April Offerings – Part XXVIII: Something to Delight both Head and Heart

American Art – Part I of V: Aileen Chong

Artist Statement: “My work suggests a dialogue about cultural fusion rooted in personal experiences and is manifested through abstraction. The intent is to establish these recollections in a visceral manner rather than overtly. My background as a female Chinese Peruvian growing up in Long Island, New York, has played a significant role in my body of work. The experience of these multi-cultural dichotomies and its customs and traditions with the values of American life brought a fractured sense of identity. The question of which side I identify with more has been a recurring issue. The majority of my grandparents are from China, but I identify with Peruvian customs and Spanish was the primary language spoken while growing up. Outside the household, expectations of dominant American culture built a divergent sense of self. My comfort level alters with certain situations that I am faced with and I find resolution in my work. Through my paintings, I am able to communicate a visual representation of my thoughts and feelings.
My intention is to abstract from ideas, feelings and emotions rather than concrete objects. For me, this is an honest and direct process for conveying the experiences in my life. I do not have specific images in my mind when I begin a painting; rather they are produced through an organic process. Metaphorically, they offer a visual pathway to understanding myself. The truth is I cannot recreate a painting. Each one is like a fingerprint of my emotional state of mind. They are immersed with emotions that I have succumbed to, which are defined by the color palette, composition and texture.
The process I developed fuses conscious and accidental methods of painting. Organic forms come naturally and create harmonious fluidity throughout the piece. I utilize the liquefied and unpredictable nature of paint by often increasing its viscosity. Gravity and surface variances pull the medium into multitude directions. I work in numerous layers and make conscious decisions about leaving parts visible, obscuring or covering up areas. Each step is dictated by the previous one as I proceed with adding and subtracting the oil paint on canvas, wood panel or dura-lar. Metallic colors are incorporated in all of my paintings because they bring richness and luminosity to the surface. I use circles and lines as elements to draw the eye throughout the painting. They either emerge or recede depending on how the paint is laid over them. The reaction between combining certain oil mediums is unpredictable and can manipulate how a piece turns out. It becomes a process of discovery which informs how I approach future works. The complexity of paint application and layering techniques offer the viewer a tangible document of the visual language which I am building. “

Below – “Transicion Blanco”; “Remolino de Oro”; “Mente Rojo”; “Caos Turquesa”; “Ansia Naranja”; “Gateo”; “La Creacion de Purpura.”







A Poem for Today

“Hymn to the Comb-Over”
By Wesley McNair

How the thickest of them erupt just
above the ear, cresting in waves so stiff
no wind can move them. Let us praise them
in all of their varieties, some skinny
as the bands of headphones, some rising
from a part that extends halfway around
the head, others four or five strings
stretched so taut the scalp resembles
a musical instrument. Let us praise the sprays
that hold them, and the combs that coax
such abundance to the front of the head
in the mirror, the combers entirely forget
the back. And let us celebrate the combers,
who address the old sorrow of time’s passing
day after day, bringing out of the barrenness
of mid-life this ridiculous and wonderful
harvest, no wishful flag of hope, but, thick,
or thin, the flag itself, unfurled for us all
in subways, offices, and malls across America.

Fancies in Springtime: Carl Sagan

“I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time — when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness…

The dumbing down of American is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance.”

Spanish Art – Part I of II: Joan Beltran Bofill

Painter Joan Beltran Bofill (1930-2009) attended the prestigious Casa Lonja, where several artists from the Catalan School, including Picasso, had also studied.





“To every separate person a thing is what he thinks it is – in other words, not a thing, but a think.” – Penelope Fitzgerald, an English novelist, poet, essayist, biographer, and author of “The Blue Flower” and “Offshore,” who died 28 April 2000.

Some quotes from the work of Penelope Fitzgerald:

“A good book is the precious life-blood of a master-spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life, and as such it must surely be a necessary commodity.”
“Duty is what no-one else will do at the moment.”
“Helping other people is a drug so dangerous that there is no cure short of total abstention.”
“Morality is seldom a safe guide for human conduct.”
“Would you consider what I call the ‘inner eye’ which opens for some of us, though not always when we want it or expect it – would you consider the inner eye as one of the sensory nerves?”
“‘Surely you have to succeed, if you give everything you have.’
‘I don’t see why. Everyone has to give everything they have eventually. They have to die. Dying can’t be called a success.’”
“How could the wind be so strong, so far inland, that cyclists
coming into the town in the late afternoon looked more like
sailors in peril? This was on the way into Cambridge, up Mill
Road past the cemetery and the workhouse. On the open
ground to the left the willow-trees had been blown, driven
and cracked until their branches gave way and lay about the
drenched grass, jerking convulsively and trailing cataracts of
twigs. The cows had gone mad, tossing up the silvery weeping
leaves which were suddenly, quite contrary to all their experience, everywhere within reach. Their horns were festooned
with willow boughs. Not being able to see properly, they
tripped and fell. Two or three of them were wallowing on
their backs, idiotically, exhibiting vast pale bellies intended by
nature to be always hidden. They were still munching. A scene
of disorder, tree-tops on the earth, legs in the air, in a university
city devoted to logic and reason.”


