Sentient in San Francisco – 21 July 2019

This Date in Art History: Born 21 July 1858 – Lovis Corinth, a German painter: Part I of II.

Below – “The Artist and His Family”; “Morning Sunshine”; “At the Mirror”; “Walchensee Panorama”; “Woman in a Deck Chair by the Window”; “Self-Portrait with his Wife and a Glass of Champagne.”


This Date in Literary History: Born 21 July 1933 – John Gardner, an American novelist, essayist, critic, and author of “Grendel.”

Some quotes from the work of John Gardner:

“Self pity is easily the most destructive of the non-pharmaceutical narcotics; it is addictive, gives momentary pleasure and separates the victim from reality.”
“One of the many interesting challenges nature presents us is its apparent disinterest in maintaining the order humans crave.”
“As a rule of thumb I say, if Socrates, Jesus and Tolstoy wouldn’t do it, don’t.”
“An excellent plumber is infinitely more admirable than an incompetent philosopher. The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.”
“Art, of course, is a way of thinking, a way of mining reality.”
“‘I know everything, you see,’ the old voice wheedled. ‘The beginning, the present, the end. Everything. You now, you see the past and the present, like other low creatures: no higher faculties than memory and perception. But dragons, my boy, have a whole different kind of mind.’ He stretched his mouth in a kind of smile, no trace of pleasure in it. ‘We are from the mountaintop: all time, all space. We see in one instant the passionate vision and the blowout.’”
“The true artist plays mad with his soul, labors at the very lip of the volcano, but remembers and clings to his purpose, which is as strong as the dream. He is not someone possessed, like Cassandra, but a passionate, easily tempted explorer who fully intends to get home again, like Odysseus.”

This Date in Art History: Born 21 July 1858 – Lovis Corinth, a German painter: Part II of II.

Below – “The Violinist”; “In a Black Coat”; “In a Corset”; “Woman with Lilies in a Greenhouse”; “Woman by a Goldfish Tank”; “Self-Portrait with Model.”

This Date in Environmental History: Died 21 July 2000 – Marc Reisner, an American writer and author of “Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water.”

Some quotes from the work of Marc Reisner:

“In the West, it is said, water flows uphill toward money. And it literally does, as it leaps three thousand feet across the Tehachapi Mountains in gigantic siphons to slake the thirst of Los Angeles, as it is shoved a thousand feet out of Colorado River canyons to water Phoenix and Palm Springs and the irrigated lands around them.”
“To easterners, ‘conservation’ of water usually means protecting rivers from development; in the West, it means building dams.”
“Reason is the first casualty in a drought.”
“Western Congressmen, in the 1970s, were perfectly willing to watch New York City collapse when it was threatened with bankruptcy and financial ruin. After all, New York was a profligate and sinful place and probably deserved such a fate. But they were not willing to see one acre of irrigated land succumb to the forces of nature, regardless of cost. So they authorized probably $1 billion worth of engineered solutions to the Colorado salinity problem in order that a few hundred upstream farmers could go on irrigating and poisoning the river. The Yuma Plant will remove the Colorado’s salt—actually just enough of it to fulfill our treaty obligations to Mexico—at a cost of around $300 per acre-foot of water. The upriver irrigators buy the same amount from the Bureau for three dollars and fifty cents.”
“A place that receives seven inches [of rain] or less—as Phoenix, El Paso, and Reno do—is arguably no place to inhabit at all.”
“More than anyplace else, California seems determined to prove that the Second Law of Thermodynamics is a lie.”
“Throughout its history, the conservation movement had been little more than a minor nuisance to the water-development interests in the American West. They had, after all, twice managed to invade National Parks with dams; they had decimated the greatest salmon fishery in the world, in the Columbia River; they had taken the Serengeti of North America—the virgin Central Valley of California, with its thousands of grizzly bears and immense clouds of migratory waterfowl and its million and a half antelope and tule elk—and transformed it into a banal palatinate of industrial agriculture.”
“Had humans never settled in Los Angeles, evolution, left to its own devices, might have created in a million more years the ideal creature for the habitat: a camel with gills.”

This Date in Art History: Born 21 July 1866 – Carlos Schwabe, a Swiss Symbolist painter and printmaker: Part I of II.

Below – “Evening Bells”; “Elysean Fields”; “Angel of Hope”; “Death and the Gravedigger”; “Les Fleurs du mal”; “l’Ame du vin.”

This Date in Literary History; Died 21 July 2015 – E. L. Doctorow, an American novelist, short story writer, playwright, author of “Ragtime,” ’World’s Fair,” and “The March,” three-time recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award, and recipient of the National Book Award.

Some quotes from the work of E. L. Doctorow:

“I am often asked the question How can the masses permit themselves to be exploited by the few. The answer is By being persuaded to identify with them.”
“The three most important documents a free society gives are a birth certificate, a passport, and a library card.”
“The historian will tell you what happened. The novelist will tell you what it felt like.”
“All over the world today, not just in the totalitarian countries, assiduous functionaries in Ministries of Truth are clubbing history dumb and rendering language insensible.”
“The difference between Socrates and Jesus is that no one had ever been put to death in Socrates’ name. And that is because Socrates’ ideas were never made law. Law, in whatever name, protects privilege.”
“The philosophical conservative is someone willing to pay the price of other people s suffering for his principles.”
“And so do people pass out of one’s life and all you can remember of them is their humanity, a poor fitful thing of no dominion, like your own.”
“We make a mistake to condescend to the past as if it were preparatory to our own time.”
“Because like all whores you value propriety. You are creature of capitalism, the ethics of which are so totally corrupt and hypocritical that your beauty is no more than the beauty of gold, which is to say false and cold and useless.”


This Date in Art History: Born 21 July 1866 – Carlos Schwabe, a Swiss Symbolist painter and printmaker: Part II of II.

Below – “The Wave”; “Fate”; “Interior Silence”; “Femme drapee”; “The Judgement of Paris”; “The Jade Ring.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 21 July 1945 – Wendy Cope, an English poet and critic.

Two poems by Wendy Cope (the first is a special treat for English majors):

“The Waste Land: Five Limericks”

I

In April one seldom feels cheerful;
Dry stones, sun and dust make me fearful;
Clairvoyantes distress me,
Commuters depress me–
Met Stetson and gave him an earful.

II

She sat on a mighty fine chair,
Sparks flew as she tidied her hair;
She asks many questions,
I make few suggestions–
Bad as Albert and Lil–what a pair!

