May Offerings – Part XVI: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of IV: Tom Goldenberg

Painter Tom Goldenberg earned a B.F.A. from the University of Illinois, Champaign in 1970.

Below – “Sandro’s Hill”; “Neptune”; “West Field”; “Lavender Valley”; “West II”; “South.”
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“It’s exhilarating to be alive in a time of awakening consciousness; it can also be confusing, disorienting, and painful.” – Adrienne Rich, American poet, essayist, and feminist, who was born 16 May 1929.

Some quotes from the work of Adrienne Rich:

“Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you…it means that you do not treat your body as a commodity with which to purchase superficial intimacy or economic security; for our bodies to be treated as objects, our minds are in mortal danger. It means insisting that those to whom you give your friendship and love are able to respect your mind. It means being able to say, with Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre: ‘I have an inward treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all the extraneous delights should be withheld or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give.’
Responsibility to yourself means that you don’t fall for shallow and easy solutions–predigested books and ideas…marrying early as an escape from real decisions, getting pregnant as an evasion of already existing problems. It means that you refuse to sell your talents and aspirations short…and this, in turn, means resisting the forces in society which say that women should be nice, play safe, have low professional expectations, drown in love and forget about work, live through others, and stay in the places assigned to us. It means that we insist on a life of meaningful work, insist that work be as meaningful as love and friendship in our lives. It means, therefore, the courage to be ‘different’…The difference between a life lived actively, and a life of passive drifting and dispersal of energies, is an immense difference. Once we begin to feel committed to our lives, responsible to ourselves, we can never again be satisfied with the old, passive way.”
“Lying is done with words, and also with silence.”
“Poetry is the liquid voice that can wear through stone.”

Fancies in Springtime: Christopher Fowler

“It was true that the city could still throw shadows filled with mystifying figures from its past, whose grip on the present could be felt on certain strange days, when the streets were dark with rain and harmful ideas.”
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From the Music Archives – Part I of II: Barbara Lee

Born 16 May 1947 – Barbara Lee, an American vocalist and member of The Chiffons.

A Poem for Today

“Cartoon Physics, part 1,”
By Nick Flynn

Children under, say, ten, shouldn’t know
that the universe is ever-expanding,
inexorably pushing into the vacuum, galaxies

swallowed by galaxies, whole

solar systems collapsing, all of it
acted out in silence. At ten we are still learning

the rules of cartoon animation,

that if a man draws a door on a rock
only he can pass through it.
Anyone else who tries

will crash into the rock. Ten-year-olds
should stick with burning houses, car wrecks,
ships going down—earthbound, tangible

disasters, arenas

where they can be heroes. You can run
back into a burning house, sinking ships

have lifeboats, the trucks will come
with their ladders, if you jump

you will be saved. A child

places her hand on the roof of a schoolbus,
& drives across a city of sand. She knows

the exact spot it will skid, at which point
the bridge will give, who will swim to safety
& who will be pulled under by sharks. She will learn

that if a man runs off the edge of a cliff
he will not fall

until he notices his mistake.
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From the Music Archives – Part II of II: The Beach Boys

16 May 1966 – The Beach Boys release “Pet Sounds,” one of the best and most influential albums in the history of popular music.

Fancies in Springtime: Alan Watts

“Indeed, one of the highest pleasures is to be more or less unconscious of one’s own existence, to be absorbed in interesting sights, sounds, places, and people. Conversely, one of the greatest pains is to be self-conscious, to feel unabsorbed and cut off from the community and the surrounding world.”
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A Second Poem for Today

“To Play Pianissimo”
By Lola Haskins

Does not mean silence.
The absence of moon in the day sky
for example.

Does not mean barely to speak,
the way a child’s whisper
makes only warm air
on his mother’s right ear.

To play pianissimo
is to carry sweet words
to the old woman in the last dark row
who cannot hear anything else,
and to lay them across her lap like a shawl.
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Fancies in Springtime: Robinson Jeffers

“While this America settles in the mould of its vulgarity, heavily thickening
to empire
And protest, only a bubble in the molten mass, pops and sighs out, and the
mass hardens,
I sadly smiling remember that the flower fades to make fruit, the fruit rots
to make earth.
Out of the mother; and through the spring exultances, ripeness and decadence;
and home to the mother.
You making haste haste on decay: not blameworthy; life is good, be it stubbornly
long or suddenly
A mortal splendor: meteors are not needed less than mountains:
shine, perishing republic.”
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American Art – Part II of IV: Karen Offutt

Artist Statement: “As and artist, I am very aware of my environment which invites me to be a constant observer. I see potential in everything and my emotional reaction guides me to the specific inspiration. There are different aspects to my painting, for example technical skill, creative freedom and emotional truth. My goal is to create work that guides all these elements in a direction that moves me.”
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Fancies in Springtime: Charles Bukowski

“sleeping in the rain helps me forget things like I am going to
die and you are going to die and the cats are going to die
but it’s still good to stretch out and know you have arms
and
feet and a head, hands, all the parts, even eyes to close
once
more, it really helps to know these things, to know your
advantages
and your limitations, but why do the cats have to die, I
think that the
world should be full of cats and full of rain, that’s all, just
cats and
rain, rain and cats, very nice, good
night.”
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“The world I create in the writing compensates for what the real world does not give me.” – Gloria Evangelina Anzaldua, Chicana scholar of cultural and feminist theory and author of “Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza,” who died 16 May 2004.