Spanish Art – Part II of II: Ingrid Tusell

Painter Ingrid Tusell (born 1978) lives and works in Matarranya.






“I was now resolved to do everything in my power to defeat the system.” – Oskar Schindler, ethnic German Austrian industrialist and member of the Nazi party credited with saving the lives of more than 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust, who was born 28 April 1908.

Here is one critic describing the artistry of self-taught New Zealand painter Steve Harris (born 1953): “Harris has become well known for his impeccably painted still life compositions, his skilful use of light, shadow and space being a hallmark of his approach. He generally tends to depict objects which have an everyday function or perhaps have even been discarded, but the work is about much more than simple representation. Harris is a master of understated realism which in turn evokes its own sense of ‘atmosphere’ and contemplative mood. His works have been described as ‘meditations in light’; and this is very much the feeling one has when attending one of Harris’s exhibitions – a type of reflective silence emanates from the paintings and imbues them with a spiritual quality.”


"THREE SOULS" 101cm x 121cm.

"STONE"  40cm x 40cm.



A Second Poem for Today

“Heaven, 1963”
By Kim Noriega

It’s my favorite photo—
captioned, “Daddy and His Sweetheart.”
It’s in black and white,
it’s before Pabst Blue Ribbon,
before his tongue became a knife
that made my mother bleed,
and before he blackened my eye
the time he thought I meant to end my life.

He’s standing in our yard on Porter Road
beneath the old chestnut tree.
He’s wearing sunglasses,
a light cotton shirt,
and a dreamy expression.

He’s twenty-seven.
I’m two.
My hair, still baby curls,
is being tossed by a gentle breeze.
I’m fast asleep in his arms.

Fancies in Springtime: Carl Sagan

“The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world.”

Painter and illustrator Sophie Chalmandrier lives and works in France.






“How is the world ruled and led to war? Diplomats lie to journalists and believe these lies when they see them in print.” – Karl Kraus, Austrian writer, journalist, satirist, aphorist, playwright, and poet, who was born 28 April 1874.

Some quotes from Karl Kraus:

“The devil is an optimist if he thinks he can make people worse than they are.”
“Sexuality poorly repressed unsettles some families; well repressed, it unsettles the whole world.”
“Stupidity is an elemental force for which no earthquake is a match.”
“Democracy means the opportunity to be everyone’s slave.”
“I don’t like to meddle in my private affairs.”
“I and my public understand each other very well: it does not hear what I say, and I don’t say what it wants to hear.”
“Psychoanalysis is that mental illness for which it regards itself as therapy.”
“Scandal begins when the police put a stop to it.”
“A fine world in which man reproaches woman with fulfilling his heart’s desire!”
“Curses on the law! Most of my fellow citizens are the sorry consequences of uncommitted abortions.”
“Education is what most receive, many pass on, and few possess.”
“I am already so popular that anyone who vilifies me becomes more popular than I am.”
“Feminine passion is to masculine as an epic is to an epigram.”
“I and life: The case was settled chivalrously. The opponents parted without having made up.?
“It is the style of idealism to console itself for the loss of something old with the ability to gape at something new.”
“Language is the mother of thought, not its handmaiden.”
“Squeeze human nature into the straitjacket of criminal justice and crime will appear.”
“The mission of the press is to spread culture while destroying the attention span.”
“There are people who can never forgive a beggar for their not having given him anything.”
“There is no more unfortunate creature under the sun than a fetishist who yearns for a woman’s shoe and has to settle for the whole woman.”
“When a man is treated like a beast, he says, ‘After all, I’m human.’ When he behaves like a beast, he says ‘After all, I’m only human.’”
“Science is spectral analysis. Art is light synthesis.”

Fancies in Springtime: John Geddes

“The fragrance of pine resin is frankincense poured out—a balm of stars and snow and moonlit nights.”

