Food for the Spirit and the Soul

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

American Muse: Edgar Allan Poe

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“The Raven”

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
“’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
This it is and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—
Darkness there and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—
Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—
’Tis the wind and nothing more!”

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door—
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as “Nevermore.”

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—
Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before—
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”
Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
Of ‘Never—nevermore’.”

But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,
But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—
On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—
Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted—nevermore!
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Celebrating Halloween

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Halloween: My Favorite Day of the Year!
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A Tribute to Halloween: Jenny Colgan

“Halloween is an ancient druidic holiday, one the Celtic peoples have celebrated for millennia. It is the crack between the last golden rays of summer and the dark of winter; the delicately balanced tweak of the year before it is given over entirely to the dark; a time for the souls of the departed to squint, to peek and perhaps to travel through the gap. What could be more thrilling and worthy of celebration than that? It is a time to celebrate sweet bounty, as the harvest is brought in. It is a time of excitement and pleasure for children before the dark sets in. We should all celebrate that.”
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Music for Halloween: Blue Oyster Cult

A Political Tribute to Halloween: The Flying Governor

It would be mean-spirited to laugh at the person in the photograph below, since somebody recently dropped a house on her sister.
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A Tribute to Halloween: A Scottish Prayer

“From ghoulies and ghosties
And long-leggedy beasties
And things that go bump in the night,
Good Lord, deliver us!”
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A Halloween Movie Recommendation – Part I of III: “Night of the Living Dead”

This 1968 horror movie, directed by George A. Romero, defines the term “classic.”

A Tribute to Halloween: Washington Irving

“What fearful shapes and shadows beset his path, amidst the dim and ghastly glare of a snowy night! With what wistful look did he eye every trembling ray of light streaming across the waste fields from some distant window! How often was he appalled by some shrub covered with snow, which, like a sheeted spectre, beset his very path! How often did he shrink with curdling awe at the sound of his own steps on the frosty crust beneath his feet; and dread to look over his shoulder, lest he should behold some uncouth being tramping close behind him! and how often was he thrown into complete dismay by some rushing blast, howling among the trees, in the idea that it was the Galloping Hessian on one of his nightly scourings!” – “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”

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Music for Halloween: Michael Jackson

Celebrating Halloween with Art – Part I of II: Henry Fuseli, “The Nightmare”
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A Halloween Movie Recommendation – Part II of III: “Trick ‘r Treat”

This clever and uncommonly intelligent American-Canadian horror film was written and directed by Michael Dougherty, who worked on the scripts for “X2” and “Superman Returns.” It will both enthrall and terrify you.

A Poetic Tribute to Halloween: John Keats

“The roaring of the wind is my wife and the stars through the window pane are my children.” – John Keats, English poet, who was born on 31 October 1795, articulating perfect family values.

John Keats did not write a Halloween poem, but the final three stanzas of “La Belle Dame sans Merci: A Ballad” capture something of the spirit of the day:

“I saw pale kings and princes too,
Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
They cried—‘La Belle Dame sans Merci
Thee hath in thrall!’

I saw their starved lips in the gloam,
With horrid warning gapèd wide,
And I awoke and found me here,
On the cold hill’s side.

And this is why I sojourn here,
Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.”
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Music for Halloween: John Carpenter

A Tribute to Halloween: Erin Morgenstern

“It’s said that All Hallows’ Eve is one of the nights when the veil between the worlds is thin – and whether you believe in such things or not, those roaming spirits probably believe in you, or at least acknowledge your existence, considering that it used to be their own. Even the air feels different on Halloween, autumn-crisp and bright.”
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Beware!

Friends: Do NOT look at the photograph below, which shows a vengeful Japanese ghost. If you do, she will enter your home after dark tonight and force you to watch re-runs of “Fox and Friends” until, in an agony of boredom and intellectual despair, you cut your head off.

It’s a good thing I warned you.
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A Halloween Movie Recommendation – Part III of IV: “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”

The presiding genius of Halloween captured on film.

Music for Halloween: Echo and the Bunnymen

This version of The Doors’ song was featured in “Lost Boys” – a good movie choice for Halloween viewing.

A Tribute to Halloween: William Shakespeare

“Round about the cauldron go;
In the poison’d entrails throw.
Toad, that under cold stone
Days and nights hast thirty one
Swelter’d venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the cauldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and cauldron bubble.” – “Macbeth”
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A Halloween Movie Recommendation – Part III of III: “Halloween”

Directed and co-written (with Debra Hill) by John Carpenter, who also composed the haunting music, “Halloween” (1978) is a cinematic masterpiece in the horror genre. It stars Jamie Lee Curtis in her film debut as Laurie Strode, the brilliant English actor Donald Pleasance as Dr. Sam Loomis, and Nick Castle, Jr. as the sinister Michael Myers (billed as “The Shape” in the end credits).
A note: “Halloween was produced on a budget of $325,000. It grossed $47 million at the box office in the United States and $70 million worldwide (equivalent to $250 million as of 2014). Pleasance was paid $20,000 for his work, Curtis $8,000, and Castle earned $25 a day.

A Tribute to Halloween: Edgar Allen Poe

“Be silent in that solitude,
Which is not loneliness — for then
The spirits of the dead, who stood
In life before thee, are again
In death around thee, and their will
Shall overshadow thee; be still.” – “Spirits of the Dead”

Below – “Spirits of the Dead,” by Diane G. Casey
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Music for Halloween: Question Mark & the Mysterians

The video below might not frighten you, but it is almost certain to unnerve you. Look at those dolls! (But not too closely!!)

A Tribute to Halloween: Walter de la Mare

“The Listeners”

‘Is there anybody there?’ said the Traveller,
Knocking on the moonlit door;
And his horse in the silence champed the grasses
Of the forest’s ferny floor:
And a bird flew up out of the turret,
Above the Traveller’s head
And he smote upon the door again a second time;
‘Is there anybody there?’ he said.
But no one descended to the Traveller;
No head from the leaf-fringed sill
Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,
Where he stood perplexed and still.
But only a host of phantom listeners
That dwelt in the lone house then
Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
To that voice from the world of men:
Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair,
That goes down to the empty hall,
Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken
By the lonely Traveller’s call.
And he felt in his heart their strangeness,
Their stillness answering his cry,
While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,
‘Neath the starred and leafy sky;
For he suddenly smote on the door, even
Louder, and lifted his head:—
‘Tell them I came, and no one answered,
That I kept my word,’ he said.
Never the least stir made the listeners,
Though every word he spake
Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house
From the one man left awake:
Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,
And the sound of iron on stone,
And how the silence surged softly backward,
When the plunging hoofs were gone.
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Celebrating Halloween with Art – Part II of II: Yoshitoshi, “The Witch”

A Halloween Treat – Part I of II: Bela Lugosi

“Listen to them!”

Music for Halloween: Warren Zevon

A Halloween Treat – Part II of II: James Earl Jones

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Happy Halloween!

In truth, Halloween, the most remarkable day on our calendar, is not at all about the baseless fear of “dark forces,” but rather, it is an occasion for remembering many commonly-overlooked facts: that the universe is always in flux, that boundaries and frontiers are frequently illusory, that social roles are arbitrary, that personal identity is fluid, that the world is a delightfully tricky place, and that we are always in some sense wearing a costume. And here is the sweetest treat Halloween bestows upon those who participate in its rituals: Everything celebrated today – fantasy, fun, disguise, theater, puckishness, freedom, antinomian spirit, and playful eroticism- offends the rigid, rule-bound, insecure, repressed, life-hating Puritans of the world. Again – Happy Halloween!
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American Muse: Edgar Allan Poe

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“A Dream Within a Dream”

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow —
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand —
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep — while I weep!
O God! Can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?
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October Offerings – Part XXX: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of III: Joan Mitchell

“My paintings repeat a feeling about Lake Michigan, or water, or fields…it’s more like a poem…and that’s what I want to paint.” – Joan Mitchell, American painter, printmaker, and important member of the American Abstract Expressionist movement, who died 30 October 1992.

