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

American Art – Part I of II: Jeanne Duval

Painter Jeanne Duval (born 1956) earned a BFA from the University of New Hampshire in Durham and an MFA from Brooklyn College.
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30 September 1627 – According to Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe is born.
30 September 1659 – According to Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe is shipwrecked on what he calls the Island of Despair, where he will remain a castaway for nearly three decades.

Some quotes from “Robinson Crusoe”:

“It is never too late to be wise.”
“Thus fear of danger is ten thousand times more terrifying than danger itself.”
“Thus we never see the true state of our condition till it is illustrated to us by its contraries, nor know how to value what we enjoy, but by the want of it.”
“Those people cannot enjoy comfortably what God has given them because they see and covet what He has not given them. All of our discontents for what we want appear to me to spring from want of thankfulness for what we have.”
“It put me upon reflecting how little repining there would be among mankind at any condition of life, if people would rather compare their condition with those that were worse, in order to be thankful, than be always comparing them with those which are better, to assist their murmurings and complaining.”
“This grieved me heartily; and now I saw, though too late, the folly of beginning a work before we count the cost, and before we judge rightly of our own strength to go through with it.”
“I could not forbear getting up to the top of a little mountain, and looking out to sea, in hopes of seeing a ship: then fancy that, at a vast distance, I spied a sail, please myself with the hopes of it, and, after looking steadily, till I was almost blind, lose it quite, and sit down and weep like a child, and thus increase my misery by my folly.”
“I know not what to call this, nor will I urge that it is a secret, overruling decree, that hurries us on to be the instruments of our own destruction, even though it be before us, and that we rush upon it with our eyes open.”
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Iranian painter Shahrzad Hazrati (born 1957) studied in the Fine Arts Department of Tehran University and the Fine Arts Department of Mimar Sinan University in Istanbul.
Shahrzad Hazrati
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Shahrzad Hazrati

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

30 September 1791 – Mozart’s opera “The Magic Flute” premieres
in Vienna.

Swedish director Ingmar Bergman made a film version of “The Magic Flute” in 1975, and in the clip from it below, Birgit Nordin sings the Queen of Night Aria.

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“If I have not lost my mind I can sometimes hear it preparing to defect.” – Patrick White, English-born Australian writer, author of “Riders in the Chariot,” and recipient of the 1971 Nobel Prize in Literature “for an epic and psychological narrative art which has introduced a new continent into literature,” who died 30 September 1990.

Some quotes from the work of Patrick White:

“If truth is not acceptable, it becomes the imagination of others.”
“Because he had nothing to hide, he did perhaps appear to have forfeited a little of his strength. But that is the irony of honesty.”
“Life is full of alternatives but no choice.”
“She would have liked to sit upon a rock and listen to words, not of any man, but detached, mysterious, poetic words that she alone would interpret through some sense inherited from sleep.”
“She had begun to read in the beginning as a protection from the frightening and unpleasant things. She continued because, apart from the story, literature brought with it a kind of gentility for which she craved.”
“The map? I will first make it.”
“They walked on rather aimlessly. He hoped she wouldn’t notice he was touched, because he wouldn’t have known how to explain why. Here lay the great discrepancy between aesthetic truth and sleazy reality.”
“Human relationships are vast as deserts: they demand all daring, she seemed to suggest. ”
“Superficially my war was a comfortable exercise in futility carried out in a grand Scottish hotel amongst the bridge players and swillers of easy-come-by whisky. My chest got me out of active service and into guilt, as I wrote two, or is it three of the novels for which I am now acclaimed.”
“I am compelled into this country.”
“He himself, he realized, had always been most abominably frightened, even at the height of his divine power, a frail god upon a rickety throne, afraid of opening letters, of making decisions, afraid of the instinctive knowledge in the eyes of mules, of the innocent eyes of good men, of the elastic nature of the passions, even of the devotion he had received from some men, and one woman, and dogs.”
“Poetry resists academic pretension, just as the mystery of religious faith evaporates on contact with dogma.”
“‘Where have you been, Theodora?,’ Mrs. Goodman asked.
‘Walking, Mother.’
‘And whom did you see?’
Mrs. Goodman flung her grammar like a stone.
‘I did not see a cat,’ said Theodora.
Mrs. Goodman looked at her daughter, who giggled before she left the room.”
“‘I mean one can be so remote in spirit from one’s actual father -or mother- it’s as though one doesn’t belong to them. Spiritually,’ he dared, ‘one can be someone else’s child.’”
“I would like to believe in the myth that we grow wiser with age. In a sense my disbelief is wisdom. Those of a middle generation, if charitable or sentimental, subscribe to the wisdom myth, while the callous see us as dispensable objects, like broken furniture or dead flowers. For the young we scarcely exist unless we are unavoidable members of the same family, farting, slobbering, perpetually mislaying teeth and bifocals.”
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From the Music Archives – Part II of III: Mary Ford