American Art – Part II of V: Charles Bibbs

Painter Charles Bibbs is one of the top-selling artists in the United States. His company, B Graphics and Fine Arts, Inc., is one of the leaders in the African-American art print market.
Charles Bibbs


Charles Bibbs



A Third Poem for Today

By Mike White

Not a remarkable wind.
So when the bistro’s patio umbrella
blew suddenly free and pitched
into the middle of the road,
it put a stop to the afternoon.

Something white and amazing
was blocking the way.

A waiter in a clean apron
appeared, not quite
certain, shielding his eyes, wary
of our rumbling engines.

He knelt in the hot road,
making two figures in white, one
leaning over the sprawled,
broken shape of the other,
creaturely, great-winged,
and now so carefully gathered in.

Chilean painter Ramon Levil (born 1962) is a graduate of the School of Fine Arts of Valparaiso. He lives and works in Lot-et-Garonne, France.






Fancies in Springtime: Conrad Aiken

“And the mist of snow, as he had foreseen, was still on it – a ghost of snow falling in the bright sunlight, softly and steadily floating and turning and pausing, soundlessly meeting the snow that covered, as with a transparent mirage, the bare bright cobbles. He loved it – he stood still and loved it. Its beauty was paralyzing – beyond all words, all experience, all dream. No fairy-story he had ever read could be compared with it – none had ever given him this extraordinary combination of ethereal loveliness with a something else, unnameable, which was just faintly and deliciously terrifying.”


“Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it.” – Terry Pratchett, English writer of fantasy novels and author of the “Discworld” series, who was born 28 April 1948.

Some quotes from the work of Terry Pratchett:

“A key to the understanding of all religion is that a god’s idea of amusement is ‘Snakes and Ladders’ with greased rungs.”
“The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.”
“It seems that when you have cancer you are a brave battler against the disease, but when you have Alzheimer’s you are an old fart. That’s how people see you. It makes you feel quite alone.”
“Only in our dreams are we free. The rest of the time we need wages.”
“In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this.”
“It is often said that before you die your life passes before your eyes. It is in fact true. It’s called living.”
“Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind.”
“The baby boomers are getting older, and will stay older for longer. And they will run right into the dementia firing range. How will a society cope? Especially a society that can’t so readily rely on those stable family relationships that traditionally provided the backbone of care?”
“It’s not worth doing something unless you were doing something that someone, somewhere, would much rather you weren’t doing.”
“They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it’s not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.”
“Most gods throw dice, but Fate plays chess, and you don’t find out until too late that he’s been playing with two queens all along.”
“The intelligence of the creature known as a crowd, is the square root of the number of people in it.”
“The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp.”
“Taxation is just a sophisticated way of demanding money with menaces.”
“I am certain no one sets out to be cruel, but our treatment of the elderly ill seems to have no philosophy to it. As a society, we should establish whether we have a policy of life at any cost.”
“The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.”
“Fantasy is an exercise bicycle for the mind. It might not take you anywhere, but it tones up the muscles that can. Of course, I could be wrong.”
“Sometimes it is better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness.”
“Everything starts somewhere, although many physicists disagree.”
“Sooner or later we’re all someone’s dog.”
“You can’t trample infidels when you’re a tortoise. I mean, all you could do is give them a meaningful look.”
“’Discworld’ is taking something that you know is ridiculous and treating it as if it is serious, to see if something interesting happens when you do so.”
“Genius is always allowed some leeway, once the hammer has been pried from its hands and the blood has been cleaned up.”
“I believe it should be possible for someone stricken with a serious and ultimately fatal illness to choose to die peacefully with medical help, rather than suffer.”
“I particularly admire Mark Twain and Jerome K. Jerome who wrote in a certain tone of voice which was humane and understanding of humanity, but always ready to annotate its little foibles. I think I’d lay my cards down on that, and say that it’s that that I’m trying to do.”
“The bravest person I’ve ever met was a young boy going through massive amounts of treatment for a very rare, complex and unpleasant disease. I last saw him at a ‘Discworld’ convention, where he chose to take part in a game as an assassin. He died not long afterwards, and I wish I had his fortitude and sense of style.”
“The ideal death, I think, is what was the ideal Victorian death, you know, with your grandchildren around you, a bit of sobbing. And you say goodbye to your loved ones, making certain that one of them has been left behind to look after the shop.”
“I intend, before the endgame looms, to die sitting in a chair in my own garden with a glass of brandy in my hand and Thomas Tallis on the iPod. Oh, and since this is England, I had better add, ‘If wet, in the library.’ Who could say that this is bad?”