III

The Thames runs, bones rattle, rats creep;
Tiresias fancies a peep–
A typist is laid,
A record is played–
Wei la la. After this it gets deep.

IV

A Phoenician named Phlebas forgot
About birds and his business–the lot,
Which is no surprise,
Since he’d met his demise
And been left in the ocean to rot.

V

No water. Dry rocks and dry throats,
Then thunder, a shower of quotes
From the Sanskrit and Dante.
Da. Damyata. Shantih.
I hope you’ll make sense of the notes.


“The Orange”

At lunchtime I bought a huge orange
The size of it made us all laugh.
I peeled it and shared it with Robert and Dave—
They got quarters and I had a half.

And that orange it made me so happy,
As ordinary things often do
Just lately. The shopping. A walk in the park
This is peace and contentment. It’s new.

The rest of the day was quite easy.
I did all my jobs on my list
And enjoyed them and had some time over.
I love you. I’m glad I exist.

Below – Billinda Brandli DeVillez: “An Orange”

Posted in Art and Photography, Books, Movies, Music, and Television, Opinion | Leave a comment

Sentient in San Francisco – 20 July 2019

This Date in Art History: Born 20 July 1847 – Max Liebermann, a German painter.

Below – “The Artist’s Studio”; Restaurant Terrace in Nienstedten”; “Bleaching on the Lawn”; “Tennis Game by the Sea”; “Beer Garden in Munchen”; “Birch grow.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 20 July 1936 – Alistair MacLeod, a Canadian novelist and short story writer.

Some quotes from the. work of Alistair MacLeod:

“No one has ever said that life is to be easy. Only that it is to be lived.”
“There is a kind of belief among my students that things that are true are interesting. But most things that are true are not interesting. Four pages describing how I got up and brushed my teeth in the morning would kill you.”
“Perhaps it is better to have a place to go to that you hate than to have no place at all.”
“And then there came into my heart a very great love for my father and I thought it was very much braver to spend a life doing what you really do not want rather than selfishly following forever your own dreams and inclinations.”
“All of us are better when we’re loved.”


This Date in Art History: Died 20 July 1994 – Paul Delvaux, a Belgian painter: Part I of II.

Below – “Harmony”; “The Tunnel”; “Femme al la Rose”; “The Joy of Life”; “The Office of Evening”; “The Sleeping Venus.”

Musings in Summer: Bliss Carman

“O heart of insatiably longing,
What spell, what enchantment lures thee
Over the rim of the world
With the sails of the sea-going ships?”

Below – Carmen Moreno: “Small sailboat on the high seas before the storm”


This Date in Art History: Died 20 July 1994 – Paul Delvaux, a Belgian painter: Part II of II.

Below – “Phases of the Moon III”; “The Village of the Sirens”; “The Street at Night”; “Salut”; “The Summer”; “Phases of the Moon II.”


This Date in Literary History: Born 20 July 1933 – Cormac McCarthy, an American novelist, playwright, screenwriter, author of “All the Pretty Horses,” “No Country for Old Men,” and “The Road,” and recipient of the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.

Some quotes from the work of Cormac McCarthy:

“He walked out in the gray light and stood and he saw for a brief moment the absolute truth of the world. The cold relentless circling of the intestate earth. Darkness implacable. The blind dogs of the sun in their running. The crushing black vacuum of the universe. And somewhere two hunted animals trembling like ground-foxes in their cover. Borrowed time and borrowed world and borrowed eyes with which to sorrow it.”
“You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.”
“You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget.”
“You give up the world line by line. Stoically. And then one day you realize that your courage is farcical. It doesn’t mean anything. You’ve become an accomplice in your own annihilation and there is nothing you can do about it. Everything you do closes a door somewhere ahead of you. And finally there is only one door left.”
“Between the wish and the thing the world lies waiting.”
“He stood at the window of the empty cafe and watched the activities in the square and he said that it was good that God kept the truths of life from the young as they were starting out or else they’d have no heart to start at all.”
“The man who believes that the secrets of the world are forever hidden lives in mystery and fear. Superstition will drag him down. The rain will erode the deeds of his life. But that man who sets himself the task of singling out the thread of order from the tapestry will by the decision alone have taken charge of the world and it is only by such taking charge that he will effect a way to dictate the terms of his own fate.”
“The closest bonds we will ever know are bonds of grief. The deepest community one of sorrow.”
“You can tell it any way you want but that’s the way it is. I should of done it and I didn’t. And some part of me has never quit wishing I could go back. And I can’t. I didn’t know you could steal your own life. And I didn’t know that it would bring you no more benefit than about anything else you might steal. I think I done the best with it I knew how but it still wasn’t mine. It never has been.”
“There is no later. This is later.”
“I got what I needed instead of what I wanted and that’s just about the best kind of luck you can have.”
“Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.”
“Every step you take is forever.”


Contemporary British Art – Ray Grinney

Below – “Storm Brewing”; “Deal Beach by Moonlight”; “Impurturbation”; “Voyeur”; “Denialist”; “Kiss.”

A Poem for Today

“Convergence”
by Christine Stewart-Nunez

Through the bedroom window
a February sunrise, fog suspended
between pines. Intricate crystals—
hoarfrost lace on a cherry tree.
My son calls out, awake. We sway,
blanket-wrapped, his head nuzzling
my neck. Hoarfrost, tree—I point,
shaping each word. Favorable
conditions: a toddler’s brain, hard
data-mining, a system’s approach.
Hoar, he hears. His hand reaches
to the wallpaper lion. Phenomena
converge: warmth, humidity,
temperature’s sudden plunge;
a child’s brain, objects, sound.
Eyes widening, he opens his mouth
and roars.

Posted in Art and Photography, Books, Movies, Music, and Television, Opinion | Leave a comment

Sentient in San Francisco – 19 July 2019

This Date in Art HistoryL Born 19 July 1834 – Edgar Degas, a French painter, sculptor, and illustrator: Part I of II.

Below – “The Dance Class”; “L’Absinthe”; “A Cotton Office in New Orleans”; “At the Cafe-Concert: The Song of the Dog”; “Dancer with Bouquet of Flowers (Star of Ballet)”;“La Toilette (Woman Combing Her Hair).”

This Date in Literary History: Born 19 July 1952 – Jayne Anne Phillips, an American novelist and short story writer.

