From the Pacific Northwest – Part III

Musing in Autumn: George Eliot

“Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love – that makes life and nature harmonise. The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one’s very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit. Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”
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Canadian Art – Part I: Mark Fletcher

In the words of one writer, “Mark Fletcher is an artist whose paintings tell stories. The stories are of us as seen through the eyes of a youth who moved about, living in various regions of the country. In 1974, he was enrolled at Trinity College School, Port Hope, ON and began a casual study of painting and art history. His interest in the arts continued into university and flourished into a full time career.
Mark’s paintings seem to extend beyond their physical bounds. They live with you and perhaps even haunt the viewer. The suggested movement is dynamic and they evoke feelings, which cannot be forgotten or overlooked. His use of vivid colour creates a joy that emanates from his canvases.
The minimal landscapes that he creates are personal and sensitive.
In all of Mark’s paintings there is a clear graphic statement, finely defined. As a viewer his works, first on a visceral, captures your level and then intellectually and spiritually.”

Below – “Storm Arrives”; “Old Barn in the Valley”; “Last Year’s Snow Fence”; “Wild Roses”; “Summer Hawk”; “Out on the Edge of Town.”
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A Poem for Today

“The morns are meeker than they were -“
By Emily Dickinson

The morns are meeker than they were – 
The nuts are getting brown –
The berry’s cheek is plumper –
The rose is out of town.
 
The maple wears a gayer scarf –
The field a scarlet gown –
Lest I sh’d be old-fashioned 
I’ll put a trinket on. 
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Musings in Autumn: H.T. Tuckerman

“It is a delightful pastime to sit in the pleasant sunshine of autumn, and gazing from this little spot of free earth over such a landscape, let the imagination luxuriate amid the thrilling associations of the scene!”
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Bill Hicks (1961-1994) was an American stand-up comedian, social critic, satirist, and musician.

Some quotes from the work of Bill Hicks:

“If you want to understand a society, take a good look at the drugs it uses. And what can this tell you about American culture? Well, look at the drugs we use. Except for pharmaceutical poison, there are essentially only two drugs that Western civilization tolerates: Caffeine from Monday to Friday to energize you enough to make you a productive member of society, and alcohol from Friday to Monday to keep you too stupid to figure out the prison that you are living in.”
“This is where we are at right now, as a whole. No one is left out of the loop. We are experiencing a reality based on a thin veneer of lies and illusions. A world where greed is our God and wisdom is sin, where division is key and unity is fantasy, where the ego-driven cleverness of the mind is praised, rather than the intelligence of the heart.”
“I’m glad mushrooms are against the law, because I took them one time, and you know what happened to me? I laid in a field of green grass for four hours going, ‘My God! I love everything.’ Yeah, now if that isn’t a hazard to our country … how are we gonna justify arms dealing when we realize that we’re all one?”
“I never got along with my dad. Kids used to come up to me and say, ‘My dad can beat up your dad.’ I’d say Yeah? When?”
“Folks, it’s time to evolve. That’s why we’re troubled. You know why our institutions are failing us, the church, the state, everything’s failing? It’s because, um – they’re no longer relevant. We’re supposed to keep evolving. Evolution did not end with us growing opposable thumbs. You do know that, right?”
“It’s always funny until someone gets hurt.
Then it’s just hilarious.”
“I ascribe to Mark Twain’s theory that the last person who should be President is the one who wants it the most. The one who should be picked is the one who should be dragged kicking and screaming into the White House.”
“The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it’s very brightly colored, and it’s very loud, and it’s fun for a while. Many people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to wonder, “Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?” And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, “Hey, don’t worry; don’t be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride.” And we … kill those people. “Shut him up! I’ve got a lot invested in this ride, shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry, look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real.” It’s just a ride. But we always kill the good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok … But it doesn’t matter, because it’s just a ride. And we can change it any time we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. Just a simple choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one. Here’s what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.”
“I left in love, in laughter, and in truth, and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit.”
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Musings in Autumn: Hal Borland

“Two sounds of autumn are unmistakable…the hurrying rustle of crisp leaves blown along the street…by a gusty wind, and the gabble of a flock of migrating geese.”
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A Second Poem for Today

“The Death of Autumn”
By Edna St. Vincent Millay

When reeds are dead and a straw to thatch the marshes,
And feathered pampas-grass rides into the wind
Like agèd warriors westward, tragic, thinned
Of half their tribe, and over the flattened rushes,
Stripped of its secret, open, stark and bleak,
Blackens afar the half-forgotten creek,–
Then leans on me the weight of the year, and crushes
My heart. I know that Beauty must ail and die,
And will be born again,–but ah, to see
Beauty stiffened, staring up at the sky!
Oh, Autumn ! Autumn !–What is the Spring to me?
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Musings in Autumn: Emily Bronte

“Every leaf speaks bliss to me,
Fluttering from the autumn tree,,,”
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Canadian Art – Part II: Shaun Downey

In the words of one writer, “Shaun Downey strives to breathe fresh life into realist painting by combining classical ideals within the context of his own life and surroundings. His paintings have elements of decades past, but are firmly grounded in present day. Often painting his wife and friends within the confines of his home, we are allowed a voyeuristic glance into his world as he reveals his efforts to capture the fleeting beauty of modern life.
As outside viewers, we find ourselves longing to understand who Shaun Downey’s subjects are. What their lives are like, and which chain of events led them to the exact moment the artist has captured. His meticulously rendered paintings call out to be understood, but we the viewer are left to make our own assumptions.”

Below – “Blue Coco”; “In Autumn Light”; “Red Head with Pearls”; “In Her Auburn Sweater”; “Towards the Cabin”; “Mint Dervla.”
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