Some quotes from the work of Gloria Evangelina Anzaldua:

“Nobody’s going to save you. No one’s going to cut you down, cut the thorns thick around you. No one’s going to storm the castle walls nor kiss awake your birth, climb down your hair, nor mount you onto the white steed. There is no one who will feed the yearning. Face it. You will have to do it yourself.”
“I change myself, I change the world.”
“Do work that matters.”
“In trying to become ‘objective,’ Western culture made ‘objects’ of things and people when it distanced itself from them, thereby losing ‘touch’ with them.”
“We are taught that the body is an ignorant animal intelligence dwells only in the head. But the body is smart. It does not discern between external stimuli and stimuli from the imagination. It reacts equally viscerally to events from the imagination as it does to real events.”
“The struggle is inner: Chicano, indio, American Indian, mojado, mexicano, immigrant Latino, Anglo in power, working class Anglo, Black, Asian–our psyches resemble the bordertowns and are populated by the same people. The struggle has always been inner, and is played out in outer terrains. Awareness of our situation must come before inner changes, which in turn come before changes in society. Nothing happens in the ‘real’ world unless it first happens in the images in our heads.”
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Fancies in Springtime: Robert Pirsig

“What’s wrong with technology is that it’s not connected in any real way with matters of the spirit and of the heart. And so it does blind, ugly things quite by accident and gets hated for that.”
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A Third Poem for Today

“Family Album”
By Diane Thiel

I like old photographs of relatives
in black and white, their faces set like stone.
They knew this was serious business.
My favorite album is the one that’s filled
with people none of us can even name.

I find the recent ones more difficult.
I wonder, now, if anyone remembers
how fiercely I refused even to stand
beside him for this picture — how I shrank
back from his hand and found the other side.

Forever now, for future family,
we will be framed like this, although no one
will wonder at the way we are arranged.
No one will ever wonder, since we’ll be
forever smiling there — our mouths all teeth.
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American Art – Part III of IV: Margaret Wozniak

New York sculptor Margaret Wozniak was born in Poland and studied at the Academy of Fine Art in Krakow. Originally working in bronze, she now devotes her time exclusively to clay, a transition that allows for wider scope, freedom of expression, and the exceptional use of color. Each work is handbuilt and meticulously painted with carefully formulated glazes.
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Fancies in Springtime: Carl Sagan

“Each of us is a tiny being, permitted to ride on the outermost skin of one of the smaller planets for a few dozen trips around the local star.”
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“It isn’t easy being green.” – Kermit the Frog (also known as Jim Henson), the most famous Muppet, who died 16 May 1990.

A few croaks – I mean quotes – from Kermit:

“Time’s fun when you’re having flies”
“It’s nice to be important, but it’s important to be nice.”
“A best friend is someone who makes you laugh, even when the jokes aren’t funny.”

Fancies in Springtime: Tony Hillerman

“From where we stand the rain seems random. If we could stand somewhere else, we would see the order in it.”
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A Fourth Poem for Today

“December Notes”
By Nancy McCleery

The backyard is one white sheet
Where we read in the bird tracks

The songs we hear. Delicate
Sparrow, heavier cardinal,

Filigree threads of chickadee.
And wing patterns where one flew

Low, then up and away, gone
To the woods but calling out

Clearly its bright epigrams.
More snow promised for tonight.

The postal van is stalled
In the road again, the mail

Will be late and any good news
Will reach us by hand.
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“And a human being whose life is nurtured in an advantage which has accrued from the disadvantage of other human beings, and who prefers that this should remain as it is, is a human being by definition only, having much more in common with the bedbug, the tapeworm, the cancer, and the scavengers of the deep sea.” – James Agee, American writer, journalist, film critic, poet, screenwriter, and author of “A Death in the Family,” for which he won the 1958 Pulitzer Prize (posthumously), who died 16 May 1955.

Some quotes from the work of James Agee:

“Some people get where they hope to in this world. Most of us don’t.”
“How far we all come. How far we all come away from ourselves. So far, so much between, you can never go home again. You can go home, it’s good to go home, but you never really get all the way home again in your life. And what’s it all for? All I tried to be, all I ever wanted and went away for, what’s it all for?
Just one way, you do get back home. You have a boy or a girl of your own and now and then you remember, and you know how they feel, and it’s almost the same as if you were your own self again, as young as you could remember.
And God knows he was lucky, so many ways, and God knows he was thankful. Everything was good and better than he could have hoped for, better than he ever deserved; only, whatever it was and however good it was, it wasn’t what you once had been, and had lost, and could never have again, and once in a while, once in a long time, you remembered, and knew how far you were away, and it hit you hard enough, that little while it lasted, to break your heart.”
“And somewhat as in blind night, on a mild sea, a sailor may be made aware of an iceberg, fanged and mortal, bearing invisibly near, by the unwarned charm of its breath, nothingness now revealed itself: that permanent night upon which the stars in their expiring generations are less than the glinting of gnats, and nebulae, more trivial than winter breath; that darkness in which eternity lies bent and pale, a dead snake in a jar, and infinity is the sparkling of a wren blown out to sea; that inconceivable chasm of invulnerable silence in which cataclysms of galaxies rave mute as amber.”
“In every child who is born, under no matter what circumstances, and no matter what parents, the potentiality of the human race is born again.”
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Fancies in Springtime: Carl Sagan

“He sought a way to preserve the past. John Herschel was one of the founders of a new form of time travel…. a means to capture light and memories. He actually coined a word for it… photography. When you think about it, photography is a form of time travel. This man is staring at us from across the centuries, a ghost preserved by light.”

Below – John Herschel (1792-1871) in 1867.
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A Fifth Poem for Today

“What Calls Us”
By David Bengtson

In winter, it is what calls us
from seclusion, through endless snow
to the end of a long driveway
where, we hope, it waits—
this letter, this package, this
singing of wind around an opened door.
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Fancies in Springtime: Charles Bukowski

“It will rain all this night and we will sleep transfixed by the dark water as our blood runs through our fragile life.”
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Back from the Territory – Art: Katie Sevigny (Part IV)

In the words of one writer, “Katie moved to Haines, Alaska in 1994 as a young adult in search of a better life. She met her husband, Craig, in 1997. Katie and Craig moved to Anchorage in 2000 and married in 2002. Katie gave birth to their first son, Cooper, in 2003 and second son, Rowan, in 2005. Katie and Craig started to see the freedom of having two sons off to school and then they decided to throw themselves back into the trenches and gave birth to their third son, Satchel, in 2011!!
Katie has two great loves, her family and Art. One brings her joy and the other sanity! Between her three sons and a busy schedule, Katie tries to live her dream of being a successful artist.”

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

Below – “Raining Raven”; “Loey’s Trees”; “Moose Forest”; “Nature’s Path”; “Otter Love”; “Perspective Tree”; “Poppies”; “Mid Flight Raven.”
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Fancies in Springtime: William Kittredge

“Shelled apples and pears, various cheeses, decent wine: As evening came down over the tree-lined boulevards on the north side of Great Falls, there was a well-lighted reception in the Charlie Russell Museum.
A raggedy man came in off the street, boots wrapped with duct tape. Somebody told him that the feast was free. He smiled and poured for himself.
Somebody wanted to show him out, but nobody did. What I remember is his judicious expression as he sipped his wine and studied a Russell painting, and the uneasiness in that hall full of the enfranchised (we the people with OK automobiles and new shirts).
The tension softened after somebody said the old man was probably the only person in the place Charlie Russell might have tolerated. Everybody smiled and knew it was true.”

Below – Charles M. Russell: “Cowboy on a Bay Horse,” part of the permanent collection of the C.M. Russell Museum in Great Falls, Montana.
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A Sixth Poem for Today

“Mongrel Heart”
By David Baker

Up the dog bounds to the window, baying
like a basset his doleful, tearing sounds
from the belly, as if mourning a dead king,

and now he’s howling like a beagle – yips, brays,
gagging growls – and scratching the sill paintless,
that’s how much he’s missed you, the two of you,

both of you, mother and daughter, my wife
and child. All week he’s curled at my feet,
warming himself and me watching more TV,

or wandered the lonely rooms, my dog shadow,
who like a poodle now hops, amped-up windup
maniac yo-yo with matted curls and snot nose

smearing the panes, having heard another car
like yours taking its grinding turn down
our block, or a school bus, or bird-squawk,

that’s how much he’s missed you, good dog,
companion dog, dog-of-all-types, most excellent dog
I told you once and for all we should never get.
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American Art – Part IV of IV: Dean Larson

Artist Statement: “Painting is all about exploration and variety, and I create all my paintings with that in mind. It’s hard to have too much variety, and even the balance comes from the variation of shapes, values and colors. Being committed to a more representational degree of finish I’ll often begin a composition out of doors, painting directly in front of the subject, where viewing the scene over a period of hours allows me to capture the essential topographical information necessary to create a strong underlying foundation for the painting. Later on I’ll complete the work back in the studio from photo references and studies adding detail where needed. As an artist I’m constantly searching for new subject matter that in some way connects and calls out to be painted. In particular the relationships between light and shadow, and the constant fluidity and movement of modern daily life inspires new urban landscapes, interiors and figurative works.”

Below – “Bay Bridge, Soaring”; “Half Dome, Yosemite”; “Autumn, San Francisco”; “Mt. Tamalpais and Marin Wetlands”; “Glow of the City”; “Trees and Snow, Yosemite”; “Strong Light, California Coast”; “Land’s End and Sea Cliff.”
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