Some quotes from the work of Jayne Anne Phillips:

“Towns change; they grow or diminish, but hometowns remain as we left them.”
“Literature can teach us how to live before we live, and how to die before we die. I believe that writing is practice for death, and for every (other) transformation human beings encounter.”
“If all stories are fiction, fiction can be true — not in detail or fact, but in some transformed version of feeling. If there is a memory of paradise, paradise can exist, in some other place or country dimensionally reminiscent of our own. The sad stories live there too, but in that country, we know what they mean and why they happened. We make our way back from them, finding the way through a bountiful wilderness we begin to understand. Years are nothing: Story conquers all distance.If death is this brilliant slide, this high, fine music felt as pure vibration, this plunging float in wind and silence, it’s not so bad.”
“As before, there is a great silence, with no end in sight. The writer surrenders, listening.”
“Love is the outlaw’s duty.”
“When the year turns, there are bells on the wind. All the old years fall on the ground in lights.”

This Date in Art HistoryL Born 19 July 1834 – Edgar Degas, a French painter, sculptor, and illustrator: Part II of II.

Below – “Waiting”; “Woman in the Bath”; “Three Dancers in Yellow Skirts”; “The Singer with the Glove”; “The Amateur”; “Dancers.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 19 July 2009 – Frank McCourt, an Irish-American writer, author of “Angela’s Ashes,” and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

Some quotes from the work of Frank McCourt:

“He says, You have to study and learn so that you can make up your own mind about history and everything else but you can’t make up an empty mind. Stock your mind, stock your mind. You might be poor , your shoes might be broken , but your mind is a palace.”
“When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I survived at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.”
“Sing your song. Dance your dance. Tell your tale.”
“It’s lovely to know that the world can’t interfere with the inside of your head.”
“I don’t believe in happiness anyway… it’s too much of an American pastime, this search for happiness. Just forget happiness and enjoy your misery.”
“A mother’s love is a blessing No matter where you roam. Keep her while you have her, You’ll miss her when she’s gone.”
“I had to get rid of any idea of hell or any idea of the afterlife. That’s what held me, kept me down. So now I just have nothing but contempt for the institution of the church.”
“I asked my dad what afflicted meant and he said ‘Sickness son, and things that don’t fit.’
“After a full belly all is poetry.”
“You never know when you might come home and find Mam sitting by the fire chatting with a woman and a child, strangers. Always a woman and child. Mam finds them wandering the streets and if they ask, Could you spare a few pennies, miss? her heart breaks. She never has money so she invites them home for tea and a bit of fried bread and if it’s a bad night she’ll let them sleep by the fire on a pile of rags in the corner. The bread she gives them always means less for us and if we complain she says there are always people worse off and we can surely spare a little from what we have.”
“The master says it’s a glorious thing to die for the Faith and Dad says it’s a glorious thing to die for Ireland and I wonder if there’s anyone in the world who would like us to live. My brothers are dead and my sister is dead and I wonder if they died for Ireland or for the Faith. Dad says they were too young to die for anything. Mam says it was disease and starvation and him never having a job. Dad says, Och, Angela, puts on his cap, and goes for a long walk.”
“Where did I get the nerve to think I could handle American teenagers? Ignorance. That’s where I got the nerve.”
“The sky is the limit. You never have the same experience twice.
“Happiness is hard to recall. Its just a glow.”
“I learned the significance of my own insignificant life.”


This Date in Art History: Born 19 July 1895 – Xu Beihong, a Chinese painter.

Below – “Galloping Horse”; “Portrait of Ms Jenny”; “Portrait Of Young Lady”; “Dawn”; “Battle”; “Lady in Red.”


This Date in Philosophical History: Born 19 July 1898 – Herbert Marcuse, a German-American philosopher, sociologist, political theorist, and author of “Eros and Civilization: A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud” and “One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society.”

Some quotes from the work of Herbert Marcuse:

“The so-called consumer society and the politics of corporate capitalism have created a second nature of man which ties him libidinally and aggressively to the commodity form. The need for possessing, consuming, handling and constantly renewing the gadgets, devices, instruments, engines, offered to and imposed upon the people, for using these wares even at the danger of one’s own destruction, has become a ‘biological’ need.”
“The truth of art lies in its power to break the monopoly of established reality to define what is real.”
“The means of communication, the irresistible output of the entertainment and information industry carry with them prescribed attitudes and habits, certain intellectual and emotional reactions which bind the consumers to the producers and, through the latter to the whole social system. The products indoctrinate and manipulate; they promote a false consciousness which is immune against its falsehood…Thus emerges a pattern of one-dimensional thought and behavior.”
“Art cannot change the world, but it can contribute to changing the consciousness and drives of the men and women who could change the world.”
“Those who devote their lives to earning a living are incapable of living a human existence.”
“The people recognize themselves in their commodities; they find their soul in their automobile, hi-fi set, split-level home, kitchen equipment.”
“Thought that accepts reality as given is no thought at all.”
“Free election of masters does not abolish the masters or the slaves. Free choice among a wide variety of goods and services does not signify freedom if these goods and services sustain social controls over a life of toil and fear – that is, if they sustain alienation. And the spontaneous reproduction of superimposed needs by the individual does not establish autonomy; it only testifies to the efficacy of the controls.”
“Not every problem someone has with his girlfriend is necessarily due to the capitalist mode of production.”
“The sickness of the individual is ultimately caused by and sustained by the sickness of his civilization.”

Contemporary Swedish Art – Cat Dogville

Below – “running against the dog”; “running in Africa”; “sunbathing”; “Yellow shoes”; “jail”; “after dinner”; “the couple, Dublin.”

A Poem for Today

by Lyn Lifshin

“The Other Fathers”

would be coming back
from some war, sending
back stuffed birds or
handkerchiefs in navy
blue with Love painted
on it. Some sent telegrams
for birthdays, the pastel
letters like jewels. The
magazines were full of fathers who
were doing what had
to be done, were serving,
were brave. Someone
yelped there’d be confetti
in the streets, maybe
no school. That soon
we’d have bananas. My
father sat in the grey
chair, war after war,
hardly said a word. I
wished he had gone
away with the others
so maybe he would
be coming back to us

Below – Edith Lake Wilkinson: “Old Man In Provincetown”

Posted in Art and Photography, Books, Movies, Music, and Television, Opinion | Leave a comment

Sentient in San Francisco – 18 July 2019

Contemporary American Art – Richard Stravitz

Below (bronze sculptures) – “Grace”; “Salacia at Rest”; “Cross Court”; “Hang Time.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 18 July 1817 – Jane Austen, an English novelist and author of “Pride and Prejudice” and “Emma.”

