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

American Art – Part I of IV: Forrest Rodts

In the words of one writer, “Forrest Rodts’ finely detailed acrylic landscapes, seascapes, still lifes reflect his long standing affection for the ocean and the serene New England coastline. With an eye towards capturing the drama of breathtaking sunsets, explosive skies, sparkling blue seas and peaceful vistas, Rodts combines color, light and meticulous draftsmanship to make familiar scenes come to life for the viewer. As a sailor with a passionate interest in maritime history, Rodts also explores the root of his family’s whaling past and our country’s sailing tradition, in his majestic marine portraits.”

Below – “Peek-A-Boo”; “Family Vacation”; “Red Nun Four”; “Rain Drops”; “Morning on the Beach”; “Final Approach.”
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“If we are to keep democracy, there must be a commandment: Thou shalt not ration justice.” – Billings Learned Hand, United States judge and judicial philosopher, who died on 18 August 1961. The erudite and eloquent Hand has been quoted more often than any other lower-court judge by both legal scholars and the Supreme Court of the United States.

Some quotes from the work of Billings Learned Hand:

“Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it.”
“There is no surer way to misread any document than to read it literally.”
“Words are chameleons, which reflect the color of their environment.”
“It is enough that we set out to mold the motley stuff of life into some form of our own choosing; when we do, the performance is itself the wage.”
“Life is made up of constant calls to action, and we seldom have time for more than hastily contrived answers.”
“The aim of law is the maximum gratification of the nervous system of man.”
“Right knows no boundaries and justice no frontiers; the brotherhood of man is not a domestic institution.”

Reflections in Summer: Albert Einstein

“There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.”
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American Art – Part II of IV: Dominique Amendola

Artist Statement: “I have been a painter for over 30 years and started to draw and produce Art at the age of four. I raised three beautiful children and traveled extensively in Switzerland, Italy, and India. Over the years, I resided both in France and in the United States and even india for some years. My work is now hanging in several private museums and castles in US and abroad. . I am painting many themes all mostly with figures or landscapes. Most of my paintings are small oil paintings but there are plenty of larger ones too .The work is charming and varied and will look good in your home or office. To create my paintings I use oils I grind myself into tubes. I also make my own Maroger mediums (two different ones: the Rubens jelly medium and the Titian wax medium). This allows colors to give my canvas a sense of vibrancy. Some of my paintings have more apparent brush strokes than others, which I really enjoy to show. The approach I take is that I paint the entire composition first. I then build my shapes on that solid foundation. I always make sure there is balance throughout my composition. My work has and will continue to involve landscapes figures, adolescence, and refreshing imagery, as well as spiritual themes. This is part of who I am.
At present I am focusing on loosening up my style and introducing palette knife work in my pieces. My trend is figures in landscapes, harmony of colors and paying more attention to the subtle emotions behind the paint.”

Below – “San Francisco, Starry Night”; “Carmel Coast #2”; “Vineyards on a Mountain”; “Water Lilies in India”; “Lavender Fields”; “The Fairy”; “The Bathers”; “Monks in Varanasi”; “India Street Scene #4”; “Bathing in the Holy River #3”; “Dream on the Beach.”

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A Poem for Today

“Words to a Grandchild,”
By Chief Dan George

Perhaps there will be a day
you will want to sit by my side
asking for counsel.
I hope I will be there
but you see
I am growing old.
There is no promise
that life will
live up to our hopes
especially to the hopes of the aged.
So I write of what I know
and some day our hearts
will meet in these words
– if you let it happen.

In the midst of a land
without silence
you have to make a place for yourself.
Those who have worn out
their shoes many times
know where to step.
It is not their shoes
you can wear
only their footsteps
you may follow,
– if you let it happen.

You come from a shy race.
Ours are the silent ways.
We have always done all things
in a gentle manner,
so much as the brook
that avoids the solid rock
in its search for the sea
and meets the deer in passing.
You too must follow the path
of your own race.
It is steady and deep,
reliable and lasting.
It is you
– if you let it happen.

