Musings in Spring: Henry Thomas Buckle
“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”
Art for Spring – Part I of III: Francisco Zuniga (Costa Rican, 1912-1998)
Below – “Campesinos”; “Mujeres Caminando II”; “White Rebozo”
Remembering an Influential Environmentalist on the Date of His Birth: Born 21 April 1838 – John Muir, an American naturalist, author, environmental philosopher, and Father of America’s National Parks.
Some quotes from the work of John Muir:
“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”
“The sun shines not on us but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us. Thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing. The trees wave and the flowers bloom in our bodies as well as our souls, and every bird song, wind song, and tremendous storm song of the rocks in the heart of the mountains is our song, our very own, and sings our love.”
“Hiking – I don’t like either the word or the thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains – not hike! Do you know the origin of that word ‘saunter?’ It’s a beautiful word. Away back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, they would reply, ‘A la sainte terre,’ ‘To the Holy Land.’ And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently, not ‘hike’ through them.”
“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.
When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.”
“To sit in solitude, to think in solitude with only the music of the stream and the cedar to break the flow of silence, there lies the value of wilderness.”
“Of all the paths you take in life,
make sure a few of them are dirt.”
“The mountains are calling and I must go.”
Art for Spring – Part II of III: Larry Zox (American, 1937-2006)
Below – “Diamond Drill”; “After She Wolf”; “Blue Bonac”
Worth a Thousand Words: A tumbleweed in Death Valley.
Art for Spring – Part III of III: Bruno Zupan (Slovenian, contemporary)
Below – “Pedestrians”; “Four Seasons”; “Almond Branches”
Remembering an Influential Ecologist on the Date of His Birth: Born 21 April 1915 – Garrett Hardin, an American ecologist and philosopher.
Garrett Hardin is responsible for both Hardin’s First Law of Human Ecology (“We can never do merely one thing. Any intrusion into nature has numerous effects, many of which are unpredictable.”) and
his exposition of “the tragedy of the commons” in a famous 1968 paper in “Science” that elaborated “the damage that innocent actions by individuals can inflict on the environment.”
Some quotes from the work of Garrett Hardin:
“Society does not need more children; but it does need more loved children. Quite literally, we cannot afford unloved children – but we pay heavily for them every day. There should not be the slightest communal concern when a woman elects to destroy the life of her thousandth-of-an-ounce embryo. But all society should rise up in alarm when it hears that a baby that is not wanted is about to be born.”
“In a competitive world of limited resources, total freedom of individual action is intolerable.”
“No one should be able to enter a wilderness by mechanical means.”
“The rational herdsman concludes that the only sensible course for him to pursue is to add another animal to his herd. And another; and another . . . But this is the conclusion reached by each and every rational herdsman sharing a commons. Therein is the tragedy. Each man is locked into a system that compels him to increase his herd without limit — in a world that is limited. Ruin is the destination toward which all men rush, each pursuing his own best interest in a society that believes in the freedom of the commons. Freedom in a commons brings ruin to all.”
“Ecology is the overall science of which economics is a minor speciality.”
“A finite world can support only a finite population; therefore, population growth must eventually equal zero.”
“What features of your daily life do you expect to be improved by a further increase in population?”
This Date in Art History: Died 21 April 1668 – Jan Boeckhorst, a German-born Flemish painter.
Below – “Allegory of Summer”; “Peasants going to the market”; “Helena Fourment”; “Achilles amongst the Daughters of Lycomedes”; “Allegory of Africa.”
Musings in Spring: D.H. Lawrence
“This is what I believe: That I am I. That my soul is a dark forest. That my known self will never be more than a little clearing in the forest. That gods, strange gods, come forth from the forest into the clearing of my known self, and then go back. That I must have the courage to let them come and go. That I will never let mankind put anything over me, but that I will try always to recognize and submit to the gods in me and the gods in other men and women. There is my creed.”
This Date in Art History: Born 21 April 1904 – Jean Helion, a French painter.
Below – “Pegeen”; “Composition”; “Abstract Figure”; “Figure Gothique”; “Nu accoude”; Untitled.
Remembering an Influential Writer on the Date of His Death: Died 21 April 1948 – Aldo Leopold, an American writer, philosopher, scientist, ecologist, forester, conservationist, environmentalist, and author of “A Sand County Almanac.”
Some quotes from the work of Aldo Leopold:
“I am glad I will not be young in a future without wilderness.”
“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.”
“One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.”
“Conservation is getting nowhere because it is incompatible with our Abrahamic concept of land. We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”
“Ethical behavior is doing the right thing when no one else is watching- even when doing the wrong thing is legal.”
“To those devoid of imagination a blank place on the map is a useless waste; to others, the most valuable part.”
“We shall never achieve harmony with the land, anymore than we shall achieve absolute justice or liberty for people. In these higher aspirations the important thing is not to achieve but to strive.”
“Thinking like a Mountain
We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes – something known only to her and to the mountain. I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters’ paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view.…I now suspect that just as a deer herd lives in mortal fear of its wolves, so does a mountain live in mortal fear of its deer. And perhaps with better cause, for while a buck pulled down by wolves can be replaced in two or three years, a range pulled down by too many deer may fail of replacement in as many decades. So also with cows. The cowman who cleans his range of wolves does not realize that he is taking over the wolf’s job of trimming the herd to fit the range. He has not learned to think like a mountain. Hence we have dustbowls, and rivers washing the future into the sea.”
“Civilization has so cluttered this elemental man-earth relationship with gadgets and middlemen that awareness of it is growing dim. We fancy that industry supports us, forgetting what supports industry.”
Contemporary Chinese Art – Zhou Ling
In the words of one writer, “Zhou Ling has been influenced by ancient frescoes, painted pottery, and sculptures. She paints beautiful, earth mother-type women…In 1991, Zhou Ling traveled to Hawaii. She had been commissioned to do a series of paintings for the Grand Wailea Resort & Spa. Zhou Ling was overwhelmed by the natural beauty of Maui. The tropical environment reminded her of earlier life in the verdant jungles of Yunnan Province. The landscape, its flora and fauna, and people who were Polynesian in appearance brought back memories of the ethnic minority groups of her homeland.”
Below – “Girl and Rose”; “Spring”; “Golden Harvests”; “Hawaiian Life”; “Nature’s Embrace”; “Sun Light.”
A Poem for Today
“Perhaps the World Ends Here”
by Joy Harjo
The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.
The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been since creation, and it will go on.
We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.
It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it, we make women.
At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts of lovers.
Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms around our children. They laugh with us at our poor falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back together once again at the table.
This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.
Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a place to hide in the shadow of terror. A place to celebrate the terrible victory.
We have given birth on this table, and have prepared our parents for burial here.
At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks.
Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table, while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite.
Contemporary American Art – Eric Zener
In the words of one writer, “Artist Eric Zener was born in Astoria, Ore., in 1966, but grew up in Encinitas, a small beach town just north of San Diego, Calif. He received a BA from the University of California. Zener’s work has been exhibited internationally in Australia, Japan and Spain and is included in numerous corporate, private, and museum collections.”
Below – “Stepping Out”; “From One Place to Another”; “Where to Begin”; “All We are is All We’ll Ever Be”; “Calm Woman in a Turbulent Sea”; “Standing Room Only.”