Some quotes from the work of Jane Austen:

“Look into your own heart because who looks outside, dreams, but who looks inside awakes.”
“It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.”
“Our scars make us know that our past was for real.”
“Her eye fell everywhere on lawns and plantations of the freshest green; and the trees, though not fully clothed, were in that delightful state when farther beauty is known to be at hand, and when, while much is actually given to the sight, more yet remains for the imagination.”
“Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves; vanity, to what we would have others think of us.”
“And sometimes I have kept my feelings to myself, because I could find no language to describe them in.”
“None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.”

Contemporary Romanian Art – Felicia Simion

Below (photographs) – “The pursuit”; “Flux”; “Stardust”; “Flight”; “Selfie in the park”; “Immersion into blue”; “Melancholia.”


Poem for Today

“The Letter From Home”
by Nancyrose Houston

The dogs barked, the dogs scratched, the dogs got wet, the
dogs shook, the dogs circled, the dogs slept, the dogs ate,
the dogs barked; the rain fell down, the leaves fell down, the
eggs fell down and cracked on the floor; the dust settled,
the wood floors were scratched, the cabinets sat without
doors, the trim without paint, the stuff piled up; I loaded the
dishwasher, I unloaded the dishwasher, I raked the leaves,
I did the laundry, I took out the garbage, I took out the
recycling, I took out the yard waste.  There was a bed, it was
soft, there was a blanket, it was warm, there were dreams,
they were good. The corn grew, the eggplant grew, the
tomatoes grew, the lettuce grew, the strawberries grew, the
blackberries grew; the tea kettle screamed, the computer
keys clicked, the radio roared, the TV spoke. “Will they ever
come home?” “Can’t I take a break?” “How do others keep
their house clean?” “Will I remember this day in fifty years?”
The sweet tea slipped down my throat, the brownies melted
in my mouth. My mother cooked, the apple tree bloomed, the
lilac bloomed, the mimosa bloomed, I bloomed.

Below – Kevin Hopkins: “Woman Reading a Letter”


Contemporary German Art – Stefanie Schneider: Part I of II.

Below (photographs) – “Henry watching Athena Dance (Stay)”; “Feathered (Stage of Consciousness)”; “North Shore Mirage I (California Badlands)”; “Radha Pink” (29 Palms, CA); “The Girl and the Garbage Man (The Girl behind the White Picket Fence)”; “Narween (Saigon).”

This Date in Literary History: Born 18 July 1902 – Jessamyn West, an American novelist, short story writer, and author of “The Friendly Persuasion.”

Some quotes from the work of Jessamyn West:

“There are two barriers that often prevent communication between the young and their elders. The first is middle-aged forgetfulness of the fact that they themselves are no longer young. The second is youthful ignorance of the fact that the middle aged are still alive.”
“Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures.”
“You make what seems a simple choice: choose a man or a job or a neighborhood- and what you have chosen is not a man or a job or a neighborhood, but a life.”
“A good time for laughing is when you can.”
“It is very easy to forgive others their mistakes; it takes more grit and gumption to forgive them for having witnessed your own.”
“A religious awakening which does not awaken the sleeper to love has roused him in vain.”
“A rattlesnake that doesn’t bite teaches you nothing.”
“The past is really almost as much a work of the imagination as the future.”
“A taste for irony has kept more hearts from breaking than a sense of humor, for it takes irony to appreciate the joke which is on oneself.”
“Nothing is so dear as what you’re about to leave.”
“Each death and departure comes to us as a surprise, a sorrow never anticipated. Life is a long series of farewells; only the circumstances should surprise us.”


Contemporary German Art – Stefanie Schneider: Part II of II.

Below (photographs) – “OK Corral (Stranger than Paradise)”; “Instructor (Suburbia)”; “Young and Unaccountable (Wastelands)”; “Mindscreen 6”; “White Picket Fence (Suburbia)”; “Green Pool (Suburbia).”

A Poem for Today

“Music at My Mother’s Funeral”
by Faith Shearin

During the weeks when we all believed my mother
was likely to die she began to plan
her funeral and she wanted us, her children,
to consider the music we would play there. We remembered
the soundtrack of my mother’s life: the years when she swept
the floors to the tunes of an eight track cassette called Feelings,
the Christmas when she bought a Bing Crosby album
about a Bright Hawaiian Christmas Day. She got Stravinsky’s
Rite of Spring stuck in the tape deck of her car and for months
each errand was accompanied by some kind
of dramatic movement. After my brother was born,
there was a period during which she wore a muumuu
and devoted herself to King Sunny Ade and his
African beats. She ironed and wept to Evita, painted
to Italian opera. Then, older and heavier, she refused
to fasten her seatbelt and there was the music
of an automated bell going off every few minutes,
which annoyed the rest of us but did not seem to matter
to my mother who ignored its relentless disapproval,
its insistence that someone was unsafe.

Posted in Art and Photography, Books, Movies, Music, and Television, Opinion | Leave a comment

Sentient in San Francisco – 17 July 2019

This Date in Art History: Born 17 July 1871 – Lyonel Feininger, a German-American painter and illustrator.

Below – “Benz VI”; “Gabendorf II”; “Lady in Mauve”; “The Green Bridge II”; “Yellow Street II”; “Mystic River.”

A Poem for Today

“I Could Not Tell”
by Sharon Olds

I could not tell I had jumped off that bus,
that bus in motion, with my child in my arms,
because I did not know it. I believed my own story:
I had fallen, or the bus had started up
when I had one foot in the air.

I would not remember the tightening of my jaw,
the irk that I’d missed my stop, the step out
into the air, the clear child
gazing about her in the air as I plunged
to one knee on the street, scraped it, twisted it,
the bus skidding to a stop, the driver
jumping out, my daughter laughing
“Do it again.”

I have never done it
again, I have been very careful.
I have kept an eye on that nice young mother
who lightly leapt
off the moving vehicle
onto the stopped street, her life
in her hands, her life’s life in her hands.


This Date in Art History: Born 17 July 1915 – Arthur Rothstein, an American photographer.

