foot of the slope
Behind their mortgaged houses.

Below – William Brody: “House on the Hill”

Reflections in Summer: T.K. Whipple

“All America lies at the end of the wilderness road, and our past is not a dead past, but still lives in us. Our forefathers had civilization inside themselves, the wild outside. We live in the civilization they created, but within us the wilderness still lingers. What they dreamed, we live, and what they lived, we dream.”

Dutch Art – Part I of II: Herman Smorenburg

According to one critic, “The world according to Herman Smorenburg is full of imagination and vision. His interest in mysticism and esoteric philosophy and a classic education at the Amsterdam School of Art have evolved into a gifted idiosyncratic artist, who manages to touch upon the depth of life in his oil paintings.
Herman S. was born in Alkmaar in the north of Holland in 1958. After his formal training he studied the classical painting technique of applying transparent oil glazes on a monochrome underpainting resulting in the subtlety of colour and delicate hues of light and shade which have become characteristic of his work. In his subject matter he concentrates on mythology and visionary landscapes, sometimes with architectural structures from Antiquity or a long gone era. Female figures inhibit the world of his dreams. They invite the viewer to come along and enjoy the serenity of the scene. They function as mediators between heaven and earth, living in a timeless dimension.
Herman’s paintings, just as any poem or symphony, may function as a channel: he encourages us to open our hearts and feel the truth of his message inside.”





From the Music Archives – Part II of II: David Allan “Dave” Stewart

Born 9 September 1952 – Dave Stewart, an English musician and songwriter best known for his work with Eurythmics.

Reflections in Summer: Robert Louis Stevenson

“The most beautiful adventures are not those we go to seek.”

Dutch Art – Part II of II: Rieke van der Stoep

In the words of one critic, “For pictorial artist Rieke van der Stoep, artistry is a way of life. To her, sculpting is a sublime utterance of what she experiences in her inner self. Even though she chose to become an artist in her later life, as a child she also engaged in artistic pastimes. She worked with textiles, designing and making clothes, acting, painting, drawing, designing decors. Her attention was drawn to graphics and she owned a graphic design company for some years. Artistic dynamic coach and glassblowing training illustrate her many-sided creativity.”






Reflections in Summer: Peter Heller

“Maybe freedom really is nothing left to lose. You had it once in childhood, when it was okay to climb a tree, to paint a crazy picture and wipe out on your bike, to get hurt. The spirit of risk gradually takes its leave. It follows the wild cries of joy and pain down the wind, through the hedgerow, growing ever fainter. What was that sound? A dog barking far off? That was our life calling to us, the one that was vigorous and undefended and curious.”

According to one critic, “Born in Saigon, Marc Bourlier spent his youth moving between Africa, South America, and Asia. After watching the light passing through so many landscapes, he developed an eye and appreciation for the colors and textures of the natural world. He first became a painter, admiring the work of Calder, Miró, Braque, and Leger. Even when working with paint, it is said that he has always had a gift for letting the material ‘show its own face.’
After a show in Brussels in 1986, he began a period where he worked exclusively with corrugated cardboard for almost ten years. The style of Bourlier’s work that we see now seems to be the product of random chance: one day in 1995 while sitting on the beach in Normandy, a small piece of driftwood caught his eye, and he used it to make his first driftwood piece. This act of appropriation marked the transition of the artist from color to non-color, and from painting to ‘almost’ sculpture. The only common thread from his previous work to now is the human element at the heart of his approach.”






A Third Poem for Today

“Meaner than a Junkyard Dog,
Turner’s Evil Twin”
By Turner Cassity

Our genes have junk in them. Not all the messages
That DNA contains does RNA read out.
Inheritance has drastic editing. What, though,
Are unused possibilities the relic of?
A better us, or worse? Are we as we exist
Young Dr. Jekyll failed or full-blown Hyde avoided?
(If avoided). As of now we cannot know.
All we can say is, both the shadow archetype
And Doppelgänger, and the succubus as well,
Hang near us. Life, genetic outcome of a code
That has its blind spots, parallels what it is not—
An endless replicase of what it has destroyed
To be. Dumb corpse one carries, Siamese dark self
Whose only life is to embarrass, in our joint
Past where did we in aim diverge? Is it that aim
Was in itself the agency of difference?
Ambition’s never quite evaded progeny,
A shadow is by definition follower.
But in the hidden mirror of the goal suppressed,
What proud construct of junk discarded bides his time?

American Art – Part III of V: Daniel Ludwig

Here is one writer describing the background and artistry of painter and sculptor Daniel Ludwig: “Born in September, 1959, in Colorado, Ludwig’s family moved to Lexington, KY in his teens. He received his BA in Sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1981 and went on to receive an MFA in Painting from the University of Cincinnati in 1986. Ludwig has portrayed the female human figure throughout his career searching for classical purity, influenced by modern masters like Matisse and Diebenkorn.”
Daniel Ludwig

Daniel Ludwig

Daniel Ludwig

Daniel Ludwig

Daniel Ludwig


Daniel Ludwig

Daniel Ludwig

Daniel Ludwig

Polish artist Tomasz Rut (born 1961) trained in Art Conservation at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and continued his education in New York City at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and at Columbia University in Manhattan. In the words of one critic, “Rut’s mural sized paintings are contemporary conversions of the classical vocabulary variously continued by Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, and Rubens.”

Tomasz Rut

Tomasz Rut

Tomasz Rut

Tomasz Rut

Tomasz Rut

Reflections in Summer: Jimmy Carter

“Like music and art, love of nature is a common language that can transcend political or social boundaries.”

Here is the Artist Statement of Irish painter Ronan Goti (born 1978): “My paintings attempt to show humanity in harmony with nature and also try to capture a balance that exists when the natural world is left to itself. My work reflects my views about how I would like the world to be. I observe the beauty around me and try to capture that in my paintings, so that others may experience what I see and feel.”
Ronan Goti _ paintings
Ronan Goti _ paintings

Ronan Goti _ paintings

Ronan Goti _ paintings

Ronan Goti _ paintings

Ronan Goti _ paintings

Ronan Goti _ paintings

Ronan Goti _ paintings

Reflections in Summer: Marty Rubin

“Travel doesn’t become adventure until you leave yourself behind.”
American Art – Part IV of V: Karla Nolan

This is how American painter Karla Nolan describes her artistry: “J.M.W. Turner, Georgia O’Keeffe, Paul Cezanne — all have had an incredible influence on my perception of fine art and I admire each of them greatly. My style of art might be called ‘abstract realism,’ an oxymoron in its own right. I tend to relive my memories of the landscapes, flowers, food, and skies that I have witnessed and studied as I paint them.”

Below – “Red Cliff Dusk”; “The Vastness of Where My Loved Ones Are”; “Imagination at Dark”; “Red Sky Falling”; “Delicate Arch, Utah”; “Embers Sunset”; “Valley of the Gods, Utah”; “Wild Flowers of the Wild West” (painting on glass); “Pink Dusk through Winter Aspens”; “Mesa Verde, Panoramic View.”










American Literary Genius: Mary Hunter Austin

“We are not all born at once, but by bits. The body first, and the spirit later… Our mothers are racked with the pains of our physical birth; we ourselves suffer the longer pains of our spiritual growth.” – Mary Hunter Austin, American nature writer of the American Southwest, author of “The Land of Little Rain,” and a masterful prose stylist, who was born 9 September 1868.

Some quotes from “The Land of Little Rain”:

“Probably we never fully credit the interdependence of wild creatures, and their cognizance of the affairs of their own kind.”
“People would be surprised to know how much I learned about prayer from playing poker.”
“This is the sense of the desert hills, that there is room enough and time enough.”
“Man is a great blunderer going about in the woods, and there is no other except the bear makes so much noise.”
“The manner of the country makes the usage of life there, and the land will not be lived in except in its own fashion.”
“The country where you may have sight and touch of that which is written lies between the high Sierras south from Yosemite—east and south over a very great assemblage of broken ranges beyond Death Valley, and on illimitably into the Mojave Desert. You may come into the borders of it from the south by a stage journey that has the effect of involving a great lapse of time, or from the north by rail, dropping out of the overland route at Reno. The best of all ways is over the Sierra passes by pack and trail, seeing and believing. But the real heart and core of the country are not to be come at in a month’s vacation. One must summer and winter with the land and wait its occasions. Pine woods that take two and three seasons to the ripening of cones, roots that lie by in the sand seven years awaiting a growing rain, firs that grow fifty years before flowering,—these do not scrape acquaintance. But if ever you come beyond the borders as far as the town that lies in a hill dimple at the foot of Kearsarge, never leave it until you have knocked at the door of the brown house under the willow-tree at the end of the village street, and there you shall have such news of the land, of its trails and what is astir in them, as one lover of it can give to another.”

Below – Mary Austin; a classic in the genre of outdoor literature; “the brown house under the willow-tree at the end of the village street.”



Reflections in Summer: Nancy Wynne Newhall

“The Wilderness holds answers to more questions than we have yet learned to ask.”

Back from the Territory – Art: Saila Kipanek

Saila Kipanek in an Inuit sculptor.

Back from the Territory, I share this with you, before I light out again.

Below – “Narwhale.”
Reflections in Summer: Robert Macfarlane

“Mountains seem to answer an increasing imaginative need in the West. More and more people are discovering a desire for them, and a powerful solace in them. At bottom, mountains, like all wildernesses, challenge our complacent conviction – so easy to lapse into – that the world has been made for humans by humans. Most of us exist for most of the time in worlds which are humanly arranged, themed and controlled. One forgets that there are environments which do not respond to the flick of a switch or the twist of a dial, and which have their own rhythms and orders of existence. Mountains correct this amnesia. By speaking of greater forces than we can possibly invoke, and by confronting us with greater spans of time than we can possibly envisage, mountains refute our excessive trust in the man-made. They pose profound questions about our durability and the importance of our schemes. They induce, I suppose, a modesty in us.”

American Art – Part V of V: Terry Furchgott

In the words of one writer, “Figurative artist, Terry Furchgott, creates narrative works, often incorporating intricate still life subjects. Furchgott works with live models and sets up tableaux in the studio or during her travels, incorporating domestic objects and architectural elements. Her works, whether in acrylic or pastel, are notable for their masterful use of color and pattern. Through dynamic compositions, her paintings explore the nature of human relationships.
Originally from New York City, Terry Furchgott studied at Camden Arts Centre, London, England and Radcliffe College, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Terry Furchgott has completed numerous public arts commissions that capture the diversity of people and richness of urban life. Collections of public works throughout Washington State include large-scale murals and mobiles for the Kent Regional Justice Center, the University of Washington Medical Center, Portland Northeast Health Center and many public schools in Washington State and Alaska.”

Below – “Complementary Offering”; “Flora”; “Persimmons and Cup”; “Morning in the Night Orchard”; “The Little Odalisque”; “High Summer in the Garden.”






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September Offerings – Part VIII: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of III: Joel Brock

In the words of one writer, “Utilizing pastel, charcoal, graphite, acrylic, and gesso, Joel Brock (1961- 2013) created light-filled compositions based upon observations of architecture, still life, and the landscape. Inspired by local gems such as the Samish River Valley, Brock focused on horizontal expanses that emphasize tranquility and soft haze. His architectural scenes often feature the vacant homes of farm workers highlighting the sculptural qualities and emptiness of these uninhabited spaces. Brock’s still life works fuse natural and interior spaces with a minimalist tendency. Important to him were the possibilities a given subject affords to play with light, shape, and form. His tendency toward abstraction is evident in his compositions with strong geometry and gestural mark making.”

Below – “Still Life with Blackeyed Susan”; “Flowers IV: Mr. Anderson”; “Capitalism”; “Corner House”; “Samish Valley.”






8 September 1952 – Ernest Hemingway publishes “The Old Man and the Sea.” In the words of one literary historian, “It was the last major work of fiction to be produced by Hemingway and published in his lifetime…’The Old Man and the Sea’ was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1953 and was cited by the Nobel Committee as contributing to the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature to Hemingway in 1954.”

A few quotes from “The Old Man and the Sea”:

“‘But man is not made for defeat,’ he said. ‘A man can be destroyed but not defeated.’”
“I may not be as strong as I think, but I know many tricks and I have resolution.”
“He always thought of the sea as ‘la mar’ which is what people call her in Spanish when they love her. Sometimes those who love her say bad things of her but they are always said as though she were a woman. Some of the younger fishermen, those who used buoys as floats for their lines and had motorboats, bought when the shark livers had brought much money, spoke of her as ‘el mar’ which is masculine. They spoke of her as a contestant or a place or even an enemy. But the old man always thought of her as feminine and as something that gave or withheld great favours, and if she did wild or wicked things it was because she could not help them. The moon affects her as it does a woman, he thought.”
“He rested sitting on the un-stepped mast and sail and tried not to think but only to endure.”

Humberto Castro (born 1957) is a highly regarded Cuban artist. I have selected six of his works that in some measure complement the previous Hemingway post.

Below – “Gift of the Sea”: “Like Fish”; “Mother of the Waters”; “Sailors”; “Azul”; “The Wrong Home.”







From the American Old West: Joaquin Miller

“Let us go and talk with the poets.” – The first words spoken by Joaquin Miller, American poet, who was born 8 September 1837, upon arriving in San Francisco.

Joaquin Miller was called the “Poet of the Sierras” and “The Byron of the Rockies,” though he had no delusions about being a great writer (“I’m damned if I could tell the difference between a hexameter and a pentameter to save my scalp.”). Nonetheless, his poetry was very popular in both the United States and Britain, and generations of American schoolchildren memorized and recited “Columbus.”


