Wandering in Woodacre – 2 March 2021

This Date in Art History: Died 2 February 1895 – Berthe Morisot, a French impressionist painter: Part I of II.

Below – “Jeune Fille au Manteau Vert”; “Grain field”; “La Coiffure”; “The Cradle”; “Woman at Her Toilette”; “Portrait of a Young Girl.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 2 March 1930 – D. H. Lawrence, an English novelist, poet, playwright, critic, travel writer, and author of “Women in Love”, “Lady Chatterley’s Lover,” and “Studies in Classic American Literature.”

Some quotes from the work of D. H. Lawrence:

“The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted.”
“Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically. The cataclysm has happened, we are among the ruins, we start to build up new little habitats, to have new little hopes. It is rather hard work: there is now no smooth road into the future: but we go round, or scramble over the obstacles. We’ve got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen.”
“Life is ours to be spent, not to be saved.”
“I want to live my life so that my nights are not full of regrets.”
“No form of love is wrong, so long as it is love, and you yourself honour what you are doing. Love has an extraordinary variety of forms! And that is all there is in life, it seems to me. But I grant you, if you deny the variety of love you deny love altogether. If you try to specialize love into one set of accepted feelings, you wound the very soul of love. Love must be multi-form, else it is just tyranny, just death”
“This is what I believe: That I am I. That my soul is a dark forest. That my known self will never be more than a little clearing in the forest. That gods, strange gods, come forth from the forest into the clearing of my known self, and then go back. That I must have the courage to let them come and go. That I will never let mankind put anything over me, but that I will try always to recognize and submit to the gods in me and the gods in other men and women. There is my creed.”

This Date in Art History: Died 2 February 1895 – Berthe Morisot, a French impressionist painter: Part II of II.

Below – “Eugene Manet on the Isle of Wight”; “Eugene Manet and his Daughter in the Garden”; “View of Paris from the Trocadero”; “Woman and Child Seated”; “Fillette Jouant Avec Un Chien”; “Apollon Révélant sa Divinité à la Bergère Issé.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 2 March 1930 – Tom Wolfe, an American journalist, novelist, essayist, author of “The Bonfire of the Vanities” and “The Right Stuff,” and recipient of the National Book Award.

Some quotes from the work of Tom Wolfe:

“You never realize how much of your background is sewn into the lining of your clothes.”
“A cult is a religion with no political power.”
“Everybody, everybody everywhere, has his own movie going, his own scenario, and everybody is acting his movie out like mad, only most people don’t know that is what they’re trapped by, their little script.”
“Put your good where it will do the most!”
“[Aldous Huxley] compared the brain to a ‘reducing valve’. In ordinary perception, the senses send an overwhelming flood of information to the brain, which the brain then filters down to a trickle it can manage for the purpose of survival in a highly competitive world. Man has become so rational, so utilitarian, that the trickle becomes most pale and thin. It is efficient, for mere survival, but it screens out the most wondrous part of man’s potential experience without his even knowing it. We’re shut off from our own world.”
“Sherman made the terrible discovery that men make about their fathers sooner or later… that the man before him was not an aging father but a boy, a boy much like himself, a boy who grew up and had a child of his own and, as best he could, out of a sense of duty and, perhaps love, adopted a role called Being a Father so that his child would have something mythical and infinitely important: a Protector, who would keep a lid on all the chaotic and catastrophic possibilities of life.”


This Date in Art History: Died 2 February 1945 – Emily Carr, a Canadian painter.

Below – “Odds and Ends”; “Blue Sky”; “The Mountain”; “Old Time Coast Village”; “Above the Gravel Pit”; “Metchosin.”

Above the Gravel Pit

This Date in Literary History: Born 2 March 1942 – John Irving, an American novelist, screenwriter, and author of “The World According to Garp” and “The Cider House Rules.”

Some quotes from the work of John Irving:

“When someone you love dies, and you’re not expecting it, you don’t lose her all at once; you lose her in pieces over a long time—the way the mail stops coming, and her scent fades from the pillows and even from the clothes in her closet and drawers. Gradually, you accumulate the parts of her that are gone. Just when the day comes—when there’s a particular missing part that overwhelms you with the feeling that she’s gone, forever—there comes another day, and another specifically missing part.”
“Your memory is a monster; you forget—it doesn’t. It simply files things away. It keeps things for you, or hides things from you—and summons them to your recall with will of its own. You think you have a memory; but it has you!”
“What is hardest to accept about the passage of time is that the people who once mattered the most to us wind up in parentheses.”
“We often need to lose sight of our priorities in order to see them.”
“Religious freedom should work two ways: we should be free to practice the religion of our choice, but we must also be free from having someone else’s religion practiced on us.”
“Every American should be forced to live outside the United States for a year or two. Americans should be forced to see how ridiculous they appear to the rest of the world! They should listen to someone else’s version of themselves–to anyone else’s version! Every country knows more about America than Americans know about themselves! And Americans know absolutely nothing about any other country!”
“In increments both measurable and not, our childhood is stolen from us — not always in one momentous event but often in a series of small robberies, which add up to the same loss.”