Below (left to right) – “Yves”; “River “; “City Landscape”; “Trees”; “Heel, Sit, Stay”; “La Vie en Rose.”
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British Art – Part I of III: Michael Andrews

Born 30 October 1928 – Michael Andrews, a British painter.

Below (left to right) – “Man Who Suddenly Fell Over”; “Flats”; “Melanie and Me Swimming”; “The Cathedral, The Southern Faces/Uluru (Ayers Rock)”; “Lights”; “The Estuary.”
June Andrews; (c) June Andrews; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
(c) June Andrews; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
June Andrews; (c) June Andrews; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
(c) June Andrews; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
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(c) June Andrews; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
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“Literature is news that stays news.” – Ezra Pound, American expatriate poet and advocate of Imagism, a movement that called for a return to Classical values, stressing clarity, precision, and economy of language, and author of “The Cantos,” who was born 30 October 1885.

“In a Station of the Metro”

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.

“A Virginal”

No, no! Go from me. I have left her lately.
I will not spoil my sheath with lesser brightness,
For my surrounding air hath a new lightness;
Slight are her arms, yet they have bound me straitly
And left me cloaked as with a gauze of æther;
As with sweet leaves; as with subtle clearness.
Oh, I have picked up magic in her nearness
To sheathe me half in half the things that sheathe her.
No, no! Go from me. I have still the flavour,
Soft as spring wind that’s come from birchen bowers.
Green come the shoots, aye April in the branches,
As winter’s wound with her sleight hand she staunches,
Hath of the trees a likeness of the savour:
As white their bark, so white this lady’s hours.

“The Garden”

Like a skein of loose silk blown against a wall
She walks by the railing of a path in Kensington Gardens,
And she is dying piece-meal
of a sort of emotional anaemia.

And round about there is a rabble
Of the filthy, sturdy, unkillable infants of the very poor.
They shall inherit the earth.

In her is the end of breeding.
Her boredom is exquisite and excessive.
She would like some one to speak to her,
And is almost afraid that I
will commit that indiscretion.
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Australian painter Amanda Davies (born 1968) earned a BFA from the University of Tasmania, Hobart in 2002, as well as an Honors in Fine Art (Painting, First Class) from the same institution in 2003.
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British Art – Part II of III: Chris Klein

In the words of one writer, “Chris is a British artist, currently sharing his time between Quebec and Ontario in Canada. His work varies from abstract to ‘hyperrealism’ and uses differing media.”
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“The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.” – Paul Valery, French poet, essayist, and philosopher, who was born 30 October 1871.

Some quotes from the work of Paul Valery:

“Politeness is organized indifference.”
“Nothing is more natural than mutual misunderstanding; the contrary is always surprising. I believe that one never agrees on anything except by mistake, and that all harmony among human beings is the happy fruit of an error.”
“Love is being stupid together.”
“God made everything out of nothing. But the nothingness shows through.”
“A man who is of ‘sound mind’ is one who keeps his inner madman under lock and key.”
“God created man and, finding him not sufficiently alone, gave him a companion to make him feel his solitude more keenly.”
“The trouble with our times is that the future is not what it used to be.”
“Follow the path of your aroused thought, and you will soon meet this infernal inscription: There is nothing so beautiful as that which does not exist.”
“Poems are never finished – just abandoned.”
“To live means to lack something at every moment.”
“Latent in every man is a venom of amazing bitterness, a black resentment; something that curses and loathes life, a feeling of being trapped, of having trusted and been fooled, of being helpless prey to impotent rage, blind surrender, the victim of a savage, ruthless power that gives and takes away, enlists a man, drops him, promises and betrays, and -crowning injury- inflicts on him the humiliation of feeling sorry for himself.”
“Our most important thoughts are those that contradict our emotions.”
“To enter into your own mind you need to be armed to the teeth.”
“All our language is composed of brief little dreams; and the wonderful thing is that we sometimes make of them strangely accurate and marvelously reasonable thoughts. What should we be without the help of that which does not exist? Very little. And our unoccupied minds would languish if fables, mistaken notions, abstractions, beliefs, and monsters, hypotheses, and the so-called problems of metaphysics did not people with beings and objectless images our natural depths and darkness. Myths are the souls of our actions and our loves. We cannot act without moving towards a phantom. We can love only what we create.”
“The deeper education consists in unlearning one’s first education.”
“That which has always been accepted by everyone, everywhere, is almost certain to be false.”
“Politics is the art of preventing people from busying themselves with what is their own business.”
“But hope is only man’s mistrust of the clear foresight of his mind.”
“The purpose of psychology is to give us a completely different idea of the things we know best.”
“I know nothing more stupid and indeed vulgar than wanting to be right.”
“We see now that the abyss of history is deep enough to hold us all.”
“I am not averse to generalizing the notion of ‘modern’ to designate a certain way of life, rather than making it purely a synonym of ‘contemporary.’ There are moments and places in history to which ‘we moderns’ could return without too greatly disturbing the harmony of those times, without seeming objects infinitely curious and conspicuous… creatures shocking, dissonant, and unassailable.”
“Our judgments judge us; and nothing reveals us [or] exposes our weaknesses more ingeniously than the attitude of pronouncing upon our fellows.”
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Spanish painter David Fernandez Saez earned a degree in Fine Arts from the Polytechnic University of Valencia in 2011.
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From the Music Archives: Grace Slick

“No matter how big or soft or warm your bed is, you still have to get out of it.” – Grace Slick, American singer, songwriter, and one of the lead singers of Jefferson Airplane, who was born 30 October 1939.

British Art – Part III of III: Mitch Griffiths

In the words of one writer, “Mitch Griffiths (born 1971) uses a traditional, almost forgotten style of painting, inspired by the light and composition of Old Master paintings, but he uses this style to depict the issues concerning 21st-century British society. His main subject is the transient and throwaway nature of contemporary culture, which is held in stark contrast to the permanence and indelibility of oil paint on canvas.”
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Feodor Dostoyevsky

“Man only likes to count his troubles; he doesn’t calculate his happiness.” – Fyodor Dostoevsky, Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist, philosopher, and author of “The Brothers Karamazov” and “Crime and Punishment,” who was born 30 October 1821.

Some quotes from the work of Fyodor Dostoevsky:

“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”
“To go wrong in one’s own way is better then to go right in someone else’s.”
“People speak sometimes about the ‘bestial’ cruelty of man, but that is terribly unjust and offensive to beasts, no animal could ever be so cruel as a man, so artfully, so artistically cruel.”
“‘I love mankind,’ he said, ‘but I find to my amazement that the more I love mankind as a whole, the less I love man in particular.’”
“We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken.”
“To be conscious is an illness—a real thorough-going illness.”
“The soul is healed by being with children.”
“Right or wrong, it’s very pleasant to break something from time to time.”
“Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.”
“But how could you live and have no story to tell?”
“Man is a mystery. It needs to be unraveled, and if you spend your whole life unraveling it, don’t say that you’ve wasted time. I am studying that mystery because I want to be a human being.”
“Nothing in this world is harder than speaking the truth, nothing easier than flattery.”
“Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.”
“You can be sincere and still be stupid.”
“It is not the brains that matter most, but that which guides them — the character, the heart, generous qualities, progressive ideas.”
“It takes something more than intelligence to act intelligently.”
“If you wish to glimpse inside a human soul and get to know a man, don’t bother analyzing his ways of being silent, of talking, of weeping, of seeing how much he is moved by noble ideas; you will get better results if you just watch him laugh. If he laughs well, he’s a good man.”
“Beauty will save the world.”
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Polish painter Bartosz Fraczek (born 1974) graduated from the Painting Department of the Department of Art at the Pedogogical University in Czestochowa, Poland.
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“Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.” – Joseph Campbell, American writer and lecturer best known for his work in comparative mythology and comparative literature, who died 30 October 1987.