Behind him lay the gray Azores,
Behind the Gates of Hercules;
Before him not the ghost of shores,
Before him only shoreless seas.
The good mate said: “Now we must pray,
For lo! the very stars are gone.
Brave Admiral, speak, what shall I say?”
“Why, say, ‘Sail on! sail on! and on!’ ”

“My men grow mutinous day by day;
My men grow ghastly wan and weak.”
The stout mate thought of home; a spray
Of salt wave washed his swarthy cheek.
“What shall I say, brave Admiral, say,
If we sight naught but seas at dawn?”
“Why, you shall say at break of day,
‘Sail on! sail on! and on!’ ”

They sailed and sailed, as winds might blow,
Until at last the blanched mate said:
“Why, now not even God would know
Should I and all my men fall dead.
These very winds forget their way,
For God from these dead seas is gone.
Now speak, brave Admiral, speak and say” —
He said, “Sail on! sail on! and on!”

They sailed. They sailed. Then spake the mate:
“This mad sea shows his teeth tonight.
He curls his lip, he lies in wait,
With lifted teeth, as if to bite!
Brave Admiral, say but one good word:
What shall we do when hope is gone?”
The words leapt like a leaping sword:
“Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!”

Then pale and worn, he kept his deck,
And peered through darkness. Ah, that night
Of all dark nights! And then a speck —
A light! a light! at last a light!
It grew, a starlit flag unfurled!
It grew to be Time’s burst of dawn.
He gained a world; he gave that world
Its grandest lesson: “On! sail on!”

“California’s Cup Of Gold”

The golden poppy is God’s gold, 

The gold that lifts, nor weighs us down, 

The gold that knows no miser’s hold 

The gold that banks not in the town, 

But singing, laughing, freely spills 

Its hoard far up the happy hills;

Far up, far down, at every turn,– 

What beggar has not gold to burn!

Below – The Golden Poppy (California’s state flower)

Reflections in Summer: Randall Jarrell

“One of the most obvious facts about grown-ups, to a child, is that they have forgotten what it is like to be a child.”

From the Movie Archives: Robert Cox

Died 8 September 1974 – Robert Cox, an American actor and the last surviving member of the Keystone Kops.

The video tribute to the Keystone Kops and Robert Cox posted below is definitely worth watching.

A Poem for Today

“The Patient”
By Jeff Holt

The doctors know I dream when I’m awake.
I’ve smoked until my fingertips are brown.
Watching the door, I sit alone and shake.

My sister and her kids, Kelly and Jake,
Played games with me when I’d sink this far down
Until they knew I dream when I’m awake.

When Beth comes now, her smile is bright and fake.
She doesn’t want to bring the kids downtown.
She leaves too soon. I sit alone and shake.

The voice is back. It whispers till I ache.
I’m soaked in sweat and tangled in my gown
When they catch me dreaming while still awake.

They’ve brought more pills that they must watch me take.
They’re lifeguards staring at me as I drown.
They leave again. I sit alone and shake.

I’m stuck in a glass bubble I can’t break.
The others stand outside and watch the clown.
I wish I didn’t dream when I’m awake.
The room grows dark. I sit alone and shake.

Reflections in Summer: Jeffrey R. Anderson

“It is not required that we know all of the details about every stretch of the river. Indeed, were we to know, it would not be an adventure, and I wonder if there would be much point in the journey.”

Here is the Artist Statement of Spanish Painter Jose Sanchez Parrales: “I am self-taught. I have won two prizes in my life, and I felt the same bad impression we all we do in this country of hyperrealism. We are surrounded by detractors who want to simplify our work to nothing – at least until recently. If a camera could paint, I would understand, but to my knowledge it still cannot. My passion for this noble art of painting craft keeps me on the road. No more words.”

“You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
Sneak home and pray you’ll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go.” – From “Suicide in the Trenches,” by Siegfried Sassoon, English poet, writer, and soldier. In the words of one literary historian, “Decorated for bravery on the Western Front, he became one of the leading poets of the First World War. His poetry both described the horrors of the trenches, and satirized the patriotic pretensions of those who, in Sassoon’s view, were responsible for a jingoism-fuelled war.”

“Does It Matter?”

Does it matter? -losing your legs?
For people will always be kind,
And you need not show that you mind
When others come in after hunting
To gobble their muffins and eggs.
Does it matter? -losing you sight?
There’s such splendid work for the blind;
And people will always be kind,
As you sit on the terrace remembering
And turning your face to the light.
Do they matter-those dreams in the pit?
You can drink and forget and be glad,
And people won’t say that you’re mad;
For they know that you’ve fought for your country,
And no one will worry a bit.

Below – John Singer Sargent: “Gassed”

Reflections in Summer: Soren Kierkegaard

“People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.”


One critic describes the spirit that informs the work of Romanian painter Sabin Balasa (1932-2008) as “cosmic Romanticism.”







Reflections in Summer: Grace Lichtenstein

“Adventure can be an end in itself. Self-discovery is the secret ingredient.”
Stairway on heaven

“Landscapes have a language of their own, expressing the soul of the things, lofty or humble, which constitute them, from the mighty peaks to the smallest of the tiny flowers hidden in the meadow’s grass.” – Alexandra David-Neel, Belgian-French explorer, spiritualist, Buddhist, anarchist, and writer, who died 8 September 1969. In the words of one historian, “She is most known for her 1924 visit to Lhasa, Tibet when it was forbidden to foreigners. David-Néel wrote over 30 books about Eastern religion, philosophy, and her travels. Her teachings influenced beat writers Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, philosopher Alan Watts, and esotericist Benjamin Creme.”

Some quotes from the work of Alexandra David-Neel:

“To the one who knows how to look and feel, every moment of this free wandering life is an enchantment.”
“Landscapes have a language of their own, expressing the soul of the things, lofty or humble, which constitute them, from the mighty peaks to the smallest of the tiny flowers hidden in the meadow’s grass.”
“Work cannot convey the almost voluptuous sweetness of the feelings experienced . . . in solitude.”
“Guard against idols – yes, guard against all idols, of which surely the greatest is oneself.”
“Nature has a language of its own, or maybe those who have lived long in solitude read it in their own unconscious inner feelings and mysterious foreknowledge.”

Below – Alexandra David-Neel in Lhasa in 1924; Alexandra David-Neel in Tibet in 1933.


Reflections in Summer: Sigmund Freud

“Everywhere I go I find a poet has been there before me.”
Sigmund Freud

A Second Poem for Today

“Cold Poem,”
By Jim Harrison

A cold has put me on the fritz, said Eugene O’Neill,

how can I forget certain things?

Now I have thirteen bottles of red wine

where once I had over a thousand.

I know where they went but why should I tell?

Every day I feed the dogs and birds.

The yard is littered with bones and seed husks.

Hearts spend their entire lives in the dark,

but the dogs and birds are fond of me.

I take a shower frequently but still

women are not drawn to me in large numbers.

Perhaps they know I’m happily married

and why exhaust themselves vainly to seduce me?

I loaned hundreds of thousands of dollars

and was paid back only by two Indians.

If I had known history it was never otherwise.

This is the song of the cold when people

are themselves but less so, people

who haven’t listened to my unworded advice.

I was once described as “immortal”

but this didn’t include my mother who recently died.

And why go to New York after the asteroid 

and the floods of polar waters, the crumbling

buildings, when you’re the only one there

in 2050? Come back to earth.

Blow your nose and dwell on the shortness of life.

Lift up your dark heart and sing a song about 

how time drifts past you like the gentlest, almost imperceptible breeze.

Born in Morocco in 1952, artist Marie-Paule Deville-Chabrolle spent two years teaching in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.










Reflections in Summer: Thomas Henry Huxley

“We live in a world which is full of misery and ignorance, and the plain duty of each and all of us is to try to make the little corner he can influence somewhat less miserable and somewhat less ignorant than it was before he entered.”

From the Music Archives – Part I of II: Patsy Cline

“Jimmy Dean dropped by my session the other night and said, ‘I see you’re still singing your ass off,’ and I said to him, ‘I see you’re still as big headed as you Texans always are.'” – Patsy Cline, born Virginia Patterson Hensley, country music singer and one of the greatest American vocalists, who was born 8 September 1932.

Reflections in Summer: Jack Kerouac

“So shut up, live, travel, adventure, bless and don’t be sorry.”

American Art – Part II of III: David Edward Kucera

After pursuing a career in music, painter David Edward Kucera enrolled at the Colorado Institute of Art, graduating with honors in 1991. In the words of one critic, “Kucera finds people of the Old West to be visually and spiritually fascinating subject matter. Through a colorfully rich palette, clever composition, and perspective his work comes alive.”






Reflections in Summer: Maurice Maeterlinck

“Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves.”
From the Music Archives – Part II of II: Moondog

Died 8 September 1999 – Moondog, born Louis Thomas Hardin, blind American musician, composer, poet, and inventor of several musical instruments.

Reflections in Summer: Federico Fellini

“There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the passion of life.”

A Third Poem for Today

“Prayer for His Lady’s Life”
By Ezra Pound

From ‘Propertius, Elegiae, Lib. III, 26’

Here let thy clemency, Persephone, hold firm,
Do thou, Pluto, bring here no greater harshness.
So many thousand beauties are gone down to Avernus,
Ye Might let one remain above with us.

With you is Iope, with you the white-gleaming Tyro,
With you is Europa and the shameless Pasiphae,
And all the fair from Troy and all from Achaia,
From the sundered realms, of Thebes and of aged Priamus;
And all the maidens of Rome, as many as they were,
They died and the greed of your flame consumes them.

‘Here let thy clemency, Persephone, hold firm,
Do thou, Pluto, bring here no greater harshness.
So many thousand fair are gone down to Avernus,
Ye might let one remain above with us.’

Below – Glenn Austin: “Hades and Persephone”

Reflections in Summer: Rabindranath Tagore

“Let your life lightly dance on the edges of Time like dew on the tip of a leaf.”

Back from the Territory – Art: Jana Bidrman

Jana Bidrman is a jewelry maker who uses gold in the crafting of most of her work.

Back from the Territory, I share this with you, before I light out again.

Below – “Nugget Pendant”; “Flower Pendant”; “Nugget Stud Earings”; “Teardrop Necklace.”




Reflections in Summer: Henry David Thoreau

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.”

American Art – Part III of III: John Cole

In the words of one writer, “Recognized as one of the Pacific Northwest’s pre-eminent landscape painters, John D. Cole (1937-2007) was a British-born American painter who made his home in Bellingham, Washington for over 30 years. Favoring abstraction over literal description, Cole’s distinctive, muscular style, which evolved out of his European background and American modernist influences, sublimely expresses the key features of the majestic Northwest landscape— water, mountains, and trees.
The artist’s approach to painting nurtures a captivating tension between abstraction and representation. Broadly applied opaque color, simplified shapes suggesting massive forms, and superbly constructed compositions are the hallmarks of Cole’s style. While marked European influences from German Expressionists, Cubists, Fauves are present in Cole’s paintings, it was the reverent representations of nature by the Canadian Group of Seven that drew him to make his home in Washington, within easy driving distance of British Columbia and Oregon. The artist also painted on Long Island (NY) as a youth, and in Southern California, New Mexico and Florida.”

Below – “Blue Lake”; “Afterglow”; “Alder Islands”; “Waterfall”; “Chuckanut Evening”; “Late Afternoon Pothole Lakes.”






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September Offerings – Part VII: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of II: Stephen Wright

Stephen Wright earned a BFA in Graphic Design with a Minor in Illustration from Cal State, Long Beach.

Below – “Catherine 6”; “Karen Jean 2”; “Portrait of Alyssa Monks 4”; “Catherine 3”; “Karen Jean 3.”





I’m patient with stupidity, but not with those who are proud of it.” – Dame Edith Sitwell, British poet and critic, who was born 7 September 1887.

Some quotes from Dame Edith Sitwell:

“My personal hobbies are reading, listening to music, and silence.”
“I am not eccentric. It’s just that I am more alive than most people. I am an unpopular electric eel set in a pond of catfish.”
“Eccentricity is not, as some would believe, a form of madness. It is often a kind of innocent pride, and the man of genius and the aristocrat are frequently regarded as eccentrics because genius and aristocrat are entirely unafraid of and uninfluenced by the opinions and vagaries of the crowd.”
“I wish the government would put a tax on pianos for the incompetent.”
“Poetry is the deification of reality.”

Below – Roger Fry: “Edith Sitwell.”

Reflections in Summer: Marty Rubin

“Take a wrong turn. Get lost in something you love.”
Girl with umbrella and suitcase walking by the road at countrysi

Here is one critic describing the background of Indian painter Jamil Naqsh (born 1939): “A simple man at heart, Jamil Naqsh lives surrounded by plants and greenery, birds and other pets, paintings and artefacts. A very eastern man, Jamil Naqsh never lost sight of his roots. Sitting on the floor, recounting anecdotes, and relating experiences of his childhood, he is a sensitive man totally absorbed in his work, and yet completely aware of all that is happening in the world of today. Bridging both worlds with no seeming contradiction, he is both a modern expressionist and a traditional miniaturist.”





From the Music Archives: Gloria Gaynor

Born 7 September 1949 – Gloria Gaynor, an American vocalist.

Reflections in Summer: May Sarton

“Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is the richness of self.”

A Poem for Today

“The Stone Mason”
By Jan Schreiber

He builds from local rocks that come to hand—
craggy, irregular, or water-worn—
and guided by a form he has in mind
but nothing like a plan, nothing so stern.
Colors and sizes join haphazardly
except for some that draw themselves together;
some likely stones he has to throw away,
a few so small they are not worth the bother.
And gradually the thing materializes,
assumes the shape he’d say he worked to build
although the details harbor some surprises
and there are places where he’d say he failed.
A century from now all will be changed
except the pile of rocks that he arranged.