Contemporary German Art – Marita Tobner

Below – “Uma II”; “A Little Taste of Sadness”; “Die Konigin schlaft naben den Magnollen”; “Uma VI”; “A Little Taste of Hope”; “Nora’s Nightmare.”


A Poem for Today

“Heart”
by Rick Campbell

My heart was suspect.
Wired to an EKG,
I walked the treadmill
that measured my ebb
and flow, tracked isotopes
that ploughed my veins,
looked for a constancy
I’ve hardly ever found.
For a month I worried
as I climbed the stairs
to my office. The mortality
I never believed in
was here now. They
say my heart’s ok,
just high cholesterol, but
I know my heart’s a house
someone has broken into,
a room you come back
to and know some stranger
with bad intent has been there
and touched all that you love. You know
he can come back. It’s his call,
his house now.

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Wandering in Woodacre – 1 March 2021

Greeting March

Below – Angelo Dorigo: “Impression of March IV” (photograph)


Art for March – Brigette Theriault: “Entre-Nous” (photograph)


This Date in Literary History: Born 1 March 1921 – Robert Lowell, an American poet, recipient of the National Book Award, and two-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

“July in Washington”
by Robert Lowell

The stiff spokes of this wheel
touch the sore spots of the earth.

On the Potomac, swan-white
power launches keep breasting the sulphurous wave.

Otters slide and dive and slick back their hair,
raccoons clean their meat in the creek.

On the circles, green statues ride like South American
liberators above the breeding vegetation—

prongs and spearheads of some equatorial
backland that will inherit the globe.

The elect, the elected . . . they come here bright as dimes,
and die dishevelled and soft.

We cannot name their names, or number their dates—
circle on circle, like rings on a tree—

but we wish the river had another shore,
some further range of delectable mountains,

distant hills powdered blue as a girl’s eyelid.
It seems the least little shove would land us there,

that only the slightest repugnance of our bodies
we no longer control could drag us back.

Art for March – Chris Spackman: from the series “Unstill Life” (photograph)


This Date in Literary History: Born 1 March 1921 – Richard Wilbur, an American poet, essayist, recipient of the National Book Award, and two0-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize,

“The Beautiful Changes”
by Richard Wilbur

One wading a Fall meadow finds on all sides
The Queen Anne’s Lace lying like lilies
On water; it glides
So from the walker, it turns
Dry grass to a lake, as the slightest shade of you
Valleys my mind in fabulous blue Lucernes.

The beautiful changes as a forest is changed
By a chameleon’s tuning his skin to it;
As a mantis, arranged
On a green leaf, grows
Into it, makes the leaf leafier, and proves
Any greenness is deeper than anyone knows.

Your hands hold roses always in a way that says
They are not only yours; the beautiful changes
In such kind ways,
Wishing ever to sunder
Things and things’ selves for a second finding, to lose
For a moment all that it touches back to wonder.

Below – Elizabeth Becker: “Rose Study No. 14”

Art for March – Rebecca Klementovich: “Snow Walk on Kezar Lake Maine”


A Poem for March: A. E. Housman

“A Shropshire Lad, X – March”

The sun at noon to higher air,
Unharnessing the silver Pair
That late before his chariot swam,
Rides on the gold wool of the Ram.

So braver notes the storm-cock sings
To start the rusted wheel of things,
And brutes in field and brutes in pen
Leap that the world goes round again.

The boys are up the woods with day
To fetch the daffodils away,
And home at noonday from the hills
They bring no dearth of daffodils.

Afield for palms the girls repair,
And sure enough the palms are there,
And each will find by hedge or pond
Her waving silver-tufted want.

In farm and field through all the shire
Their eye beholds the heart’s desire;
Ah, let not only mine be vain,
For lovers should be loved again.

Below – Igor Vitomirov: “Remember #1” (photograph)


Art for March – Nolan Winkler: “The Woods are Lovely, Dark….”

Musings in March: Charles Dickens

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.”