You are a person of little,
but it is better to have little
of what is good,
than to possess much
of what is not good.
This your heart will know,
– if you let it happen.

Heed the days
when the rain flows freely,
in their greyness
lies the seed of much thought
The sky hangs low
and paints new colors
on the earth.
After the rain
the grass will shed its moisture,
the fog will lift from the trees,
a new light will brighten the sky
and play in the drops
that hang on all things.
Your heart will beat out
a new gladness
– if you let it happen.

Each day brings an hour of magic.
Listen to it!
Things will whisper their secrets.
You will know
what fills the herbs with goodness,
makes days change into nights,
turns the stars
and brings the change of seasons.
When you have come to know
some of nature’s wise ways
beware of your complacency
for you cannot be wiser than nature.
You can only be as wise
as any man will ever hope to be,
– if you let it happen.

Our ways are good
but only in our world
If you like the flame
on the white man’s wick
learn of his ways
so you can bear his company,
yet when you enter his world,
you will walk like a stranger.
For some time
bewilderment will,
like an ugly spirit
torment you.
Then rest on the holy earth
and wait for the good spirit.
He will return with new ways
as his gift to you,
– if you let it happen.

Use the heritage of silence
to observe others.
If greed has replaced the goodness
in a man’s eyes
see yourself in him
so you will learn to understand
and preserve yourself.
Do not despise the weak,
it is compassion
that will make you strong.

Does not the rice
drop into your basket
whilst your breath
carries away the chaff?
There is good in everything
– if you let it happen.

When the storms close in
and the eyes cannot find the horizon
you may lose much.
Stay with your love for life
for it is the very blood
running through your veins.
As you pass through the years
you will find much calmness
in your heart.
It is the gift of age.
and the colors of the fall
will be deep and rich,
– if you let it happen.

As I see beyond the days of now
I see a vision:
I see the faces of my people,
your sons’ sons,
your daughters’ daughters,
laughter fills the air
that is no longer yellow and heavy,
the machines have died,
quietness and beauty
have returned to the land.
The gentle ways of our race
have again put us
in the days of the old.
It is good to live!
It is good to die!
– This will happen.

Reflections in Summer: Miriam Beard

“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.”

Below – The Vale of Kashmir.
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From the Music Archives: Peter, Paul and Mary

18 August 1962 – Peter, Paul and Mary release what will become their first hit – “If I Had a Hammer.”

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“Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.” – B. F. Skinner, American psychologist, behaviorist, writer, inventor, social philosopher, and author of “Walden Two,” who died 18 August 1990.

Some quotes from the work of B. F. Skinner:

“A failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying. ”
“No one asks how to motivate a baby. A baby naturally explores everything it can get at, unless restraining forces have already been at work. And this tendency doesn’t die out, it’s wiped out.”
“The real question is not whether machines think but whether men do. The mystery which surrounds a thinking machine already surrounds a thinking man.”
“A fourth-grade reader may be a sixth-grade mathematician. The grade is an administrative device which does violence to the nature of the developmental process.”
“At this very moment enormous numbers of intelligent men and women of goodwill are trying to build a better world. But problems are born faster than they can be solved.”
“It is a surprising fact that those who object most violently to the manipulation of behaviour nevertheless make the most vigorous effort to manipulate minds.”
“Society attacks early, when the individual is helpless. It enslaves him almost before he has tasted freedom. The ‘ologies’ will tell you how its done Theology calls it building a conscience or developing a spirit of selflessness. Psychology calls it the growth of the superego.
Considering how long society has been at it, you’d expect a better job. But the campaigns have been badly planned and the victory has never been secured.”
“Going out of style isn’t a natural process, but a manipulated change which destroys the beauty of last year’s dress in order to make it worthless.”
“Promising paradise or threatening hell-fire is, we assumed, generally admitted to be unproductive. It is based upon a fundamental fraud which, when discovered, turns the individual against society and nourishes the very thing it tries to stamp out. What Jesus offered in return of loving one’s enemies was heaven on earth, better known as peace of mind.”
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Reflections in Summer: Martin Buber