Below – An icon of the Dust Bowl: a farmer and his two sons during a dust storm in Cimarron County, Oklahoma, 1936; Annie Pettway Bendolph carrying water. Gene’s Bend, Alabama, 1937; The former home of the Pettways. Gene’s Bend, Alabama, 1937; Woman on the Pettway Plantation, 1937; Family in a wagon, Lee County, Mississippi, 1935; Newsboy, Iowa City, 1940; Night photo of Rays Hill Tunnel on Pennsylvania Turnpike, 1942.


Musings in Summer: Virginia Woolf

“Nothing thicker than a knife’s blade separates happiness from melancholy.”
Below – Pablo Picasso: “Melancholy Woman”

Contemporary American Art – Oliver Pojzman: Part I of II.

Below (photographs) – “On The Road (II)”; “Lo-Gas”; “On The Road (III)”; “On The Road (I)”; “Roy’’s Motor Triptych”; “El Mirage – Triptych.”

A Poem for Today

“In Every Life”
by Alicia Ostriker

In every life there’s a moment or two
when the self disappears, the cruel wound
takes over, and then again
at times we are filled with sky
or with birds or
simply with the sugary tea on the table
said the old woman

I know what you mean said the tulip
about epiphanies
for instance a cloudless April sky
the approach of a butterfly
but as to the disappearing self
no
I have not yet experienced that

You are creating distinctions
that do not exist in reality
where “self” and “not-self” are like salt
in ocean, cloud in sky
oxygen in fire
said the philosophical dog
under the table scratching his balls

Below – Sarah Holden: “Dog under the table”


Contemporary American Art – Oliver Pojzman: Part II of II.

Below (photographs) – “Moon Over Ocean”; “Death Valley (1)”; “Death Valley (2)”; Vintage Guitar”; “Needles”; “Separate Ways.”


A 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.

Posted in Art and Photography, Books, Movies, Music, and Television, Opinion | Leave a comment

Sentient in San Francisco – 16 July 2019

This Date in Art History: Died 16 July 2013 – Alex Colville, a Canadian painter: Part I of II.

Below – ‘Horse and Train”; “To Prince Edward Island”; “Man on Verandah”; “Pacific”; “Couple on Beach”; “Woman at Clothesline.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 16 July 1985 – Heinrich Boll, a German writer and recipient of the 1972 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Some quotes from the work of Heinrich Boll:

“Behind every word a whole world is hidden that must be imagined. Actually, every word has a great burden of memories, not only just of one person but of all mankind. Take a word such as bread, or war; take a word such as chair, or bed or Heaven. Behind every word is a whole world. I’m afraid that most people use words as something to throw away without sensing the burden that lies in a word.”
“If the dead could speak there would be no more war.”
“An artist is like a woman who can do nothing but love, and who succumbs to every stray male jackass.”
“A family without a black sheep is not a typical family.”


This Date in Art History: Died 16 July 2013 – Alex Colville, a Canadian painter: Part II of II.

Below – “Stove”; “Kiss with Honda”; “Living Room”; “On a River”; “Woman on Ramp”; “Embarkation.”


This Date in Literary History: Born 16 July 1880 – Kathleen Norris, an American novelist and journalist.

Some quotes from the work of Kathleen Norris:

“In spite of the cost of living, it’s still popular.”
“Not money, or success, or position or travel or love makes happiness, — service is the secret.”
“But hope has an astonishing resilience and strength. Its very persistence in our hearts indicates that it is not a tonic for wishful thinkers but the ground on which realists stand.”
“Disconnecting from change does not recapture the past. It loses the future.”
“Peace – that was the other name for home.”
“A short-lived fascination with another person may be exciting – I think we’ve all seen people aglow, in a state of being ‘in love with love’ – but such an attraction is not sustainable over the long run. Paradoxically, human love is sanctified not in the height of attraction and enthusiasm, but in the everyday struggles of living with another person. It is not in romance but in routine that the possibilities for transformation are made manifest. And that requires commitment.”
“I sense that striving for wholeness is, increasingly, a countercultural goal, as fragmented people make for better consumers.”


Contemporary French Art – Daude Marie Ange

Below – “Christina the astonishing”; “les 3 graces”; “l’ange Marie”; “i m bitch”; “Andreja”; “melancholia.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 16 July 1960 – John P. Marquand, an American writer and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

Some quotes from the work of John P. Marquand:

“Some day you will know that there is a beauty of the soul that is more important than worldly beauty. Remember this when you see worldly beauty.”
“Distrust the book which reads too easily because such writing appeals more to the senses than to the intellect. Hard reading exercises the mind.”
“The mood is on me to-night only because I have listened to several hours of intelligent conversation and I am not a very brilliant person. Sometimes here on Pequod Island and back again on Beacon Street, I have the most curious delusion that our world may be a little narrow. I cannot avoid the impression that something has gone out of it (what, I do not know), and that our little world moves in an orbit of its own, again one of those confounded circles, or possibly an ellipse. Do you suppose that it moves without any relation to anything else? That it is broken off from some greater planet like the moon? We talk of life, we talk of art, but do we actually know anything about either? Have any of us really lived? Sometimes I am not entirely sure; sometimes I am afraid that we are all amazing people, placed in an ancestral mould. There is no spring, there is no force.”
“If George Apley failed to meet certain challenges, let us admit that we all have failed in some respects, and let us remember that we stand together peculiarly as one large family. Collectively, in habits and ideals, our group is a family group where kinship, however distant, stretches into the oddest corners.”
“Most people in the world don’t know who the Apleys are and they don’t give a damn. I don’t intend this as rudeness, but as a sort of comfort. I know it has been a comfort to me sometimes. Just remember that most people don’t give a damn. When you remember it, you won’t feel the necessity of taking the Apleys so seriously.”
“His father watched him across the gulf of years and pathos which always must divide a father from his son.”
“Nothing which is worth while is easy, nor in my experience is the actual doing of it particularly pleasant. The pleasure arises from completion and from the knowledge that one has done the right thing and has stood by one’s convictions.”
“Materialism has made you worship Mammon and in this material world everything comes too easily. Heat comes too easily and cold. Money comes too easily. Don’t forget that it will go as easily as well. We have all grown soft from this ease. Position changes easily. Values shift elusively. When everything is totaled up we have evolved a fine variety of flushing toilets but not a very good world.”

Contemporary French Art – Diana Iancu

Below – “Vibrant Fall”; “Waves of Blue”; “Purple hills”; “Red Valley”; “Vertical Ocean”; “Ocean Path.”