Reflections in Summer: Jerzy Kosinski

“The principle of true art is not to portray, but to evoke.”

Below – Vincent van Gogh: “Café Terrace on the Place du Forum”


“I was getting sick and tired of being lectured by dear friends with their little bottles of water and their regular visits to the gym. All of a sudden, we’ve got this voluntary prohibition that has to do with health and fitness. I’m not really in favor of health and fitness.” – Barbara Holland, American writer and author of
“Endangered Pleasures: In Defense of Naps, Bacon, Martinis, Profanity, and Other Indulgences” and “The Joy of Drinking,” who died 7 September 2010.

Some quotes from the work of Barbara Holland:

“A catless writer is almost inconceivable. It’s a perverse taste, really, since it would be easier to write with a herd of buffalo in the room than even one cat; they make nests in the notes and bite the end of the pen and walk on the typewriter keys.”
“Drink, the social glue of the human race. Probably in the beginning we could explain ourselves to our close family members with grunts, muttered syllables, gestures, slaps, and punches. Then when the neighbors started dropping in to help harvest, stomp, stir, and drink the bounty of the land, after we’d softened our natural suspicious hostility with a few stiff ones, we had to think up some more nuanced communications, like words. From there it was a short step to grammar, civil law, religion, history, and ‘The Whiffenpoof Song.’”
“For some of us, the soul is resident in the sole, and yearns ceaselessly for light and air and self-expression. Our feet are our very selves. The touch of floor or carpet, grass or mud or asphalt, speaks to us loud and clear from the foot, that scorned and lowly organ as dear to us as our eyes and ears.”
“In the metropolitan haunts of the highly sophisticated, the cocktail is no longer an instrument of friendship but a competitive fashion statement, or one-upmanship.”
“In the taverns all was amiable and easy, but the coffeehouses were cauldrons of edgy malcontents.”
“Joy has been leaking out of our life. We have let the new Puritans take over, spreading a layer of foreboding across the land until even ignorant small children rarely laugh anymore. Pain has become nobler than pleasure; work, however foolish or futile, nobler than play; and denying ourselves even the most harmless delights marks the suitably somber outlook on life.”
“Our Revolution was born and raised in taverns.”


Reflections in Summer: Edgar Watson Howe

“The worst feeling in the world is the homesickness that comes over a man occasionally when he is at home.”

Greco-Italian painter Carlo Maiolini has studied art in both Tunis and Paris.







“The cure for anything is salt water – tears, sweat, or the sea.” – Karen von Blixen-Finecke, better known by her pen name Isak Dinesen, Danish writer and author of “Out of Africa,” who died 7 September 1962.

Some quotes from “Out of Africa”:

“People who dream when they sleep at night know of a special kind of happiness which the world of the day holds not, a placid ecstasy, and ease of heart, that are like honey on the tongue. They also know that the real glory of dreams lies in their atmosphere of unlimited freedom. It is not the freedom of the dictator, who enforces his own will on the world, but the freedom of the artist, who has no will, who is free of will. The pleasure of the true dreamer does not lie in the substance of the dream, but in this: that there things happen without any interference from his side, and altogether outside his control. Great landscapes create themselves, long splendid views, rich and delicate colours, roads, houses, which he has never seen or heard of.”
“Perhaps he knew, as I did not, that the Earth was made round so that we would not see too far down the road.”
“If I know a song of Africa, of the giraffe and the African new moon lying on her back, of the plows in the fields and the sweaty faces of the coffee pickers, does Africa know a song of me? Will the air over the plain quiver with a color that I have had on, or the children invent a game in which my name is, or the full moon throw a shadow over the gravel of the drive that was like me, or will the eagles of the Ngong Hills look out for me?”
“Up in this air you breathed easily, drawing in a vital assurance and lightness of heart. In the highlands you woke up in the morning and thought: Here I am, where I ought to be.”
“It is impossible that a town will not play a part in your life; it does not even make much difference whether you have more good or bad things to say of it, it draws your mind to it, by a mental law of gravitation.”
“When in the end, the day came on which I was going away, I learned the strange learning that things can happen which we ourselves cannot possibly imagine, either beforehand, or at the time when they are taking place, or afterwards when we look back on them.”

Reflections in Summer: Niccolo Machiavelli

“The more sand has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.”

Spanish painter Elena Montull (born 1976) is a graduate of the University of Zaragoza.








From the American Old West: The James-Younger Gang

7 September 1876 – The James-Younger gang fails in their attempt to rob a bank in Northfield, Minnesota. In the words of one historian, “On September 7, 1876, the James-Younger gang attempted a raid on the First National Bank of Northfield, Minnesota. After this robbery and a manhunt, only Frank and Jesse James were left alive and uncaptured.”

Below – The James-Younger Gang (left to right: Cole Younger, Jesse James, Bob Younger, Frank James); the First National Bank of Northfield, Minnesota.


Reflections in Summer: Gwendolyn Brooks

“Exhaust the little moment. Soon it dies.
And be it gash or gold it will not come
Again in this identical disguise.”

By Eve Merriam

Vacation is over;

It’s time to depart.

I must leave behind

(Although it breaks my heart)

Tadpoles in the pond,

A can of eels,

A leaky rowboat,

Abandoned car wheels;

For I’m packing only


A month of sunsets

And two apple trees.

Reflections in Summer: Michael Chabon

“Adventures befall the unadventurous as readily, if not as frequently, as the bold. Adventures are a logical and reliable result – and have been since at least the time of Odysseus – of the fatal act of leaving one’s home, or trying to return to it again. All adventures happen in that damned and magical space, wherever it may be found or chanced upon, which least resembles one’s home. As soon as you have crossed your doorstep or the county line, into that place where the structures, laws, and conventions of your upbringing no longer apply, where the support and approval (but also the disapproval and repression) of your family and neighbors are not to be had: then you have entered into adventure, a place of sorrow, marvels, and regret.”

Chinese artist Zhang Yashi studied sculpture at both the Sichuan Fine Art Institute and the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. She lives and works in Chongqing.





Reflections in Summer: Lucy Maud Montgomery

“We don’t know where we’re going, but isn’t is fun to go?”

From the American History Archives: Ferdinand Vandiveer Hayden

Born 7 September 1829 – Ferdinand Vandiveer Hayden, an American physician and geologist noted for his pioneering surveying expeditions into the Rocky Mountains in the late 19th century. In the words of one historian: “In 1871, Hayden led a geological survey into the Yellowstone region of northwestern Wyoming. The survey consisted of some 50 men which included notables such as Thomas Moran, painter and famous frontier/Civil War photographer William Henry Jackson. The following year Hayden and his work ‘Preliminary Report of the United States Geological Survey of Montana and Portions of Adjacent Territories; Being a Fifth Annual Report of Progress’ was instrumental in convincing Congress to establish Yellowstone as the first U.S. National Park, aided by Jackson’s stunning large-format photographs and Moran’s dramatic paintings. These publications also encouraged the westward expansion of the United States.”

Below – 1. Ferdinand Vandiveer Hayden during the Civil War, in which he served as a physician. 2. A noon meal in Ferdinand V. Hayden’s camp of the U.S. Geological and Geophysical Survey, Red Buttes, Wyoming Territory, August 24, 1870. Hayden sits at the far end the table in a dark jacket. (Photo by William Henry Jackson, standing at the far right.) 3. William Henry Jackson, photographer of the Hayden party. 4. William Henry Jackson photograph of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. 5 Thomas Moran painting of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. 6. Thomas Moran painting of Castle Geyser.






Reflections in Summer: Syd Hair

“Don’t spend your life collecting other people’s postcards.”

Back from the Territory – Art: Ricky Jaw

Rick Jaw is an Inuit sculptor.

Back from the Territory, I share this with you, before I light out again.

Below – “Dog Team.”

A Third Poem for Today

By Dana Gioia

So much of what we live goes on inside—
The diaries of grief, the tongue-tied aches
Of unacknowledged love are no less real
For having passed unsaid. What we conceal
Is always more than what we dare confide.
Think of the letters that we write our dead.

Reflections in Summer: Steve Maraboli

“Remember when your curiosity inspired your investigative mind to explore and learn… you weren’t bogged down with resentment, cynicism, and emotional baggage… just think about how great it would be to return to that mindset of unencumbered learning and adventurous living… you are just one choice away from that life… choose to let go of the infertile past… go live your adventure!”

American Art – Part II of II: Kathryn Altus

In the words of one writer, “Kathryn Altus uses the grandeur of the Northwest topography as a point of departure to create abstract landscapes with a palpable sense of near-infinite space. These ethereal works are minimalist in aesthetic and transcend specific locales. Altus’ paintings explore the transition between land, air and water, as well as the intersection of the natural environment and the marks of human presence within it.”

Below – “The Lake”; “Kalaloch Walk”; “Reforestation”; “Plein Air Rainier”; “Tatoosh”; “Stream to Sea.”






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September Offerings – Part VI: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of III: Eric Wert

Eric Wert earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Master of Fine Arts from Northwestern University.

Below – “Peonies, Midnight”; “Oysters”; “Roughage”; “Tribute.”




Reflections in Summer: Wallace Stegner

“The air is so crisp it gives me a brief, delusive sense of health and youth. Those I don’t have but I have learned not to scorn the substitutes: quiet, plenty of time, and a job to spend it on.”

Today in American History – Part I of III: September 6 is “National Read a Book Day.”

Below – Marilyn Monroe reading James Joyce’s “Ulysses.”

Argentinean painter Manuel Ramat (born 1977) is a Professor at the Superior School of Fine Arts “Prilidiano Pueyrredon” in Buenos Aires.

aRam2 copy




A Poem for Today

“Rural Sunrise”
By Samuel Menashe

Furrows erupt
Like spokes of a wheel
From the hub of the sun—
The field is overrun—
No rut lies fallow
As shadows yield
Plow and bucket
Cart and barrow

British Art – Part I of II: Arthur Rackham

Died 6 September 1939 – Arthur Rackham, an English artist best known as the illustrator for Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

My German grandmother encouraged me to read the Grimm tales when I was a young boy, and so at an early age I came to associate them with Arthur Rackham’s splendid illustrations. The original stories collected and published by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm are quite different from the “Disneyfied” versions available today. In fact, many of them are quite brutal, and my grandmother rarely failed to underscore what for her was the obvious moral in the more punitive tales: Children must obey their parents and behave well, or they will suffer the consequences of their insubordination. It is not surprising, then, that I grew up to be such a law-abiding person, since if I exceed the speed limit in my automobile, I half-expect a crow to fly in the window and peck out my eyes.




At Last She Met The Bridegroom Who Was Coming Slowly Back

Reflections in Summer: Gwendolyn Brooks

“Art hurts. Art urges voyages – and it is easier to stay at home.”

Below – Debra Lohrere: “Old Hut”

From the Music Archives: Roger Waters

Born 6 September 1943 – Roger Waters, English musician, singer, songwriter, composer, and co-founder of Pink Floyd.

I am dedicating the song on the link below to my three sons, who have loved Roger Waters’ “Radio Waves” since they were boys. In fact, they used to play it constantly, almost obsessively, though I am not sure why.

A Second Poem for Today

By William Meredith

What it must be like to be an angel
or a squirrel, we can imagine sooner.

The last time we go to bed good,
they are there, lying about darkness.

They dandle us once too often,
these friends who become our enemies.

Suddenly one day, their juniors
are as old as we yearn to be.

They get wrinkles where it is better
smooth, odd coughs, and smells.

It is grotesque how they go on
loving us, we go on loving them.

The effrontery, barely imaginable,
of having caused us. And of how.

Their lives: surely
we can do better than that.

This goes on for a long time. Everything
they do is wrong, and the worst thing,

they all do it, is to die,
taking with them the last explanation,

how we came out of the wet sea
or wherever they got us from,

taking the last link
of that chain with them.

Father, mother, we cry, wrinkling,
to our uncomprehending children and grandchildren.

Below – Emily Harris Covert: “My Parents”

Reflections in Summer: Norman Maclean

“Ahead and to the west was our ranger station – and the mountains of Idaho, poems of geology stretching beyond any boundaries and seemingly even beyond the world.”
Salmon River and Sawtooth Mountains

British Art – Part II of II: Brian Denington

Here is one critic describing the background and artistry of painter Brian Denington: “Brian Denington was born in 1944 in Glastonbury, Somerset. He studied fine art and illustration at the South East Essex School of Art from 1961 to 1966. After leaving college he worked for some time as a graphic designer in a London design studio before turning his interests towards figurative illustration and portraiture. Since moving to France he has placed less emphasis on portraiture, and concentrated almost entirely on his figure work.”





Today in American History – Part II of III: September 6 is “National Iguana Awareness Day.”

Reflections in Summer: Jerome K. Jerome

“Love is like the measles; we all have to go through it.”

Here is the Artist Statement of sculptor Renate Verbrugge: “My stone sculptures are created out of pure inspiration. It should be appreciated with your eyes, your hands, your heart, your soul. No intellectual analysis will speak louder than the emotions my sculptures provoke.”
Born to Italian parents in Belgium in 1964, Renate Verbrugge emigrated to New Zealand in 1995.







Reflections in Summer: Cyril Norman Hinshelwood

“A common fallacy in much of the adverse criticism to which science is subjected today is that it claims certainty, infallibility and complete emotional objectivity. It would be more nearly true to say that it is based upon wonder, adventure and hope.”


