A View from Walden Pond – 19 August 2017

“It is a surprising and memorable, as well as valuable experience, to be lost in the woods any time. Often in a snow storm, even by day, one will come out upon a well-known road and yet find it impossible to tell which way leads to the village. Though he knows that he has travelled it a thousand times, he cannot recognize a feature in it, but it is as strange to him as if it were a road in Siberia. By night, of course, the perplexity is infinitely greater. In our most trivial walks, we are constantly, though unconsciously, steering like pilots by certain well-known beacons and head-lands, and if we go beyond our usual course we still carry in our minds the bearing of some neighboring cape; and not till we are completely lost, or turned round, – for a man lost, – do we appreciate the vastness and strangeness of Nature. Every man has to learn the points of compass again as often as he awakes, whether from sleep or any abstraction. Not till we are lost, in other words, not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves, and realize where we are and the infinite extent of our relations.”

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Current Events – 19 August 2017

Current Events – 19 August 2017

“Indeed, one concern would be that the initial neoconservative response to a zombie outbreak would be to invade Iraq again out of force of habit.” – Daniel W. Drezner, American professor of international politics and author of “Theories of International Politics and Zombies.”

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18 August 2017 – Beleaguered in Bothell

Musings in Summer: Lucy Maud Montgomery

“We don’t know where we’re going, but isn’t is fun to go?”

Art for Summer – Part I of VI: Anne Packard (American, contemporary)

Below – “Two Dorries”

Musings in Summer: Will Durant

“We must steel ourselves against utopias and be content with a slightly better state.”

Art for Summer – Part II of VI: Raymond Page (American, contemporary)

Below – “Somewhere in Time”

A Poem for Today

“Sunday Flying”
By Patricia Hooper

Sometimes after the flight show when my father
flew in formation with the other pilots,
diving and somersaulting in his Cessna,
he took us up. The crowd was driving off,
the windsocks disappeared. We flew above
the empty air strip, past the silver hangar,
the ballpark, then the bridge, beyond the school;

and then, if there was fuel enough, we flew
to Hidden Lake where, just below us, Grandpa
was fishing in his rowboat, looking up,
waving his hat, and Grandma hurried out,
wearing her yellow apron. Oh, if only
we could go down and fish for perch with Grandpa!
But it was nearly sunset, and we flew

back over woods and highways toward the town,
and finally there we were above our block,
our house, my Kool-Aid stand, my brother’s blue
two-wheeler in the drive. How small it was—
how strange it seemed to look down on your life
from somewhere else. And suddenly I was sick
with loneliness. But we were all together:

my brother with my father up in front,
Mother beside me in the back. And yet
we must be small from there: our empty yard,
the Thompsons on their porch, the Barton’s Airedale
trying to climb the fence, and Mother’s clothesline,
my sweater hung to dry. Just then, if I had seen
myself on the swing set, I would not have been surprised.

Worth a Thousand Words: Bonnie and Clyde’s Bullet-Riddled Car (1934).

Art for Summer – Part III of VI: Max Papart (French, 1911-1994)

Below – “American Ballet”

Musings in Summer: Paul Bowles

“The soul is the weariest part of the body.”

Below – David Fraley: Untitled (Face)

Art for Summer – Part IV of VI: Ramon Parmenter (American, contemporary)

Below – “Graceful Power” (bronze)