Art for March – Richard Kattman: “Magic Mountain”

A Poem for March: Emily Dickinson

“Dear March – Come In”

Dear March – Come in –
How glad I am –
I hoped for you before –
Put down your Hat –
You must have walked –
How out of Breath you are –\
Dear March, how are you, and the Rest –
Did you leave Nature well –
Oh March, Come right upstairs with me –
I have so much to tell –

I got your Letter, and the Birds –
The Maples never knew that you were coming –
I declare – how Red their Faces grew –
But March, forgive me –
And all those Hills you left for me to Hue –
There was no Purple suitable –
You took it all with you –

Who knocks? That April –
Lock the Door –
I will not be pursued –
He stayed away a Year to call
When I am occupied –
But trifles look so trivial
As soon as you have come

That blame is just as dear as Praise
And Praise as mere as Blame –

Below – Franz von Stuck: “Ringelreihen”


Art for March – Nadia Attura: “Cold” (photograph)


Musings in March: Jean Hersey

“In March winter is holding back and spring is pulling forward. Something holds and something pulls inside of us too.”


Art for March – Radley Hampton: “Flowing”


A Poem for March: Pablo Neruda

“March Days Return With Their Covert Light”

March days return with their covert light,
and huge fish swim through the sky,
vague earthly vapours progress in secret,
things slip to silence one by one.
Through fortuity, at this crisis of errant skies,
you reunite the lives of the sea to that of fire,
grey lurchings of the ship of winter
to the form that love carved in the guitar.
O love, O rose soaked by mermaids and spume,
dancing flame that climbs the invisible stairway,
to waken the blood in insomnia’s labyrinth,
so that the waves can complete themselves in the sky,
the sea forget its cargoes and rages,
and the world fall into darkness’s nets.

Below – Andy Jouan: “Night Falling”


Art for March – Tanja Vetter: “Gone Astray XI”


Welcome, Wonderful March

Below – Karl-Karol Chrokok: “March forest no.1”

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Wandering in Woodacre – 28 February 2021

Contemporary Irish Art – Val Byrne

Below – “Ardgroom Village Beara Cork”; “Storm Over Muckish, Co. Donegal”; “Martello tower, Howth, County Dublin”; “Roundstone”; “Summer Cove, Kinsale.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 28 February 1916 – Henry James, an American novelist, short story writer, critic, and author of “The Wings of the Dove,” “The Ambassadors,” and “The Turn of the Screw.”

Some quotes from the work of Henry James:

“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.”
“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
“I don’t want everyone to like me; I should think less of myself if some people did.”
“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.”
“Sorrow comes in great waves…but rolls over us, and though it may almost smother us, it leaves us. And we know that if it is strong, we are stronger, inasmuch as it passes and we remain.”
“Life is, in fact, a battle. Evil is insolent and strong; beauty enchanting, but rare; goodness very apt to be weak; folly very apt to be defiant; wickedness to carry the day; imbeciles to be in great places, people of sense in small, and mankind generally unhappy. But the world as it stands is no narrow illusion, no phantasm, no evil dream of the night; we wake up to it, forever and ever; and we can neither forget it nor deny it nor dispense with it.”
“It’s time to start living the life you’ve imagined.”


Contemporary Scottish Art – Peter Doig

Below – “100 Years Ago”; “Blotter”; “Bather for Secession”; “White Canoe”; “Fisherman”; “Cabin.”

This Date in Science/Literary History: Born 28 February 1915 – Peter Medawar, a British biologist, immunologist, science writer, author of “Pluto’s Republic,” and recipient of the 1960 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Some quotes from the work of Peter Medawar:

“Today the world changes so quickly that in growing up we take leave not just of youth but of the world we were young in.”
“The USA is so enormous, and so numerous are its schools, colleges and religious seminaries, many devoted to special religious beliefs ranging from the unorthodox to the dotty, that we can hardly wonder at its yielding a more bounteous harvest of gobbledygook than the rest of the world put together.”
“The alternative to thinking in evolutionary terms is not to think at all.”
“Scientific reasoning is a dialogue between the possible and the actual, between proposal and disposal, between what might be true, and what is in fact the case.”
“For a scientist must indeed be freely imaginative and yet skeptical, creative and yet a critic. There is a sense in which he must be free, but another in which his thought must be very precisely regimented; there is poetry in science, but also a lot of bookkeeping.”
“The human mind treats a new idea the same way the body treats a strange protein; it rejects it.”
“Psychoanalytic theory is the most stupendous intellectual confidence trick of the twentieth century and a terminal product as well – something akin to a dinosaur or zeppelin in the history of ideas, a vast structure of radically unsound design and with no posterity.”
“It goes with the passionate intensity and deep conviction of the truth of a religious belief, and of course of the importance of the superstitious observances that go with it, that we should want others to share it – and the only certain way to cause a religious belief to be held by everyone is to liquidate nonbelievers. The price in blood and tears that mankind generally has had to pay for the comfort and spiritual refreshment that religion has brought to a few has been too great to justify our entrusting moral accountancy to religious belief.”
“When asked to make the formal declaration that I did not intend to overthrow the Constitution of the United States, I was fool enough to reply that I had no such purpose, but that were I to do it by mistake I should be inexpressibly contrite.”


