From the Pacific Northwest – Part XLIII

Musings in Autumn: Garth Risk Hallberg

“The reason we can say anything we want in America is that we know it makes no difference.”

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A Poem for Today

“The Land of Nod”
By Robert Louis Stevenson

From Breakfast on through all the day
At home among my friends I stay,
But every night I go abroad
Afar into the land of Nod.

All by myself I have to go,
With none to tell me what to do–
All alone beside the streams
And up the mountain-sides of dreams.

The strangest things are there for me,
Both things to eat and things to see,
And many frightening sights abroad
Till morning in the land of Nod.

Try as I like to find the way,
I never can get back by day,
Nor can remember plain and clear
The curious music that I hear.

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Art for November – Part I of III: George Horvath

Below – “Wheatfields”

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Musings in Autumn: Roger Zelazny

“Don’t wake me for the end of the world unless it has very good special effects.”

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Art for November – Part II of III: John Koerner

Below – “Still Life, Mainly Blue”

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Musings in Autumn: Julius Evola

“The Americans are the living refutation of the Cartesian axiom, ‘I think, therefore I am’: Americans do not think, yet they are.”

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Art for November – Part III of III: Doris Jean McCarthy

Below – “Ontario”

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Musings in Autumn: Cormac McCarthy

“He walked out in the gray light and stood and he saw for a brief moment the absolute truth of the world. The cold relentless circling of the intestate earth. Darkness implacable. The blind dogs of the sun in their running. The crushing black vacuum of the universe. And somewhere two hunted animals trembling like ground-foxes in their cover. Borrowed time and borrowed world and borrowed eyes with which to sorrow it.”

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Canadian Art – Peter McConville

Artist Statement: “The fallen leaves and deadwoods feed the forest a reminder of the cycle of life. When I look into the forest, it reveals a wonderful range of deep rich colours. The bright orange, red and green leaves found in the forest make up a natural, complementary palette.”

Below – “Hush”; “Surging Skyline”; “Hillside Birches”; “Arbutus Tree”; “last Leaves”; “Fall Leaves Fall.”

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Musings in Autumn: Neil Gaiman

“I sat in the dark and thought: There’s no big apocalypse. Just an endless procession of little ones.”

Copyright York Museums Trust / Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

A Second Poem for Today

“A Bird came down the Walk”
By Emily Dickinson

A Bird came down the Walk—
He did not know I saw—
He bit an Angleworm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw,

And then he drank a Dew
From a convenient Grass—
And then hopped sidewise to the Wall
To let a Beetle pass—

He glanced with rapid eyes
That hurried all around—
They looked like frightened Beads, I thought—
He stirred his Velvet Head

Like one in danger, Cautious,
I offered him a Crumb
And he unrolled his feathers
And rowed him softer home—

Than Oars divide the Ocean,
Too silver for a seam—
Or Butterflies, off Banks of Noon
Leap, plashless as they swim.

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Musings in Autumn: Rebecca McNutt

“Personally, I believe ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. I’d rather use film cameras and vinyl records and cathode ray tubes than any sort of the digital technology available. Look around! The streets are full of people who would rather have their eyes on their cell phones than on the world around them! Scientists are researching technology to erase specific memories from people! Our thrown-away digital technology is showing up overseas in huge piles of toxic heavy metals and plastic!
And yet there are still people who keep wanting technology and the future to keep going. They dream of flying cars, or humanoid robots, of populated cities on Mars. But do we really NEED this stuff? Maybe before we try to keep turning our world into an episode of The Jetsons, we should focus more on the problems that are surprisingly being overlooked now more than ever. Before we design another stupid cell phone or build a flying car, let’s put a stop to racism, to sexism, to homophobia, to war. Let’s stop buying all our ‘American’ products from sweat shops overseas and let’s end poverty in third-world countries. Let’s let film photography never go obsolete, let’s let print books continue to be printed. Let’s stop domestic violence and child abuse and prostitution and this world’s heavy reliance on prescription drugs. Let’s stop terrorism, let’s stop animal cruelty, , let’s stop overpopulation and urbanization, let’s stop the manufacture of nuclear weapons…
…I mean come on, we have all these problems to solve, but digital tech enthusiasts are more concerned that we don’t have flying cars or robotic maids yet? That’s pathetic.”

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A Third Poem for Today

“Wild Swans”
By Edna St. Vincent Millay

I looked in my heart while the wild swans went over.
And what did I see I had not seen before?
Only a question less or a question more;
Nothing to match the flight of wild birds flying.
Tiresome heart, forever living and dying,
House without air, I leave you and lock your door.
Wild swans, come over the town, come over
The town again, trailing your legs and crying!

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Musings in Autumn: Max DePree

“We are alone, absolutely alone on this chance planet; and amid all the forms of life that surround us, not one, excepting the dog has made an alliance with us.”

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A Fourth Poem for Today

“Line on Retirement, after Reading Lear”
By David Wright

for Richard Pacholski

Avoid storms. And retirement parties.
You can’t trust the sweetnesses your friends will
offer, when they really want your office,
which they’ll redecorate. Beware the still
untested pension plan. Keep your keys. Ask
for more troops than you think you’ll need. Listen
more to fools and less to colleagues. Love your
youngest child the most, regardless. Back to
storms: dress warm, take a friend, don’t eat the grass,
don’t stand near tall trees, and keep the yelling
down—the winds won’t listen, and no one will
see you in the dark. It’s too hard to hear
you over all the thunder. But you’re not
Lear, except that we can’t stop you from what
you’ve planned to do. In the end, no one leaves
the stage in character—we never see
the feather, the mirror held to our lips.
So don’t wait for skies to crack with sun. Feel
the storm’s sweet sting invade you to the skin,
the strange, sore comforts of the wind. Embrace
your children’s ragged praise and that of friends.
Go ahead, take it off, take it all off.
Run naked into tempests. Weave flowers
into your hair. Bellow at cataracts.
If you dare, scream at the gods. Babble as
if you thought words could save. Drink rain like cold
beer. So much better than making theories.
We’d all come with you, laughing, if we could.

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American Arty – Miles Cleveland Goodwin

In the words of one writer, “What is the fundamental nature of art if not to elicit feeling, to create a direct line of communication between creator and viewer? In an age of digital manipulation and mass produced imagery, Miles Cleveland Goodwin remains true to his own hand, just as he does to the individual perception of his eye. Goodwin is a superb painter. How seldom today do we refer to work as ‘painterly’? Yet that so well defines Goodwin, an artist whose classical training underlies his every canvas. Art builds upon its own history, and Goodwin pays homage to the vision of such seemingly disparate painters as Francis Bacon and Andrew Wyeth with a hand not unrelated to the mastery of the German expressionists. Though young, Goodwin’s work has attained what the French call ‘ecriture’, the unique hallmark that sets an artist apart from all others.”

Below – “Butterfly and Lightning”; “(Self Portrait) Under a Wave”; “Haints”; “Sunday Stroll Down Dumaine Street”; “Laughing Gull”; “Massacre”; “Unsettled Sea”; “Sunrise”; “Sacred Oak.”

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