Sentient in San Francisco – 17 April 2019

This Date in Art History: Died 17 April 2011 – Robert Vickrey, an American painter. In the words of one writer, Vickrey “specialized in the ancient medium of egg tempera. His paintings are surreal dreamlike visions of sunset shadows of bicycles, nuns in front of mural-painted brick walls, and children playing.”: Part I of II.

Below – “Diana’s Angels”; “Bubbles”; “Butterfly Net”; “Caroline’s Graffiti”; “The Artist’s Life II”; “Clam’s Eye View.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 17 April 1897 – Thornton Wilder, an American playwright, novelist, recipient of the National Book Award, and three-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

Some quotes from the work of Thornton Wilder:

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”
“All that we know about those we have loved and lost is that they would wish us to remember them with a more intensified realization of their reality. What is essential does not die but clarifies. The highest tribute to the dead is not grief but gratitude.”
“But soon we shall die and all memory of those five will have left the earth, and we ourselves shall be loved for a while and forgotten. But the love will have been enough; all those impulses of love return to the love that made them. Even memory is not necessary for love. “There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.”
“I didn’t marry you because you were perfect. I didn’t even marry you because I loved you. I married you because you gave me a promise. That promise made up for your faults. And the promise I gave you made up for mine. Two imperfect people got married and it was the promise that made the marriage. And when our children were growing up, it wasn’t a house that protected them; and it wasn’t our love that protected them–it was that promise.”
“Ninety-nine percent of the people in the world are fools and the rest of us are in great danger of contagion.”
“I not only bow to the inevitable; I am fortified by it.”
“When you’re safe at home you wish you were having an adventure; when you’re having an adventure you wish you were safe at home.”
“My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just enjoy your ice cream while it’s on your plate.”
“Life is a fatal adventure. It can only have one end. So why not make it as far-ranging and free as possible.”
“Oh, earth, you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize you. Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it — every, every minute?”


This Date in Art History: Died 17 April 2011 – Robert Vickrey, an American painter. In the words of one writer, Vickrey “specialized in the ancient medium of egg tempera. His paintings are surreal dreamlike visions of sunset shadows of bicycles, nuns in front of mural-painted brick walls, and children playing.”: Part II of II.

Below – “Bubbles”; “Midwinter Dream”; “Delicate Balance”; “Daughters of Charity”; “Rainbow Mural”; “Fear.”


A Poem for Today

“Back Road”
by Bruce Guernsey

Winter mornings
driving past
I’d see these kids
huddled like grouse
in the plowed ruts
in front of their shack
waiting for the bus,
three small children
bunched against the drifts
rising behind them.

This morning
I slowed to wave
and the smallest,
a stick of a kid
draped in a coat,
grinned and raised
his red, raw hand,
the snowball
packed with rock
aimed at my face.


Contemporary Greek Art – Fotini Hamidieli Martou: Part I of II.

Below – “Flight”; “woman resting”; “the dragonfly.”

Musings in Spring: Homer

“Everything is more beautiful because we’re doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again.”

Contemporary Greek Art – Fotini Hamidieli Martou: Part II of II.

Below – “seeds and pods”; “on the swings”; “cannot find the words”; “the feeding.”


A Poem for Today

“Cement Backyard”
by Lynne Sharon Schwartz

My father had our yard cemented over.
He couldn’t tell a flower from a weed.
The neighbors let their backyards run to clover
and some grew dappled gardens from a seed,

but he preferred cement to rampant green.
Lushness reeked of anarchy’s profusion.
Better to tamp the wildness down, unseen,
than tolerate its careless brash intrusion.

The grass interred, he felt well satisfied:
his first house, and he took an owner’s pride,
surveying the uniform, cemented yard.
Just so, he labored to cement his heart.

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