“I am still every age that I have been. Because I was once a child, I am always a child. Because I was once a searching adolescent, given to moods and ecstasies, these are still part of me, and always will be… This does not mean that I ought to be trapped or enclosed in any of these ages…the delayed adolescent, the childish adult, but that they are in me to be drawn on; to forget is a form of suicide… Far too many people misunderstand what ‘putting away childish things’ means, and think that forgetting what it is like to think and feel and touch and smell and taste and see and hear like a three-year-old or a thirteen-year-old or a twenty-three-year-old means being grownup. When I’m with these people I, like the kids, feel that if this is what it means to be a grown-up, then I don’t ever want to be one. Instead of which, if I can retain a child’s awareness and joy, and ‘be’ fifty-one, then I will really learn what it means to be grownup.” – Madeleine L’Engle, American writer and author of the Newberry Award-winning “A Wrinkle in Time,” who died 6 September 2007.

Some quotes from the work of Madeleine L’Engle:

“A self is not something static, tied up in a pretty parcel and handed to the child, finished and complete. A self is always becoming.”
“When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability… To be alive is to be vulnerable.”
“Some things have to be believed to be seen.”
“Life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: You’re given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself.”
“We can’t take any credit for our talents. It’s how we use them that counts.”
“Don’t try to comprehend with your mind. Your minds are very limited. Use your intuition.”
“Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving.”
“Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.”
“We are all strangers in a strange land, longing for home, but not quite knowing what or where home is. We glimpse it sometimes in our dreams, or as we turn a corner, and suddenly there is a strange, sweet familiarity that vanishes almost as soon as it comes.”

Reflections in Summer: Kevin E. Beasley

“Adventure is about what we do; not what we plan, strategize or dream about. Adventure begins with ‘what ifs’ and ‘why nots.’ What if I were to step out to chase that dream? Why not take the first steps and see what happens? When we step through the doorway of adventure our life is suddenly worth the living. And we experience life as it was meant to be.”

Below – Tibet.

American Art – Part II of III: Charles Hartley

Artist Statement: “I bought canvases and oil painting gear when I was in college and created several truly horrible oil paintings; thankfully none have survived. In the meantime every four to six years I created a few more very mundane paintings, only a few of which survive. A year after I retired from teaching I figured out some of what I was doing wrong with my painting and started producing classical realism paintings. I have no formal training in art, but I have been fortunate enough to have visited a number of the great art museums of the world and seen examples of the finest paintings.
My wife and I have traveled extensively in the past twenty-five years, mostly to somewhat less developed countries with exotic sights and people, and I have documented our adventures with photographs. I paint mostly from my travel photographs, picking the subject matter because it offers something I think I will enjoy painting.”

Below – “Tivat House” (Montenegro); “Siena Dusk” (Italy); “Above the Urubamba Valley” (Peru); “Spice Lady” (Bali); “Deep Shade” (Croatia); “Three Waves” (Florida); “Huntington Park” (New York); “Dixie Bread” (based on a photograph taken in 1921 in Hopewell, Oregon by Carl Hartley, bakery truck driver); “Men Having Tea” (based on a photograph taken by Charles Hartley in Malomo, Malawi); “Little Indian Girl” (based on a photograph Charles Hartley took in Fatehpur Sikri, India); “Street Scene in Varanasi, India”; “Temple Moat at Mengwi” (Bali).













Nobel Laureate: Jane Addams

“The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.” – Jane Addams, American social worker, public philosopher, sociologist, writer, leader in the causes of women’s suffrage and world peace, author of “Twenty Years at Hull House,” and recipient of the 1931 Nobel Peace Prize, who was born 6 September 1860.

Some quotes from the work of Jane Addams:

“True peace is not merely the absence of war, it is the presence of justice.”
“Nothing could be worse than the fear that one had given up too soon, and left one unexpended effort that might have saved the world.”
“I am not one of those who believe – broadly speaking – that women are better than men. We have not wrecked railroads, nor corrupted legislatures, nor done many unholy things that men have done; but then we must remember that we have not had the chance. ”
“The essence of immorality is the tendency to make an exception of myself.”
“If the meanest man in the republic is deprived of his rights, then every man in the republic is deprived of his rights. ”
“Action is indeed the sole medium of expression for ethics.”
“Social advance depends as much upon the process through which it is secured as upon the result itself.”

Dutch painter Paul Boswijk (born 1959) was educated at the Academy Minerva in Groningen.






“The role of the artist is to not look away.” – Kurosawa Akira, Japanese film director, who died 6 September 1998.

My Asian Studies students will remember our watching and discussing Kurosawa’s “Dreams” (1990) in class. For those who have not seen it, this movie has eight thematically interlocked episodes, one of which is “Mount Fuji in Red.” While this episode is undoubtedly didactic, it is also prophetic, since in it a large nuclear power plant near Mount Fuji begins to melt down, and then its six nuclear reactors explode one by one, spreading radioactive toxins everywhere. In light of the still-unfolding disaster at Fukushima, it is essential for all of us to ponder the ever-timely theme of “Mount Fuji in Red,” namely, that it is dangerous to assume that the authorities in charge of the institutions that affect our lives in important ways are either competent or truthful.

Some quotes from the work of Kurosawa Akira:

“Man is a genius when he is dreaming.”
“In a mad world only the mad are sane.”
“People today have forgotten they’re really just a part of nature. Yet, they destroy the nature on which our lives depend. They always think they can make something better. Especially scientists. They may be smart, but most don’t understand the heart of nature. They only invent things that, in the end, make people unhappy. Yet they’re so proud of their inventions. What’s worse, most people are, too. They view them as if they were miracles. They worship them. They don’t know it, but they’re losing nature. They don’t see that they’re going to perish. The most important things for human beings are clean air and clean water.”
“I suppose all of my films have a common theme. If I think about it, though, the only theme I can think of is really a question: Why can’t people be happier together?”
“No matter where I go in the world, although I can’t speak any foreign language, I don’t feel out of place. I think of earth as my home. If everyone thought this way, people might notice just how foolish international friction is and the would be put an end to it.”

Below – Kurosawa Akira; a still shot from “Mount Fuji in Red”; an explosion at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant.



Reflections in Summer: Carsten Jensen

“With no other choices open to us, we’d turned our gaze seaward. The oceans were our America: they reached farther than any prairie, untamed as on the first day of creation. Nobody owned them.”

A Third Poem for Today

By Robert Frost

There was never a sound beside the wood but one,
And that was my long scythe whispering to the ground.
What was it it whispered? I knew not well myself;
Perhaps it was something about the heat of the sun,
Something, perhaps, about the lack of sound—
And that was why it whispered and did not speak.
It was no dream of the gift of idle hours,
Or easy gold at the hand of fay or elf:
Anything more than the truth would have seemed too weak
To the earnest love that laid the swale in rows,
Not without feeble-pointed spikes of flowers
(Pale orchises), and scared a bright green snake.
The fact is the sweetest dream that labor knows.
My long scythe whispered and left the hay to make.

Below – Winslow Homer: “The Veteran in a New Field”

Back from the Territory – Art: Steve Anderson

Richard Shorty is a Yukon sculptor.

Back from the Territory, I share this with you, before I light out again.

Below (carved Mammoth ivory) – “Beluga Man”; “Egg Harvester #4”; “Miner on Track”; “Wind Lass.”




Reflections in Summer: Tracy Johnston

“Part of the urge to explore is a desire to become lost.”

Below – The Yukon River.
“The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there.” – Robert Pirsig, American writer, philosopher, and author of “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values,” who was born 6 September 1928.

Some quotes from the work of Robert Pirsig:

“When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called a Religion.”
“The truth knocks on the door and you say, ‘Go away, I’m looking for the truth,’ and so it goes away. Puzzling.”
“You look at where you’re going and where you are and it never makes sense, but then you look back at where you’ve been and a pattern seems to emerge.”
“We’re in such a hurry most of the time we never get much chance to talk. The result is a kind of endless day-to-day shallowness, a monotony that leaves a person wondering years later where all the time went and sorry that it’s all gone. ”
“You are never dedicated to something you have complete confidence in. No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow. They know it’s going to rise tomorrow. When people are fanatically dedicated to political or religious faiths or any other kinds of dogmas or goals, it’s always because these dogmas or goals are in doubt.”
“To live only for some future goal is shallow. It’s the sides of the mountain that sustain life, not the top.”
“In a car you’re always in a compartment, and because you’re used to it you don’t realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You’re a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame.
“The only Zen you find on tops of mountains is the Zen you bring there.”
On a cycle the frame is gone. You’re completely in contact with it all. You’re in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming.”
“We take a handful of sand from the endless landscape of awareness around us and call that handful of sand the world.”
“Peace of mind produces right values, right values produce right thoughts. Right thoughts produce right actions and right actions produce work which will be a material reflection for others to see of the serenity at the center of it all.”
“But to tear down a factory or to revolt against a government or to avoid repair of a motorcycle because it is a system is to attack effects rather than causes; and as long as the attack is upon effects only, no change is possible. The true system, the real system, is our present construction of systematic thought itself, rationality itself, and if a factory is torn down but the rationality which produced it is left standing, then that rationality will simply produce another factory. If a revolution destroys a systematic government, but the systematic patterns of thought that produced that government are left intact, then those patterns will repeat themselves in the succeeding government. There’s so much talk about the system. And so little understanding.”
“Like those in the valley behind us, most people stand in sight of the spiritual mountains all their lives and never enter them, being content to listen to others who have been there and thus avoid the hardships.”
“Sometimes it’s a little better to travel than to arrive”

Reflections in Summer: Leonardo da Vinci

“Once you have tasted the taste of sky, you will forever look up.”

American Art – Part III of III: Eric Zener

Eric Zener earned a BA from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Below – “A Clear Opening Ahead”; “Spring”; “Deep Voyager”; “Treading Water 1”; “Dream Hatch.”





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September Offerings – Part V: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of III: Patricia Traub

The paintings of Patricia Traub have appeared in numerous solo and group exhibitions.

Below – “Adolescent Serengeti Lion”; “Netherland Dwarf Rabbit #1”; “A Pair of Buffalo Weavers”; “Lineback Cow”; “A Wild Savanna Vervet Monkey”; “Savannah Hornbills.”






A Poem for Today

“Nature Poem”
By Greg Williamson

“When a Gunnison’s [prairie dog] sees a
person and gives an alarm, it doesn’t simply
say, ‘Predator!’ It actually says, for example,
‘Tall dark thin man!’ With humans, they will
scurry into their burrows, then pop their
heads back out to watch.”
“The Baltimore Sun”

For so long nature never said a word.
Whenever storms harangued or seas would rage,
Whenever thrush or skylark would be heard
To warn, or trees to whisper in the winds,
We knew that we were standing just offstage,
Throwing our voices, speaking their many minds.

But if they could speak, we had speculated,
They’d love us, care for us, or be profound
At least in their uncaring; so we waited,
Leaving them speechless even as we sought
To speak some sentence into every sound.
That was the nature of the world we thought.

Now we have intercepted on the prairie
Gunnison’s sentries calling to the clan,
And finally cracked the code: “Sh! Be wary!
Go to your homes.
Tall dark thin man
This way comes.”

Here is the Artist Statement of Brazilian painter Patricia Ariel (born 1970): “Whenever I wanted answers or inspiration for life and art, it was not in the mundane or in the ordinary life that I looked for them, but in the unlimited world of my inner reality. This world, inhabited by mysterious places and people, has its own stories, its own rules, its own wisdom. I am only the storyteller.”






Reflections in Summer: A.E. Housman

“Give me a land of boughs in leaf
A land of trees that stand;
Where trees are fallen there is grief;
I love no leafless land.”

Ukrainian painter Denis Chernov (born 1978) graduated from Kharkov Art College in 1998 and Kharkov State Academy of Design and Arts in 2004.





A Second Poem for Today

“Tea for My Father,”
By Michael Hofmann

I think of his characteristic way
of saying ‘tea,’ with his teeth
bared and clenched in anticipation.
It is not his first language nor
his favourite drink, so there is
something exotic about both word
and thing. He asks for it several times
a day, in the morning and afternoon
only. Mostly it is to help him work.
He likes it very strong, with cream,
in mugs, and sweetens it himself.
He puts it on the window-sill in front
of his table, and lets it grow cold.
Later on, I come and throw it out.

Reflections in Summer: Allen Ginsberg

“who journeyed to Denver, who died in Denver, who came back to Denver & waited in vain, who watched over Denver & brooded and loned in Denver and finally went away to find out the Time, & now Denver is lonesome for her heroes.”

Alphons William Bernhard Johannes (Fons) Bemelmans (Born in Maastricht, January 8, 1938) is a Dutch artist, best known as a sculptor. He also works as a goldsmith, painter, graphic artist and medal artist.








Reflections in Summer: Daniel Roy Wiarda

“Adventure: the pursuit of life.”

A Third Poem for Today

“City Lights,”
By Mary Avidano

My father, rather a quiet man,
told a story only the one time,
if even then—he had so little
need, it seemed, of being understood.
Intervals of years, his silences!
Late in his life he recalled for us
that when he was sixteen, his papa
entrusted to him a wagonload
of hogs, which he was to deliver
to the train depot, a half-day’s ride
from home, over a hilly dirt road.
Lightly he held the reins, light his heart,
the old horses, as ever, willing.
In town at noon he heard the station-
master say the train had been delayed,
would not arrive until that evening.
The boy could only wait. At home they’d
wait for him and worry and would place
the kerosene lamp in the window.
Thus the day had turned to dusk before
he turned about the empty wagon,
took his weary horses through the cloud
of fireflies that was the little town.
In all his years he’d never seen those
lights—he thought of this, he said, until
he and his milk-white horses came down
the last moonlit hill to home, drawn as
from a distance toward a single flame.