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.”
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From the Movie Archives: Robert Redford

“I have a lot of land. I bought it because I had a very strong feeling. I was in my early twenties, and I had grown up in Los Angeles and had seen that city slide off into the sea from the city I knew as a little kid. It lost its identity – suddenly there was cement everywhere and the green was gone and the air was bad – and I wanted out.” – Robert Redford, American actor, film director, producer, businessman, environmentalist, philanthropist, and founder of the Sundance Film Festival, who was born 18 August 1936.

A Second Poem for Today

“Why Fortune is the Empress of the World”
By Turner Cassity

The insect born of royalty has Marx
And worker housing as a life; has sex
Or clover honey to his pleasure, as
Have we. The parrot speaks. All use: the ant
The aphid and the crocodile the bird.
What then is human wholly? Is it heart?
Fidelity exists in any dog.
Good Doctor who have found your Missing Link,
On your return what will you have him be?
Free agent or a tenant in a cage?

A simple test will serve. It more or less
Is this: can he be taught a game of chance?
It is not possible, you must agree,
To think of animals as gambling. Odds,
Except for us, do not exist. An ape
Assumes always his jump will reach the limb.
For all his skill, he cannot cut his loss.
We, on the other hand, at our most threatened
Turn instinctively … to Reason? No.
To Fortune, as a mindlessness of mind.
The random that we create creates us.
In overcrowded lifeboats, we draw lots.
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Reflections in Summer: Thomas Bailey Aldrich

“What is lovely never dies,
But passes into other loveliness,
Star-dust, or sea-foam, flower or winged air.”
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From the American History Archives – Part I of II: Virginia Dare

18 August 1587 – Virginia Dare becomes the first child born in the Americas to English parents.

Below – “Baptism of Virginia Dare,” lithograph, 1880.
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Australian artist Helen Lehmann has recently created a series of works inspired by the narratives of Nobel Prize Laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Artist Statement: “Over the years I have read the works of Gabriel Garcia Màrquez. Two books in particular, ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ and ‘Love in the time of Cholera,’ left a lasting impression due to the strength of the narrative, and the impressive female characters.
When I read the Màrquez autobiography ‘Living to Tell the Tale’ and discovered that the females featured in those particular works were real and based on members of his family, I was inspired to create a series of paintings based on those two books.
My interest in creating works based on these books was not to depict a visual narrative, nor to include the magic realism elements of the stories. My interest was centered on the women, and for me, these women were at the heart of Màrquez’s stories: those unforgettable dark angels; the objects of love and the creators of dynasty.
Hopefully, those who view the paintings, can, through body language, title of the works and references contained within the cut synthetic paper images included in the larger works, gain an insight into the role these women hold within the narrative of the texts.”

Below – “Amaranta: Love’s denial”; “Feminina: Love’s obsession”; “Fernanda: Love’s witness”; “Love’s Message”; “Meme: Love’s Rebellion”; “Rebecca and Amaranta”; “Sofia: Love’s reverie”; “Ursula: Love’s genesis”; “Fernanda: Love’s unloved.”
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Reflections in Summer: Charles Dudley Warner

“Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough.”

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From the American History Archives – Part II of II: Japanese Cherry Trees

18 August 1909 – Yukio Ozaki, the Mayor of Tokyo, presents Washington, D.C. with 2,000 cherry trees. President Taft decides to plant them near the Potomac River.