Joseph Campbell is the author of many edifying books, and I especially recommend “The Hero with a Thousand Faces,” “The Masks of God” (in four volumes), “The Inner Reaches of Outer Space: Metaphor As Myth And As Religion,” “Thou Art That: Transforming Religious Metaphor,” and “The Power of Myth” (with Bill Moyers and Betty Sue Flowers).

Some quotes from the work of Joseph Campbell:

“If you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.”
“The drug user drowns in the same pool mystics swim in.”
“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”
“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”
“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.”
“If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.”
“If you are falling…dive.”
“We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
“Life is like arriving late for a movie, having to figure out what was going on without bothering everybody with a lot of questions, and then being unexpectedly called away before you find out how it ends.”
“Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.”
“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself over and over again.”
“Sit in a room and read–and read and read. And read the right books by the right people. Your mind is brought onto that level, and you have a nice, mild, slow-burning rapture all the time.”
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.”
“Myths are public dreams, dreams are private myths.”
“We’re not on our journey to save the world but to save ourselves. But in doing that you save the world. The influence of a vital person vitalizes.”
“All religions are true but none are literal.”
“Half the people in the world think that the metaphors of their religious traditions, for example, are facts. And the other half contends that they are not facts at all. As a result we have people who consider themselves believers because they accept metaphors as facts, and we have others who classify themselves as atheists because they think religious metaphors are lies.”
“The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe to match your nature with Nature.”
“Regrets are illuminations come too late.”
“Follow your bliss.
If you do follow your bliss,
you put yourself on a kind of track
that has been there all the while waiting for you,
and the life you ought to be living
is the one you are living.
When you can see that,
you begin to meet people
who are in the field of your bliss,
and they open the doors to you.
I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid,
and doors will open
where you didn’t know they were going to be.
If you follow your bliss,
doors will open for you that wouldn’t have opened for anyone else.”
“Myth is much more important and true than history. History is just journalism and you know how reliable that is.”
“A bit of advice
Given to a young Native American
At the time of his initiation:
As you go the way of life,
You will see a great chasm. Jump.
It is not as wide as you think.”
“The first step to the knowledge of the wonder and mystery of life is the recognition of the monstrous nature of the earthly human realm as well as its glory, the realization that this is just how it is and that it cannot and will not be changed. Those who think they know how the universe could have been had they created it, without pain, without sorrow, without time, without death, are unfit for illumination.”
“Gods suppressed become devils, and often it is these devils whom we first encounter when we turn inward.”
“Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone; for the heroes of all time have one before us, the labyrinth is fully known; we have only to follow the thread of the hero-path. And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence; where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.”
“As you proceed through life, following your own path, birds will shit on you. Don’t bother to brush it off. Getting a comedic view of your situation gives you spiritual distance. Having a sense of humor saves you.”
“The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty ‘yes’ to your adventure.”
“We’re in a freefall into future. We don’t know where we’re going. Things are changing so fast, and always when you’re going through a long tunnel, anxiety comes along. And all you have to do to transform your hell into a paradise is to turn your fall into a voluntary act. It’s a very interesting shift of perspective and that’s all it is… joyful participation in the sorrows and everything changes.”
“God is the experience of looking at a tree and saying, ‘Ah!’”
“The black moment is the moment when the real message of transformation is going to come. At the darkest moment comes the light.”
“Myth is what we call other people’s religion.”
“I don’t have to have faith, I have experience.”
“Instead of clearing his own heart the zealot tries to clear the world.”
“All the gods, all the heavens, all the hells, are within you.”
“The fates lead him who will; him who won’t they drag.”
“The experience of eternity right here and now is the function of life. Heaven is not the place to have the experience; here is the place to have the experience.”
“Wherever the poetry of myth is interpreted as biography, history, or science, it is killed.”
“Not all who hesitate are lost. The psyche has many secrets in reserve. And these are not disclosed unless required.”
“Every religion is true one way or another. It is true when understood metaphorically. But when it gets stuck in its own metaphors, interpreting them as facts, then you are in trouble.”
“When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness.”
“Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.”
“It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.”
“We save the world by being alive ourselves.”
“Myth must be kept alive. The people who can keep it alive are the artists of one kind or another.”
“Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery.”
“Is the system going to flatten you out and deny you your humanity, or are you going to be able to make use of the system to the attainment of human purposes?”
“The job of an educator is to teach students to see vitality in themselves”
“Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy.”
“The demon that you can swallow gives you its power, and the greater life’s pain, the greater life’s reply.”
“When you realize that eternity is right here now, that it is within your possibility to experience the eternity of your own truth and being, then you grasp the following: That which you are was never born and will never die.”
“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself”
“I always feel uncomfortable when people speak about ordinary mortals because I’ve never met an ordinary man, woman, or child.”
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American Art – Part II of III: Pamela Wilson

In the words of one critic, “Much like Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden, and other Northern Renaissance artists who were obsessed with inserting symbolic clues into a composition to case deciphering a painting’s message, Wilson conveys, in sobering detail, the descriptive elements of an individual, one whose very dress echoes the apparently bizarre qualities of their personality. Both location and dress magnify the impression that her subjects are more lost souls than active participants in the real world.
In her paintings, Pamela Wilson struggles with the mysteries of the human experience. She builds on associations, friendships, and memories from the distant past as well as present day.”
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A Poem for Today

“Annabel Lee,”
By Edgar Allan Poe

t was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love—
I and my Annabel Lee—
With a love that the wingèd seraphs of Heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsmen came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
Went envying her and me—
Yes!—that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we—
Of many far wiser than we—
And neither the angels in Heaven above
Nor the demons down under the sea
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;

For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea—
In her tomb by the sounding sea.
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American Art – Part III of III: Rebecca Campbell

Artist Statement: “There is no illusion I have that I’m inventing anything. I’m returning to something that exists for all of us, so for me, things like death, things like light, because they have happened always does not make them rote or irrelevant. We each have to face death. We don’t get out of that. Nobody gets a free pass. Does that make it not meaningful, like there’s nothing new? The idea of being avant garde or new—Great poetry uses the same set of words, it simply reconfigures them into a way that allows us to be present again with the words. I think that about painting often. People do wonderfully inventive things with form, but there is sort of a finite system that we work within, and I don’t find that to be a downfall.”
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American Muse: Walt Whitman

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“A Noiseless Patient Spider”

A noiseless patient spider,
I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them,
Till the bridge you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.
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October Offerings – Part XXIX: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of V: Dirk Bach

In the words of one writer, “Dirk Bach is an artist-scholar. His story-filled art has ranged from calligraphic abstractions, to cultural iconography, to brilliantly colored still lives, to personal visions cast against intricate patterns of grass, woven baskets, and oriental carpets. He has worked in almost every drawing and painting medium. He has been a professor of design and art history, an entertaining pianist, and an insatiable reader of books.”
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According to one critic, French painter Tania B delights in exploring “expressions of happiness and innocence.”
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In the words of one writer, British artist George Donald “is a painter, printmaker and lecturer in studio arts.
Born in South India into a colonial family, his early memories are of the colours and rhythms of the East.
He studied at ECA and was awarded a travelling scholarship to India, Afghanistan and Nepal.
Later, at Hornsey College of Art, London (then, in the late 60′s at the forefront of student-led changes in visual education) he studied art education.”
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“I am so fond of tea that I could write a whole dissertation on its virtues. It comforts and enlivens without the risks attendant on spirituous liquors. Gentle herb! Let the florid grape yield to thee. Thy soft influence is a more safe inspirer of social joy.” – James Boswell, Scottish writer, lawyer, diarist, and the author of “The Life of Samuel Johnson, L.L.D.,” one of the greatest biographies in literary history, who was born 29 October 1740.

