February Offerings – Part XVI: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of VI: Gail Larsen Joseph

In the words of one writer, “Gail Joseph has painted for many years, beginning at the knee of her mother and aunt, both of whom painted throughout their lives. In College, she studied art with Cameron St. John Paulin and Carl Hall, a noted NW teacher and artist, at Willamette University. In Her travels, Gail fell in love with the wonderful museums of Europe and America and the magnificent art found in them. Her style comes from this historical perspective and the admiration felt from her experience with the old masters. Gail’s favorite is 16th and 17th Century Flemish still life paintings.”

Below – “Lemon Drop”; “Pear with Pomegranates”; “Amazing Squash”; “Christmas Ornaments”; “Grandmother’s Glass Bowl.”





A Poem for Today

“In the Woods”
By Kathryn Simmonds

The baby sleeps.
Sunlight plays upon my lap, through doily leaves a black lab comes,
a scotty goes, the day wears on, the baby wakes.

The good birds sing,
invisible or seldom seen, in hidden kingdoms, grateful for the in-
between. The baby sleeps. Elsewhere the Queen rolls by

on gusts of cheer — 
ladies wave and bless her reign. The baby frets. The baby feeds.
The end of lunch, a daytime moon. The leaves

are lightly tinkered with.
It’s spring? No, autumn? Afternoon? We’ve sat so long, we’ve walked
so far. The woods in shade, the woods in sun, the singing birds,

the noble trees.
The child is grown. The child is gone. The black lab comes,
his circuit done. His mistress coils his scarlet lead.


“Education has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading.” – George M. Trevelyan, British historian and author of “Clio, A Muse, and Other Essays Literary and Pedestrian,” who was born 16 February 1876.

A few quotes from the work of George M. Trevelyan:

“One half who graduate from college never read another book.”
“Social history might be defined negatively as the history of a people with the politics left out.”
“Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.”
“Disinterested intellectual curiosity is the life blood of real civilization.”
Musings in Winter: Marcia Carrington

“A morning coffee is my favorite way of starting the day, settling the nerves so that they don’t later fray.”

Here is one critic describing the background and artistry of Kay Yoshiya: “At the age of 9, Kay Yoshiya encountered the paintings of Vincent van Gogh at a private art school in Yokohama for the first time. Instantaneously she made up her mind to go to the Netherlands someday, where Vincent was born and brought up, and to become an art painter. In 1965, she crossed over to the Netherlands to continue her study at art academies in The Hague. Since then, 47 years have passed, and she has been staying in Holland already twice as long as the youth period she lived in Japan. Soon after Yoshiya’s arrival in Holland, she got deeply impressed and charmed by, earlier than Vincent van Gogh, medieval altar paintings in churches and museums nearby, that gave overwhelming impact and influence to her artistic mind. In pious pray and with eager quest for art, many nameless painters in the early period of European art depicted their altar pieces; through a bit primitive métier, they were telling her the original essence of European art and culture– this is what Yoshiya perceived at that time.”









A Second Poem for Today

“A Certain Kind of Eden”
By Kay Ryan

It seems like you could, but
you can’t go back and pull
the roots and runners and replant.
It’s all too deep for that.
You’ve overprized intention,
have mistaken any bent you’re given
for control. You thought you chose
the bean and chose the soil.
You even thought you abandoned
one or two gardens. But those things
keep growing where we put them—
if we put them at all.
A certain kind of Eden holds us thrall.
Even the one vine that tendrils out alone
in time turns on its own impulse,
twisting back down its upward course
a strong and then a stronger rope,
the greenest saddest strongest
kind of hope.

“There is no stopping the world’s tendency to throw off imposed restraints, the religious authority that is based on the ignorance of the many, the political authority that is based on the knowledge of the few.” – Van Wyck Brooks, American literary critic, biographer, historian, and the author of “The Flowering of New England” (1936), which won both the 1936 National Book Award for nonfiction and the 1937 Pulitzer Prize in history, who was born 16 February 1886.

Some quotes from the work of Van Wyck Brooks:

“The creative impulses of man are always at war with the possessive impulses.”
“Magnanimous people have no vanity, they have no jealousy, and they feed on the true and the solid wherever they find it. And, what is more, they find it everywhere.”
“Genius and virtue are to be more often found clothed in gray than in peacock bright.”
“If men were basically evil, who would bother to improve the world instead of giving it up as a bad job at the outset?”
“It is not that the French are not profound, but they all express themselves so well that we are led to take their geese for swans.”
“No one is fit to judge a book until he has rounded Cape Horn in a sailing vessel, until he has bumped into two or three icebergs, until he has been lost in the sands of the desert, until he has spent a few years in the House of the Dead.”