Below: Amy Stewart: “Looking Down J Street.”

Reflections in Summer: Ingrid Nkenlifack

“I feel sad for the people who I hear always plan, plan, plan the next day’s event to occur. Life only stands still for them.”

Died 5 September 1922 – Georgette Agutte, a French painter.

Below – “The White and Green Hat”; “Fruits and Cut Flowers”; “The Blue Dress”; “Japanese Branch”; “Bouquet of Flowers”; “Dance.”






Reflections in Summer: Constantine Cavafy

“When you set sail for Ithaca,
wish for the road to be long,
full of adventures, full of knowledge.”

From the American Old West – Part I of II: Jesse James

“My pistols, however, I always kept by me.” – Jesse James, American outlaw, gang leader, bank robber, train robber, and murderer, who was born 5 September 1847.


American Art – Part II of III: Misha Malpica

Artist Statement: “I am a mixed media artist, living in the mountain town of Ruidoso, New Mexico. Enamored with the Southwest, my work focuses primarily on the people and the animals that live here. My color palette consists of warm, rich earth tones with a splash of turquoise or red. I’ve been sculpting in various mediums for over forty years and every creation is different. I create each sculpture one at a time and decorate them with feathers and vintage beads and other beautiful adornments. I can’t help myself, I just love the beauty of an iridescent pheasant feather, the sparkle of an old bead, the design of a button. Threads and fibers, ribbons and fringe, I add each element to make the sculpture unique. Currently I am exploring clay. I am in love with the texture and versatility of clay. Holding my breath as I open the kiln, it’s like Christmas morning! My studio is brimming with paints and stains and feathers and furs and beads and found objects. My inspiration surrounds me.”
Misha Malpica_sculptures

Misha Malpica_sculptures

Misha Malpica_sculptures

Misha Malpica_sculptures

Misha Malpica_sculptures

Misha Malpica_sculptures

Misha Malpica_sculptures

Misha Malpica_sculptures

Misha Malpica_sculptures

From the American Old West – Part II of II: Crazy Horse

“A very great vision is needed, and the man who has it must follow it as the eagle seeks the deepest blue of the sky.” – Crazy Horse (Lakota Tashunke Witko, literally “His-Horse-Is-Spirited”), Native American visionary and war leader of the Oglala Lakota, who died 5 September 1877.

“Crazy Horse dreamed and went into the world where there is nothing but the spirits of all things. That is the real world that is behind this one, and everything we see here is something like a shadow from that one. He was on his horse in that world, and the horse and himself on it and the trees and the grass and the stones and everything were made of spirit, and nothing was hard, and everything seemed to float. His horse was standing still there, and yet it danced around like a horse made only of shadow, and that is how he got his name, which does not mean that his horse was crazy or wild, but that in his vision it danced around in that queer way. It was this vision that gave him his great power, for when he went into a fight, he had only to think of that world to be in it again, so that he could go through anything and not be hurt . . . They used to say that he carried a sacred stone with him, like one he had seen in some vision, and that when he was in danger, the stone always got heavy and protected him somehow. That, they used to say, was the reason that no horse he ever rode lasted very long. I do not know about this; maybe people only thought it; but it is a fact that he never kept one horse long. They wore out. I think it was only the power of his great vision that made him great.” – Black Elk, in “Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Ogalala Sioux,” as told to John Neihardt

Below – A 1934 sketch of Crazy Horse made by an artist after interviewing Crazy Horse’s sister, who claimed the depiction was accurate; the Crazy Horse Memorial being sculpted on Thunderhead Mountain in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
aCrazy Horse1

aCrazy Horse2

Australian Art – Part I of II: Megan Roodenrys

Megan Roodendrys earned a degree in Visual Arts from the University of South Australia in Adelaide.







“Civilization is like a thin layer of ice upon a deep ocean of chaos and darkness.” – Werner Herzog, German film director, producer, screenwriter, and actor, who was born 5 September 1942.

French filmmaker François Truffaut once called Herzog “the most important film director alive,” and American film critic Roger Ebert stated that Herzog “has never created a single film that is compromised, shameful, made for pragmatic reasons or uninteresting. Even his failures are spectacular.”

Some quotes from the work of Werner Herzog:

“I think it is a quest of literature throughout the ages to describe the human condition.”
“Facts sometimes have a strange and bizarre power that makes their inherent truth seem unbelievable.”
“I could not become an American citizen. I would not like to become a citizen of a country that has capital punishment.”
“I despise formal restaurants. I find all of that formality to be very base and vile. I would much rather eat potato chips on the sidewalk.”
“I have nothing against 3D films but I do not need to see them.”
“I like and I love everything that has to do with cinema: writing, directing, editing, creating music, and even acting.”
“I think psychology and self-reflection is one of the major catastrophes of the twentieth century.”
“I think there should be holy war against yoga classes.”
“I’m a very professional man. I’m not out for the experience of adventure.”
“I’m not a journalist; I’m a poet.”
“I’m not an activist.”
“I’m not an interviewer. I have conversations.”
“I’m not into digital marketing, downloading, or streaming – I’ve always been a man of the theaters.”
“I’m the last one who would do self-analysis.”
“Sometimes bad luck hits you like in an ancient Greek tragedy, and it’s not your own making. When you have a plane crash, it’s not your fault.”
“The universe is monstrously indifferent to the presence of man.”
“The world reveals itself to those who travel on foot.”
“Why go to Antarctica, why do a film like ‘Grizzly Man’? It’s the sheer joy of storytelling – it’s the urge.”
“You should bear in mind that almost all my documentaries are feature films in disguise.”
“Ambition is to be the fastest runner on this planet, to be the first on the South Pole, which is a grotesque perversion of ambition. It’s an ego trip, and I’m not on an ego trip. I don’t have ambitions – I have a vision.”
“I think there are specific times where film noir is a natural concomitant of the mood. When there’s insecurity, collapse of financial systems – that’s where film noir always hits fertile ground.”
“Life on our planet has been a constant series of cataclysmic events, and we are more suitable for extinction than a trilobite or a reptile. So we will vanish. There’s no doubt in my heart.”
“Perhaps I seek certain utopian things, space for human honor and respect, landscapes not yet offended, planets that do not exist yet, dreamed landscapes.”
“What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark? It would be like sleep without dreams.”
“Do you not then hear this horrible scream all around you that people usually call silence?”
“Academia is the death of cinema. It is the very opposite of passion. Film is not the art of scholars, but of illiterates.”
“Look into the eyes of a chicken and you will see real stupidity. It is a kind of bottomless stupidity, a fiendish stupidity. They are the most horrifying, cannibalistic and nightmarish creatures in the world.”
“If you truly love film, I think the healthiest thing to do is not read books on the subject. I prefer the glossy film magazines with their big color photos and gossip columns, or the ‘National Enquirer.’ Such vulgarity is healthy and safe.”
“Facts do not convey truth. That’s a mistake. Facts create norms, but truth creates illumination.”
“I believe the common denominator of the universe is not harmony; but chaos, hostility and murder.”
“It is not only my dreams, my belief is that all these dreams are yours as well. The only distinction between me and you is that I can articulate them. And that is what poetry or painting or literature or filmmaking is all about… and it is my duty because this might be the inner chronicle of what we are. We have to articulate ourselves, otherwise we would be cows in the field.”
“May I propose a Herzog dictum? Those who read own the world, and those who watch television lose it.”
“At the press conference for the film he impressed everyone with his complete sincerity and innocence. He said he had come to see the sea for the first time and marveled at how clean it was. Someone told him that, in fact, it wasn’t. ‘When the world is emptied of human beings,’ he said, ‘it will become so again.’”
“There are deeper strata of truth in cinema, and there is such a thing as poetic, ecstatic truth. It is mysterious and elusive, and can be reached only through fabrication and imagination and stylization.”
“If you’re purely after facts, please buy yourself the phone directory of Manhattan. It has four million times correct facts. But it doesn’t illuminate.”
“Meanwhile it’s got stormy, the tattered fog even thicker, chasing across my path. Three people are sitting in a glassy tourist cafe between clouds and clouds, protected by glass from all sides. Since I don’t see any waiters, it crosses my mind that corpses have been sitting there for weeks, statuesque. All this time the cafe has been unattended, for sure. Just how long have they been sitting here, petrified like this?”
“A fairly young, intelligent-looking man with long hair asked me whether filming or being filmed could do harm, whether it could destroy a person. In my heart the answer was yes, but I said no.”
“A vision had seized hold of me, like the demented fury of a hound that has sunk its teeth into the leg of a deer carcass and is shaking and tugging at the downed game so frantically that the hunter gives up trying to calm him. It was the vision of a large steamship scaling a hill under its own steam, working its way up a steep slope in the jungle, while above this natural landscape, which shatters the weak and the strong with equal ferocity, soars the voice of Caruso, silencing all the pain and all the voices of the primeval forest and drowning out all birdsong. To be more precise: bird cries, for in this setting, left unfinished and abandoned by God in wrath, the birds do not sing; they shriek in pain, and confused trees tangle with one another like battling Titans, from horizon to horizon, in a steaming creation still being formed. Fog-panting and exhausted they stand in this unreal misery – and I, like a stanza in a poem written in an unknown foreign tongue, am shaken to the core.”







Australian Art – Part II of II: Tricia Migdoll

Artist Statement: ”Growing up with the National Gallery of Victoria at my doorstep, I could not help but be enchanted by the arts.
Primarily self-taught, I began painting in 2002, inspired by the great masters of art and seeking to wed the contemporary with the traditional.
I paint anything that moves me, reflecting my love of natural beauty, spirituality, and humanity.
I lose myself in the process of painting and feel at times an instrument expressing the highest of emotions. My passion is to share this deep connection to Love with the viewer. ”





Reflections in Summer: Rebecca West

“Life ought to be a struggle of desire toward adventures whose nobility will fertilize the soul.”

Back from the Territory – Art: Richard Shorty

Richard Shorty is an Inuit Artist.

Back from the Territory, I share this with you, before I light out again.

Below – “Crow-Sun & Wolf-Moon” (bentwood box); “Man to Thunderbird” (bentwood box).



Reflections in Summer: Annie Dillard

“You do not have to sit outside in the dark. If, however, you want to look at the stars, you will find that darkness is necessary. But the stars neither require nor demand it.”

A Fourth Poem for Today

“Note From Echo”
By A.M. Juster

Narcissus, I no longer haunt the canyons
and the crypts. I thrive and multiply;
uncounted daughters are my new companions.

We are the voicemail’s ponderous reply
to the computers making random calls.
We are the Muzak in the empty malls,
the laughtrack on the reruns late at night,
the distant siren’s chilling lullaby,
the steady chirp of things that simplify
their scheduled lives. You know I could recite
more, but you never cared for my recitals.

I do not miss you, do not need you here—
I can repeat the words of your disciples
telling lovers what they need to hear.

Below – Louis-Jean-Francois Lagrenee: “Echo and Narcissus”

Reflections in Summer: Ken Ilgunas

“We have trains to hop, voyages to embark on, and rides to hitch. And then there’s the great American wild—vanishing but still there—ready to impart its wisdom from an Alaskan peak or a patch of grass growing in a crack of a city sidewalk. And no matter how much sprawl and civilization overtake our wilds, we’ll always have the boundless wildlands in ourselves to explore.”

American Art – Part III of III: Sharon Sprung

Sharon Sprung has studied at Cornell University, the National Academy of Design, New York, NY, and the Art Students League, New York, NY.

Below – “The Refugee”; “Entangled”; “Fringe”; “Patterned”; “Kimono Flower.”





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September Offerings – Part IV: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of III: Alexandra Pacula

Alexandra Pacula earned a BFA in Painting/Drawing from the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University and an MFA in Painting/Drawing from Montclair State University.

Below – “Fluid Glow”; “Flickering Passage”; “Fleeting Instance”; “Spirited Glow”; “Diverse Rhythm”; “Rousing Haste.”







“How can people trust the harvest, unless they see it sown?” – Mary Renault, English writer best known for her historical novels and author of “The Bull from the Sea,” who was born 4 September 1905.

Some quotes from the work of Mary Renault:

“In hatred is love, we grow like the thing we brood upon. What we loathe, we graft into our very soul.”
“To hate excellence is to hate the gods.”
“Do not believe that others will die, not you…. I have wrestled with Thanatos knee to knee and I know how death is vanquished. Man’s immortality is not to live forever; for that wish is born of fear. Each moment free from fear makes a man immortal.”
“You cannot step twice into the same river, said Herakleitos. People in the past were not just like us; to pretend so is an evasion and a betrayal, turning our back on them so as to be easy among familiar things.”

A Poem for Today

By Bill Coyle

How to explain?
The wind sighs in the trees,
leafing through memories
of last night’s rain.

Here is one critic describing the background and artistry of Armenian painter Rudolf Khachatryan: “Rudolf Khachatryan (1937-2007) started painting at the age of three. Roudolf Khachatrian lived in Paris for a long period. Then he returned to Armenia, his homeland. For his paintings, beautiful portraits, Rudolf Khachatryan (Roudolf Khachatrian) used white or colored paper, pencil, light-brown liquid ink (sepia), and red chalk pencil (sanguine), pen and brush. In 1971 Rudolf Khachatryan moved to Moscow. He created portraits and still lifes, filled with black or monochromatic ocher pencil, developing his own distinctive artistic style.”





Reflections in Summer: Hart Crane

“And so it was I entered the broken world
To trace the visionary company of love, its voice
An instant in the wind (I know not whither hurled)
But not for long to hold each desperate choice.”