Died 30 September 1977 – Mary Ford, an American singer and guitarist who was part of the husband-and-wife musical team Les Paul and Mary Ford.

According to one critic, Canadian painter Brian Lorimer (born 1961) “studied at the prestigious Ontario College of Art and Design from 1979 to 1982.”
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From the Music Archives – Part III of III: Sylvia Peterson

Born 30 September 1946 – Sylvia Peterson, an American vocalist and member of The Chiffons.

Chinese artist Zhang Yan Yuan (born 1949) is a graduate of the China Academy of Art.
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“Something continues and I don’t know what to call it
though the language is full of suggestions
in the way of language
but they are all anonymous
and it’s almost your birthday music next to my bones

these nights we hear the horses running in the rain
it stops and the moon comes out and we are still here
the leaks in the roof go on dripping after the rain has passed
smell of ginger flowers slips through the dark house
down near the sea the slow heart of the beacon flashes

the long way to you is still tied to me but it brought me to you
I keep wanting to give you what is already yours
it is the morning of the mornings together
breath of summer oh my found one
the sleep in the same current and each waking to you
when I open my eyes you are what I wanted to see.” – “A Birthday,” by W. S. Merwin,
American poet, translator, recipient of the 2005 National Book Award for Poetry (for “Migration: New and Selected Poems”), and two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1971 – for “The Carrier of Ladders”; 2009 – for “The Shadow of Sirius”), who was born 30 September 1927.

“Echoing Light”

When I was beginning to read I imagined
that bridges had something to do with birds
and with what seemed to be cages but I knew
that they were not cages it must have been autumn
with the dusty light flashing from the streetcar wires
and those orange places on fire in the pictures
and now indeed it is autumn the clear
days not far from the sea with a small wind nosing
over dry grass that yesterday was green
the empty corn standing trembling and a down
of ghost flowers veiling the ignored fields
and everywhere the colors I cannot take
my eyes from all of them red even the wide streams
red it is the season of migrants
flying at night feeling the turning earth
beneath them and I woke in the city hearing
the call notes of the plover then again and
again before I slept and here far downriver
flocking together echoing close to the shore
the longest bridges have opened their slender wings

“Remembering”

There are threads of old sound heard over and over
phrases of Shakespeare or Mozart the slender
wands of the auroras playing out from them
into dark time the passing of a few
migrants high in the night far from the ancient flocks
far from the rest of the words far from the instruments

“Any Time”

How long ago the day is

when at last I look at it

with the time it has taken

to be there still in it

now in the transparent light

with the flight in the voices

the beginning in the leaves

everything I remember

and before it before me

present at the speed of light

in the distance that I am

who keep reaching out to it

seeing all the time faster

where it has never stirred from

before there is anything

the darkness thinking the light
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“To grasp the full significance of life is the actor’s duty; to interpret it his problem; and to express it his dedication. Being an actor is the loneliest thing in the world. You are all alone with your concentration and imagination, and that’s all you have. Being a good actor isn’t easy. Being a man is even harder. I want to be both before I’m done.” – James Dean, American actor, who died 30 September 1955.