Contemporary Greek Art – Georgia Theologou

Below – “Love will steal all you’ve learned”; “Beneath”; “Vacuum “The Silence”; “Waterfall”; “How to disappear completely”; “Her Head Was Made of Stars.”


A Poem for Today

“The Light by the Barn”
by William Stafford

The light by the barn that shines all night
pales at dawn when a little breeze comes.

A little breeze comes breathing the fields
from their sleep and waking the slow windmill.

The slow windmill sings the long day
about anguish and loss to the chickens at work.

The little breeze follows the slow windmill
and the chickens at work till the sun goes down–

Then the light by the barn again.

Below – Lee Walsh: “Smith Barn at the Blue Hour” (photograph)

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Wandering in Woodacre – 27 February 2021

Contemporary American Art – Novi Kim: Part I of II.

Below – “Pearl Water”; “Violetta”; “Memento”; “Summer Drive”; “Vantage Point”; “Meet Me at The East Pier.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 27 February 1925 – Kenneth Koch, an American poet and playwright. One critic described Koch as “the funniest serious poet that we have,” and in support of this claim I offer his parody of a famous poem written by William Carlos Williams (who was a physician as well as a poet). First, the Williams poem:

“This Is Just To Say”
by William Carlos Williams

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

“Variations on a Theme by William Carlos Williams”
by Kenneth Koch

1
I chopped down the house that you had been saving to live in next summer.
I am sorry, but it was morning, and I had nothing to do
and its wooden beams were so inviting.

2
We laughed at the hollyhocks together
and then I sprayed them with lye.
Forgive me. I simply do not know what I am doing.

3
I gave away the money that you had been saving to live on for the
next ten years.
The man who asked for it was shabby
and the firm March wind on the porch was so juicy and cold.

4
Last evening we went dancing and I broke your leg.
Forgive me. I was clumsy and
I wanted you here in the wards, where I am the doctor!


Contemporary American Art – Novi Kim: Part II of II.

Below – “Ode to Lavender”; “Somerset Bouquet”; “21st Century Chinoiserie”; “Between Seasons”; “Sawara”; “Dusk Petals.”


This Dare in Literary History: Born 27 February 1910 – Peter De Vries, an American novelist and journalist known for his satiric wit.

Some quotes from the work of Peter De Vries:

“A hundred years ago Hester Prynne of ‘The Scarlet Letter’ was given an A for adultery; today she would rate no better than a C-plus.”
“There are times when parenthood seems nothing more than feeding the hand that bites you.”
“Life is a crowded superhighway with bewildering cloverleaf exits on which a man is liable to find himself speeding back in the direction he came.”
“The value of marriage is not that adults produce children but that children produce adults.”
“Life is a zoo in a jungle.”
“The difficulty with marriage is that we fall in love with a personality, but must live with a character.”
“Gluttony is an emotional escape, a sign something is eating us.
“The idea of a Supreme Being who creates a world in which one creature is designed to eat another in order to subsist, and then pass a law saying, ‘Thou shalt not kill,’ is so monstrously, immeasurably, bottomlessly absurd that I am at a loss to understand how mankind has entertained or given it house room all this long.”
“We are nothing but a string of gut on a stick of bone riding this piece of astral soot for one piteous splinter of eternity.”
“What baffles me is the comfort people find in the idea that somebody dealt this mess. Blind and meaningless chance seems to me so much more congenial – or at least less horrible. Prove to me that there is a God and I will really begin to despair.”
“Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.”
The universe is like a safe to which there is a combination. But the combination is locked up in the safe.”


Contemporary Italian Art – Daniela Sirigu

Below – “Zaino blu”; “Ciabatte”; “Infradito bianche”; “Persone in strada”; “Denim jacket”; “Blue bag.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 27 February 1912 – Lawrence Durrell, an expatriate British novelist, dramatist, poet, travel writer, and author of “The Alexandria Quartet.”

