18 May 2017: A Lovely Thursday

Musings in Spring: Wallace Stegner

“One cannot be pessimistic about the West. This is the native home of hope. When it fully learns that cooperation, not rugged individualism, is the quality that most characterizes and preserves it, then it will have achieved itself and outlived its origins. Then it has a chance to create a society to match its scenery.”

Art for Spring – Part I of VI: Michael Bergt (American, contemporary)

Below – “Undergrowth”

Musings in Spring: Bangambiki Habyarimana

“We are world citizens, but tribal chiefs won’t let us cross the frontier.”

Art for Spring – Part II of VI: Sax Berlin (British, contemporary)

Below – “Radiant Woman”

A Poem for Today

“The Wading Pool”
By George Bilgere

The toddlers in their tadpole bodies,
with their squirt guns and snorkels,
their beautiful mommies and inflatable whales,
are still too young to understand
that this is as good as it gets.

Soon they must leave the wading pool
and stand all day at the concession stand
with their hormones and snow cones,
their soul patches and tribal tattoos,
pretending not to notice how beautiful they are,

until they simply can’t stand it
and before you know it
they’re lined up on lawn chairs,
dozing in the noonday sun
with their stretch marks and beer bellies,
their ‘Wall Street Journal’s and SPF 50.

Art for Spring – Part III of VI: Miguel Ortiz Berrocal (Spanish, 1933-2006)

Below – “Micheline X (Opus 139)” (chrome plated brass)

A Second Poem for Today

“Heart”
By Sally Bliumis-Dunn

She has painted her lips
hibiscus pink.
The upper lip dips
perfectly in the center

like a Valentine heart.
It makes sense to me—
that the lips, the open

ah of the mouth
is shaped more like a heart
than the actual human heart.
I remember the first time I saw it—

veined and shiny
as the ooze of a snail—
if this were what
we had been taught to draw

how differently we might have
learned to love.

Art for Spring – Part IV of VI: Maria Bertran (Venezuelan, contemporary)

Below – “Paradise Dream”

Musings in Spring: Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

“Americans… are forever searching for love in forms it never takes, in places it can never be. It must have something to do with the vanished frontier.”

Below – Henry F. Farny: “The Song of the Talking Wire”

Art for Spring – Part V of VI: Wilson Bigaud (Haitian, contemporary)

Below – Untitled

Musings in Spring: Karen Hines

“Historically, people move west more than east. People go east only when invited. When opportunity knocks.
People go west when all bets are off: a reputation in ruins, a love gone wrong. When they need to save their sorry souls, folks head for the frontier.”

Art for Spring – Part VI of VI: JoAnne Bird (American, contemporary)

Below – “Spirit Riders”

Musings in Spring: Robert Penn Warren

“So I pulled the sun screen down and squinted and put the throttle to the floor. And kept on moving west. For West is where we all plan to go some day. It is where you go when the land gives out and the oldfield pines encroach. It is where you go when you get the letter saying: Flee, all is discovered. IT is where you go when you look down at the blade in your hand and see the blood on it. It is where you go when you are told that you are a bubble on the tide of empire. It is where you go when you hear that thar’s gold in them-thar hills. It is where you go to grow up with the country. It is where you go to spend your old age. Or it is just where you go.”

Below – Andrew Jagniecki: “Going West”

American Art – Earl Biss (1947-1998): Part I of II

In the words of one writer, “Artist Earl Biss was a member of the Crow Nation. He had a fine classical education in the arts; graduating from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, followed by several years of study at the San Francisco Art Institute, Biss continued with a year of independent study in Europe.”

Below – “War Flags on Broken Waters”; “Dream of the Wild Horses”; Untitled (Riders); “North American Indians in the Process of Vanishing” (1971); “Mist Between the Day and Night.”

Musings in Spring: Dave Gorman

“Those roads provided breath-taking views. There’s something special about an empty road going on and on and on to the horizon where the sun burns the world away into a dancing, shmmering heat haze that reflects the crystal blue sky, literally blurring the line between heaven and earth.”

American Art – Earl Biss (1947-1998): Part II of II

In the words of one writer, “Earl Biss’s works are alive in imagination, with flowing, textured strokes of color and form conveying the moods wonder in the dreams and hopes of an exciting people who are his own, the Crow Indian. A member of the Crow Nation, Earl Biss was one of the most prominent American Indian artists. His paintings are hanging in museums around the world.”

Below – “Autumn Storm on Crazy Woman Mountain”; “Dark Strangers in the Evening”; “Old Chiefs Posing”; “Buffalo Hunt”; “Morning Glory, Men in Blue.”

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