Musings in Winter: Hermann Hesse

“I live in my dreams — that’s what you sense. Other people live in dreams, but not in their own. That’s the difference.”

Born 16 February 1930 – Fred Cuming, a British landscape painter.

Below – “Stormy Weather and Kite”; “Folkestone Harbour, Rain Clouds”; “Kidbrook Station”; “Rye Harbour, East Sussex”; “Thistles”; “The Studio.”

(c) Frederick Cuming RA; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation


(c) Frederick Cuming RA; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation



Musings in Winter: Werner Herzog

“May I propose a Herzog dictum? Those who read own the world, and those who watch television lose it. ”

American Art – Part II of VI: Janey Belozer

In the words of one writer, “Janey’s work has been featured at the Lawrence and Ryan Galleries since 2001. She has painted the equine image since 1998 upon the purchase of her first horse named Amazing Grace. Her medium is oil on stretched canvas. Janey began emphasizing movement in her art work when she started riding. ‘Riding is about power and movement,’ she says. ‘It also incorporates many of the things I bring to my work, such as balance, suppleness, and intent. In both areas of my life I need discipline, yet to be relaxed, forward, and confident. I use this confidence to paint with.’
‘I want the viewer to feel the oneness of the horse and rider relationship and to feel balanced with the spirit of the horse.’ She needs to meet the horses that she paints, take photos, sketches and additional photos and more finishing sketches and more meetings until she is satisfied with the results.”

Below – “City Boy”; “Joy Ride I”; “Light Transition”; “Thank Your Lucky Stars”; “Set to Sparkle.”





From the Music Archives: George Harrison

16 February 1979 – George Harrison releases the single “Blow Away.”

A Third Poem for Today

“For What Binds Us”
By Jane Hirshfield

There are names for what binds us:
strong forces, weak forces.
Look around, you can see them:
the skin that forms in a half-empty cup,
nails rusting into the places they join,
joints dovetailed on their own weight.
The way things stay so solidly
wherever they’ve been set down—
and gravity, scientists say, is weak.

And see how the flesh grows back
across a wound, with a great vehemence,
more strong
than the simple, untested surface before.
There’s a name for it on horses,
when it comes back darker and raised: proud flesh,

as all flesh,
is proud of its wounds, wears them
as honors given out after battle,
small triumphs pinned to the chest—

And when two people have loved each other
see how it is like a
scar between their bodies,
stronger, darker, and proud;
how the black cord makes of them a single fabric
that nothing can tear or mend

Below – Willem de Kooning: “Painting”

Here is one critic describing the artistry of Mexican painter Daniel Lezama:
“The first impression upon encountering Daniel Lezama’s large canvases -some of which are veritable “salon machines” where the human figure is close to life size- is a clear-cut formal reference to pictorial tradition, from Great Masters to Mexican Nationalist Nineteenth Century painters. The second impression immediately snaps the audience back to its own time and place: the events portrayed are current, the dramatic fiction is narrated in everyday scenarios. The third impression is far more complex: we are confronted by a polisemic staging that opens the way to multiple levels of interpretation and social and artistic reference. “
Here is a comment from Daniel Lezama: “I am surprised at how non-specialized audiences are often capable of approaching my work with more ease and immediacy that the art crowd. Maybe we should learn again to risk getting involved in a story, to stop and take the time a painting requires, to see it with other eyes, with heart and head at once”.








“Most of our so-called reasoning consists in finding arguments for going on believing as we already do.” – James Harvey Robinson, American historian and author of “The Story of Our Civilization,” who died 16 February 1936.

Some quotes from the work of James Harvey Robinson:

“We are incredibly heedless in the formation of our beliefs, but find ourselves filled with an illicit passion for them when anyone proposes to rob us of their companionship. It is obviously not the ideas themselves that are dear to us, but our self-esteem, which is threatened.”
“During the tenth and eleventh centuries the rule of the Church prohibiting the clergy from marrying appears to have been widely and publicly neglected in Italy, Germany, France, and England. To the stricter critics of the time this appeared a terrible degradation of the clergy, who, they felt, should be unencumbered by family cares and wholly devoted to the service of God. The question, too, had another side. It was obvious that the property of the Church would soon be dispersed if the clergy were allowed to marry, since they would wish to provide for their children. Just as the feudal tenures had become hereditary, so the church lands would become hereditary unless the clergy were forced to remain unmarried.”
“Partisanship is our great curse. We too readily assume that everything has two sides and that it is our duty to be on one or the other.”
“Curiosity is idle only to those who fail to realize that it may be a very rare and indispensable thing.”
“We find it hard to believe that other people’s thoughts are as silly as our own, but they probably are.”