Some quotes from the work of James Boswell:

“We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over. So in a series of acts of kindness there is, at last, one which makes the heart run over.”
“Quoting Samuel Johnson: ‘Men know that women are an overmatch for them, and therefore they choose the weakest or the most ignorant. If they did not think so, they never could be afraid of women knowing as much as themselves.’”
“He had no settled plan of life, nor looked forward at all, but merely lived from day to day. Yet he read a great deal in a desultory manner, without any scheme of study, as chance threw books in his way, and inclination directed him through them.”
“Dr Johnson said, the inscription should have been in Latin, as every thing intended to be universal and permanent, should be.”
“Mr. Langton one day asked him [Samuel Johnson] how he had acquired so accurate a knowledge of Latin, in which, I believe, he was exceeded by no man of his time; he said, ‘My master whipt me very well. Without that, Sir, I should have done nothing.’ He told Mr. Langton, that while Hunter was flogging his boys unmercifully, he used to say, ‘And this I do to save you from the gallows.’ Johnson, upon all occasions, expressed his approbation of enforcing instruction by means of the rod. ‘I would rather (said he) have the rod to be the general terror to all, to make them learn, than tell a child, if you do thus, or thus, you will be more esteemed than your brothers or sisters. The rod produces an effect which terminates in itself. A child is afraid of being whipped, and gets his task, and there’s an end on’t; whereas, by exciting emulation and comparisons of superiority, you lay the foundation of lasting mischief; you make brothers and sisters hate each other.’”
“Everything about his character and manners was forcible and violent; there never was any moderation; many a day did he fast, many a year did he refrain from wine; but when he did eat, it was voraciously; when he did drink wine, it was copiously. He could practise abstinence, but not temperance.”
“It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives. The act of dying is not of importance, it lasts so short a time.”
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American Art – Part II of V: Bob Ross

“I started painting as a hobby when I was little. I didn’t know I had any talent. I believe talent is just a pursued interest. Anybody can do what I do.” – Bob Ross, American artist and genial host of the television program “The Joy of Painting,” who was born 29 October 1942.

Some quotes from Bob Ross:

“There are no mistakes, just happy accidents.”
“There’s nothing wrong with having a tree as a friend.”
“I can’t think of anything more rewarding than being able to express yourself to others through painting. Exercising the imagination, experimenting with talents, being creative; these things, to me, are truly the windows to your soul.”
“All you need to paint is a few tools, a little instruction, and a vision in your mind.”
I guess I’m a little weird. I like to talk to trees and animals. That’s okay though; I have more fun than most people.”
“Wash the brush, just beat the devil out of it ”
“Let’s get a little crazy here.”
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Mexican painter Hector Hernandez is a graduate of the American Academy of Art, Governors State University. He lives and works in Los Altos de Jalisco.
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Portuguese Art – Part I of II: Ricardo Paulo

Portuguese painter Ricardo Paulo was born in Angola in 1964.
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In the words of one writer, “Gabriel Picart was born in Barcelona, Spain, in 1962, where he still lives and works. He began a successful art career at the early age of twenty when he started working as an illustrator throughout Europe, and shortly thereafter for the major publishing houses and advertising agencies in the United States and Canada. Since 1996, Picart paints full time and no longer accepts illustration commissions.”
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Portuguese Art – Part II of II: Gil Heitor Cortesao

Gil Heitor Cortesao (born 1967) lives and works in Lisbon.
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“What has destroyed every previous civilization has been the tendency to the unequal distribution of wealth and power.” – Henry George, American writer, politician, and political economist, and the author of “Progress and Poverty,” who died 29 October 1897, and who believed, to quote one historian, “that people should own what they create, but that everything found in nature, most importantly the value of land, belongs equally to all humanity.”

Some quotes from the work of Henry George:

“Man is the only animal whose desires increase as they are fed; the only animal that is never satisfied.”
“There is danger in reckless change, but greater danger in blind conservatism.”
“He who sees the truth, let him proclaim it, without asking who is for it or who is against it.”
“How many men are there who fairly earn a million dollars?”
“That which is unjust can really profit no one; that which is just can really harm no one.”
“Poorly paid labor is inefficient labor, the world over.”
“Progressive societies outgrow institutions as children outgrow clothes.”
“The man who gives me employment, which I must have or suffer, that man is my master, let me call him what I will.”
“The march of invention has clothed mankind with powers of which a century ago the boldest imagination could not have dreamt.”
“Let no man imagine that he has no influence. Whoever he may be, and wherever he may be placed, the man who thinks becomes a light and a power.”
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American Art – Part III of V: John S. Curry

Died 29 August 1946 – John S. Curry, an American artist who, along with Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Wood, is considered one of the three great painters of American Regionalism in the first half of the twentieth century.

Below (left to right) – “Ajax”; “Tragic Prelude”; “Baptism in Kansas”; “Sanctuary”; “Tornado Over Kansas”; “The Mississippi.”
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Died 29 October 1986 – Sem Presser, a Dutch press photographer whose work is characterized by its social commentary and its capturing of ordinary people in their daily lives.
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Painter Willy Himayan was born in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia in 1983.
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29 October 529 B.C.E. – The Persian Monarch Cyrus the Great enters Babylon and proclaims the first charter of human rights in word history. Known as both “The Declaration of Cyrus the Great” and “The Cyrus Cylinder,” this remarkable document outlawed discrimination based on race or national origin, abolished slavery, granted people the freedom to choose their place of residence and the right to practice their religion, and declared a perpetual peace among nations. Even though 29 October has been designated the international day of Cyrus the Great, it does not appear on any calendar, and in a dark irony of history, the Iranian people today do not enjoy many of the rights they gave as a gift to the whole of humanity and bestowed upon themselves twenty-five centuries ago.

Above – Cyrus the Great.
Below – the clay cylinder on which the Declaration is written in Akkadian cuneiform script.