Here is the Artist Statement of British ceramicist Pauline Hughes: “I trained at Brighton Polytechnic and obtained my degree in Ceramics in 1988. In 1991 I returned to my home town Liverpool and set up my Studio where I still work today. I make Figurative Sculpture and exhibit my pieces at a handful of select U.K. galleries. I also exhibit regularly in the U.S.A. and this was initiated through Arts Council Funding.
In January of 2009 I was selected to join The Royal British Society of Sculptors. Along with developing my own personal work I have worked in the ceramics industry creating Large Scale Architectural Murals and in 1998 obtained my Teaching Qualification. I am passionate about my work as an Artist and the Ceramic medium and I am always willing to share this through Talks, Demonstrations and Freelance work.”
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“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.” – Jalal ud-Din Rumi, Persian poet, jurist, theologian, and Sufi mystic, who was born 30 September 1207.

Some quotes from the work of Rumi:

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
“Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.”
“If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?”
“The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.
They’re in each other all along.”
“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
“What you seek is seeking you.”
“Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.”
“You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?”
“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”
“Knock, And He’ll open the door
Vanish, And He’ll make you shine like the sun
Fall, And He’ll raise you to the heavens
Become nothing, And He’ll turn you into everything.”
“And still, after all this time, the Sun has never said to the Earth,
‘You owe me.’
Look what happens with love like that.
It lights up the sky.”
“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.”
“Silence is the language of God;
all else is poor translation.”
“Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure.”
“I want to sing like the birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think.”
“Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself.”
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Here is part of the Artist Statement of Indian painter Rajkumar Sthabathy: “I feel immense love and respect when I see our ordinary humans for what they are…
They travel to my mental prism for no reason and magically materialize, forcing me to design and register them picturesquely, bestowing eternal peace upon me!”
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A Poem for Today

“For a Traveler,”
By Jessica Greenbaum

I only have a moment so let me tell you the shortest story,
about arriving at a long loved place, the house of friends in Maine,
their lawn of wildflowers, their grandfather clock and candid
portraits, their gabled attic rooms, and woodstove in the kitchen,
all accessories of the genuine summer years before, when I was
their son’s girlfriend and tied an apron behind my neck, beneath
my braids, and took from their garden the harvest for a dinner
I would make alone and serve at their big table with the gladness
of the found, and loved. The eggplant shone like polished wood,
the tomatoes smelled like their furred collars, the dozen zucchini
lined up on the counter like placid troops with the onions, their
minions, and I even remember the garlic, each clove from its airmail
envelope brought to the cutting board, ready for my instruction.
And in this very slight story, a decade later, I came by myself,
having been dropped by the airport cab, and waited for the family
to arrive home from work. I walked into the lawn, waist-high
in the swaying, purple lupines, the subject of   June’s afternoon light
as I had never been addressed — a displaced young woman with
cropped hair, no place to which I wished to return, and no one
to gather me in his arms. That day the lupines received me,
and I was in love with them, because they were all I had left,
and in that same manner I have loved much of the world since then,
and who is to say there is more of a reason, or more to love?
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American Art – Part II of II: C. J. Wells

Artist Statement: “I have to paint. I am totally impassioned by being in my studio and picking warriors out of the air – like musicians pick notes out of the air – rich and haunting and beautiful.

In the words of one writer, “C. J. Wells is a Santa Fe artist and poet of Native American and Hispanic American descent. Her paintings often reflect her Spanish and American Indian heritage. Her portraits of Native American warriors and children often depict her subjects with glowing ‘yellow eyes,’ signifying traditional respect for the ‘holiness of the Earth and animals.’”

Below – “Red Warrior”; “Heap of Birds”; “Wolf Walks Upright”; “Iron Gun”; “Fire Horse”; “Monkey”; “Hollow Horn Bear.”

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