“Our too-young and too-new America, lusty because it is lonely, aggressive because it is afraid, insists upon seeing the world in terms of good and bad, the holy and the evil, the high and the low, the white and the black; our America is frightened of fact, of history, of processes, of necessity. It hugs the easy way of damning those whom it cannot understand, of excluding those who look different, and it salves its conscience with a self-draped cloak of righteousness.” – Richard Wright, African-American short story writer, novelist, essayist, poet, and author of “Native Son,” who was born 4 September 1908.

Some quotes from the work of Richard Wright:

“I would hurl words into this darkness and wait for an echo, and if an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight, to create a sense of the hunger for life that gnaws in us all.”
“Men can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as they can from a lack of bread.”
“They hate because they fear, and they fear because they feel that the deepest feelings of their lives are being assaulted and outraged. And they do not know why; they are powerless pawns in a blind play of social forces.”
“There are times when life’s ends are so raveled that reason and sense cry out that we stop and gather them together again before we can proceed.”
“Pity can purge us of hostility and arouse feelings of identification with the characters, but it can also be a consoling reassurance which leads us to believe that we have understood, and that, in pitying, we have even done something to right a wrong.”
“The artist must bow to the monster of his own imagination.”


One critic has characterized the paintings of Filipino artist Aleah Rose Angeles as “lyrical compositions with a warm romantic flair,” while another describes them thusly: “(They are) inspired by the figures of young girls, which the artist herself relates to and draws from life based on her own photographs; her paintings often show them in recumbent positions, half caught in dreams and fantasy.”




Reflections in Summer: Andrew Rayner

“Vast tracts of ocean, whether Polynesia, Micronesia or Melanesia, contain island populations that remain outside the modern world. They know about it, they may have traveled to it, they appreciate artifacts and medical help from it, but they live their daily lives much as hundreds of generations of ancestors before them, without money, electricity, phones, TV or manufactured food.”


Nobel Laureate: Albert Schweitzer

“The deeper we look into nature the more we recognize that it is full of life, and the more profoundly we know that all life is a secret, and we are all united to all this life.” – Albert Schweitzer, German-French humanitarian, organist, theologian, philosopher, physician, medical missionary in Africa, and recipient of the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize “for his philosophy of ‘Reverence for Life,’” who died 4 September 1965.

Some quotes from the work of Albert Schweitzer:

“The only escapes from the miseries of life are music and cats.”
“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.”
“Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight.”
“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”
“Joy, sorrow, tears, lamentation, laughter — to all these music gives voice, but in such a way that we are transported from the world of unrest to a world of peace, and see reality in a new way, as if we were sitting by a mountain lake and contemplating hills and woods and clouds in the tranquil and fathomless water.”
“Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.”
“Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.”
“Man is a clever animal who behaves like an imbecile.”
“A man does not have to be an angel to be a saint.”
“In the hopes of reaching the moon men fail to see the flowers that blossom at their feet.”
“No one can give a definition of the soul. But we know what it feels like. The soul is the sense of something higher than ourselves, something that stirs in us thoughts, hopes, and aspirations which go out to the world of goodness, truth and beauty. The soul is a burning desire to breathe in this world of light and never to lose it–to remain children of light.”
“The question whether I am a pessimist or an optimist, I answer that my knowledge is pessimistic, but my willing and hope are optimistic.”
“Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.”
“We must fight against the spirit of unconscious cruelty with which we treat the animals. Animals suffer as much as we do. True humanity does not allow us to impose such sufferings on them. It is our duty to make the whole world recognize it. Until we extend our circle of compassion to all living things, humanity will not find peace.”

Here is one critic describing the background and artistry of Colombian painter Marco Tulio: “Born in Medellin, Colombia in 1966, self-taught artist, Marco Tulio began his artistic endeavors at a very early age; with both of his parents as artists, Marco has been painting since he was very young. Certainly his talents must be innate as this prodigal child had his first exhibit at the age of eleven.
 His father, abstract artist Guillermo Espinosa, instilled in him an appreciation of color but Marco practiced, refined, and has perfected his classically inspired scenes.
 His human figures are the modernized version of the Classical figure; meanwhile, he adds elements of surrealism, and plays up color and texture to make each piece seem so impossibly real! Beyond the chiseled bodies and near-to-perfect, idealized human figures, he pays homage to his South American culture providing elements of mythology and mystical imagery that is unique to a Marco Tulio painting. An increasing admiration for his figures is largely due to the rich color and texture he paints; he makes the image on the one-dimensional canvas appear tangible and three-dimensional.”





A Second Poem for Today

“Marine Snow,”
By Miriam Gamble

The memory of sun, it is what they subsist upon
down where the jaws snap blindly
at whatever passes, where drifter is a meaningless term

and to hunt is to proffer teeth and tongue
and ghost-lit lantern
into a sea like liquid wind,
without prior compass
of the way the wind is blowing.

Should they be gifted with a corpse
whose half-spoilt flesh holds distillate
eternal summers
spent glittering in the euphotic zone,
they will give gross thanks and, in their way, be holy.

In the cartography of sea,
they are kin not to dragons nor the Stella Maris
but to your own bright band —

yes, you there, eating your sunlight secondhand
from a long-gone grocery display,
drinking it from the guts of lazy lemons.

American Art – Part II of III: Paige Bradley

Artist Statement: “Focusing on tensions and liberations in my work, I feel most of our emotions are locked into an existential cocoon. My sculptures show the human race as a singular individual searching for connection but finding only alienation.
My recent work has become a symbol of struggle —
both being contained and liberating ourselves from
self-inflicted boundaries. Fears of ostracism, avoiding distinction and hiding from greatness are all thoughts that come to mind. These fears create sculptures wrapped in extraordinary tension. The figures struggle to unveil themselves in order to become understood and known. These bound figures give me a sense of unrest as if too much life is jammed into too restrictive of space. I feel as if I am trying to live my truth free and unveiled in a society that would rather keep us contained.”




aBrad5 copy






Reflections in Summer: Kendal Rob

“Home is where you go to find solace from the ever changing chaos, to find love within the confines of a heartless world, and to be reminded that no matter how far you wander, there will always be something waiting when you return.”

Below – Jennifer Lake: “Coming Home”

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.” – E. F. Schumacher, influential economic thinker, statistician, and author of “Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics As If People Mattered,” who died 4 September 1977.

Some quotes from the work of E. F. Schumacher:

“If greed were not the master of modern man–ably assisted by envy–how could it be that the frenzy of economism does not abate as higher ‘standards of living’ are attained, and that it is precisely the richest societies which pursue their economic advantage with the greatest ruthlessness? How could we explain the almost universal refusal on the part of the rulers of the rich societies–where organized along private enterprise or collective enterprise lines–to work towards the humanisation of work? It is only necessary to assert that something would reduce the ‘standard of living’ and every debate is instantly closed. That soul-destroying, meaningless, mechanical, monotonous, moronic work is an insult to human nature which must necessarily and inevitably produce either escapism or aggression, and that no amount of ‘bread and circuses’ can compensate for the damage done–these are facts which are neither denied nor acknowledged but are met with an unbreakable conspiracy of silence–because to deny them would be too obviously absurd and to acknowledge them would condemn the central preoccupation of modern society as a crime against humanity.”
“Wisdom demands a new orientation of science and technology toward the organic, the gentle, the elegant and beautiful.”
“An attitude to life which seeks fulfillment in the single-minded pursuit of wealth – in short, materialism – does not fit into this
world, because it contains within itself no limiting principle, while the
environment in which it is placed is strictly limited.”
“Anything that we can destroy but are unable to make is, in a sense sacred, and all our ‘explanations’ of it do not really explain anything.”
“There is incredible generosity in the potentialities of Nature. We only have to discover how to utilize them.”
“Call a thing immoral or ugly, soul-destroying or a degradation to man, a peril to the peace of the world or to the well-being of future generations: as long as you have not shown it to be ‘uneconomic’ you have not really questioned its right to exist, grow, and prosper.”
“The art of living is always to make a good thing out of a bad thing.”
“Every increase of needs tends to increase one’s dependence on outside forces over which one cannot have control and therefore increases existential fear.”
“What do I miss, as a human being, if I have never heard of the Second Law of Thermodynamics? The answer is: Nothing. And what do I miss by not knowing Shakespeare? Unless I get my understanding from another source, I simply miss my life. Shall we tell our children that one thing is as good as another– here a bit of knowledge of physics, and there a bit of knowledge of literature? If we do so, the sins of the fathers will be visited upon the children unto the third and fourth generation, because that normally is the time it takes from the birth of an idea to its full maturity when it fills the minds of a new generation and makes them think by it.”
“The generosity of the Earth allows us to feed all mankind; we know enough about ecology to keep the Earth a healthy place; there is enough room on the Earth, and there are enough materials, so that everybody can have adequate shelter; we are quite competent enough to produce sufficient supplies of necessities so that no one need live in misery.”
“Our ordinary mind always tried to persuade us that we are nothing but acorns and that our greatest happiness will be to become bigger, fatter, shinier acorns; but this is of interest only to pigs. Our faith gives us knowledge of something better: that we can become oak trees.”
“Economic development is something much wider and deeper than economics, let alone econometrics. Its roots lie outside the economic sphere, in education, organisation, discipline and, beyond that, in political independence and a national consciousness of self-reliance.”
“Real life consists of the tensions produced by the incompatibility of opposites, each of which is needed”
“The real problems of our planet are not economic or technical, they are philosophical. The philosophy of unbridled materialism is being challenged by events.”
“Many have no desire to be in it, because their work does not interest them, providing them with neither challenge nor satisfaction, and has no other merit in their eyes than that it leads to a pay-packet at the end of the week.”
“Much of the economic decay of southeast Asia (as of many other parts of the world) is undoubtedly due to a heedless and shameful neglect of trees.”
“I certainly never feel discouraged. I can’t myself raise the winds that might blow us or this ship into a better world. But I can at least put up the sail so that when the winds comes, I can catch it.”


Reflections in Summer: Hunter S. Thompson

“Finally we came over a rise and I saw the Caribbean…My first feeling was a wild desire to drive a stake in the sand and claim the place for myself. The beach was white as salt, and cut off from the world by a ring of steep hills that faced the sea. We were on the edge of a large bay and the water was that clear, turquoise color that you get with a white sand bottom. I had never seen such a place. I wanted to take off all my clothes and never wear them again.”

Uzbekistani artist Ludmilla Perec (born 1959) graduated from the State University of Latvia with a degree in theoretical astrophysics. After studying professional drawing for several years, she graduated from the Riga Academy of Arts in 1993. Her paintings can be found in private collections throughout the United States and Europe.






A Third Poem for Today

“Conscientious Objector,”
By Edna St. Vincent Millay

I shall die, but
that is all that I shall do for Death.
I hear him leading his horse out of the stall;
I hear the clatter on the barn-floor.
He is in haste; he has business in Cuba,
business in the Balkans, many calls to make this morning. But I will not hold the bridle
while he clinches the girth.
And he may mount by himself:
I will not give him a leg up.

Though he flick my shoulders with his whip,
I will not tell him which way the fox ran.
With his hoof on my breast, I will not tell him where
the black boy hides in the swamp.
I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death;
I am not on his pay-roll.

I will not tell him the whereabout of my friends
nor of my enemies either.
Though he promise me much,
I will not map him the route to any man’s door.
Am I a spy in the land of the living,
that I should deliver men to Death?
Brother, the password and the plans of our city
are safe with me; never through me
Shall you be overcome.

Below – Irish KC: “Conscientious Objector”

Back from the Territory – Art: Lynn Blaikie – Part II

In the words of one writer, “Batik artist Lynn Blaikie was born in Southern Ontario. She moved to the Yukon Territory at the age of 18. It was in the small mining community of Elsa that she first discovered batik; a ray of colour in a long dark winter. A nine month mining strike gave Lynn an opportunity to fall in love with the huge vats of liquid colour that she used to create her earliest works of art.”

Back from the Territory, I share this with you, before I light out again.

Below – “Northern Beauty”; “Raven, Teach Me”; “Northern Nights”; “Windswept”; “The Simple Life”; “Ride the Moon.”






A Fourth Poem for Today

“The Fate of Elms”
By Robert Francis

If they are doomed and all that can be done
Should fail, if they must die and disappear
And we must see them dying one by one,
Summer and fall and winter, year by year
Until there comes a summer so bereft
That over river, meadow, pasture height
No last and solitary elm is left
Lifting its leafy wings as if for flight—

Let us not make our grief for them too great
And say we wished that we had gone before,
Making the fate of elms too much our fate,
Seeing the always less and not the more.
Though elms may die, not everything must die:
Not their green memory against our sky.

Reflections in Summer: Cecil Day-Lewis

“Summer has filled her veins with light and her heart is washed with noon.”

American Art – Part III of III: Gary Ruddell

Gary Ruddell earned a BFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts.

Below – “A Matter of the Heart”; “Japanese Lanterns”; “Small Journeys”; “Pinball Cha Cha”; “Itchy Feet”; “Study for Domestic Life.”






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September Offerings – Part III: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of II: Mel Leipzig

Mel Leipzig earned an M.F.A. in the Yale University School of Art and Architecture and an M.F.A. from Pratt Institute.

Below – “The Gardener and the Cellist” (Diptych); “The Cast of Rosmersholm”; “Homage to Neil Welliver”; “Francesca, Vincent, and Leonardo”; “Daniel Greene and Wende Caporale” (Diptych); “The Cast of Hedda Gabler.”