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American Art – Part IV of V: Doug Brega

In the words of one critic, “One of the most prominent contemporary American realists, Douglas Brega is a painter of portraits, New England homes, sailboats, and old weathered barns. Seeking a reality beneath what appears to the eye, Doug Brega reveals to the viewer a glimpse into the essence of his subject that lies beneath the surface.”
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A Poem for Today

“Spring and Fall,”
By Gerard Manley Hopkins

to a young child

Márgarét, áre you gríeving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! ás the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you wíll weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sórrow’s spríngs áre the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It ís the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.
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American Art – Part V of V: Nelson Shanks

In the words of one critic, “Nelson Shanks, world-renowned painter, art historian, art teacher, connoisseur and collector, distilled the principles upon which Studio Incamminati stands from his lifelong experience and devotion to fine arts.
Nelson, and his wife Leona Shanks, founded Studio Incamminati to provide a place where artists devoted to realism could study painting and acquire other skills necessary for successful artistic careers.
When Nelson set out to become a painter, he pieced together his own education and training from the limited options available for the study of realist painting. As an 18-year-old student at New York’s famed Art Students League, he earned his tuition by serving as a monitor in the classes of artists such as Robert Brackman, Ivan Olinsky and Edwin Dickinson. Established painters such as John Koch took him on as a private student and provided substantial material as well as spiritual support of his dreams and aspirations.”
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American Muse: Wendell Berry

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“Window Poem 12”

The country where he lives
is haunted
by the ghost of an old forest.
In the cleared fields
where he gardens
And pastures his horses
it stood once
and will return. There will be
a resurrection of the wild.
Already it stands in wait
At the pasture fences.
It is rising up
In the waste places of the cities.
When the fools of the capitals
have devoured each other
in righteousness,
and the machines have eaten
the rest of us, then
there will be the second coming
of the trees. They will come
straggling over the fences
slowly, but soon enough.
The highways will sound
with the feel of the wild herds,
returning. Beaver will ascend
the streams as the trees
close over them.
The wolf and the panther
will find their old ways
through the nights. Water
and air will flow clear.
Certain calamities
will have passed,
and certain pleasures.
The wind will do without
Corners. How difficult
to think of it: miles and miles
and no window.
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October Offerings – Part XXVIII: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of IV: Nicholas Oberling

In the words of one critic, “Nicholas Oberling’s work has been exhibited at the C. M. Russell Museum and is in the permanent collection of the Hockaday Museum of Art. He is a founding member of the Montana Painters Alliance. He has been a selected Quick Draw artist and participant at the C. M. Russell Museum’s Auction of Western Art and the Montana Land Reliance and Treasure State Art Auctions. He has been Artist in Residence at Glacier National Park and the Helena National Forest. He conceived and organized the Big Hole River in Paint fundraiser, which has had regional and national exposure. He has been a Top 100 finalist at the Art for the Parks competition. He has been a participant in the C. M. Russell Museum’s auction of miniatures. His work was included in the American Miniatures show at Tucson’s Settlers West Gallery.”
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Here is the Artist Statement of Japanese painter Akiko Hoshino: “I always want to make pictures which give hope to people. No matter how depressed they are, people should go forward. I imagine myself to be in the same situation when I create my artwork. Some people look at the future straightforward with strong will. A tender smile reminds people of a happy time. I think people’s feelings and expressions are beautiful. Those feelings and expressions that give other people courage and high-spirited heart also make me strong.
My art pieces are executed by charcoal and pastel in black and white. One of the reasons why I use black and white is they are strong and simple, and also emphasize ‘Light.’”
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28 October 1919 – In an action both incredibly foolish and recklessly shortsighted, the House of Representatives overrides President Woodrow Wilson’s veto and passes the National Prohibition Act, known informally as the Volstead Act, designed to carry out the intent of the Eighteenth Amendment, thereby empowering ignorant Puritan zealots and bankrolling Al Capone.
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Canadian Art – Part I of II: Prudence Heward

Here is one critic describing the background of Canadian painter Pudence Heward (896-1947): “At a young age, she showed an interest in art and, encouraged by her family, she attended the Art Association of Montreal School for training.
During World War I, Heward lived in England where her brothers served in the Canadian Army while she served as a volunteer with the Red Cross. Returning to Canada at war’s end, she continued her painting and joined the Beaver Hall Hill Group. In 1924 her works were given their first public showing at the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in Toronto, Ontario. However, it was still an era when women artists were given little credibility and it wasn’t until 1932 that Heward’s first solo exhibition came at the Scott Gallery in Montréal.
Wanting to refine her skills, and drawn to the great gathering of creative genius in the Montparnasse Quarter of Paris, France, between 1925 and 1926 Prudence Heward lived and painted in Paris. While studying at the Académie Colarossi, she frequented Le Dome Café in Montparnasse, the favorite haunt of North American writers and artists and the place where Canadian writer Morley Callaghan came with his friends Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
While in Paris, Heward met Ontario painter Isabel McLaughlin with whom she became friends and would later join with her and other artists on nature painting trips. In 1929 her career got a major boost when her painting, Girl on a Hill, won the top prize in the Governor General Willingdon competition organized by the National Gallery of Canada.
She was invited to exhibit with the Group of Seven and through it became friends with A. Y. Jackson with whom she would go on sketching excursions along the Saint Lawrence River. While she did a number of landscapes, with a particular attachment for Quebec’s Eastern Townships, Heward is most recognized for her portraits that provide compelling representations of women and children including the five nude subjects she painted of which four were black women.”
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American Art – Part II of IV: Heather Stamenov

Heather Stamenov earned a BFA in Painting from Indiana University, Herron School of Art and Design and an MFA in Painting from the School of Fine Arts Department of Art and Art History, University of Connecticut.
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Canadian Art – Part II of II: Mark Heine

Artist Statement: “I invite you to come explore my work. I hope you’ll enjoy my life’s passion.”
In the words of one writer, “In the course of his 30-year career in the arts, Mark Heine has toured the world, teaching and exhibiting his art.
His work has won numerous national and international awards, and is found in collections throughout North America and abroad.”
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“Poetry is the voice of spirit and imagination and all that is potential, as well as the healing benevolence that used to be the privilege of the gods.” – Ted Hughes, British poet, Poet Laureate (1984-1998), and author of “The Hawk in the Rain,” who died 28 October 1998.

“The Harvest Moon”



The flame-red moon, the harvest moon,

Rolls along the hills, gently bouncing,

A vast balloon,

Till it takes off, and sinks upward

To lie on the bottom of the sky, like a gold doubloon. 

The harvest moon has come,

Booming softly through heaven, like a bassoon.

And the earth replies all night, like a deep drum. 



So people can’t sleep,

So they go out where elms and oak trees keep

A kneeling vigil, in a religious hush.

The harvest moon has come!



And all the moonlit cows and all the sheep

Stare up at her petrified, while she swells

Filling heaven, as if red hot, and sailing

Closer and closer like the end of the world. 



Till the gold fields of stiff wheat

Cry `We are ripe, reap us!’ and the rivers

Sweat from the melting hills.

“Hawk Roosting”

I sit in the top of the wood, my eyes closed.

Inaction, no falsifying dream

Between my hooked head and hooked feet:

Or in sleep rehearse perfect kills and eat.



The convenience of the high trees!

The air’s buoyancy and the sun’s ray

Are of advantage to me;

And the earth’s face upward for my inspection.



My feet are locked upon the rough bark.

It took the whole of Creation

To produce my foot, my each feather:

Now I hold Creation in my foot



Or fly up, and revolve it all slowly –

I kill where I please because it is all mine.

There is no sophistry in my body:

My manners are tearing off heads -



The allotment of death.

For the one path of my flight is direct

Through the bones of the living.

No arguments assert my right:



The sun is behind me.

Nothing has changed since I began.

My eye has permitted no change.

