Musings in Spring: Yoshida Kenko
“Are we to look at cherry blossoms only in full bloom, the moon only when it is cloudless? To long for the moon while looking on the rain, to lower the blinds and be unaware of the passing of the spring – these are even more deeply moving. Branches about to blossom or gardens strewn with flowers are worthier of our admiration.”
Art for Spring – Part I of III: Valery Lukka (Russian, contemporary)
Below – “Beauty”
A Poem for Today
“Run Before Dawn”
By William Stafford
Most mornings I get away, slip out
the door before light, set forth on the dim gray
road, letting my feet find a cadence
that softly carries me on. Nobody
is up—all alone my journey begins.
Some days it’s escape: the city is burning
behind me, cars have stalled in their tracks,
and everybody is fleeing like me but some other direction.
My stride is for life, a far place.
Other days it is hunting: maybe some game will cross
my path and my stride will follow for hours, matching
all turns. My breathing has caught the right beat
for endurance; familiar trancelike scenes glide by.
And sometimes it’s a dream of motion, streetlights coming near,
passing, shadows that lean before me, lengthened
then fading, and a sound from a tree: a soul, or an owl.
These journeys are quiet. They mark my days with adventure too precious for anyone else to share, little gems of darkness, the world going by, and my breath, and the road.
Art for Spring – Part II of III: Ivan Lukinykh (Russian, contemporary)
Below – “Traveller in red. Part One.”
Musings in Spring: Charles Dickens
“The night was as dark by this time as it would be until morning; and what light we had, seemed to come from the river than the sky, as the oars in their dipping struck at a few reflected stars.”
Art for Spring – Part III of III: Jesus Navarro (Spanish, contemporary)
Below – “Persephone’s Picking”
A Second Poem for Today
“The View from Here”
By William Stafford
In Antarctica drooping their little shoulders
like bottles the penguins stand, small,
sad, black – and the wind
bites hard over them.
Edging that continent they huddle to turn their eyes.
Penguins, we can’t help you; and all that cold
hangs over us too, wide beyond thought.
We too stand and wait.
Contemporary American Art – D. R. Parker
In the words of one writer, “D.R. Parker was born July 30, 1940, in Amarillo, Texas. He has lived his whole life in this Texas Panhandle city, and knows well the surrounding areas, including New Mexico and Arizona. His portrayals are deeply felt and transferred by oils for others to enjoy. Parker is self-taught, with no formal training, and painting has been his way of life for many years. He uses the Flemish style of painting – transparent glazes and over painting – in all of his work. The gesso is carefully prepared and applied to masonite using at least thirteen coats and sanding between each one. Many of his pieces have as many as fifteen glazes in specific area. Parker personally mixes his own paint medium in order to achieve the soft subtle finish that he prefers. Parker’s western portrayals have been selected by many galleries in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona – and are vastly increasing in popularity throughout the West and Southwest. His work is indeed unique.”
Below – “Wooden Oil Derricks”; “Old Homestead”; “Blizzard”; “Sepia Barn and Windmill”; “Storm”; “Oil Field Fires.”