From the Pacific Northwest – Part XLII

Musings in Autumn: W.G. Sebald

“I watched the shadow of our plane hastening below us across hedges and fences, rows of poplars and canals … Nowhere, however, was a single human being to be seen. No matter whether one is flying over Newfoundland or the sea of lights that stretches from Boston to Philadelphia after nightfall, over the Arabian deserts which gleam like mother-of-pearl, over the Ruhr or the city of Frankfurt, it is as though there were no people, only the things they have made and in which they are hiding. One sees the places where they live and the roads that link them, one sees the smoke rising from their houses and factories, one sees the vehicles in which they sit, but one sees not the people themselves. And yet they are present everywhere upon the face of the earth, extending their dominion by the hour, moving around the honeycombs of towering buildings and tied into networks of a complexity that goes far beyond the power of any one individual to imagine, from the thousands of hoists and winches that once worked the South African diamond mines to the floors of today’s stock and commodity exchanges, through which the global tides of information flow without cease. If we view ourselves from a great height, it is frightening to realize how little we know about our species, our purpose and our end, I thought, as we crossed the coastline and flew out over the jelly-green sea.”

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Art for November – Part I of II: Keith Hiscock

Below – “Pilot Boat, Looking Toward Metchosin”

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A Poem for Today

“Haunted Seas”
By Cale Young Rice

A gleaming glassy ocean
Under a sky of grey;
A tide that dreams of motion,
Or moves, as the dead may;
A bird that dips and wavers
Over lone waters round,
Then with a cry that quavers
Is gone—a spectral sound.

The brown sad sea-weed drifting
Far from the land, and lost;
The faint warm fog unlifting,
The derelict long tossed,
But now at rest—though haunted
By the death-scenting shark,
Whose prey no more undaunted
Slips from it, spent and stark.

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Art for November – Part II of II: Ron Hedrick

Below – Untitled – Woman and Children on Beach

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Musings in Autumn: Ta-Nehisi Coates

“Perhaps there has been, at some point in history, some great power whose elevation was exempt from the violent exploitation of other human bodies. If there has been, I have yet to discover it. But this banality of violence can never excuse America, because America makes no claim to the banal. America believes itself exceptional, the greatest and noblest nation ever to exist, a lone champion standing between the white city of democracy and the terrorists, despots, barbarians, and other enemies of civilization. One cannot, at once, claim to be superhuman and then plead mortal error. I propose to take our countrymen’s claims of American exceptionalism seriously, which is to say I propose subjecting our country to an exceptional moral standard. This is difficult because there exists, all around us, an apparatus urging us to accept American innocence at face value and not to inquire too much. And it is so easy to look away, to live with the fruits of our history and to ignore the great evil done in all of our names.”

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Canadian Art – Eric Klemm

In the words of one writer, “Eric Klemm is a member of the prestigious Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Photographie. He first studied graphic design and turned seriously to photography in 1968, living in Heidelberg and Duesseldorf at the time. Affiliated with the legendary German magazine Twen, Klemm contributed to most of Germany’s top magazines for more than a decade. He now lives and works in British Columbia, Canada. Eric Klemm has won numerous awards and is best known for his portraits of Native Americans.”

Below – “Sonny, Cherokee Indian”; “Robert, Tewa Indian”; “Little Man, Aztec Indian”; “Forever Green 41”; “Forever Green 23”; “Shavings #8.”

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Musings in Autumn: William S. Burroughs

“Cat hate reflects an ugly, stupid, loutish, bigoted spirit. There can be no compromise with this Ugly Spirit.”

Below – William S. Burroughs with his cat Ginger.

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A Second Poem for Today

By Lucille Clifton
“it was a dream”

in which my greater self
rose up before me
accusing me of my life
with her extra finger
whirling in a gyre of rage
at what my days had come to.
what,
i pleaded with her, could i do,
oh what could i have done?
and she twisted her wild hair
and sparked her wild eyes
and screamed as long as
i could hear her
This. This. This.

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American Art – Matthew Dennison: Part I

In the words of one writer, “Matthew Dennison studied at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in 1981-’82, and has been exhibiting throughout the country for over 25 years. His work resides in a vast number of public and private collections, including Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, WA, and Legacy Emanuel Hospital, Portland, OR.”

Below – “Edward Goss”; “Epilimnion”; “Land Call”; “Turgid Volume”; “Royinfield”; “Winter Coat.”

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Musings in Autumn: Patricia B. McConnell

“We humans may be brilliant and we may be special, but we are still connected to the rest of life. No one reminds us of this better than our dogs. Perhaps the human condition will always include attempts to remind ourselves that we are separate from the rest of the natural world. We are different from other animals; it’s undeniably true. But while acknowledging that, we must acknowledge another truth, the truth that we are also the same. That is what dogs and their emotions give us– a connection. A connection to life on earth, to all that binds and cradles us, lest we begin to feel too alone. Dogs are our bridge– our connection to who we really are, and most tellingly, who we want to be. When we call them home to us, it’s as if we are calling for home itself. And that’ll do, dogs. That’ll do.”

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A Third Poem for Today

“Evening Hawk”
By Robert Penn Warren

From plane of light to plane, wings dipping through
Geometries and orchids that the sunset builds,
Out of the peak’s black angularity of shadow, riding
The last tumultuous avalanche of
Light above pines and the guttural gorge,
The hawk comes.
His wing
Scythes down another day, his motion
Is that of the honed steel-edge, we hear
The crashless fall of stalks of Time.

The head of each stalk is heavy with the gold of our error.

Look! Look! he is climbing the last light
Who knows neither Time nor error, and under
Whose eye, unforgiving, the world, unforgiven, swings
Into shadow.

Long now,
The last thrush is still, the last bat
Now cruises in his sharp hieroglyphics. His wisdom
Is ancient, too, and immense. The star
Is steady, like Plato, over the mountain.

If there were no wind we might, we think, hear
The earth grind on its axis, or history
Drip in darkness like a leaking pipe in the cellar.

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Musings in Autumn: Anais Nin

“In America the vast spaces accentuate the vast spaces between people, deserts which stretch between human beings. It is a void which has to be spanned by the automobile. It takes an hour to reach a movie, two hours to reach a friend. So the coyotes howl and wail at the awful emptiness of mountains, deserts, hills.”

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American Art – Matthew Dennison: Part II

In the words of one writer, “Dennison is well-known throughout the Northwest for the painterly elegance of his vibrant figurative paintings. Gently exploring the interplay between people, animals, and their environment, Dennison stages his cast of imaginary characters in unusual interpretations of ordinary surroundings. Dennison’s sophisticated sense of color, composition, and texture balance his whimsical narratives and provide paintings that engage the viewer on many levels.”

Below – “Ursidae”; “Sisters”; “Orchard”; “Vestibule”; “Vitalism”; “Ulotrichus.”

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