Musings in Summer: Jack London

“Here am I, a little animal called a man–a bit of vitalized matter, one hundred and sixty-five pounds of meat and blood, nerve, sinew, bones, and brain,–all of it soft and tender, susceptible to hurt, fallible, and frail. I strike a light back-handed blow on the nose of an obstreperous horse, and a bone in my hand is broken. I put my head under the water for five minutes, and I am drowned. I fall twenty feet through the air, and I am smashed. I am a creature of temperature. A few degrees one way, and my fingers and ears and toes blacken and drop off. A few degrees the other way, and my skin blisters and shrivels away from the raw, quivering flesh. A few additional degrees either way, and the life and the light in me go out. A drop of poison injected into my body from a snake, and I cease to move–for ever I cease to move. A splinter of lead from a rifle enters my head, and I am wrapped around in the eternal blackness.
Fallible and frail, a bit of pulsating, jelly-like life–it is all I am. About me are the great natural forces–colossal menaces, Titans of destruction, unsentimental monsters that have less concern for me than I have for the grain of sand I crush under my foot. They have no concern at all for me. They do not know me. They are unconscious, unmerciful, and unmoral. They are the cyclones and tornadoes, lightning flashes and cloud-bursts, tide-rips and tidal waves, undertows and waterspouts, great whirls and sucks and eddies, earthquakes and volcanoes, surfs that thunder on rock-ribbed coasts and seas that leap aboard the largest crafts that float, crushing humans to pulp or licking them off into the sea and to death–and these insensate monsters do not know that tiny sensitive creature, all nerves and weaknesses, whom men call Jack London, and who himself thinks he is all right and quite a superior being.”

Below – Jack London aboard his sloop The Snark, on which he wrote the passage quoted above.

Art for Summer – Part V of VI: Jules Pascin (Bulgarian, 1885-1930)

Below – “Young Girl With Hat”

Musings in Summer: May Sarton

“One must think like a hero to behave like a merely decent human being.”

Below – May Sarton.

Art for Summer – Part VI of VI: Misti Pavlov (Russian, contemporary)

Below – “Night Wind”

Musings in Summer: Astrid Lindren

“A childhood without books – that would be no childhood. That would be like being shut out from the enchanted place where you can go and find the rarest kind of joy.”

Contemporary American Art – Michael Parkes

In the words of one writer, “Michael Parkes was born in 1944. Michael Parkes studied graphic art and painting at the University of Kansas and then traveled for three years throughout Asia and Europe. In 1975 Michael Parkes settled definitively in Spain, where he now lives.”

Below – “Mask”; “Dark Sphinx”; “Goddess of the Hunt” (bronze); “Summer”; “Three Graces”; “Night and Day.”

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Exhortations from the Deck of the Pequod – 18 August 2017

“In truth, a mature man who uses hair oil, unless medicinally, that man has probably got a quoggy spot in him somewhere.”

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A View from Walden Pond – 18 August 2017

“Who shall say what prospect life offers to another? Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?”

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Current Events – 18 August 2017

“Imagine a man who professes over and over his unending love for. a woman but who knows nothing of where she was born or who her parents were or where she went to school or what her life had been until ‘he’ came along—and furthermore, doesn’t care to learn. What would you think of such a person? Yet we appear to have an unending supply of patriots who know nothing of the history of this country, nor are they interested. We have not had a president of the United States with a sense of history since John Kennedy . . . It ought to be mandatory for the office. As we have a language requirement for the Foreign Service, so we should have a history requirement for the White House. Harry S. Truman, who never had the benefit of a college education but who read history and biography and remembered it, once said, ‘The only new thing in the world is the history you don’t know.’” David McCullough, American author, narrator, historian, lecturer, and two-time winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.

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17 August 2017 – Beleaguered in Bothell

Musings in Summer: Jeanette Walls

“I hadn’t been paying attention to things like the sunrise, but that old sun had been coming up anyway. It didn’t really care how I felt, it was going to rise and set regardless of whether I noticed it, and if I was going to enjoy it, that was up to me.”

Art for Summer – Part I of IV: Trinidad Osorio (Mexican, 1929-2002)

Below – “Woman With a Pink Hat in a Field of Flowers”

Musings in Summer: Margaret Mead

“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.”

Art for Summer – Part II of IV: Victor Ostrovsky (Israeli, contemporary)

Below – “Game” “Night Walker”

Musings in Summer: Ann Morrow Lindbergh

“It is the wilderness in the mind, the desert wastes in the heart through which one wanders lost and a stranger. When one is a stranger to oneself then one is estranged from others too. If one is out of touch with oneself, then one cannot touch others.”