Some quotes from the work of Lawrence Durrell:

“Science is the poetry of the intellect and poetry the science of the heart’s affections.”
“Gamblers and lovers really play to lose.”
“I realized then the truth about all love: that it is an absolute which takes all or forfeits all. The other feelings, compassion, tenderness and so on, exist only on the periphery and belong on the constructions of society and habit. But she herself- austere and merciless Aphrodite-is a pagan. it is not our brains or instincts which she picks-but our very bones.”
“‘There are only three things to be done with a woman’ said Clea once. ‘You can love her, suffer for her, or turn her into literature.’”
“The desire to be near the beloved object is at first not due to the idea of possessing it, but simply to let the two experiences compare themselves, like reflections in different mirrors… For from here love degenerates into habit, possession, and back to loneliness.”
“Slowly the bluish spring moon climbs the houses, sliding up the minarets into the clicking palm-trees, and with it the city seems to uncurl like some hibernating animal dug out of its winter earth, to stretch and begin to drink in the music of the three-day festival.”
“It is the duty of every patriot to hate his country creatively.”
“The whole Mediterranean, the sculpture, the palm, the gold beads, the bearded heroes, the wine, the ideas, the ships, the moonlight, the winged gorgons, the bronze men, the philosophers – all of it seems to rise in the sour, pungent taste of these black olives between the teeth. A taste older than meat, older than wine. A taste as old as cold water.”
“Like all young men I set out to be a genius, but mercifully laughter intervened.”
“Travel can be one of the most rewarding forms of introspection.”
“A city becomes a world when one loves one of its inhabitants.”


Contemporary American Art – Amy Bernays

Below – “Salt Dancers”; “Sand Posse”; “Warrior”; “The West While We’re Young”; “Eurus the East”; “In the Weeds.”

Born 27 February 1807 – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, an American poet. I think that the opening stanza of “Evangeline” is incredibly lovely.

from “Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie”
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks, Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight,
Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic,
Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms.
Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced neighboring ocean
Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest.

Below – Sylvie Carter: “By the Shore 2”

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Wandering in Woodacre – 26 February 2021: The Lantern Festival

Friends: The Lantern Festival takes place today. It marks the final day of traditional Chinese New Year celebrations, and some of the activities that take place on this day include lighting lanterns, admiring the first full moon of the lunar year, watching lion dances, and eating rice balls. I have had the good fortune to experience the Lantern Festival on four occasions – in Taichung (Taiwan), Honolulu, Seattle, and San Francisco, and every celebration was an aesthetic and gastronomic delight.


Art for Today

Below – Alan Cemery: “Lantern Festival”


A Poem for Today

“Lantern Festival”
by eng Zhang

Red lanterns
Shine in the sky
The moon smiles
So many tiny new stars
Drift out of the night
Really busy!
Amber eyes
Warm and sweet
Make a wish, please
At the special night
Make a wish, please
What’s the best wish?
Let the real spring
Come, come, quickly
Come, the real spring
Come, the vernal light

Art for Today

Below – D Francis: “Lantern Festival” (photograph)


A Poem for Today

“The Moon and the Stars and the World”
by John Long Chunghoo

long walk at night
the breeze freezes my spirit
the moon warms it up
pulling at my poetic soul
he crickets sing their poems to the night
a million other insects contribute their share
to loosen up the night
for lovers, husbands and wives
while a tide of words too
creeps in all directions in my mental sphere
saturates the poetic bar of the intellect
waiting to be strummed into verses
the rhythm swims along with them
as i write out verse by verse
the moon my friend shares its light
the night wind inspires
lovelorn stars wave all the way
a million light years away
heralding the birth of a song
sparkling, twinkling
guided by intricate orchestration of the night
before gracing the written page
long walk in the night
even the insects with the lamps
start to lend me their lights
between the twinkle of the stars
they dance, sing, beat out a dance

Below – JuLee Simmons: “Fireflies and Moonlit Eyes”


Art for Today

Hwee Yen Ong: “Lanterns”

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Wandering in Woodacre – 25 February 2021

This Date in Art History: Died 25 February 1910 – Worthington Whittredge, an American artist of the Hudson River School.

Below – “Crossing the River Platte”; “The Trout Pool”; “Landscape with Haywain”; “The Old Hunting Grounds”; “Evening Glow”; “Indian Encampment.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 25 February 1917 – Anthony Burgess, an award-winning English novelist, playwright, critic, and author of “A Clockwork Orange.”