I am going to keep things like this.
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Belgian sculptor and painter Marika Howard (born 1945) studied painting at the Royal Academies of Fine Arts in Antwerp and Dendermonde. Here is one critic describing her artistry: “From 1999 on she turned to clay to express her inborn talent for the transcendental aspect of life. Her work has the same poetic power as the paintings. The figurative sculptures have a soul that reflects the internal transformation through silence. Started personal exhibitions of her sculptures since 2002.
Silence is the main message of these figurative, poetic-irrealistic creations. They reflect the inner silence that brings you in contact with a deeper (or higher) level of consciousness. This art is helpful to achieve that because it will remind you of what you are.
In the rush of our existence we tend to forget how important beauty and silence can be and the need we have to experience them.”
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28 October 1954 – The 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature is awarded to Ernest Hemingway “for his mastery of the art of narrative, most recently demonstrated in ‘The Old Man and the Sea,’ and for the influence that he has exerted on contemporary style.”

Some quotes from the work of Ernest Hemingway:

“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.”
“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
“As you get older it is harder to have heroes, but it is sort of necessary.”
“All things truly wicked start from innocence.”
“Never confuse movement with action.”
“Fear of death increases in exact proportion to increase in wealth.”
“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”
“Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.”
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American Art – Part III of IV: Candace Walters

In the words of one writer, “Candace Walters has been showing at Clark Gallery since 1986 with her exquisite drawings and collages. Her portraits and minimal drawings depict figures and objects. The pieces are intimate and are as much about mark making as they are about the image. She elevates her unassuming subjects to icons, celebrating the humble. She received her MFA at Boston University School for the Arts, and her BFA at Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford, Hartford, CT.”
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A Poem for Today

“Window Poem 12,”
By Wendell Berry

The country where he lives
is haunted
by the ghost of an old forest.
In the cleared fields
where he gardens
And pastures his horses
it stood once
and will return. There will be
a resurrection of the wild.
Already it stands in wait
At the pasture fences.
It is rising up
In the waste places of the cities.
When the fools of the capitals
have devoured each other
in righteousness,
and the machines have eaten
the rest of us, then
there will be the second coming
of the trees. They will come
straggling over the fences
slowly, but soon enough.
The highways will sound
with the feel of the wild herds,
returning. Beaver will ascend
the streams as the trees
close over them.
The wolf and the panther
will find their old ways
through the nights. Water
and air will flow clear.
Certain calamities
will have passed,
and certain pleasures.
The wind will do without
Corners. How difficult
to think of it: miles and miles
and no window.
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American Art – Part IV of IV: Sylvia Nitti

In the words of one writer, “Sylvia was born in Larnaca, Cyprus. After she graduated from Pancyprian Lyceum in Larnaca, she attended Brescia University, a private college in Kentucky. Sylvia received a Bachelor of Arts degree with her studies focused primarily on painting and drawing. While at Brescia, she received the Anna Eaton Stout Art Scholarship and first place awards in drawing, watercolor, painting, and printmaking.
Nitti has completed numerous portrait commissions for collectors in the United States and in Europe. She has worked on numerous large-scale mural projects in Texas, Oklahoma, Oregon and Kentucky. Sylvia is the mother of two adorable children, Brooke and Chase. She has taught drawing and pastel classes at Northeastern State University since 2001.”
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American Muse: Allen Ginsberg

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“Sunflower Sutra”

I walked on the banks of the tincan banana dock and sat down under the huge shade of a Southern Pacific locomotive to look at the sunset over the box house hills and cry.
Jack Kerouac sat beside me on a busted rusty iron pole, companion, we thought the same thoughts of the soul, bleak and blue and sad-eyed, surrounded by the gnarled steel roots of trees of machinery.
The oily water on the river mirrored the red sky, sun sank on top of final Frisco peaks, no fish in that stream, no hermit in those mounts, just ourselves rheumy-eyed and hung-over like old bums on the riverbank, tired and wily.
Look at the Sunflower, he said, there was a dead gray shadow against the sky, big as a man, sitting dry on top of a pile of ancient sawdust—
—I rushed up enchanted—it was my first sunflower, memories of Blake—my visions—Harlem
and Hells of the Eastern rivers, bridges clanking Joes Greasy Sandwiches, dead baby carriages, black treadless tires forgotten and unretreaded, the poem of the riverbank, condoms & pots, steel knives, nothing stainless, only the dank muck and the razor-sharp artifacts passing into the past—
and the gray Sunflower poised against the sunset, crackly bleak and dusty with the smut and smog and smoke of olden locomotives in its eye—
corolla of bleary spikes pushed down and broken like a battered crown, seeds fallen out of its face, soon-to-be-toothless mouth of sunny air, sunrays obliterated on its hairy head like a dried wire spiderweb,
leaves stuck out like arms out of the stem, gestures from the sawdust root, broke pieces of plaster fallen out of the black twigs, a dead fly in its ear,
Unholy battered old thing you were, my sunflower O my soul, I loved you then!
The grime was no man’s grime but death and human locomotives,
all that dress of dust, that veil of darkened railroad skin, that smog of cheek, that eyelid of black mis’ry, that sooty hand or phallus or protuberance of artificial worse-than-dirt—industrial—modern—all that civilization spotting your crazy golden crown—
and those blear thoughts of death and dusty loveless eyes and ends and withered roots below, in the home-pile of sand and sawdust, rubber dollar bills, skin of machinery, the guts and innards of the weeping coughing car, the empty lonely tincans with their rusty tongues alack, what more could I name, the smoked ashes of some cock cigar, the cunts of wheelbarrows and the milky breasts of cars, wornout asses out of chairs & sphincters of dynamos—all these
entangled in your mummied roots—and you there standing before me in the sunset, all your glory in your form!
A perfect beauty of a sunflower! a perfect excellent lovely sunflower existence! a sweet natural eye to the new hip moon, woke up alive and excited grasping in the sunset shadow sunrise golden monthly breeze!
How many flies buzzed round you innocent of your grime, while you cursed the heavens of the railroad and your flower soul?
Poor dead flower? when did you forget you were a flower? when did you look at your skin and decide you were an impotent dirty old locomotive? the ghost of a locomotive? the specter and shade of a once powerful mad American locomotive?
You were never no locomotive, Sunflower, you were a sunflower!
And you Locomotive, you are a locomotive, forget me not!
So I grabbed up the skeleton thick sunflower and stuck it at my side like a scepter,
and deliver my sermon to my soul, and Jack’s soul too, and anyone who’ll listen,
—We’re not our skin of grime, we’re not dread bleak dusty imageless locomotives, we’re golden sunflowers inside, blessed by our own seed & hairy naked accomplishment-bodies growing into mad black formal sunflowers in the sunset, spied on by our own eyes under the shadow of the mad locomotive riverbank sunset Frisco hilly tincan evening sitdown vision.
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October Offerings – Part XXVII: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of IV: Lee Krasner

Born 27 October 1908 – Lee Krasner, an influential American abstract expressionist painter and the wife of artist Jackson Pollock.

Below – “Still Life”; “Seated Nude”; Untitled (2); “Mosaic Collage”; Untitled (3); Untitled (4).
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“I think, that if I touched the earth,
It would crumble;
It is so sad and beautiful,
So tremulously like a dream.” – Dylan Thomas, Welsh writer and poet, who was born 27 October 1914.

“And Death Shall Have No Dominion”

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan’t crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.
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In the words of one writer, Iranian painter Morteza Katouzian (born 1943) “loved painting since childhood and he spent all his time on learning this art without any teacher. In 1960 he started graphics and painting work professionally. In graphics, he had created several posters, logos, book covers and brochures.”
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“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am. I am. I am.” -Sylvia Plath, an American poet, novelist, short story writer, and author of “The Bell Jar,” who was born 27 October 1932.