A Poem for Today

“Not Knowing Why”
by Ann Struthers

Adolescent white pelicans squawk, rustle, flap their wings,
lift off in a ragged spiral at imaginary danger.
What danger on this island in the middle
of Marble Lake? They’re off to feel
the lift of wind under their iridescent wings,
because they were born to fly,
because they have nothing else to do,
because wind and water are their elements,
their Bach, their Homer, Shakespeare,
and Spielberg. They wheel over the lake,
the little farms, the tourist village with their camera eyes.

In autumn something urges
them toward Texas marshes. They follow
their appetites and instincts, unlike the small beetles
creeping along geometric roads, going toward small boxes,
toward lives as narrow or as wide as the pond,
as glistening or as gray as the sky.
They do not know why. They fly, they fly.

“Below – Graham Owen: “American White Pelicans Flying over the San Fernando Valley”

Posted in Art and Photography, Books, Movies, Music, and Television, Opinion | Leave a comment

Sentient in San Francisco – 15 July 2019

Contemporary American Art – CR Rousseau

In the words of one writer, “Rousseau explores styles and challenges previous approaches with oils, acrylics, water color, ink, photography, print as well as other media.”

Below – “Femme Carmel #3’; ‘Low Tide”; “Buoyed Up on Portage Bay”; “Introspective”; “Sunday Coast”; “Ready to Catch the Wind”; “Beach Bonfires.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 15 July 2003 – Roberto Bolano, an award-winning Chilean novelist, short story writer, poet, and essayist.

Some quotes from the work of Roberto Bolano:

“You have to know how to look even if you don’t know what you’re looking for.”
“The world is alive and no living thing has any remedy. That is our fortune.”
“There’s no place on earth with more dumb girls per square foot than a college in California.”
“Poetry is the one thing that isn’t contaminated, the one thing that isn’t part of the game.”
“What twisted people we are. How simple we seem, or at least pretend to be in front of others, and how twisted we are deep down. How paltry we are and how spectacularly we contort ourselves before our own eyes, and the eyes of others…And all for what? To hide what? To make people believe what?”
“We interpret life at moments of the deepest desperation.”
“Being alone makes us stronger. That’s the honest truth. But it’s cold comfort, since even if I wanted company no one will come near me anymore.”
“I’m an educated man; the prisons I know are subtle ones.”


Contemporary British Art – David Jones

Below – “Light in the Darkness #3”; “1949HC”; “1964W”; “Antinous1953”; “Light in the Darkness #1”; “Light in the Darkness 4.”

A Poem for Today

“On Finding a Turtle Shell in Daniel Boone National Forest”
by Jeff Worley

This one got tired
of lugging his fortress
wherever he went,
was done with duck and cover
at every explosion
through rustling leaves
of fox and dog and skunk.
Said au revoir to the ritual
of pulling himself together. . .

I imagine him waiting
for the cover of darkness
to let down his hinged drawbridge.
He wanted, after so many
protracted years of caution,
to dance naked and nimble
as a flame under the moon—
even if dancing just once
was all that the teeth
of the forest would allow.


Contemporary Canadian Art – Maria Rom: Part I of II.

Below – “Parrot in the land”; “Light”; “Leopard in the sea”; “Vase flowers”; “Fire ballerina dance”; “Balene-whales.”


This Date in Literary History: Born 15 July 1947 – Lydia Davis, an award-winning American short story writer, novelist, and essayist.

Some quotes from the work of Lydia Davis:

“Like a tropical storm, I, too, may one day become ‘better organized.”
“Nearly every morning, a certain woman in our community comes running out of her house with her face white and her overcoat flapping wildly. She cries out, ‘Emergency, emergency,’ and one of us runs to her and holds her until her fears are calmed. We know she is making it up; nothing is has really happened to her. But we understand, because there is hardly one of us who has no been moved at some time to do just what she has done, and every time, it has taken all our strength, and even the strength of our friends and families, too, to keep us quiet.”
“I looked like a woman in glasses, but I had dreams of leading a very different kind of life, the life of a woman who would not wear glasses, the kind of woman I saw from a distance now and then in a bar.”
“Art is not in some far-off place.”
“Heart weeps. Head tries to help heart. Head tells heart how it is, again: ‘You will lose the ones you love. They will all go. But even the earth will go, someday. Heart feels better, then. But the words of head do not remain long in the ears of heart. Heart is so new to this. I want them back, says heart. Head is all heart has. Help, head. Help heart.'”


Contemporary Canadian Art – Maria Rom: Part II of II.

Below – “Horses. Run In The Sea”; “Violin underwater”; “Swim flowers”; “Birds on the garden”; “Basket flowers 2”; “Space Out Of Earth.”

A Poem for Today

“For My Wife”
by Wesley McNair

How were we to know, leaving your two kids
behind in New Hampshire for our honeymoon
at twenty-one, that it was a trick of cheap
hotels in New York City to draw customers
like us inside by displaying a fancy lobby?
Arriving in our fourth-floor room, we found
a bed, a scarred bureau, and a bathroom door
with a cut on one side the exact shape
of the toilet bowl that was in its way
when I closed it. I opened and shut the door,
admiring the fit and despairing of it. You
discovered the initials of lovers carved
on the bureau’s top in a zigzag, breaking heart.
How wrong the place was to us then,
unable to see the portents of our future
that seem so clear now in the naiveté
of the arrangements we made, the hotel’s
disdain for those with little money,
the carving of pain and love. Yet in that room
we pulled the covers over ourselves and lay
our love down, and in this way began our unwise
and persistent and lucky life together.

Below – Henri de Toulouse-Latrec: “In Bed: The Kiss”

Posted in Art and Photography, Books, Movies, Music, and Television, Opinion | Leave a comment

Sentient in San Francisco – 14 July 2019

This Date in Art History: Born 14 July 1862 – Gustave Klimt, an Austrian painter and illustrator.

Below- “The Kiss”; “Eugenia Primavesi”; “Farm Garden with Sunflowers”; “Schubert at the Piano”; “Water Snakes II”; “Danae.”

This Date in the History of the American Old West: Died 14 July 1881 – Billy the Kid (born Henry McCarty, also known as William H. Bonney), an American outlaw and gunfighter.

This Date in Art History: Died 14 July 1966 – Julie Manet, a French painter and model. In the words of one writer, “Born in Paris, Julie Manet was the daughter and only child of artist Berthe Morisot and Eugène Manet, younger brother of painter Édouard Manet.”