From the Music Archives: Thomas Tallis

For people unacquainted with the works Thomas Tallis (circa 1505-1585) to which Terry Pratchett refers in the previous post, here is a sample:

Fancies in Springtime: Neil deGrasse Tyson

“As a child, I was aware that, at night, infrared vision would reveal monsters hiding in the bedroom closet only if they were warm-blooded. But everybody knows that your average bedroom monster is reptilian and cold-blooded.”

American Art – Part III of V: Ann Marshall

Artist Statement: “Because of the drastic scale reduction necessary for the web, there’s often a lot of confusion regarding my work. All figure work is done by hand, using either oil paint or pastel. The collage work is similarly low tech, constructed with scissors and an ever-changing array of non-toxic glues.”







Fancies in Springtime: Barry Lopez

“In Galapagos, as elsewhere, things of the mind, including intellectual ramifications from evolutionary theory, and things of the spirit, like the feeling one gets from a Queen Anne’s lace of stars in the moonless Galapagean sky, struggle toward accommodation with an elementary desire for material comfort…because so many regard this archipelago as preeminently a terrain of the mind and spirit, a locus of biological thought and psychological rejuvenation. The sheer strength of Darwin’s insight into the development of biological life gently urges a visitor to be more than usually observant here- to notice, say, that while the thirteen Galapagean finches are all roughly the same hue, it is possible to separate them according to marked differences in the shapes of their bills and feeding habits.”


Painter Abdalieva Akzhan is a member of the Creative Union of Artists of Kazakhstan. According to one writer, “Her works are in private collections in Switzerland, Kazakhstan, Germany, the United States and other countries.”





Fancies in Springtime: Robert M. Pirsig

“We want to make good time, but for us now this is measured with the emphasis on ‘good’ rather than on ‘time.’”

From the Movie Archives: Robert Cornthwaite

“Gentlemen, do you realize what we’ve found – a being from another world as different from us as one pole from the other. If we can only communicate with it . . .” – Robert Cornthwaite, American character actor, who was born 28 April 1917, portraying Dr. Arthur Carrington in the 1951 movie “The Thing from Another World.”

For his performance in this film, which terrified me when I saw it in a theater as a boy, Robert Cornthwaite was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 1993.

Fancies in Springtime: Mark Lawrence

“Snow makes a soft bed, but no man wakes from it. That was the wisdom of the North.”

Italian painter Lorella Paleni (born 1986) lives and works in Venice.







Fancies in Springtime: Carl Sagan

“Fireflies out on a warm summer’s night, seeing the urgent, flashing, yellow-white phosphorescence below them, go crazy with desire; moths cast to the winds an enchantment potion that draws the opposite sex, wings beating hurriedly, from kilometers away; peacocks display a devastating corona of blue and green and the peahens are all aflutter; competing pollen grains extrude tiny tubes that race each other down the female flower’s orifice to the waiting egg below; luminescent squid present rhapsodic light shows, altering the pattern, brightness and color radiated from their heads, tentacles, and eyeballs; a tapeworm diligently lays a hundred thousand fertilized eggs in a single day; a great whale rumbles through the ocean depths uttering plaintive cries that are understood hundreds of thousands of kilometers away, where another lonely behemoth is attentively listening; bacteria sidle up to one another and merge; cicadas chorus in a collective serenade of love; honeybee couples soar on matrimonial flights from which only one partner returns; male fish spray their spunk over a slimy clutch of eggs laid by God-knows-who; dogs, out cruising, sniff each other’s nether parts, seeking erotic stimuli; flowers exude sultry perfumes and decorate their petals with garish ultraviolet advertisements for passing insects, birds, and bats; and men and women sing, dance, dress, adorn, paint, posture, self-mutilate, demand, coerce, dissemble, plead, succumb, and risk their lives.

To say that love makes the world go around is to go too far. The Earth spins because it did so as it was formed and there has been nothing to stop it since. But the nearly maniacal devotion to sex and love by most of the plants, animals, and microbes with which we are familiar is a pervasive and striking aspect of life on Earth. It cries out for explanation. What is all this in aid of? What is the torrent of passion and obsession about? Why will organisms go without sleep, without food, gladly put themselves in mortal danger for sex? … For more than half the history of life on Earth organisms seem to have done perfectly well without it. What good is sex?… Through 4 billion years of natural selection, instructions have been honed and fine-tuned…sequences of As, Cs, Gs, and Ts, manuals written out in the alphabet of life in competition with other similar manuals published by other firms. The organisms become the means through which the instructions flow and copy themselves, by which new instructions are tried out, on which selection operates.