Here is how one critic describes the artistry of Spanish painter Juanjo Castillo (born 1957): “In our walking we meet men and women that stand still, maybe witnesses of a catastrophe that froze their steps. We cross through a world held in time, and in this world we recognize ourselves.”





Musings in Winter: Mehmet Murat Ildan

“Forest is a dream where you may find yourself and dream is a forest where you may lose yourself!”


“The dead were and are not. Their place knows them no more and is ours today… The poetry of history lies in the quasi-miraculous fact that once, on this earth, once, on this familiar spot of ground, walked other men and women, as actual as we are today, thinking their own thoughts, swayed by their own passions, but now all gone, one generation vanishing into another, gone as utterly as we ourselves shall shortly be gone, like ghosts at cockcrow.” – Henry Brooks Adams, American historian and author of “The Education of Henry Adams,” who was born 16 February 1838.

In the words of one historian, “His posthumously-published memoirs, ‘The Education of Henry Adams,’ won the Pulitzer Prize, and went on to be named by The Modern Library as the top English-language nonfiction book of the twentieth century.”

Some quotes from the work of Henry Brooks Adams:

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”
“Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit.”
“Knowledge of human nature is the beginning and end of political education.”
“The Indian Summer of life should be a little sunny and a little sad, like the season, and infinite in wealth and depth of tone, but never hustled.”
“He never labored so hard to learn a language as he did to hold his tongue, and it affected him for life. The habit of reticence — of talking without meaning — is never effaced.”
“These questions of taste, of feeling, of inheritance, need no settlement. Everyone carries his own inch-rule of taste, and amuses himself by applying it, triumphantly, wherever he travels.”
“Good men do the most harm.”
“From cradle to grave this problem of running order through chaos, direction through space, discipline through freedom, unity through multiplicity, has always been, and must always be, the task of education, as it is the moral of religion, philosophy, science, art, politics and economy; but a boy’s will is his life, and he dies when it is broken, as the colt dies in harness, taking a new nature in becoming tame.”
“Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed. The imagination must be given not wings but weights.”
“You say that love is nonsense…. I tell you it is no such thing. For weeks and months it is a steady physical pain, an ache about the heart, never leaving one, by night or by day; a long strain on one’s nerves like toothache or rheumatism, not intolerable at any one instant, but exhausting by its steady drain on the strength.”
“The study of history is useful to the historian by teaching him his ignorance of women.”
“The first serious consciousness of Nature’s gesture – her attitude towards life-took form then as a phantasm, a nightmare, all insanity of force. For the first time, the stage-scenery of the senses collapsed; the human mind felt itself stripped naked, vibrating in a void of shapeless energies, with resistless mass, colliding, crushing, wasting, and destroying what these same energies had created and labored from eternity to perfect.”
“For the first time in his life, Mont Blanc for a moment looked to him what it was – a chaos of anarchic and purposeless forces – and he needed days of repose to see it clothe itself again with the illusions of his senses, the white purity of its snows, the splendor of its light, and the infinity of its heavenly peace. Nature was kind; Lake Geneva was beautiful beyond itself, and the Alps put on charms real as terrors.”
“In Paris and London he had seen nothing to make a return to life worth while; in Washington he saw plenty of reasons for staying dead.”
“Were half the power that fills the world with terror, Were half the wealth bestowed on camps and courts, Given to redeem the human mind from error, There were no need of arsenals nor forts.”

In addition to being a painter, Italian artist Ugo Attardi (1923 – 2006) was a sculptor and writer.






A Fourth Poem for Today

“Getting It Right”
By Steven Coughlin

What could it hurt to rewrite my adolescence–
for instance, say this time I kiss Anna after the Junior Prom.

as our limo drives through a night so dark I see only her lips.
The Globe can offer a correction: due to an editorial error

my football-crazed dog, Rambo, never collided with the fender
of that cruising Toyota. At fifteen, family eating pasta, let’s say my father

no longer informs us he has throat cancer, there’s no surgery
that steals his voice. This time Anna can arrive at my sixteenth birthday party

in a swimsuit. It wouldn’t change the course of known events
for me to say we retired to the bedroom where I touched parts

of Anna’s body which called to me like distant church bells.
And this time no one moves out: my brother still lives

in the basement, spinning a record twenty years long, an Eagles poster
“Live at the Gardens” nailed above his bed. My sister spends eternity

in the bathroom perfecting the art of mascara,
morning after morning her blond lashes bring a May sunrise

into our kitchen. Let Rambo score a touchdown running
a ten-yard fade. Let my father’s voice call me to dinner.