“Blackberrying”

Nobody in the lane, and nothing, nothing but blackberries,
Blackberries on either side, though on the right mainly,
A blackberry alley, going down in hooks, and a sea
Somewhere at the end of it, heaving. Blackberries
Big as the ball of my thumb, and dumb as eyes
Ebon in the hedges, fat
With blue-red juices. These they squander on my fingers.
I had not asked for such a blood sisterhood; they must love me.
They accommodate themselves to my milk bottle, flattening their sides.

Overhead go the choughs in black, cacophonous flocks—
Bits of burnt paper wheeling in a blown sky.
Theirs is the only voice, protesting, protesting.
I do not think the sea will appear at all.
The high, green meadows are glowing, as if lit from within.
I come to one bush of berries so ripe it is a bush of flies,
Hanging their bluegreen bellies and their wing panes in a Chinese screen.
The honey-feast of the berries has stunned them; they believe in heaven.
One more hook, and the berries and bushes end.

The only thing to come now is the sea.
From between two hills a sudden wind funnels at me,
Slapping its phantom laundry in my face.
These hills are too green and sweet to have tasted salt.
I follow the sheep path between them. A last hook brings me
To the hills’ northern face, and the face is orange rock
That looks out on nothing, nothing but a great space
Of white and pewter lights, and a din like silversmiths
Beating and beating at an intractable metal.
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From the Music Archives: Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky

27 October 1886 – The musical fantasy “Night on Bald Mountain,” composed by Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky in 1867 and revised by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov in 1881, is performed in Russia for the first time.

American Art – Part II of IV: George Tooker

In the words of one writer, “George Clair Tooker, Jr. (born August 5, 1920) is one of Magic Realism’s most prominent visual artists. He was raised by his Anglo/French-American father George Clair Tooker and English/Spanish-Cuban mother Angela Montejo Roura in Brooklyn Heights and Bellport, New York along with his sister Mary Fancher Tooker. Tooker longed to go to art school rather than college, but ultimately abided by his parents’ wishes and majored in English Literature at Harvard University, while still devoting much of his time to painting. In 1942, he graduated from college and then entered the Marine Corps but was discharged due to ill-health.
In 1943 he began studying at the Art Students League of New York. Reginald Marsh and Kenneth Hayes Miller were two of his teachers at the ASL. Early in his career Tooker was often compared with other painters such as Andrew Wyeth, Edward Hopper, and his friends Jared French and Paul Cadmus.
Working within the then-revitalized tradition of egg tempera, Tooker addressed affecting issues of modern-day alienation with subtly eerie and often visually literal depictions of social withdrawal and isolation.”
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“The only man who never makes mistakes is the man who never does anything.” – Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States (1901-1909), naturalist, explorer, hunter, author, soldier, and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, who was born 27 October 1858.

Some quotes from the work of Theodore Roosevelt:

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”
“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.”
“When you’re at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on”
“Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.”
“To educate a person in the mind but not in morals is to educate a menace to society.”
“Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.”
“If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.”
“Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much unless you do what’s right.”
“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.”
“I am a part of everything that I have read.”
“The things that will destroy America are prosperity at any price, peace at any price, safety first instead of duty first and love of soft living and the get-rich-quick theory of life.”
“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”
“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.”
“Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or leave the country.”
“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”
“No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care”
“Courage is not having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don’t have the strength.”
“A vote is like a rifle: its usefulness depends upon the character of the user.”
“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.”
“When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all.”
“Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ‘em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.”
“Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering.”
“A man who has never gone to school may steal a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.”
“Don’t hit at all if it is honorably possible to avoid hitting; but never hit soft!”
“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.”

Above – Official White House portrait by John Singer Sargent;
Below – Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, Rough Rider.
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British Art – Part I of II: Tomas Watson

In the words of one critic, Tomas Watson (born 1971) “studied at Huddersfield College and Slade School of Art graduating in 1994, having also completed a year’s course in Anatomy for Artists. He received two awards in 1994 and 1996 from the Greek Government and has since lived and worked in Greece.”
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“If you want creative workers, give them enough time to play.” – John Cleese, English comedian, actor, and member of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, who was born 27 October 1939.

British Art – Part II of II: Rico Blanco

In the words of one writer, “Rico’s early (and some say best) work were the crayon and biro drawings of pirate ships that he scribbled on the walls of his family home. There were two clear loves in his life; making pictures, and being a practicing pirate. He struggled with competing ambitions for many years before committing himself to the latter.
After studying Illustration at Brighton, Rico moved on to more ambitious painting projects, using brushes and paints, together!
His work is built up using seemingly random mark-making and by limiting the focus to 2 or 3 major elements he creates scenes that appear as fragments of a narrative.
He mixes highly detailed imagery with stark negative space to effect, treading close to the fine line of complete and incomplete.
Rico finds inspiration in found imagery, using his extensive archive of old books and magazines. He also has a healthy interest in the natural world and the human form.”
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27 October 1972 – The U.S. Congress creates the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Here is how one writer describes the Recreation Area, which has more than thirteen million visitors a year: “The park is not one continuous locale, but rather a collection of areas that stretch from northern San Mateo County to southern Marin County, and includes several areas of San Francisco. The park is as diverse as it is expansive; it contains famous tourist attractions such as Muir Woods National Monument, Alcatraz, and the Presidio of San Francisco. The GGNRA is also home to 1,273 plant and animal species, encompasses 59 miles (95 km) of bay and ocean shoreline and has military fortifications that span centuries of California history, from the Spanish conquistadors to Cold War-era Nike missile sites.”

Above – View of the Golden Gate from Lands End;
Below – Sweeney Ridge; Alcatraz; Muir Woods; Point Bonita Lighthouse and Bridge.
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Here is one critic describing the artistry of Mexican painter Fidel Garcia: “The art of Fidel Garcia blends figurative realism and abstract expressionism. His paintings call upon the viewer to experience the concurrency of our corporeal and spiritual selves, the coincidence of reality and fantasy, and the simultaneous existence of the physical and the metaphysical. Rather than simply asking for acknowledgement of these diametric forces, Garcia’s paintings assist us in finding the harmony and balance between them. Each image that emerges from his evolving series of canvases explores an unexpected and uncharted inner and outer world of human imagination.”
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“Of course, a culture as manically and massively materialistic as ours creates materialistic behavior in its people, especially in those people who’ve been subjected to nothing but the destruction of imagination that this culture calls education, the destruction of autonomy it calls work, and the destruction of activity it calls entertainment.” – James Hillman, American psychologist, writer, advocate of archetypal psychology, and author of many edifying books, including “The Soul’s Code: In Search of Character and Calling,” “We’ve Had A Hundred Years of Psychotherapy and the World’s Getting Worse” (with Michael Ventura), “A Terrible Love of War,” “The Force of Character and the Lasting Life,” and “Dream Animals” (with Margot McLean), who died 27 October 2011.

Here is how one critic describes the work of James Hillman: “Because archetypal psychology is concerned with fantasy, myth, and image, it is not surprising that dreams are considered to be significant in relation to soul and soul-making. Hillman does not believe that dreams are simply random residue or flotsam from waking life (as advanced by physiologists), but neither does he believe that dreams are compensatory for the struggles of waking life, or are invested with ‘secret’ meanings of how one should live, as did Jung. Rather, ‘dreams tell us where we are, not what to do.’ Therefore, Hillman is against the traditional interpretive methods of dream analysis. Hillman’s approach is phenomenological rather than analytic (which breaks the dream down into its constituent parts) and interpretive/hermeneutic (which may make a dream image ‘something other’ than what it appears to be in the dream). His famous dictum with regard to dream content and process is ‘Stick with the image.’”

