August Offerings – Part XVII: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of III: Peter Taylor Quidley

In the words of one critic, “The first thing you notice about Peter Quidley’s oil paintings is the shimmering, lustrous character of the light which seems to radiate from the inside out, as if each picture is infused with its own individual incandescence.”
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A Poem for Today

“Domination of Black”
By Wallace Stevens

At night, by the fire,
The colors of the bushes
And of the fallen leaves,
Repeating themselves,
Turned in the room,
Like the leaves themselves
Turning in the wind.
Yes: but the color of the heavy hemlocks
Came striding.
And I remembered the cry of the peacocks.

The colors of their tails
Were like the leaves themselves
Turning in the wind,
In the twilight wind.
They swept over the room,
Just as they flew from the boughs of the hemlocks
Down to the ground.
I heard them cry — the peacocks.
Was it a cry against the twilight
Or against the leaves themselves
Turning in the wind,
Turning as the flames
Turned in the fire,
Turning as the tails of the peacocks
Turned in the loud fire,
Loud as the hemlocks
Full of the cry of the peacocks?
Or was it a cry against the hemlocks?

Out of the window,
I saw how the planets gathered
Like the leaves themselves
Turning in the wind.
I saw how the night came,
Came striding like the color of the heavy hemlocks
I felt afraid.
And I remembered the cry of the peacocks.
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Reflections in Summer: Clarence Darrow

“When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I’m beginning to believe it.”
Karl Rove

From the Movie Archives: “Life of Brian”

17 August 1979 – Monty Python’s religious satire “Life of Brian” premieres in Great Britain and the United States.

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Nobel Laureate: V. S. Naipaul

“Ignorant people in preppy clothes are more dangerous to America than oil embargoes.” – Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul, Trinidad-born British writer, novelist, author of “A Bend in the River,” and recipient of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Literature “”for having united perceptive narrative and incorruptible scrutiny in works that compel us to see the presence of suppressed histories,” who was born 17 August 1932.

Some quotes from the work of V. S. Naipaul:

“The only lies for which we are truly punished are those we tell ourselves.”
“Most people are not really free. They are confined by the niche in the world that they carve out for themselves. They limit themselves to fewer possibilities by the narrowness of their vision.”
“After all, we make ourselves according to the ideas we have of our possibilities.”
“Like many isolated people, they were wrapped up in themselves and not too interested in the world outside.”
“Non-fiction can distort; facts can be realigned. But fiction never lies.”
“And it was strange, I thought, that sorrow lasts and can make a man look forward to death, but the mood of victory fills a moment and then is over.”
“Out of its squalor and human decay, its eruptions of butchery, India produced so many people of grace and beauty, ruled by elaborate courtesy. Producing too much life, it denied the value of life; yet it permitted a unique human development to so many. Nowhere were people so heightened, rounded and individualistic; nowhere did they offer themselves so fully and with such assurance. To know Indians was to take a delight in people as people; every encounter was an adventure. I did not want India to sink [out of my memory]; the mere thought was painful.”
“Small things start us in new ways of thinking.”
“Going home at night! It wasn’t often that I was on the river at night. I never liked it. I never felt in control. In the darkness of river and forest you could be sure only of what you could see — and even on a moonlight night you couldn’t see much. When you made a noise — dipped a paddle in the water — you heard yourself as though you were another person. The river and the forest were like presences, and much more powerful than you. You felt unprotected, an intruder … You felt the land taking you back to something that was familiar, something you had known at some time but had forgotten or ignored, but which was always there. You felt the land taking you back to what was there a hundred years ago, to what had been there always.”
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Reflections in Summer: Diane Arbus

“My favorite thing is to go where I’ve never been.”
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American Art – Part II of III: Justin Novak

In the words of one critic, “American ceramist Justin Novak received a BFA in Communications Design (Illustration) from the Pratt Institute, New York in 1983 and an MFA in 1996 from the State University of New York (SUNY), New Paltz, where he taught from 1997-2000. He has been Assistant Professor of Ceramics at the University of Oregon, Eugene since 2000.
Novak has won several awards and grants, among them an Oregon Arts Commission Visual Arts Fellowship in 2001 and a John Michael Kohler Arts Center residency award in 2004. His raku-fired expressive figurative sculpture navigates a fine line the between the tasteful and the grotesque, while subverting the historical genre of the figurine, e.g. with his ‘disfigurine’ series, in which physical wounds such as bruises and lacerations serve as metaphors for injury to self-esteem and other psychological harm.”
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Reflections in Summer: Ralph Crawshaw

“Travel has a way of stretching the mind. The stretch comes not from travel’s immediate rewards, the inevitable myriad new sights, smells and sounds, but with experiencing firsthand how others do differently what we believed to be the right and only way.”