Some quotes from the work of Anthony Burgess:

“Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone.”
“To be left alone is the most precious thing one can ask of the modern world.”
“Language exists less to record the actual than to liberate the imagination.”
“It’s always good to remember where you come from and celebrate it. To remember where you come from is part of where you’re going.”
“Every dogma has its day.”


This Date in Art History: Born 25 February 1841 -Pierre-Auguste Renoir, a French impressionist painter.

Below – “The Theater Box”; “The Swing”; “Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette”; “Luncheon of the Boating Party”; “Boating on the Seine”; “By the Water.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 25 February 1983 – Tennessee Williams, an American playwright, poet, novelist, memoirist, short story writer, essayist, author of ”The Glass Menagerie” and “A Streetcar Named Desire,” and two-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

Some quotes from the work of Tennessee Williams:

“There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors.”
“There is a time for departure even when there’s no certain place to go.”
“What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it’s curved like a road through mountains.”
“We are all of us born, live and die in the shadow of a giant question mark that refers to three questions: Where do we come from? Why? And where, oh where, are we going!”
“I don’t believe in ‘original sin.’ I don’t believe in ‘guilt.’ I don’t believe in villains or heroes – only right or wrong ways that individuals have taken, not by choice but by necessity or by certain still-uncomprehended influences in themselves, their circumstances, and their antecedents. This is so simple I’m ashamed to say it, but I’m sure it’s true. In fact, I would bet my life on it! And that’s why I don’t understand why our propaganda machines are always trying to teach us, to persuade us, to hate and fear other people on the same little world that we live in.”
“America has only three cities: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland.”


Contemporary Czech Art – D Pierorazio

Below – “The Spirit Collectors”; “Yellow Rose”; “Twilight Birch” “Sun on Back”; “Field Study 3”; “Winter Cherry”; “Ko Samui Koi.”

A Poem for Today

“Planting the Sand Cherry”
by Ann Struthers

Today I planted the sand cherry with red leaves—
and hope that I can go on digging in this yard,
pruning the grape vine, twisting the silver lace
on its trellis, the one that bloomed
just before the frost flowered over all the garden.
Next spring I will plant more zinnias, marigolds,
straw flowers, pearly everlasting, and bleeding heart.
I plant that for you, old love, old friend,
and lilacs for remembering.   The lily-of-the-valley
with cream-colored bells, bent over slightly, bowing
to the inevitable, flowers for a few days, a week.
Now its broad blade leaves are streaked with brown
and the stem dried to a pale hair.
In place of the silent bells, red berries
like rose hips blaze close to the ground.
It is important for me to be down on my knees,
my fingers sifting the black earth,
making those things grow which will grow.
Sometimes I save a weed if its leaves
are spread fern-like, hand-like,
or if it grows with a certain impertinence.
I let the goldenrod stay and the wild asters.
I save the violets in spring.   People who kill violets
will do anything.

Below – A sand cherry tree.

 

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Wandering in Woodacre – 24 February 2021

This Date in Art History: Born 24 February 1836 – Winslow Homer, an American painter, printmaker, and illustrator: Part I of II.

Below – “Long Branch, New Jersey”; “Breezing Up (A Fair Wind)”: “Eastern Point Light”; “Girl in the Hammock”; “The Green Hill”; “Girl and Laurel.”


This Date in Literary History: Died 24 February 1999 – Andre Dubus, an American short story writer, essayist, memoirist, and author of “Broken Vessels.”

Some quotes from the work of Andre Dubus:

“I think the deeper you go into questions, the deeper or more interesting the questions get. And I think that’s the job of art.”
“Fear is a ghost; embrace your fear, and all you’ll see in your arms is yourself.”
“The truth is life is full of joy and full of great sorrow, but you can’t have one without the other.”
“It is not hard to live through a day, if you can live through a moment. What creates despair is the imagination, which pretends there is a future, and insists on predicting millions of moments, thousands of days, and so drains you that you cannot live the moment at hand.”

This Date in Art History: Born 24 February 1836 – Winslow Homer, an American painter, printmaker, and illustrator: Part II of II.

Below – “The Fog Warning”; “The Gulf Stream”; “Northeaster”; “Moonlight”; “Shooting the Rapids, Saguenay River” (unfinished); “Twilight at Leeds.”


This Date in Literary History: Born 24 February 1943 – Kent Haruf, an award-winning American novelist and author of “Plainsong.”

