Musings in Winter: Maya Angelou
“I believe that one can never leave home. I believe that one carries the shadows, the dreams, the fears and the dragons of home under one’s skin, at the extreme corners of one’s eyes and possibly in the gristle of the earlobe.”
Art for Winter – Part I of II: Eastman Johnson (American, 1824-1906)
Below – “The Cradle Song”
A Poem for Today
“Some Things Don’t Make Any Sense at All”
By Judith Viorst
My mom says I’m her sugarplum.
My mom says I’m her lamb.
My mom says I’m completely perfect
Just the way I am.
My mom says I’m a super-special wonderful terrific little guy.
My mom just had another baby.
Musings in Winter: Vera Nazarian
“Sunrise paints the sky with pinks and the sunset with peaches. Cool to warm. So is the progression from childhood to old age.”
Art for Winter – Part II of II: Hugh Bolton Jones (American, 1848-1927)
Below – “Autumn Trees along a Stream”
Musings in Winter: Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan
“Even if we ourselves are not personally scandalized by the notion of other animals as close relatives, even if our age has accommodated to the idea, the passionate resistance of so many of us, in so many epochs and cultures, and by so many distinguished scholars, must say something important about us. What can we learn about ourselves from an apparent error so widespread, propagated by so many leading philosophers and scientists, both ancient and modern, with such assurance and self-satisfaction?
One of several possible answers: A sharp distinction between humans and ‘animals’ is essential if we are to bend them to our will, make them work for us, wear them, eat them–without any disquieting tinges of guilt or regret. With untroubled consciences, we can render whole species extinct–for our perceived short-term benefit, or even through simple carelessness. Their loss is of little import: Those beings, we tell ourselves, are not like us. An unbridgeable gap gas thus a practical role to play beyond the mere stroking of human egos. Darwin’s formulation of this answer was: ‘Animals whom we have made our slaves, we do not like to consider our equals.’”
A Second Poem for Today
“My Great Great Etc. Uncle Patrick Henry”
By James Tate
There’s a fortune to be made in just about everything
in this country, somebody’s father had to invent
everything—baby food, tractors, rat poisoning.
My family’s obviously done nothing since the beginning
of time. They invented poverty and bad taste
and getting by and taking it from the boss.
O my mother goes around chewing her nails and
spitting them in a jar: You shouldn’t be ashamed
of yourself she says, think of your family.
My family I say what have they ever done but
paint by numbers the most absurd and disgusting scenes
of plastic squalor and human degradation.
Well then think of your great great etc. Uncle
Argentinean Art – Mercedes Farina
Painter Mercedes Farina (born 1976) is a graduate of the Rogelio Yrurtia Fine Arts Municipal School.
Musings in Winter: Wallace Stegner
“Home is a notion that only nations of the homeless fully appreciate and only the uprooted comprehend.”
A Third Poem for Today
“Poem [Lana Turner has collapsed!]”
By Frank O’Hara
Lana Turner has collapsed!
I was trotting along and suddenly
it started raining and snowing
and you said it was hailing
but hailing hits you on the head
hard so it was really snowing and
raining and I was in such a hurry
to meet you but the traffic
was acting exactly like the sky
and suddenly I see a headline
LANA TURNER HAS COLLAPSED!
there is no snow in Hollywood
there is no rain in California
I have been to lots of parties
and acted perfectly disgraceful
but I never actually collapsed
oh Lana Turner we love you get up
Musings in Winter: Tammaya Guru
“I have a cottage in a dense forest and the animals of the forest are members of my cottage.”
Chinese Art – Li Chengzhong
In the words of one writer, “Mr. Li Chengzhong was born in July, 1945 in the city of Qujing in the province of Yunnan. He has been an artist for 35 years. He is a member of the China Art Association, a member of China Artist Association, a director in Yunnan Art Association, a member of Yunnan Artist Association, an honorary chairman of city of Qujing Artist Association, a registered Second Level artist in China and a distinguished guest professor in the art school of Qujing in Yunnan. Also, he was once the head of this art school and later became a chairman there. He also served as the president of the Yunnan Province Artists Association.”