Below – Kathmandu
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From the American History Archives – Part I of II: The First Ascent of Mount Rainier

17 August 1870 – Hazard Stevens and Philemon B. Van Trump make the first documented successful ascent of Mount Rainier.

Below – Hazard Stevens; Philemon B. Van Trump; Mount Rainier.
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Mount Rainier National Park

A Second Poem for Today

“One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII,”
By Pablo Neruda

I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as one loves certain obscure things,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom but carries
the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself,
and thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose
from the earth lives dimly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you directly without problems or pride:
I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,
except in this form in which I am not nor are you,
so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,
so close that your eyes close with my dreams.
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Reflections in Summer: Joseph Priestley

“Like its politicians and its war, society has the teenagers it deserves.”
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Canadian Art – Part I of II: Robert Bateman

Robert Bateman (born 1930) lives and works in Salt Spring Island, British Columbia.
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From the American History Archives – Part II of II: Stockton

17 August 1846 – United States naval commodore Robert F. Stockton plays a major role in the capture of California during the Mexican-American War.
17 August 2012 – Stockton, “The Golden State” city named in honor of Robert F. Stockton, is bankrupt.
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Reflections in Summer: Douglas Adams

“A learning experience is one of those things that says, ‘You know that thing you just did? Don’t do that.’”
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Reflections in Summer: James Carse

“Genuine travel has no destination. Travelers do not go somewhere, but constantly discover they are somewhere else.”
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Canadian Art – Part II of II: Mark Lang

In the words of one critic, “Mark Lang was born in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada in 1966. He now lives in Montreal, where he and his wife have raised a family. He was educated at the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary, and The School of Visual Arts in New York City, and received scholarships and awards at both institutions.”
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Reflections in Summer: Marcel Proust

“The only true voyage would be not to travel through a hundred different lands, but to see the same land through a hundred different pairs of eyes.”
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“The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated. And the only thing people regret is that they didn’t live boldly enough, that they didn’t invest enough heart, didn’t love enough. Nothing else really counts at all.” – Ted Hughes, English poet, children’s writer, and British Poet Laureate (1984-1998), who was born 17 August 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.

Below – Tony Knight: “Harvest Moon”
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Reflections in Summer: Jack Kerouac

“Happiness consists in realizing it is all a great strange dream.”
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Back from the Territory – Art: Egee Sagia

Egee Sagia is in an Inuit Sculptor.

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

Below – “Skidoo”
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A Third Poem for Today

“An Abandoned Garden”
By Robert Crawford

By August I noticed the lack of care,
And now in September I feel the despair;
The rusting tools, the vanished rows,
Reveal an all too brief affair.

The hopeful beginning has come to a close
As a meeting place for sinister crows
And devious weeds planning for when
They’ll make this a plot where anything goes.

What kind of errant husbandman
Would let it fall to field again?
I think I know, I’ve met a few:
A fine egalitarian—

The type of man, a touch askew,
Who holds the universal view,
“To everything, a heart be true,”
But saves desertion just for you.
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Reflections in Summer: Peter Matthiessen

“Soon the child’s clear eye is clouded over by ideas and opinions, preconceptions and abstractions. Simple free being becomes encrusted with the burdensome armor of the ego. Not until years later does an instinct come that a vital sense of mystery has been withdrawn. The sun glints through the pines, and the heart is pierced in a moment of beauty and strange pain, like a memory of paradise. After that day…we become seekers.”
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American Art – Part III of III: Scott Prior

In the words of one writer, “Scott Prior is a painter who lives and works in Massachusetts. His paintings depict a world that is intimate, simple and personal, where objects are transfixed and transfigured by light.”

Below – “Valley in Winter”; “Beach at Twilight”; “Nancy and Ezra in the Kitchen”; “Window in June”; “Nanny Asleep”; “Picnic Table in Moonlight”; “Mollye Napping”; “Towels at Sunrise.”
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