The Herald can publish a new story: my parents purchase
that ’89 mini-van, its tank big enough to hold 30 years of gasoline–

hands on the wheel, everyone buckled, my father leads us in song,
“The Long Road Home,” and Anna too sits in the back,

her voice joining ours as she reaches for me,
her red bikini brighter than any brake light

American Art – Part III of VI: Eyvind Earle

Here is one critic describing the artistry of painter and illustrator Eyvind Earle (1916 – 2000): “His earliest work was strictly realistic, but after having studied the work of a variety of masters such as Van Gogh, Cézanne, Rockwell, Kent and Georgia O’Keefe, Earle by the age of 21, came into his own unique style. His oeuvre is characterized by a simplicity, directness and surety of handling.”












16 February 1751 – Thomas Gray publishes “Elegy Written in a Country Church Yard,” one of the most beautiful and influential poems in English.

“Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard”

The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd wind slowly o’er the lea,
The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

Now fades the glimm’ring landscape on the sight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds;

Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tow’r
The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of such, as wand’ring near her secret bow’r,
Molest her ancient solitary reign.

Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree’s shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mould’ring heap,
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.

The breezy call of incense-breathing Morn,
The swallow twitt’ring from the straw-built shed,
The cock’s shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.

For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Or busy housewife ply her evening care:
No children run to lisp their sire’s return,
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.

Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke;
How jocund did they drive their team afield!
How bow’d the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!

Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile
The short and simple annals of the poor.

The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow’r,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e’er gave,
Awaits alike th’ inevitable hour.
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.

Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
If Mem’ry o’er their tomb no trophies raise,
Where thro’ the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.

Can storied urn or animated bust
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?
Can Honour’s voice provoke the silent dust,
Or Flatt’ry soothe the dull cold ear of Death?

Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire;
Hands, that the rod of empire might have sway’d,
Or wak’d to ecstasy the living lyre.

But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page
Rich with the spoils of time did ne’er unroll;
Chill Penury repress’d their noble rage,
And froze the genial current of the soul.

Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
The dark unfathom’d caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flow’r is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

Some village-Hampden, that with dauntless breast
The little tyrant of his fields withstood;
Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
Some Cromwell guiltless of his country’s blood.

Th’ applause of list’ning senates to command,
The threats of pain and ruin to despise,
To scatter plenty o’er a smiling land,
And read their hist’ry in a nation’s eyes,

Their lot forbade: nor circumscrib’d alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confin’d;
Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne,
And shut the gates of mercy on mankind,

The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,
To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame,
Or heap the shrine of Luxury and Pride
With incense kindled at the Muse’s flame.

Far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learn’d to stray;
Along the cool sequester’d vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.

Yet ev’n these bones from insult to protect,
Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck’d,
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.

Their name, their years, spelt by th’ unletter’d muse,
The place of fame and elegy supply:
And many a holy text around she strews,
That teach the rustic moralist to die.

For who to dumb Forgetfulness a prey,
This pleasing anxious being e’er resign’d,
Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
Nor cast one longing, ling’ring look behind?

On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
Some pious drops the closing eye requires;
Ev’n from the tomb the voice of Nature cries,
Ev’n in our ashes live their wonted fires.

For thee, who mindful of th’ unhonour’d Dead
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate;
If chance, by lonely contemplation led,
Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate,

Haply some hoary-headed swain may say,
“Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn
Brushing with hasty steps the dews away
To meet the sun upon the upland lawn.

“There at the foot of yonder nodding beech
That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high,
His listless length at noontide would he stretch,
And pore upon the brook that babbles by.

“Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,
Mutt’ring his wayward fancies he would rove,
Now drooping, woeful wan, like one forlorn,
Or craz’d with care, or cross’d in hopeless love.

“One morn I miss’d him on the custom’d hill,
Along the heath and near his fav’rite tree;
Another came; nor yet beside the rill,
Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he;

“The next with dirges due in sad array
Slow thro’ the church-way path we saw him borne.
Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay,
Grav’d on the stone beneath yon aged thorn.”


Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth
A youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown.
Fair Science frown’d not on his humble birth,
And Melancholy mark’d him for her own.

Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,
Heav’n did a recompense as largely send:
He gave to Mis’ry all he had, a tear,
He gain’d from Heav’n (’twas all he wish’d) a friend.

No farther seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode,
(There they alike in trembling hope repose)
The bosom of his Father and his God.

Below – W. Follen Bishop: “The Curfew Tolls the Knell of Parting Day (A View of Hahndorf from the South with the Road Leading Into Hahndorf).”

Ukrainian painter Olga Grigorieva-Klimova (born 1984) is a graduate of the Crimean Art College.









Musings in Winter: Rainer Maria Rilke

“When anxious, uneasy and bad thoughts come, I go to the sea, and the sea drowns them out with its great wide sounds, cleanses me with its noise, and imposes a rhythm upon everything in me that is bewildered and confused.”

A Fifth Poem for Today

“Of Feathers, Of Flight”
By Adele Kenny

“…if I look up into the heavens I think that it will all come right …
and that peace and tranquility will return again.”
– Anne Frank

That spring, a baby jay fell from its nest, and
we took it to Mrs. Levine, who told us the
mother would know our hands and never take
it back. Spring that year was a cardboard box,

a bird cradled in cotton, cries for eyedropper
food – the wide mouth that became a beak,
feather-stalks stretched into wings. We knew,
of course, that we couldn’t keep it. (Later, we

would mark the spot with stones and twigs –
where the bird fell, where we let it go – and
sometimes, stopped in the middle of play,
would point and say, there, right there.)

The day we freed it, it beat, a heart-clock
(wound and sprung in Ruth Levine’s old hand)
that, finally, finding the sky, flew higher than
all the briars strung like metal barbs above the

backyard fence – a speck of updraft ash and
gone. Heaven, fuller then for one small bird,
spread its blue wing over us and the tree and
Mrs. Levine who, breathing deeply, raised

her numbered arm to the light and moved
her thumb over each fingertip as if she could
feel to the ends of her skin the miracle edge
of freedom, of feathers, of flight.

Musings in Winter: Karan Bajaj

“All mountain people are like that. No matter where you go, the mountains call you back.”

American Art – Part IV of VI: Tamara Adams

In the words of one writer, “Tamara Adams, a self-taught artist, inherited her talent from her grandfather. Some of her earliest memories are of visiting her grandfather’s studio where he painted and taught art classes in oils. Under his guidance, Tamara began experimenting at an early age and was encouraged to ‘just keep at it.’ Her grandfather struggled all his life to support his family even though he was well known, he ‘just kept at it,’ doing what he loved and never losing heart or his sense of humor.”

Below – “Hummingbird Garden”; “Butterfly Necklace”; “Nearly Dawn”; “Remember?”; “Whisper.”





Dutch painter Erik Mattijssen (born 1957) lives and works in Amsterdam.


Erik Mattijssen_paintings

Erik Mattijssen_paintings


Erik Mattijssen_paintings

Musings in Winter: Walt Whitman

“To me the sea is a continual miracle; The fishes that swim–the rocks–the motion of the waves–the ships, with men in them, What stranger miracles are there?”

A Sixth Poem for Today

“Desire Under the Cheese Grater”
By Marilyn Annucci

Open the kitchen drawer—
I want to be idle as a tea ball. I want to lie
beside the wooden spoon, the carrot
peeler, the five plastic cups that fit one
inside the other: tidy travelers to the counter.
I want to be reckless as measuring spoons—
to fling my big, smaller, small heads back,
dream of ginger, of cinnamon,
sprawl akimbo on the tack paper.
I want to be called dramatic by the corn cob holders,
poor things, how they can only jab and stick;
so what if I want to be picked up.
Let me be. The way butter becomes a yellow river,
a place for the garlic to shout and moan;
how the onions give over to shine and sigh,
I want to be turned over and over
in competent kitchen hands.
I want to be surprised.
I want to grow shy as an egg poacher.

Musings in Winter: James Hillman

“Your life is not predestined, as in Calvinist thought, where everything is written down in the book of life long before your birth and is inescapable. There are choices, accidents, hints and wrong paths, and the ego you, or whatever you call yourself, is a factor in all this. But there is still this other factor that keeps calling. At some moment, people turn, in despair or when they are unable to go any longer on a certain route, and this inner voice says, ‘Where have you been? I’ve been waiting for you to turn to me for a long time.’”