Below – Julie Manet was a model for many impressionist artists: Berthe Morisot: “Eugene Manet and His Daughter at Bougival”; Pierre-Auguste Renoir: “Julie Manet with Cat”; Edouard Manet: “Julie Manet sitting on a Watering Can”; Berthe Morisot: “Eugene Manet and His Daughter in the Garden”; Pierre-Auguste Renoir: “Portrait of Julie Manet”; Berthe Morisot: “Julie Daydreaming.”

This Date in Music History: Born 14 July 1912 – Woody Guthrie, an American singer-songwriter and guitarist.


This Date in Art History: Died 14 July 1991 – Constance Stokes, an Australian painter.

Below – “The Sunbather”; “Contemplation”; “The Green Dress”; “Landscape”; “The Friends”; “The Girl in Red Tights.”


This Date in Cinematic History: Born 14 July 1918 – Ingmar Bergman, a Swedish director, writer, and producer who worked film, television, theater, and radio. Ingmar Bergman won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film three times.

Some quotes from the work of Ingmar Bergman:

“I am living permanently in my dream, from which I make brief forays into reality.”
“I make all my decisions on intuition. But then, I must know why I made that decision. I throw a spear into the darkness. That is intuition. Then I must send an army into the darkness to find the spear. That is intellect.”
“No form of art goes beyond ordinary consciousness as film does, straight to our emotions, deep into the twilight room of the soul.
“When you feel perpetually unmotivated, you start questioning your existence in an unhealthy way; everything becomes a pseudo intellectual question you have no interest in responding whatsoever. This whole process becomes your very skin and it does not merely affect you; it actually defines you. So, you see yourself as a shadowy figure unworthy of developing interest, unworthy of wondering about the world – profoundly unworthy in every sense and deeply absent in your very presence.”
“The world is a den of thieves, and night is falling. Evil breaks its chains and runs through the world like a mad dog. The poison affects us all. No one escapes. Therefore let us be happy while we are happy. Let us be kind, generous, affectionate and good. It is necessary and not at all shameful to take pleasure in the little world.”
“No other art-medium–neither painting nor poetry–can communicate the specific quality of the dream as well as the film can. When the lights go down in the cinema and this white shining point opens up for us, our gaze stops flitting hither and thither, settles and becomes quite steady. We just sit there, letting the images flow out over us. Our will ceases to function. We lose our ability to sort things out and fix them in their proper places. We’re drawn into a course of events–we’re participants in a dream. And manufacturing dreams, that’s a juicy business.”
“Old age is like climbing a mountain. You climb from ledge to ledge. The higher you get, the more tired and breathless you become, but your views become more extensive.”

Contemporary Australian Art – Amelia Millard

Below – ‘Amber”; “Olive”; “Edge”; “Wave”; “Emerald”; “Lion.”


A Poem for Today

“Lint”
By Gary Metras

It doesn’t bother me to have
lint in the bottoms of pant pockets;
it gives the hands something to do,
especially since I no longer hold
shovel, hod, or hammer
in the daylight hours of labor
and haven’t, in fact, done so
in twenty-five years. A long time
to be picking lint from pockets.
Perhaps even long enough to have
gathered sacks full of lint
that could have been put
to good use, maybe spun into yarn
to knit a sweater for my wife’s
Christmas present, or strong thread
whirled and woven into a tweedy jacket.
Imagine entering my classroom
in a jacket made from lint.
Who would believe it?
Yet there are stranger things—
the son of a bricklayer with hands
so smooth they’re only fit
for picking lint.

Posted in Art and Photography, Books, Movies, Music, and Television, Opinion | Leave a comment

Sentient in San Francisco – 13 July 2019

This Date in Art History: Died 12 July 1949 – Walt Kuhn, an American painter.

Below – “Athene”; “Clowns”; “Pink Roses in Blue Pitcher”; “Trees at Stone Wall”; “Drum Girl”; “Bareback Rider.”

Musings in Summer: Edgar Allan Poe

“I felt that I breathed an atmosphere of sorrow.”

Below – Paul Gauguin: “Nevermore”


Contemporary German Art – Regine Wolff: Part I of II.

Below – “Night”; “Interlunium”; “Macondo”; “Fight or Flight”; “Night Flight”; “Return Journey I.”


This Date in Literary History: Born 13 July 1934 – Wole Soyinka, a Nigerian playwright, poet, essayist, and recipient of the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Some quotes from the work of Wole Soyinka:

“The greatest threat to freedom is the absence of criticism.”
“Don’t take shadows too seriously. Reality is your only safety. Continue to reject illusion.”
“I don’t know any other way to live but to wake up everyday armed with my convictions, not yielding them to the threat of danger and to the power and force of people who might despise me.
“Books and all forms of writing are terror to those who wish to suppress the truth.”
“We live in a materialist world, and materialism appeals so strongly to humanity, no matter where.”
“I cannot accept the definition of collective good as articulated by a privileged minority in society, especially when that minority is in power.”
“Looking at faces of people, one gets the feeling there’s a lot of work to be done.”
“The man dies in all those that keep silent.”
“History teaches us to beware of the excitation of the liberated and the injustices that often accompany their righteous thirst for justice.”
“Religion has really spawned some monsters. It always has, historically. Go all the way back to the Inquisition, you know, the Crusades, the Jihad and so on.”
“Well, some people say I’m pessimistic because I recognize the eternal cycle of evil. All I say is, look at the history of mankind right up to this moment and what do you find?”

Contemporary German Art – Regine Wolff: Part II of II.
Below – “And then”; “Northern Sky”; “Ghostly Landscape”; “Three”; “Heroe III”; “etude 8.”

Musings in Summer: John Keats

“But when the melancholy fit shall fall
Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud,
That fosters the droop-headed flowers all,
And hides the green hill in an April shroud.”

Below – Frederic Leighton: “Lachrymae”

Contemporary American Art – Maria Jost

Below – “Amulet”; “Salmon”; “Sea Star”; “Jellyfish”; “Hermit Crab”; “Adaptation 2.”

.