“A man is not old as long as he is seeking something.” – Jean Rostand, French biologist and philosopher, who died 4 September 1977.

Some quotes from the work of Jean Rostand:

“Kill a man, and you are a murderer. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a god.”
“My pessimism extends to the point of even suspecting the sincerity of the pessimists.”
“A few great minds are enough to endow humanity with monstrous power, but a few great hearts are not enough to make us worthy of using it.”
“One must either take an interest in the human situation or else parade before the void.”
“Science has made us gods even before we are worthy of being men.”
“To be an adult is to be alone.”

Reflections in Summer: Ma Rainey

“You don’t sing to feel better. You sing ’cause that’s a way of understanding life.”

Born 3 September 1810 – Paul Kane, a Canadian artist known for his paintings of First Nations peoples in the Canadian West and Native Americans in the Oregon Country.

Below – “Cree Warrior”; “Mount St. Helens Erupting at Night”; “Flathead Woman and Child”; “Indian Encampment of Lake Huron”; “Assiniboine Hunting Buffalo.”





A Poem for Today

“Into the Golden Vessel of Great Song”
By Edna St. Vincent Millay

Into the golden vessel of great song
Let us pour all our passion; breast to breast
Let other lovers lie, in love and rest;
Not we,—articulate, so, but with the tongue
Of all the world: the churning blood, the long
Shuddering quiet, the desperate hot palms pressed
Sharply together upon the escaping guest,
The common soul, unguarded, and grown strong.
Longing alone is singer to the lute;
Let still on nettles in the open sigh
The minstrel, that in slumber is as mute
As any man, and love be far and high,
That else forsakes the topmost branch, a fruit
Found on the ground by every passer-by.

Here is one writer describing the background of Indian artist Suchitra Bhosle: “Born and raised in Bangalore, India, Bhosle earned a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management and a master’s in business administration and was already successful as a corporate marketing strategist when she and her husband, Madhur Kapoor, came to the United States in 2001. Six months after the move, however, Bhosle’s beloved father died back home in India. ‘He was a hobbyist painter, and growing up we had lovely art books in our home, and I was always taken to the best art shows,’ she recalls. ‘And the moment he passed away was an awakening call for me.’”






From the American Old West: General William S. Harney

3 September 1855 – Seven hundred American soldiers under the command of General William S. Harney attack a Sioux village, killing one hundred men, women, and children. In the words of one historian,
“While on leave in Paris in 1854, Harney was recalled by the US government to lead a punitive expedition against the Sioux, after they killed a small US Army detachment in Nebraska Territory, an event called the Grattan Massacre. He led attacks against the Sioux culminating in the Battle of Ash Hollow in 1855, in which the Sioux were defeated. After the battle, the Sioux called Harney ‘Woman Killer.’ This was one of the opening battles in the more than two decades of the Plains Indian Wars.”

Below – General William S. Harney; an 1878 depiction of the Battle of Ash Hollow.


Reflections in Summer: Ted Kooser

“Above us, stars. Beneath us, constellations.
Five billion miles away, a galaxy dies
like a snowflake falling on water. Below us,
some farmer, feeling the chill of that distant death,
snaps on his yard light, drawing his sheds and barn
back into the little system of his care.
All night, the cities, like shimmering novas,
tug with bright streets at lonely lights like his.”

Russian Art – Part I of II: Georgy Kurasov

Here is one critic describing the background of artist Georgy Kurasov: “(He) was born in 1958 in the USSR, in what was then Leningrad. He still lives and works in the same place, but now the country is Russia and the city is called St Petersburg. Without any effort on his part whatsoever, Georgy seems to have emigrated from one surreal country to another.
In 1991 the Soviet Union collapsed. By that time Kurasov had put together a large body of paintings, but had absolutely no idea what he was going to do with them. The future looked bleak. Then in 1993 his works were first exhibited in the USA. Since then, Georgy Kurasov have exhibited and sold his paintings exclusively in North America.
Americans see Georgy Kurasov as a Russian artist, Russians as an American artist. Painters think he is a sculptor. Sculptors are sure he is a painter. And when Georgy Kurasov thinks of it, he rather likes this borderline existence. Perhaps it is what makes it possible for him to be himself, to be unlike anyone else.”






A Second Poem for Today

“My Mother, on an Evening in Late Summer,”
By Mark Strand


When the moon appears
and a few wind-stricken barns stand out
in the low-domed hills
and shine with a light
that is veiled and dust-filled
and that floats upon the fields,
my mother, with her hair in a bun,
her face in shadow, and the smoke
from her cigarette coiling close
to the faint yellow sheen of her dress,
stands near the house
and watches the seepage of late light
down through the sedges,
the last gray islands of cloud
taken from view, and the wind
ruffling the moon’s ash-colored coat
on the black bay.


Soon the house, with its shades drawn closed, will send
small carpets of lampglow
into the haze and the bay
will begin its loud heaving
and the pines, frayed finials
climbing the hill, will seem to graze
the dim cinders of heaven.
And my mother will stare into the starlanes,
the endless tunnels of nothing,
and as she gazes,
under the hour’s spell,
she will think how we yield each night
to the soundless storms of decay
that tear at the folding flesh,
and she will not know
why she is here
or what she is prisoner of
if not the conditions of love that brought her to this.


My mother will go indoors
and the fields, the bare stones
will drift in peace, small creatures —
the mouse and the swift — will sleep
at opposite ends of the house.
Only the cricket will be up,
repeating its one shrill note
to the rotten boards of the porch,
to the rusted screens, to the air, to the rimless dark,
to the sea that keeps to itself.
Why should my mother awake?
The earth is not yet a garden
about to be turned. The stars
are not yet bells that ring
at night for the lost.
It is much too late.

Below – Richard Diebenkorn: “Woman on a Porch”

Russian Art – Part II of II: Victoria Kalaichi

Artist Victoria Kalaichi (born 1986) studied at both the Crimean Art College and the Kharkov State Academy of Arts and Design.







Reflections in Summer: Kate Inglis

“The dying bees, the Antarctic melt, the mountains of old tires, the incessant toxic belch of factories that make Batman bobbleheads for Happy Meals. Off-gassing couches! Cancerous tinned tomatoes! Imprisoned killer whales! Our breastmilk is poisoned. We live absurdly, ridiculously. OUR BREASTMILK IS POISONED. Try and explain even one sliver of it to a kid, just one angle of a thousand, and you’ll see the face of the world’s most incredulous and urgent WTF.
We have little to recommend us, and we know it. We shrug.”

A Third Poem for Today

“Tableaux: Four 19th Century Photographs,”
By John Spaulding


Somewhere Indians are walking across America.
One is a woman caught in stride
between two white birches, her eyes
on the ground, her mouth
biting open a word while the wind
shreds the lake behind her.


A boy wakes alone in cold New England air.
From his window he watches his father’s breath
mix with the steam from cows’ urine.
A white blanket of sheep has unrolled
across the hill, and the yellow dogs
who ran and ran have now disappeared.


A glass necklace floats on her white breast
just as she herself floats inside his lens
while he watches from under the dark hood—
her small black eardrops hang perfectly still,
her long white neck and cleavage ready to be
frozen forever by the touch of his finger.


As the deer ate from the deep lawn
and the fish jumped near the willow trees,
the big white ferry paused briefly before sliding
back again across the lake, completely
unaware of its brightness and its beauty.

British Art – Part I of II: Francis (Tone) O’Leary

English artist Francis (Tone) O’Leary has lived and worked in Australia since 1966.
Here is how one critic describes his work:
“Virtuoso puzzle paintings, pencil and paint magically combined.
Symbolic narratives.
Dazzling depictions of the figure in allegorical compositions.
A close study of old masters such as Leonardo, Perugino, and above all, Botticelli.”






From the American History Archives: The Wilderness Act of 1964

“A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.” – The definition of “wilderness” in the 1964 Wilderness Act. In the words of one historian, “The Wilderness Act of 1964 was written by Howard Zahniser of The Wilderness Society. It created the legal definition of wilderness in the United States, and protected 9.1 million acres (36,000 km²) of federal land. The result of a long effort to protect federal wilderness and to create a formal mechanism for designating wilderness, the Wilderness Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on September 3, 1964 after over sixty drafts and eight years of work. When Johnson signed the act, he made the following statement: ‘If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.’”

Below – President Lyndon Johnson signs the Wilderness Act of 1964 in the White House Rose Garden.

British Art – Part II of II: Tanya Brett

English artist Tanya Brett (born 1974) has studied sculpture at the Chelsea College of Art in London, the City and Guilds Art School in Kensington, London, and the University of Brighton.








Reflections in Summer: David Oliver Relin

“Profound silence would brood over the valley, even weighing down our spirits with indefinable heaviness. There can be no other place in the world where man feels himself so alone, so isolated, so completely ignored by nature, so incapable of entering into communion with her.”

“While wandering a deserted beach at dawn, stagnant in my work, I saw a man in the distance bending and throwing as he walked the endless stretch toward me. As he came near, I could see that he was throwing starfish, abandoned on the sand by the tide, back into the sea. When he was close enough I asked him why he was working so hard at this strange task. He said that the sun would dry the starfish and they would die. I said to him that I thought he was foolish. there were thousands of starfish on miles and miles of beach. One man alone could never make a difference. He smiled as he picked up the next starfish. Hurling it far into the sea he said, ‘It makes a difference for this one.’ I abandoned my writing and spent the morning throwing starfish.” – Loren Eiseley, American anthropologist, educator, naturalist, philosopher, writer, and author of “The Immense Journey” and “The Unexpected Universe,” who was born 3 September 1907.

Some quotes from the work of Loren Eiseley:

“Perhaps a creature of so much ingenuity and deep memory is almost bound to grow alienated from his world, his fellows, and the objects around him. He suffers from a nostalgia for which there is no remedy upon earth except as it is to be found in the enlightenment of the spirit–some ability to have a perceptive rather than an exploitive relationship with his fellow creatures.”
“The need is not really for more brains, the need is now for a gentler, a more tolerant people than those who won for us against the ice, the tiger and the bear. The hand that hefted the ax, out of some old blind allegiance to the past fondles the machine gun as lovingly. It is a habit man will have to break to survive, but the roots go very deep.”
“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.”
“It is a commonplace of all religious thought, even the most primitive, that the man seeking visions and insight must go apart from his fellows and live for a time in the wilderness. If he is of the proper sort, he will return with a message. It may not be a message from the god he set out to seek, but even if he has failed in that particular, he will have had a vision or seen a marvel, and these are always worth listening to and thinking about…. One must seek, then, what only the solitary approach can give – a natural revelation.”
“It is frequently the tragedy of the great artist, as it is of the great scientist, that he frightens the ordinary man.”
“I love forms beyond my own, and regret the borders between us”
“The journey is difficult, immense. We will travel as far as we can, but we cannot in one lifetime see all that we would like to see or to learn all that we hunger to know.”
“If it should turn out that we have mishandled our own lives as several civilizations before us have done, it seems a pity that we should involve the violet and the tree frog in our departure.”
“Since the first human eye saw a leaf in Devonian sandstone and a puzzled finger reached to touch it, sadness has lain over the heart of man. By this tenuous thread of living protoplasm, stretching backward into time, we are linked forever to lost beaches whose sands have long since hardened into stone. The stars that caught our blind
amphibian stare have shifted far or vanished in their courses, but still that naked, glistening thread winds onward. No one knows the secret of its beginning or its end. Its forms are phantoms. The thread alone is real; the thread is life.”
“Though men in the mass forget the origins of their need, they still bring wolfhounds into city apartments, where dog and man both sit brooding in wistful discomfort.
The magic that gleams an instant between Argos and Odysseus is both the recognition of diversity and the need for affection across the illusions of form. It is nature’s cry to homeless, far-wandering, insatiable man: “Do not forget your brethren, nor the green wood from which you sprang. To do so is to invite disaster.”
“For the first time in four billion years a living creature had contemplated himself and heard with a sudden, unaccountable loneliness, the whisper of the wind in the night reeds.”

Swedish ceramicist Louise Gardelle (born 1944) lives and works in Aquitane in France.








“I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing than to teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.” – e e cummings, American poet, painter, essayist, author, and playwright, and recipient of the 1958 Bollingen Prize in Poetry, who died 3 September 1962.

Buffalo Bill ‘s
who used to
ride a watersmooth-silver
and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat

he was a handsome man
and what i want to know is
how do you like your blueeyed boy
Mister Death

Here is one critic describing the artistry of Chinese painter Xie Chuyu: “In Chuyu`s works, one can keenly feel his sentimental asceticism. The background (can be) gloomy and confused, with a figure showing ignorance of her previous existence and this life, which constructs an artistic conception as if you had been in the remote past. You must think deeply about the brief youth and the limits of human existence, which arouses sorrow and reluctance.”








Reflections in Summer: R.W. Schmidt

“Something in this meadow and places like it, humble and hidden, offers respite and moments of calm for the wild, adventurous soul that plagues the boys of the world, the wanderer’s soul that gnaws and aches inside of them even unto gray manhood. It is the plague of horizons, the plague of the next river bend, the plague that drives men over the vast oceans into strange lands beyond the edges of the maps.”

A Fourth Poem for Today

“Razing the Woodlot”
By Timothy Murphy

for Vincent R. Murphy

Here stands the grove our tenant plans to fell.
The homesteaders who planted this tree claim
fled North Dakota when the Dust Bowl came.
Their foursquare farmhouse is a roofless shell;
their tended shelterbelt, a den for fox
and dumpground for machinery and rocks.

The woodlot seeds its pigweed in our loam,
and windstorms topple poplars on the field;
but for a few wasted acres’ yield
we’ll spare the vixen and her cubs their home
and leave unburied these decaying beams
to teach us the temerity of dreams.

