Reflections on a Saturday in the Pacific Northwest

Musings in Spring: Elizabeth Kerner

“It might be well enough to wander if you’ve a place and people to come back to, but I tell you now there’s no desolation like wanting to go home and truly not knowing where it is.”

Art for Spring – Part I of VI: Tony Wang (Chinese, contemporary)

Below – “Landscape”

A Poem for Today

“Wisdom (It Was A Night Of Early Spring)”
By Sara Teasdale

It was a night of early spring,
The winter-sleep was scarcely broken;
Around us shadows and the wind
Listened for what was never spoken.

Though half a score of years are gone,
Spring comes as sharply now as then—
But if we had it all to do
It would be done the same again.

It was a spring that never came;
But we have lived enough to know
That what we never have, remains;
It is the things we have that go.

Art for Spring – Part II of VI: Guy Anderson (American, 1906-1998)

Below – “Man Above The Sea”

Musings in Spring: Rebecca Harrington

“Springtime in Massachusetts is depressing for those who embrace a progressive view of history and experience. It does not gradually develop as spring is supposed to. Instead, the crocuses bloom and the grass grows, but the foliage is independent from the weather, which gets colder and colder and sadder and sadder until June when one day it becomes brutishly hot without warning…It was fitting, then, that the first people who chose to settle there were mentally suspect.”

Below – An 1876 illustration of the Salem Witch Trials.

Art for Spring – Part III of VI: An He (Chinese, contemporary”

Below – “Evening Brilliance”

Musings in Spring: Joseph Campbell

“Computers are like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy.”

Art for Spring – Part IV of VI: Robin John Anderson (American, contemporary)

Below – “Over the Falls”

A Second Poem for Today

“A Small Story”
By Peter Everwine

When Mrs. McCausland comes to mind
she slips through a small gap in oblivion
and walks down her front steps, in her hand
a small red velvet pillow she tucks
under the head of Old Jim Schreiber,
who is lying dead-drunk against the curb
of busy Market Street. Then she turns,
labors up the steps and is gone . . .

A small story. Or rather, the memory
of a story I heard as a boy. The witnesses
are not to be found, the steps lead nowhere,
the pillow has collapsed into a thread of dust . . .
Do the dead come back only to remind us
they, too, were once among the living,
and that the story we make of our lives
is a mystery of luminous, but uncertain moments,
a shuffle of images we carry toward sleep—
Mrs. McCausland with her velvet pillow,
Old Jim at peace—a story, like a small
clearing in the woods at night, seen
from the windows of a passing train.

Art for Spring – Part V of VI: Robert Anderson (American, contemporary)

Below – “Clarity, Movement, and Power”

Musings in Spring: Cormac McCarthy

“If we do not know ourselves in the waking world, what chance in dreams?”

Art for Spring – Part VI of VI: Diane Anderson (American, contemporary)

Below – “Gathering In The Season”

A Third Poem for Today

“The Circus Animals’ Desertion”
By William Butler Yeats

I

I sought a theme and sought for it in vain,
I sought it daily for six weeks or so.
Maybe at last being but a broken man
I must be satisfied with my heart, although
Winter and summer till old age began
My circus animals were all on show,
Those stilted boys, that burnished chariot,
Lion and woman and the Lord knows what.

II

What can I but enumerate old themes,
First that sea-rider Oisin led by the nose
Through three enchanted islands, allegorical dreams,
Vain gaiety, vain battle, vain repose,
Themes of the embittered heart, or so it seems,
That might adorn old songs or courtly shows;
But what cared I that set him on to ride,
I, starved for the bosom of his fairy bride.

And then a counter-truth filled out its play,
`The Countess Cathleen’ was the name I gave it,
She, pity-crazed, had given her soul away
But masterful Heaven had intervened to save it.
I thought my dear must her own soul destroy
So did fanaticism and hate enslave it,
And this brought forth a dream and soon enough
This dream itself had all my thought and love.

And when the Fool and Blind Man stole the bread
Cuchulain fought the ungovernable sea;
Heart mysteries there, and yet when all is said
It was the dream itself enchanted me:
Character isolated by a deed
To engross the present and dominate memory.
Players and painted stage took all my love
And not those things that they were emblems of.

III

Those masterful images because complete
Grew in pure mind but out of what began?
A mound of refuse or the sweepings of a street,
Old kettles, old bottles, and a broken can,
Old iron, old bones, old rags, that raving slut
Who keeps the till. Now that my ladder’s gone
I must lie down where all the ladders start
In the foul rag and bone shop of the heart.

Contemporary Spanish Art – Sunol Alvar

In the words of one writer, “Sunol Alvar was born in Barcelona, Spain in 1935. Alvar paints with a subtle, sophisticated tenderness and feeling for his subject matter. Alvar studied at the School of Fine Arts of Barcelona from 1951 to 1957. The eclectic Alvar is a master of all mediums, but each of Alvar’s flawlessly executed works is characterized by a sensitivity to color and a delicacy of form that are unique in contemporary art. Following in the tradition of Braque, Alvar is an artist whose force of emotion and mystical vision are complimented by a strong creative discipline and consummate technical skills. A modern master at the very peak of his powers, Alvar’s works are exhibited in all the fine art centers of the world.”

Below – “Bird in the Hand”; “Night”; “The Pleasures of the Spirit”; “Allegories of the Arts”; “Maternity” (bronze); Untitled.

Musings in Spring: Psyche Roxas-Mendoza

“Every time I stand before a beautiful beach, its waves seem to whisper to me: If you choose the simple things and find joy in nature’s simple treasures, life and living need not be so hard.”

Below – Vicente Romero: “Woman Standing in Surf”

Contemporary American Art – Harold Altman

In the words of one writer, “Harold Altman was born in New York City in 1924. Harold Altman attended the Art Students League, the Black Mountain College, the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere in Paris, and was a graduate of the Cooper Union Art School. Since 1962 he has lived in the central Pennsylvania, where a nineteenth century frame church serves as his studio. Altman spends one third of each year working in Paris where his lithographs are printed. He is represented in numerous collections. New York’s Museum of Modern Art owns over forty Altmans while the Whitney and Brooklyn Museums, each have over fifty of his works in their permanent collections. Harold Altman work is to be found in many museum collections outside of the United States including the Victoria and Albert Museum of London, the Stedelijk Museum of Amsterdam, the Kunst Museum of Basel, the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Copenhagen and the Bibliotheque Nationale of Paris.”

Below – “Central Park II 1990 New York”; “Passante II”; “Benches 1983”; “Statue”; “Shadows”; “San Francisco Bay 1987.”

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