Art for Summer – Part III of IV: Ouaichai (Thai, contemporary)

Below – “Beauty of Asia XXI”; “Streets of Bangkok VIII”

A Poem for Today

By Heid Erdrich

She couldn’t help but sting my finger,
clinging a moment before I flung her
to the ground. Her gold is true, not the trick
evening light plays on my roses.
She curls into herself, stinger twitching,
gilt wings folded. Her whole life just a few weeks,
and my pain subsided in a moment.
In the cold, she hardly had her wits to buzz.
No warning from either of us:
she sleeping in the richness of those petals,
then the hand, my hand, cupping the bloom
in devastating force, crushing the petals for the scent.
And she mortally threatened, wholly unaware
that I do this daily, alone with the gold last light,
in what seems to me an act of love.

Art for Summer – Part IV of IV: Bill Owen (American, contemporary)

Below – “Work of Big Medicine”

Worth a Thousand Words: A mound of Bison skulls to be used as fertilizer (1870).

Contemporary Colombian Art – Agudelo-Botero Orlando

In the words of one writer, “Agudelo-Botero (A.B.) Orlando has sustained his artistic and philosophical dialogue in powerful paintings that reflect the artists own personal development and natural curiosity for more than twenty five years. Articulating a vision of humanity with dignity Orlando’s paintings give one an enlarged sense of life, both here and hereafter. Orlando was born in the Andes Mountains of Colombia, South America in 1946 into a family of twelve. My work is a vehicle for my own self-examination, says the painter. I struggle in each and every piece to discover something about humanity and to attempt to communicate it. Creating images drawn from Orlando’s psyche his deftly drawn forms radiate an uncanny aura and sensual richness which appeal to our deepest level of consciousness.”

Below – “Minerva”; “Muse of Self-Expression”; “Seranata De La Luna”; “Silent Passions”; “Eurterpe”; “Herencia.”

Musings in Summer: Mary Oliver

“Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.”

Contemporary Japanese Art: Hisashi Otsuka

In the words of one writer, “Like the Samurai in many of his paintings on Fabric, Hisashi Otsuka is an artist of remarkable dedication. Schooled in Zen and the martial arts, he has lived and worked by the warrior’s code of discipline and duty. Rooted in Japanese tradition yet adventurous in nature, he is known throughout the World for his boldness of color and style that mark him as truly unique. Otsuka’s work today is a powerful balance of ancient Eastern techniques and modern Western ideas. His time- honored poets and warriors, kabuki figures, ukiyo-e women, and elegant calligraphy are steeped in the classical past. Yet in color and composition, his work achieves a vigorous, contemporary context. Monumental in scope and meticulous in detail, it offers a total aesthetic of heroic and subtle impact at once.”

Below – “Three Eternal Brides”; “Graceful Elegance”; “Eyes of Otsuka Butterflies”; “A Perfect Blossom”; “Spring Enchantment”; “Lady Murasaki Revisited.”

Musings in Summer: Yasunari Kawabata

“Was this the bright vastness the poet Bashō saw when he wrote of the Milky Way arched over a stormy sea?”

Contemporary American Art – Charles H. Pabst

In the words of one writer, “A native of Santa Clara, California, Charles H. Pabst was the first of two children born to Edwin & Leota Pabst. His family had an appreciation for all things cultural – art, music and theater, and at an early age Charles picked up his grandmother’s watercolor paints and began painting what he saw. Raised in northern California, his early influence was from such painters as Russell Swan, a marine artist that painted Monterey Wharf and Cannery Row. During a trip to the Grand Canyon when he was twelve, Charles became captivated with the Southwest and knew that he would return someday. He came back to Arizona to study art at Arizona State University, where he received his degree in Fine Arts.”

Below – “Taos Wind”; “Out of the Woods”; “Saguaro Shadows”; “Taos Wood Cutter”; Untitled Flowers; “Cheyenne Autumn.”

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Exhortations from the Deck of the Pequod – 17 August 2017

“Wonderfullest things are ever the unmentionable; deep memories yield no epitaphs.”

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A View from Walden Pond – 17 August 2017

“When formerly I was looking about to see what I could do for a living… I thought often and seriously of picking huckleberries; that surely I could do.”

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Current Events – 17 August 2017

“Latins for Republicans – it’s like roaches for Raid.” – John Leguizamo, Colombian-American actor, voice actor, stand-up comedian, film producer, playwright, and screenwriter.

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