Some quotes from the work of James Hillman:

“Each life is formed by its unique image, an image that is the essence of that life and calls it to a destiny. As the force of fate, this image acts as a personal daimon, an accompanying guide who remembers your calling.
The daimon motivates. It protects. It invents and persists with stubborn fidelity. It resists compromising reasonableness and often forces deviance and oddity upon its keeper, especially when neglected or opposed. It offers comfort and can pull you into its shell, but it cannot abide innocence. It can make the body ill. It is out of step with time, finding all sorts of faults, gaps, and knots in the flow of life – and it prefers them. It has affinities with myth, since it is itself a mythical being and thinks in mythical patterns.
It has much to do with feelings of uniqueness, of grandeur and with the restlessness of the heart, its impatience, its dissatisfaction, its yearning. It needs its share of beauty. It wants to be seen, witnessed, accorded recognition, particularly by the person who is its caretaker. Metaphoric images are its first unlearned language, which provides the poetic basis of mind, making possible communication between all people and all things by means of metaphors.”
“Character forms a life regardless of how obscurely that life is lived and how little light falls on it from the stars.”
“My war – and I have yet to win a decisive battle – is with the modes of thought that and conditioned feelings that prevail in psychology and therefore also in the way we think and feel about our being. Of these conditions none are more tyrannical than the convictions that clamp the mind and heart into positivistic science (geneticism and computerism), economics (bottom-line capitalism), and single-minded faith (fundamentalism).”
“Because every exchange is always a relationship, to get the most while giving the least is unjust, unethical, antisocial, abusive, perhaps ‘evil.’ Yet predatory commerce (‘the free market’ as it is euphemistically called) operates regularly on the principle of ‘get the most and pay the least.’”
“Love alone is not enough. Without imagination, love stales into sentiment, duty, boredom. Relationships fail not because we have stopped loving but because we first stopped imagining.”
“My practice tells me I can no longer distinguish clearly between neurosis of self and neurosis of world, psychopathology of self and psychopathology of world. Moreover, it tells me that to place neurosis and psychopathology solely in personal reality is a delusional repression of what is actually, realistically, being experienced.”
“Psychoanalysis has to get out of the consulting room and analyze all kinds of things. You have to see that the buildings are anorexic, you have to see that the language is schizogenic, that ‘normalcy’ is manic, and medicine and business are paranoid.”
“To mythic consciousness, the persons of the imagination are real.”
“Soul enters only via symptoms, via outcast phenomena like the imagination of artists or alchemy or ‘primitives,’ or of course, disguised as psychopathology. That’s what Jung meant when he said the Gods have become diseases: the only way back for them in a Christian world is via the outcast.”
“Two insanely dangerous consequences result from raising efficiency to the level of an independent principle. First, it favors short-term thinking–no looking ahead, down the line; and it produces insensitive feeling–no looking around at the life values being lived so efficiently. Second, means become ends; that is, doing something becomes the full justification of doing regardless of what you do.”
“I won’t accept these simple opposites–either individual self in control or a totalitarian, mindless mob. This kind of fantasy keeps us afraid of community. It locks us up inside our separate selves all alone and longing for connection. In fact, the idea of surrendering to the fascist mob is the result of the separated self. It’s the old Apollonian ego, aloof and clear, panicked by the Dionysian flow.”
“Let’s call them ‘troubles.’ Can you imagine a blues singer going on about problems?”
“The desert is not in Egypt; it is anywhere once we desert the heart.”
“Let us imagine the anima mundi [world soul] neither above the world encircling it as a divine and remote emanation of spirit, a world of powers, archetypes, and principles transcendent to things, nor within the material world as its unifying panpsychic life-principle. Rather let us imagine the anima mundi as that particular soul-spark, that seminal image, which offers itself through each thing in its visible form.”
“There is, after all, something quite beautiful about a life. But you would not think so from reading psychology books.”
“To what does the soul turn that has no therapists to visit? It takes its trouble to the trees, to the riverbank, to an animal companion, on an aimless walk through the city streets, a long watch of the night sky. Just stare out the window or boil water for a cup of tea. We breathe, expand, and let go, and something comes in from elsewhere. The daimon in the heart seems quietly pleased, preferring melancholy to desperation. It’s in touch.”
“The soul can become a reality again only when each of us has the courage to take it as the first reality in our own lives, to stand for it and not just ‘believe’ in it.”
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American Art – Part III of IV: Janet Fish

In the words of one writer, “Janet Fish was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1938 and raised in Bermuda. Fish received a Bachelor of Arts degree at Smith College, Northampton MA and a Master of Fine Arts degree at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. She also studied at the Skowhegan Summer School, Maine and the Art Students League NYC.”
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A Poem for Today

“The Peace of Wild Things,”
By Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
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American Art – Part IV of IV: David Kroll

Artist Statement: “I paint personal refuges and interior landscapes – places to visit for solace and sanctuary. Much of my work is intuitive. My paintings are imagined, invented moments that touch upon human’s complicated, perplexing relationship with nature. I try to create an emotional and intellectual connection – however fleeting – between the viewer and the power of landscape, the web of life, the idea of nature itself.
I think about the natural world not as an expendable resource but as a past home, once abandoned and forgotten, now the subject of our longing and our dreams. Increasingly what remains is an idea or memory of nature, rather than nature itself. This has been a central theme of my work for many years
My blank canvases are approached without a predefined image and the painting is developed in a slow, organic way. Painting in refined layers allows me to discover the narrative and emotional content of each composition over time. Using this method, I try to express why a sunset fills us with wonder, why a certain quality of light can make a busy day suddenly still, and why the momentary sound of a bird call can seem – for that instant – like the most important thing in the world.”
Second Artist Statement: “Our lives have become increasingly removed from nature. Wilderness has been reduced to isolated refuges. As new development and building spread, there are fewer wild areas. Yet, each year people flock to these refuges, these parks, to admire and connect with nature. As we speed onward with progress, there is an intellectual and emotional longing for the natural world. Today is different from America in the 19th century. Civilization was moving west and progress represented promise. At that time there began a style of landscape painting sometimes referred to as “The Hudson River School”. This was a peculiarly American style of landscape painting influenced by this country’s large tracts of wilderness. Progress is documented in these paintings. Wilderness is depicted in the foreground of some of these works. As one’s eye moves to the background, one witnesses stages of man’s progress that culminates with a town or city. The artists expressed reverence for the landscape and sorrow about the vanishing wilderness. They lamented the loss of the native peoples and their lands. The devotional quality to many of these paintings suggests that nature and God were one.
I feel a link to America’s early landscape painters. Whereas they document the progress of civilization with its attendant loss of the wild and unknown, I want to reclaim the wilderness. We can no longer experience unknown wild areas. We can visit designated wild areas, parks. We have become removed from nature, both physically and intellectually. Yet I believe a connection to nature is needed. It seems ingrained in our psyche.
I paint refuges, places to go to for solace. I want my paintings to be destinations of quiet and calm. However, this world is fragile. The elements in the foregrounds of my paintings are items carefully constructed, either by humans or animals. Yet, they are objects easily broken or destroyed. Birds represent messengers from the wild. They embody beauty and fragility. They are visitors that remind us of lands beyond, wilderness. The distant landscapes in my paintings are remembrances of the natural past, vaguely familiar and pleasing.

The natural world seems essential to me but I am puzzled by how one can integrate it into our urban lives. Although, we are neither able nor willing to return to an Arcadian state, we still need to have a relationship with nature. I want to add a sense of balance, order and beauty to a world that is weighted in the opposite.”
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