Here is one critic describing the background of Greek painter George Kotsonis: “Born at Palechori, Cyprus in March 1940. In 1958 he studied Art at Saint Martins School of Art, London. In 1960 he won a scholarship to China, where he continued his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts. In 1963 he went to Czechoslovakia, on a scholarship, where he continued and finished his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. He received his degree of Art in 1967 and the title of Academic Artist. Since then, he has lived and worked in Pafos, Cyprus.”







Reflections in Summer: Marcus Aurelius

“Time is a sort of river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away.”
River Flowing in Spring

Back from the Territory – Art: Lynn Blaikie – Part I

In the words of one writer, “Batik artist Lynn Blaikie was born in Southern Ontario. She moved to the Yukon Territory at the age of 18. It was in the small mining community of Elsa that she first discovered batik; a ray of colour in a long dark winter. A nine month mining strike gave Lynn an opportunity to fall in love with the huge vats of liquid colour that she used to create her earliest works of art.”

Back from the Territory, I share this with you, before I light out again.

Below – “Capture My Dreams”; “Carefree Times”; “Firelight Dreams”; “Follow Your Heart”; “Joy.”





Reflections in Summer: John Muir

“Even the sick should try these so-called dangerous passes, because for every unfortunate they kill, they cure a thousand.”

American Art – Part II of II: Lucong

Lucong earned a BA in Art and Biology from the University of Iowa.

Below – “The Little Saint #3”; “Listening for Foxes”; “Makena #9”; “The Little Saint (Crystal #1); “Alayana #1”; “Tabitha #9”; “Makena #3.”







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September Offerings – Part II: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of IV: Silas Kopf

In 1988, Silas Kopf was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts, Craftsman’s Fellowship at the Ecole Boulle, France.

Below – “Cracked III” (Bubinga Ebony, Granadillo, Teak, and Abalone Shell); “Is Anyone Paying Attention?” (Bubinga, Maple, Katalox, and Marquetry, with Wood, Reconstituted Stone, Metal, and Shell); “Checkmate” (Mahogany, Narra, Katalox, and Marquetry); “Tiger Cabinet” (Satinwood, Cherry, Ebony, Holly, and Walnut).




A Poem for Today

“Simon Says”
By Paul Lake

We’re playing Simon Says. Remember how?
(Simon says remember how, so it’s okay.)
It’s not enough to do what Simon says,
It’s what he says he says that you obey.
The rules are Simon’s. All right, let’s begin.
Simon says, Don’t read this sentence or you’re out.
You did? That’s it, game’s over, Simon wins,
However much you plead, protest, or pout.
Bound by the iron chain of such curved sense,
Simon himself must discontinue play.
There’s no appeal to gray omnipotence.
What Simon says he says he can’t unsay.

From the American History Archives: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

2 September 1940 – President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signs the bill that creates Great Smoky Mountains National Park.





Reflections in Summer: Bryant McGill

“This very moment is your greatest adventure.”

A Second Poem for Today

“Whose Mouth Do I Speak With”
By Suzanne Rancourt

I can remember my father bringing home spruce gum.
He worked in the woods and filled his pockets
with golden chunks of pitch.
For his children
he provided this special sacrament
and we’d gather at this feet, around his legs,
bumping his lunchbox, and his empty thermos rattled inside.
Our skin would stick to Daddy’s gluey clothing
and we’d smell like Mumma’s Pine Sol.
We had no money for store bought gum
but that’s all right.
The spruce gum
was so close to chewing amber
as though in our mouths we held the eyes of Coyote
and how many other children had fathers
that placed on their innocent, anxious tongue
the blood of tree?

“The landscapist lives in silence.” – Henri Rousseau, French Post-Impressionist painter working in a Primitivist manner, who died 2 September 1910.

Below – “The Dream”; “Tiger in a Tropical Storm”; “The Sleeping Gypsy”; “The Mill”; “Exotic Landscape”; “The Snake Charmer.”






Reflections in Summer: Robert Penn Warren

“The poem is a little myth of man’s capacity of making life meaningful. And in the end, the poem is not a thing we see-it is, rather, a light by which we may see-and what we see is life.”


“Since Auschwitz we know what man is capable of. And since Hiroshima we know what is at stake.” – Viktor Frankl, Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist, Holocaust survivor, founder of logotherapy (a form of existential analysis), and author of “Man’s Search for Meaning,” who died 2 September 1997.

Some quotes from the work of Viktor Frankl:

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run—in the long-run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it”
“Those who have a ‘why’ to live, can bear with almost any ‘how’.”
“The attempt to develop a sense of humor and to see things in a humorous light is some kind of a trick learned while mastering the art of living.”
“Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.”

Italian painter Davide Puma (born 1971) lives and works in Imperia.








Reflections in Summer: Vladimir Nabokov

“Let all of life be an unfettered howl. Like the crowd greeting the gladiator. Don’t stop to think, don’t interrupt the scream, exhale, release life’s rapture.”

A Third Poem for Today

“Cutting the Sun,”
By Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

After Francesco Clemente’s “Indian Miniature #16”

The sun-face looms over me, gigantic-hot, smelling
of iron. Its rays striated,
rasp-red and muscled as the tongues
of iguanas. They are trying to lick away
my name. But I
am not afraid. I hold in my hands
(where did I get them)
enormous blue scissors that are
just the color of sky. I bring
the blades together, like
a song. The rays fall around me
curling a bit, like dried carrot peel. A far sound
in the air—fire
or rain? And when I’ve cut
all the way to the center of the sun
I see
flowers, flowers, flowers.

Below –Francesco Clemente: “Indian Miniature #16”

American Art – Part II of IV: Frank Gardner

In the words of one writer, “Frank Gardner was born and raised in Poughkeepsie, New York. He graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1986 with a BFA in painting. A desire to find true inspiration for his paintings eventually led him to Mexico in 1990. His studio is in San Miguel de Allende, where he resides with his wife and daughter.”

Below – “Walking to Town”; “Busy Road”; “Man and Cows”; “Fresh Fruit”; “Silent Shadows Across the Road”; “Man on Burro”; “The She’s-A-Belle”; “Nopal and Tree.”







Reflections in Summer: Chief Seattle

“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together … all things connect.”

From the History Archives: Pheidippides

“Joy to you, we’ve won. Joy to you.” – The last words of Pheidippides, hero of ancient Greece who ran from Marathon to Athens to deliver news of a military victory against the Persians, who died 2 September 490 B.C.E. (traditional date).

Below – Statue of Pheidippides along the Marathon Road.
Summer Olympics 2004 - Athens Preview

A Fourth Poem for Today

By Louise Gluck

Remember the days of our first happiness,
how strong we were, how dazed by passion,
lying all day, then all night in the narrow bed,
sleeping there, eating there too: it was summer,
it seemed everything had ripened
at once. And so hot we lay completely uncovered.
Sometimes the wind rose; a willow brushed the window.

But we were lost in a way, didn’t you feel that?
The bed was like a raft; I felt us drifting
far from our natures, toward a place where we’d discover nothing.
First the sun, then the moon, in fragments,
stone through the willow.
Things anyone could see.

Then the circles closed. Slowly the nights grew cool;
the pendant leaves of the willow
yellowed and fell. And in each of us began
a deep isolation, though we never spoke of this,
of the absence of regret.
We were artists again, my husband.
We could resume the journey.
American Art – Part III of IV: Romare Bearden

“The artist has to be exactly the opposite (of people singing the song ‘I’ve Gotta Be Me’) and transcend himself as he makes judgments.” – Romare Bearden, American painter, who was born 2 September 1911.

Below – “Circe Turns a Companion of Odysseus into Swine”; “Out Chorus”; “The Evening Boat”; “Manhattan Suite”; “Cattle of the Sun God”; “Martinique Morning”; “Blue Snake”; “Near Three Rivers, Martinique”; “Calypso’s Sacred Grove”; “West Towards New Jersey.”





bees in golden space




Reflections in Summer: Elizabeth Coatsworth

“Today I walked on the lion-coloured hills
with only cypresses for company,
until the sunset caught me, turned the brush
to copper
set the clouds
to one great roof of flame
above the earth,
so that I walk through fire, beneath fire,
and all in beauty.
Being alone
I could not be alone, but felt
(closer than flesh) the presence of those
who once had burned in such transfigurations.
My happiness ran through the centuries
in one continual brightness. Looking down,
I saw the earth beneath me like a rose
petaled with mountains,
fragrant with deep peace.”


“Time goes, you say? Ah no!

Alas, Time stays, we go;

Or else, were this not so, 

What need to chain the hours,

For Youth were always ours?

Time goes, you say?-ah no!” – From “The Paradox of Time,” by Austin Dobson, English poet and essayist, who died 2 September 1921.

“To A Greek Girl”

With breath of thyme and bees that hum,
Across the years you seem to come,—
Across the years with nymph-like head,
And wind-blown brows unfilleted;
A girlish shape that slips the bud
In lines of unspoiled symmetry;
A girlish shape that stirs the blood
With pulse of Spring, Autonoe!

Where’er you pass,—where’er you go,
I hear the pebbly rillet flow;
Where’er you go,—where’er you pass,
There comes a gladness on the grass;
You bring blithe airs where’er you tread,—
Blithe airs that blow from down and sea;
You wake in me a Pan not dead,—
Not wholly dead!—Autonoe!

How sweet with you on some green sod
To wreathe the rustic garden-god;
How sweet beneath the chestnut’s shade
With you to weave a basket-braid;
To watch across the stricken chords
Your rosy-twinkling fingers flee;
To woo you in soft woodland words,
With woodland pipe, Autonoe!

In vain,—in vain! The years divide:
Where Thames rolls a murky tide,
I sit and fill my painful reams,
And see you only in my dreams;—
A vision, like Alcestis, brought
From under-lands of Memory,—
A dream of Form in days of Thought,—
A dream,—a dream, Autonoe!

Below – William Adolphe Bouguereau: “Autonoe”

Reflections in Summer: Halldor Laxness

“The farm brook ran down from the mountain in a straight line for the fold then swerved to the west to go its way down into the marshes. There were two knee-high falls in it and two pools, knee-deep. At the bottom there was shingle, pebbles and sand. It ran in many curves. Each curve had its own tone, but not one of them was dull; the brook was merry and music-loving, like youth, but yet with various strings, and it played its music without thought of any audience and did not care though no one heard for a hundred years, like the true poet.”

In the words of one writer, “Arthur Lismer was an English-Canadian painter, known for his involvement in the Group of Seven. Lismer was born in Sheffield, England. As a child, he worked at a photo engraving company, which peaked his interest in the arts. Lismer received a scholarship to take courses at the Sheffield School of Arts. In 1905 Lismer moved to Belgium to study art full-time at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp.
Before the Group of Seven became fully developed, Lismer spent some years moving around Canada. Lismer worked at the Victoria School of Art and Design in British Columbia and Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax. In 1918 Lismer returned to Toronto, where he became the vice-president of the Ontario College of Art and Design.”

Below – “Georgian Bay, Spring”; “Pine Tree and Rocks”; “Moon River”; “Pine Island, Georgian Bay”; “Lily Pond, Georgian Bay”; “Northern Tapestry”; “Bon Echo”; “Pines, Georgian Bay.”







A Fifth Poem for Today

“Searching for Sea Glass,”
By Raymond A. Foss

Hidden amid the rocks, the shells
under the seaweeds, the driftwood
sitting proudly on the sand
Clear, green, brown, or blue
smooth, cloudy, from the tumbling
rolling in the surf
churning tide
Waiting for my eyes, my fingers
falling into my bucket, bag, pocket
a shell, my hands, whichever I choose
to join others at home, treasures all
But it is the leisurely searching
lingering in the wet sand
by the water’s edge
that is the great escape

Back from the Territory – Art: Rosemary Piper

Artist Statement: “The creative process continually drives me to make images that range from the expressive spontaneity of painting, be it a tiny detailed rendition of a flower or berry, or a large vibrant landscape, to the technical renderings of graphic mediums.”

Back from the Territory, I share this with you, before I light out again.

Below – “Aurora Borealis”; “Annie Lake Road”; “Dancing Lights”; “Golden Grasses and Yukon Fireweed”; “Haines Aurora.”





Reflections in Summer: Immanuel Kant

“Look closely. The beautiful may be small.”

Below – Wildflowers in Rocky Mountain National Park.

A Sixth Poem for Today

“Smoothing Creases”
By Jeff Holt

I dig for photographs of you once more,
Wishing that you’d simply let me sleep.
Unhealthy? Yes, but if you didn’t keep
Disturbing me, I wouldn’t have this chore.
I keep them hidden in a dresser drawer,
Once mounted portraits now a wadded heap
Beneath old birthday cards, and other cheap
Reminders of the lives I keep in store.

I know it’s strange to keep you buried here
In flimsy images I should have tossed
Along with ashtrays and your makeup case.
But digging deep, and seeing you appear
With crumpled features shows I haven’t lost
My touch for smoothing creases in your face.

Reflections in Summer: Willa Cather

“The sun was like a great visiting presence that stimulated and took its due from all animal energy. When it flung wide its cloak and stepped down over the edge of the fields at evening, it left behind it a spent and exhausted world.”

American Art – Part IV of IV: Todd Lanam

Todd Lanam earned a BFA from the California College of Arts, San Francisco and an MFA from San Francisco State University.

Below – “The Night Spot”; “San Mateo Skate Spot”; “Santa Barbara Dorms”; “San Mateo Window”; “Isla Vista Beach”; “Bedroom Shadows.”





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