Below – The newly arrived cherry trees being inspected; Yukio Ozaki strolling among the cherry trees in Washington, D.C. with his daughter and a friend in 1931; the cherry trees in blossom today.
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American Art – Part III of IV: Howling Wolf (Southern Cheyenne, 1849-1927)

Below – “At the Sand Creek Massacre”; “Howling Wolf in Battle Against a Wagon Train”; “Crow Indians, Heap of Birds”; “Howling Wolf Hunting Buffalo”; “Howling Wolf Fighting Soldiers”; “Under Cloud, Howling Wolf Fights with General Sully in 1868”; photograph of Howling Wolf imprisoned at Fort Marion, circa 1875.
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Reflections in Summer: Ursula Goodenough

“Perhaps we should all settle down and think about what’s good in the world and what we want to do here. If we find this planet and its history and its story to be sacred, let’s preserve and nourish it, and then we can go home at night and say whatever prayers we choose.”
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From the American Old West – The Dakota War

17 – 19 August 1862 – The Dakota War of 1862 begins. In the words of one historian, “On August 17, 1862, one young Dakota with a hunting party of three others killed five settlers while on a hunting expedition. That night a council of Dakota decided to attack settlements throughout the Minnesota River valley to try to drive whites out of the area. There has never been an official report on the number of settlers killed, although in Abraham Lincoln’s second annual address, he noted that not less than 800 men, women, and children had died.
Over the next several months, continued battles pitting the Dakota against settlers and later, the United States Army, ended with the surrender of most of the Dakota bands. By late December 1862, soldiers had taken captive more than a thousand Dakota, who were interned in jails in Minnesota. After trials and sentencing, 38 Dakota were hanged on December 26, 1862, in the largest one-day execution in American history. In April 1863, the rest of the Dakota were expelled from Minnesota to Nebraska and South Dakota. The United States Congress abolished their reservations.”

Below – “The Siege of New Ulm, Minnesota on August 19, 1862,” by Henry Augustus Schwabe; refugees during the Dakota War of 1862; “The mass execution in Mankato” – “Harper’s Weekly” (January 1863).

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Reflections in Summer: Albert Einstein

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”
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Back from the Territory – Art: Etidloie Tunnillie

Etidloie Tunnillie is in an Inuit Sculptor.

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

Below – “Polar Bear”
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A Third Poem for Today

“Leave Taking”
By Bill Coyle

i.m. Sten Söderström

The dead, we say, are the departed. They
pass on, they pass away, they leave behind
family, friends, the whole of humankind—
They have gone on before. Or so we say.

But could it be the opposite is true?
Now, as I stand here in the graveled drive
at moonrise, unaccountably alive,
I have the sense that it is we, not you,

who are departing, spun at breakneck speed
through space and time, while you stay where you are—
intimate of dark matter and bright star—
and watch the brilliant, faithless world recede.
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Reflections in Summer: Edward Abbey

“Late in August the lure of the mountains becomes irresistible. Seared by the everlasting sunfire, I want to see running water again, embrace a pine tree, cut my initials in the bark of an aspen, get bit by a mosquito, see a mountain bluebird, find a big blue columbine, get lost in the firs, hike above timberline, sunbathe on snow and eat some ice, climb the rocks and stand in the wind at the top of the world on the peak of Tukuhnikivats.”

Below – Mount Tukuhnikivats
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American Art – Part IV of IV: Sergio Roffo

In the words of one writer, “Sergio Roffo, painter (1953-), has been inspired by the work of American traditional painters such as Inness, Fitz Henry Lane & Albert Bierstadt, among others. Roffo’s representations of coastal landscapes reveal a luminous, masterful feeling. As you view his art, you will discover a precise sense of value and atmospheric perspective that conveys a relaxed sense of calmness; a characteristic that defines and informs all of his works. Sergio Roffo’s captivating depictions of the New England landscape have been included in a variety of museum exhibitions and have earned him many, many awards.”

Below – “Setting Sun on the Lagoon”; “The Sheepscot River”; “At Sunrise”; “Shore Path, Bar Harbor”; “Nantucket Dunes”; “Charles River Reflections.”
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