Musings in Winter: Victor Hugo
“There is one spectacle grander than the sea, that is the sky; there is one spectacle grander than the sky, that is the interior of the soul.”
French Art – Diane Garces de Marcilla
Painter Diane Garces de Marcilla lives and works in Toulouse.
Musings in Winter: Aleksandar Hemon
“Home is where somebody notices when you are no longer there.”
American Art – Part I of II: Joshua Flint
In the words of one writer, “Joshua Flint grew up across the West Coast from the wet Pacific Northwest to the dry Southwest. From an early age he filled his days with playing outdoors and drawing. During these formative years he lived near Santa Fe, NM and in Jackson Hole, WY. These two strong art communities left an indelible impression about the art world beyond his early attempts at drawing and painting. As he grew older he realized he should pursue an art education not knowing what would be the most fitting creative path. He attended the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and studied Illustration, but naturally gravitated towards Fine Art for its more personal voice. After graduation, he looked to enter the entertainment industry, however, it was his paintings that started to bring him recognition. Joshua then moved back to the Pacific Northwest to pursue Fine Art, and made Portland, Oregon his home
He has studied under preeminent artists across the country, which led him to China for intensive workshops. His exhibitions have been up and down the West Coast from Seattle, WA to Laguna Beach, CA., and most recently in Charleston, SC and Santa Fe, NM. His work has garnered national awards and has been featured in major publications. As an active member in his local creative community, he donates his time and art for various causes. Joshua is an accomplished teacher at the undergrad level and runs his own painting workshops.”
A Fourth Poem for Today
“It Was Like This: You Were Happy”
By Jane Hirshfield
It was like this:
you were happy, then you were sad,
then happy again, then not.
It went on.
You were innocent or you were guilty.
Actions were taken, or not.
At times you spoke, at other times you were silent.
Mostly, it seems you were silent—what could you say?
Now it is almost over.
Like a lover, your life bends down and kisses your life.
It does this not in forgiveness—
between you, there is nothing to forgive—
but with the simple nod of a baker at the moment
he sees the bread is finished with transformation.
Eating, too, is a thing now only for others.
It doesn’t matter what they will make of you
or your days: they will be wrong,
they will miss the wrong woman, miss the wrong man,
all the stories they tell will be tales of their own invention.
Your story was this: you were happy, then you were sad,
you slept, you awakened.
Sometimes you ate roasted chestnuts, sometimes persimmons.
Musings in Winter: Cormac McCarthy
“He lay on his back in his blankets and looked our where the quartermoon lay cocked over the heel of the mountains. In the false blue dawn the Pleiades seemed to be rising up into the darkness above the world and dragging all the stars away, the great diamond of Orion and Cepella and the signature of Cassiopeia all rising up through the phosphorous dark like a sea-net. He lay a long time listening to the others breathing in their sleep while he contemplated the wildness about him, the wildness within.”
American Art – Part II of II: Scott Mattlin
In the words of one writer, “Scott Mattlin is an artist with a deep and passionate appreciation for beauty in the natural world and within the human spirit. This enthusiastic and sensitive joy is reflected strongly in his artwork. His work is executed in a vibrant, impressionistic style, which – while still retaining its representational roots, incorporates abstract elements, resulting in a uniquely contemporary union. Mattlin paints the private world to which he bears witness. Whether it be an intimate moment captured between mother and child, a glimpse into the solitary reverie of a ballet dancer, or a private view into that sacred world of the timeless nude … Scott’s choice of subject matter, his masterful ability for extemporaneous composition, and his brilliant talent for the juxtaposition of light and shadow – all evoke a powerful old world feel, yet with an irresistible modern edge.”