Some quotes from the work of Kent Haruf:

“You have to believe in yourself despite the evidence.”
“It seems to me nothing man has done or built on this land is an improvement over what was here before.”
“My desire is to be anonymous, isolated, quiet, peaceful, and concentrated.”
“Who does ever get what they want? It doesn’t seem to happen to many of us if any at all. It’s always two people bumping against each other blindly, acting out old ideas and dreams and mistaken understandings.”
“I do love this physical world. I love this physical life with you. And the air and the country. The backyard, the gravel in the back alley. The grass. The cool nights. Lying in bed talking with you in the dark.”

Contemporary Spanish Art – Roger Salvado

Below – “Doors”; “Red Sofa”; “Green Bedroom”; “Green Kitchen”; “Bath And Mirror”; “Yellow Sofa.”

A Poem for Today

“Marry Me”
by Veronica Patterson

when I come late to bed
I move your leg flung over my side—
that warm gate

nights you’re not here
I inch toward the middle
of this boat, balancing

when I turn over in sleep
you turn, I turn, you turn,
I turn, you

some nights you tug the edge
of my pillow under your cheek,
look in my dream

pulling the white sheet
over your bare shoulder
I marry you again

Below – Marcel Garbi: “Siesta”

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Wandering in Woodacre- 23 February 2021

This Date in Art History: Born 23 February 1883 – Guy C. Wiggins, an American impressionist painter.

Below – “Fifth Avenue Storm”; “Park Avenue Winter”; “High Tide in the Cove”; “Snow on Brooklyn Bridge”; “Winter at the Library”; “Columbus Circle.”

A Poem for Today

“Father, Child, Water”
by Gary Dop

I lift your body to the boat
before you drown or choke or slip too far

beneath.  I didn’t think—just jumped, just did
what I did like the physics

that flung you in.  My hands clutch under
year-old arms, between your life

jacket and your bobbing frame, pushing you,
like a fountain cherub, up and out.

I’m fooled by the warmth pulsing from
the gash on my thigh, sliced wide and clean

by an errant screw on the stern.
No pain.  My legs kick out blood below.

My arms strain
against our deaths to hold you up

as I lift you, crying, reaching, to the boat.

Below – Scott Barrow: “Just Perfect” (photograph)

Contemporary Romanian Art – Laslo Sergiu

Below – “The Thinker”; “Serenity”; “Summer Day”; “Blue Sky”; “Roses”; “Nude.”

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A Poem for Today

“Sunflower”
By Frank Steele

You’re expected to see
only the top, where sky
scrambles bloom, and not
the spindly leg, hairy, fending off
tall, green darkness beneath.
Like every flower, she has a little
theory, and what she thinks
is up.   I imagine the long
climb out of the dark
beyond morning glories, day lilies, four o’clocks
up there to the dream she keeps
lifting, where it’s noon all day.

Below – Mark Horton: “Wild Sunflower” (photograph)

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Wandering in Woodacre – 22 February 2021

This Date in Art History: Died 22 February 1980 – Oskar Kokoschka, an Austrian painter.

Below – “Portrait of Lotte Franzos”; “The Bride of the Wind”; “Girl at the Window”; “Delphinium”; “Two Children”; “Herbstblumen.”


This Date in Literary History: Born 22 February 1876 – Zitkala-Sa, a Yankton Dakota writer, editor, translator, musician, educator, political activist, and author of “American Indian Stories.”

Some quotes from the work of Zitkala-Sa:

“A wee child toddling in a wonder world, I prefer to their dogma my excursions into the natural gardens where the voice of the Great Spirit is heard in the twittering of birds, the rippling of mighty waters, and the sweet breathing of flowers. If this is Paganism, then at present, at least, I am a Pagan.”
“For untold ages the Indian race had not used family names. A new-born child was given a brand-new name. Blue-Star Woman was proud to write her name for which she would not be required to substitute another’s upon her marriage, as is the custom of civilized peoples.”
“The old legends of America belong quite as much to the blue-eyed little patriot as to the black-haired aborigine. And when they are grown tall like the wise grown-ups may they not lack interest in a further study of Indian folklore, a study which so strongly suggests our near kinship with the rest of humanity and points a steady finger toward the great brotherhood of mankind, and by which one is so forcibly impressed with the possible earnestness of life as seen through the teepee door! If it be true that much lies ‘in the eye of the beholder,’ then in the American aborigine as in any other race, sincerity of belief, though it were based upon mere optical illusion, demands a little respect.
After all he seems at heart much like other peoples.”
“I was not wholly conscious of myself, but was more keenly alive to the fire within. It was as if I were the activity, and my hands and feet were only experiments for my spirit to work upon.”

This Date in Art History: Born 22 February 1906 – Constance Stokes, an Australian painter.