American Art – Part V of VI: Bryn Howell

In the words of one writer, “Bryn Howell was born in 1973 in Portland, Oregon. She grew up watching her father, well known Northwest artist, Mike Smith, painting and sculpting in his studio. The house was always filled with scattered pencils, drawings and books of favorite artists.
After beginning her college career hoping to become a botanist, she switched to art. She earned her BA in art from the University of Idaho in 1996. The love of nature and plants has followed into her artwork. ‘Everywhere I look is a painting waiting to happen! I love the complexity of nature and am lucky to have lived in the beautiful Pacific Northwest all my life. My works are landscapes of the local places I love and the nature that surrounds us here in the Northwest.’”

Below – “Finnegan on the Pendleton Blanket”; “Three Trees in April”; “Lilies”; “Yarrow”; “Field of Lupine.”





Musings in Winter: Annie Dillard

“An anchorite’s hermitage is called an anchor-hold; some anchor-holds were simple sheds clamped to the side of a church like a barnacle to a rock. I think of this house clamped to the side of Tinker Creek as an anchor-hold. It holds me at anchor to the rock bottom of the creek itself and keeps me steadied in the current, as a sea anchor does, facing the stream of light pouring down. It’s a good place to live; there’s a lot to think about. The creeks are an active mystery, fresh every minute. Theirs is the mystery of the continuous creation and all that providence implies: the uncertainty of vision, the horror of the fixed, the dissolution of the present, the intricacy of beauty, the pressure of fecundity, the elusiveness of the free, and the flawed nature of perfection. The mountains are a passive mystery, the oldest of them all. Theirs is the simple mystery of creation from nothing, of matter itself, anything at all, the given. Mountains are giant, restful, absorbent. You can heave your spirit into a mountain and the mountain will keep it, folded, and not throw it back as some creeks will. The creeks are the world with all its stimulus and beauty; I live there. But the mountains are home.”

Back from the Territory – Part I of II: Dog Mushing Museum in Fairbanks

In the words of one writer, “If you’re into Dog Mushing then you’ve gotta check out the Dog Mushing museum. A 15-panel photo essay of the sled dog tradition and various exhibits of memorabilia and artifacts, as well as a gift shop, of course. If your in the area, stop by this Dog lovers museum today!”
Anyone who has read “The Call of the Wild” is “into dog mushing.”

Back from the Territory, I share this with you, before I light out again.

Below – One section of the Dog Mushing Museum.

A Seventh Poem for Today

“Seeing and Believing”
By Edwin Romond

The girls giggled
but the boys laughed right out loud
when Mrs. Stone raged crimson
holding my eighth grade project:
“The Map of New Jersey.”
“Get up here, boy!”
and I had no choice
but to walk the gangplank to her desk
where my map choked in her fist.
“What’s this jazz? Huh?
The ocean is not green, Bub, it’s blue.
Ya’ get it? Blue, blue, blue, blue!”
punching my map with each word into my chest.
My classmates roared a chorus
of “Green ocean! Green ocean!”
their voices rising in waves of laughter
as I carried the wrinkled and ripped map
back to my seat through their sneers.
Soon, all their maps perimetered the room
leaving me adrift in the memory of a Sunday
when, in the October air,
my father and I walked over seashells
and I, only nine,
remarked that the ocean looked green.
My father, peering out from beneath his cap,
said, “Yes, it does” and his fingers swam
through my hair.

Back from the Territory – Part II of II: Art

Back from the Territory, I share this with you, before I light out again.

Below – Alaska artist Marion Rose: “Into the Wind – Grizzly Bear”; “Magpie in Flight”; “Kindred Spirits – Kermode Spirit Bear.”



American Art – Part VI of VI: Carl Rowe

Artist Statement: “Until I learned to paint, I had no way to express all the emotions and impressions that continually enthrall me here in the West. All around me is beauty. Form, color, line, and texture combine to evoke some sort of visceral response from me. Painting is how I interact with my environment. It is personal and deep and essential. As a transplanted Midwesterner, perhaps I see this land with greater intensity. It is not where I was raised, it is not my birthplace. But it is my home now, since 1973, always somewhere in the West. I am at home here. It continually inspires and amazes me. And with paint, I can have a dialogue with it. I can interact with it. Through painting I can say something about myself as well as something about the land. Before painting I had a long history with the theater, in dance, and perhaps I see the landscape in a theatrical way: strong light; usually from the side, emotionally colored, suggesting the human figure. My paintings are for people who love form and substance and color and a strong statement”

Below – “Last Light”; “Receding Ridges”; “Palouse Storm”; “Country Road”; “Canyon Entry.”





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