A Poem for Today

“Old Man Throwing a Ball”
by David Baker

He is tight at first, stiff, stands there atilt
tossing the green fluff tennis ball down
the side alley, but soon he’s limber,
he’s letting it fly and the black lab

lops back each time. These are the true lovers,
this dog, this man, and when the dog stops
to pee, the old guy hurries him back, then
hurls the ball farther away.  Now his mother

dodders out, she’s old as the sky, wheeling
her green tank with its sweet vein, breath.
She tips down the path he’s made for her,
grass rippling but trim, soft underfoot,

to survey the yard, every inch of it
in fine blossom, set-stone, pruned miniature,
split rails docked along the front walk,
antique watering cans down-spread—up

huffs the dog again with his mouthy ball—
so flowers seem to spill out, red geraniums,
grand blue asters, and something I have
no name for, wild elsewhere in our world

but here a thing to tend. To call for, and it comes.

Posted in Art and Photography, Books, Movies, Music, and Television, Opinion | Leave a comment

Sentient in San Francisco – 12 July 2019

This Date in Art History: Born 12 July 1884 – Amedeo Modigliani, an Italian painter and sculptor.

Below – “Jeanne Hébuterne”; “Head of a Woman with a Hat”; “The Cellist”; “Young Woman”; “Alice”; “Nude Sitting on a Divan.”


This Date in Literary History: Born 12 July 1918 – Doris Grumbach, an American novelist, memoirist, biographer, literary critic, and essayist. In the words of one writer, “Grumbach remains an important author for the focus she brought to women’s lives and women’s struggles in the redefinition of women’s roles from the 1950s onward. “

Some quotes from the work of Doris Grumbach:

“Old age is somewhat like dieting. Every day there is less of us to be observed.”
“Talk uses up ideas. Once I have spoken them aloud, they are lost to me, dissipated into the noisy air like smoke. Only if I bury them, like bulbs, in the rich soil of silence do they grow.”
“My old friend, water, my good companion, my beloved mother and father: I am its most natural offspring.”
“We were determined by public opinions of us. Would we think we existed without outside confirmation? And how long would we live apart from others before we began to doubt our existence?”
“Searching for the self when I was entirely alone was hazardous. What if I found not so much a great emptiness as a space full of unpleasant contents, a compound of long-hidden truths, closeted, buried, forgotten. When I went looking, I was playing a desperate game of hide-and-seek, fearful of what I might find, most afraid that I would find nothing.”
“The reason that extended solitude seemed so hard to endure was not that we missed others but that we began to wonder if we ourselves were present, because for so long our existence depended upon assurances from them.”

This Date in Art History: Born 12 July 1884 – Andrew Wyeth, an American artist.

Below – “Christina’s World”; “Branch in the Snow”; “Night Sleeper”; “Frostbitten”; “Only Child”; “Day Dream.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 12 July 1966 – D. T. Suzuki, a Japanese author known for his books and essays on Buddhism, Zen (Chan in Chinese), and Shin.
D. T. Suzuki was instrumental in introducing a variety of Far Eastern philosophies to Western audiences. When I first began my study of Asian civilizations, I was fortunate to discover a copy of Suzuki’s “An Introduction to Zen Buddhism.” It is still on a shelf in my library.

Some quotes from the work of D. T. Suzuki:

“Zen teaches nothing; it merely enables us to wake up and become aware. It does not teach, it points.”
“When traveling is made too easy and comfortable, its spiritual meaning is lost. This may be called sentimentalism, but a certain sense of loneliness engendered by traveling leads one to reflect upon the meaning of life, for life is after all a travelling from one unknown to another unknown.”
“When we start to feel anxious or depressed, instead of asking, “What do I need to get to be happy?” The question becomes, ‘What am I doing to disturb the inner peace that I already have?’”
“The more you suffer the deeper grows your character, and with the deepening of your character you read the more penetratingly into the secrets of life. All great artists, all great religious leaders, and all great social reformers have come out of the intensest struggles which they fought bravely, quite frequently in tears and with bleeding hearts.”
“The truth of Zen, just a little bit of it, is what turns one’s humdrum life, a life of monotonous, uninspiring commonplaceness, into one of art, full of genuine inner creativity.”
“You ought to know how to rise above the trivialities of life, in which most people are found drowning themselves.”
“Zen opens a man’s eyes to the greatest mystery as it is daily and hourly performed; it enlarges the heart to embrace eternity of time and infinity of space in its every palpitation; it makes us live in the world as if walking in the garden of Eden.”
“In the spiritual world there are no time divisions such as the past, present and future; for they have contracted themselves into a single moment of the present where life quivers in its true sense. The past and the future are both rolled up in this present moment of illumination, and this present moment is not something standing still with all its contents, for it ceaselessly moves on.”


Contemporary American Art – Mark Horst

Below – “red i”; “glimpses no. 19.2”; “coffeecup no. 1”; “injambakkam no. 4”; “seated figure no. 9”; “injambakkam no. 34”; “in this here place, we flesh no. 2.”


This Date in Literary History: Born 12 July 1817 – Henry David Thoreau, an American essayist, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, tax resister, historian, and author of “Walden” and “Civil Disobedience.”

Some quotes from the work of Henry David Thoreau:

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”
“It’s the beauty within us that makes it possible for us to recognize the beauty around us. The question is not what you look at but what you see.”
“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.”
“Simplify your life. Don’t waste the years struggling for things that are unimportant. Don’t burden yourself with possessions. Keep your needs and wants simple and enjoy what you have. Don’t destroy your peace of mind by looking back, worrying about the past. Live in the present. Simplify!”
“The only people who ever get anyplace interesting are the people who get lost.”
“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”
“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this, or the like of this. I wish to live ever as to derive my satisfactions and inspirations from the commonest events, everyday phenomena, so that what my senses hourly perceive, my daily walk, the conversation of my neighbors, may inspire me, and I may dream of no heaven but that which lies about me.”
“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”
“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.”
“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”

Contemporary Argentinean Art – Guido Mauas

Below – “Sunday”; “Portrait of my old man”; “Walker”; “Man Adjusting his Face”; “Nocturnal Thoughts II”; “Vi.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 12 July 1904 – Pablo Neruda, a Chilean poet and recipient of the 1971 Nobel Prize in Literature.

“Tonight I Can Write The Saddest Lines”
by Pablo Neruda

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write, for example,’The night is shattered
and the blue stars shiver in the distance.’

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

She loved me sometimes, and I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is shattered and she is not with me.

This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

My sight searches for her as though to go to her.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.

I no longer love her, that’s certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

Another’s. She will be another’s. Like my kisses before.
Her voice. Her bright body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, that’s certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.

Below- Edvard Munch: “Melancholy”

Posted in Art and Photography, Books, Movies, Music, and Television, Opinion | Leave a comment