Below – “Girl in Red Tights”; “Contemplation”; “Head of a Young Girl”; “Woman with a Photograph”; “Portrait, woman in red”; “Nude at the window.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 22 February 1939 – Antonio Machado, an influential Spanish poet.

“Wayfarer, the only way…”
By Antonio Machado

Wayfarer, the only way
Is your footprints and no other.
Wayfarer, there is no way.
Make your way by going farther.
By going farther, make your way
Till looking back at where you’ve wandered,
You look back on that path you may
Not set foot on from now onward.
Wayfarer, there is no way;
Only trails of wake on water.

This Date in Art History: Died 22 February 1987 – Andy Warhol, an American painter.

Below (from “Endangered Species”) – “Big-Horn Ram”; “San Francisco Silverspot Butterfly”; “Orangutan”; “Bald Eagle”; “Siberian tiger”; “Black Rhinoceros.”


This Date in Literary History: Born 22 February 1892 – Edna St. Vincent Millay, an American poet, playwright, and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

“Ebb”

by Edna St. Vincent Millay

I know what my heart is like
Since your love died:
It is like a hollow ledge
Holding a little pool
Left there by the tide,
A little tepid pool,
Drying inward from the edge.

Below – Phillip Ludwig: “Tidepools”

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Wandering in Woodacre – 21 February 2021

Contemporary American Art – Randall Mattheis

Below – “Forest Floor with Orange Pine Needles”; “Wet Sky Over Pacific Rainforest”; “Saplings Filled with Life”; “Palm Trees at the Edge of a Beach”; “Early Snow I.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 21 February 1962 – David Foster Wallace, an award-winning American novelist, short story writer, essayist, author of “Infinite Jest” and “The Pale King.”

Some quotes from the work of David Foster Wallace:

“You will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do.”
“If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It’s the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you. On one level, we all know this stuff already. It’s been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, epigrams, parables; the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness.”
“The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you.”
“Everybody is identical in their secret unspoken belief that way deep down they are different from everyone else.”
“Lucky people develop a relationship with a certain kind of art that becomes spiritual, almost religious, and doesn’t mean, you know, church stuff, but it means you’re just never the same.”
“I do things like get in a taxi and say, ‘The library, and step on it.’”

Contemporary Canadian Art – Angela Seear: Part I of II.

Below – “Lake Color Study 1”; “Ocean Color Sudy 1”; “Desert Color Study 6”; “Prairie Color Study 1”; “Sunset Color Study 1.”


This Date in Literary History: Born 21 February 1962 – Chuck Palahniuk, an award-winning American novelist, journalist, and author of “Fight Club.”

Some quotes from the work of Chuck Palahniuk:

“Your past is just a story. And once you realize this it has no power over you.”
“Big Brother isn’t watching. He’s singing and dancing. He’s pulling rabbits out of a hat. Big Brother’s busy holding your attention every moment you’re awake. He’s making sure you’re always distracted. He’s making sure you’re fully absorbed. He’s making sure your imagination withers. Until it’s as useful as your appendix. He’s making sure your attention is always filled. And this being fed, it’s worse than being watched. With the world always filling you, no one has to worry about what’s in your mind. With everyone’s imagination atrophied, no one will ever be a threat to the world.”
“If you don’t know what you want, you end up with a lot you don’t.”
“We come from a generation of people who need their TV or stereo playing all the time. These people so scared of silence. These soundaholics, these quietophobics.”
“Actually, watching television and surfing the Internet are really excellent practice for being dead.”
“When did the future switch from being a promise to a threat?”
“Your handwriting. the way you walk. which china pattern you choose. it’s all giving you away. everything you do shows your hand. everything is a self portrait. everything is a diary.”
“You have a class of young strong men and women, and they want to give their lives to something. Advertising has these people chasing cars and clothes they don’t need. Generations have been working in jobs they hate, just so they can buy what they don’t really need. We don’t have a great war in our generation, or a great depression, but we do, we have a great war of the spirit. We have a great revolution against the culture. The great depression is our lives. We have a spiritual depression.”


Contemporary Canadian Art – Angela Seear: Part II of II.

Below – “Octavia”; “Aiko”: “Breaking the Dawn”; “Blue Rocks “October Mist.”

Born 20 February 1907 – W.H. Auden, an Anglo-American poet and playwright.

“Musee des Beaux Arts”
by W. H. Auden

About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters: how well they understood
Its human position: how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer’s horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.

In Breughel’s ‘Icarus,’ for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

Below: Peter Bruegel the Elder: “Landscape with the Fall of Icarus”

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