‘The hen,’ said Samuel Butler, ‘is the egg’s way of making another egg.’ It is on this level that we must understand what sex is for. … The sockeye salmon exhaust themselves swimming up the mighty Columbia River to spawn, heroically hurdling cataracts, in a single-minded effort that works to propagate their DNA sequences into future generation. The moment their work is done, they fall to pieces. Scales flake off, fins drop, and soon–often within hours of spawning–they are dead and becoming distinctly aromatic.

They’ve served their purpose.

Nature is unsentimental.

Death is built in.”

“People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.” – Harper Lee, American novelist and author of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” which won the 1961 Pulitzer Prize, who was born 28 April 1926.

Some quotes from “To Kill a Mockingbird”:

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
“Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”
“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”
“They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinions… but before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”
“I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.”
“Sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whisky bottle in the hand of (another)… There are just some kind of men who – who’re so busy worrying about the next world they’ve never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results.”
“Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I’d have the facts.”
“People in their right minds never take pride in their talents.”
“When a child asks you something, answer him, for goodness sake. But don’t make a production of it. Children are children, but they can spot an evasion faster than adults, and evasion simply muddles ’em.”
“It’s never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn’t hurt you.”
“We’re paying the highest tribute you can pay a man. We trust him to do right. It’s that simple.”
“Atticus said to Jem one day, ‘I’d rather you shot at tin cans in the backyard, but I know you’ll go after birds. Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.’ That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it. ‘Your father’s right,’ she said. ‘Mockingbirds don’t do one thing except make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.’”

Fancies in Springtime: Horace Walpole

“When people will not weed their own minds, they are apt to be overrun by nettles.”

Russian Art – Part I of II: Olga Gretchina

Painter Olga Gretchina (born 1947) is a graduate of the Moscow State College of Art.






From the American History Archives: The Central Pacific Railroad

28 April 1869 – In the words of one historian, “Chinese and Irish laborers for the Central Pacific Railroad working on the First Transcontinental Railroad lay 10 miles of track in one day, a feat which has never been matched.”

Fancies in Springtime: Wendell Berry

“Odd as I am sure it will appear to some, I can think of no better form of personal involvement in the cure of the environment than that of gardening. A person who is growing a garden, if he is growing it organically, is improving a piece of the world. He is producing something to eat, which makes him somewhat independent of the grocery business, but he is also enlarging, for himself, the meaning of food and the pleasure of eating.”

Russian Art – Part II of II: Anastasia Hohriakova

Here is one critic describing the artistry of painter Anastasia Hohriakova, whose style “stands at the intersection of Symbolism and Surrealism”: “Anastasia Hohriakova works in almost all genres of monumental and easel painting: interior murals and frescos, sgraffito and mosaic, portraits, genre scenes, landscapes and still life. Her artwork, both in painting and in composition, reflects the emotion, vivacity and energy with which she perceives the world around her. Her paintings subtly express mood and image distinguishing themselves by their integrity and clear, constructive composition.”











A Fourth Poem for Today

By Patrick Phillips

After the biopsy,
after the bone scan,
after the consult and the crying,

for a few hours no one could find them,
not even my sister,
because it turns out

they’d gone to the movies.
Something tragic was playing,
something epic,

and so they went to the comedy
with their popcorn
and their cokes,

the old wife whispering everything twice,
the old husband
cupping a palm to his ear,

as the late sun lit up an orchard
behind the strip mall,
and they sat in the dark holding hands.

Fancies in Springtime: Theodore Roethke

“A wave of Time hangs motionless on this particular shore.
I notice a tree, arsenical grey in the light, or the slow
Wheel of the stars, the Great Bear glittering colder than snow,
And remember there was something else I was hoping for.”


American Art – Part IV of V: Stephen Dinsmore

Artist Statement: “Something seen or remembered is the starting point. From there, painting is a process of discovery and arrival. Nuance of tone, expression and the handling of materials are among those elements key to the work. It is important that the finished painting have a visual ‘lastingness,’ such that the work continues to resonate over time.”

Below – “North Side with Figures”; “Red Flowers on Black”; “Ballplayer, Blue Field”; “Flood Plain”; “Still Life in Window”; “Sunset”; “Cattle”; “Horse”; “Roses, Urn, Red Shutter”; “Cattle in Field”; “Lone House.”











Fancies in Springtime: Abraham Cowley

“May I a small house and large garden have;
And a few friends,
And many books, both true.”

A Fifth Poem for Today

“Found Letter”
By Joshua Weiner

What makes for a happier life, Josh, comes to this:
Gifts freely given, that you never earned;
Open affection with your wife and kids;
Clear pipes in winter, in summer screens that fit;
Few days in court, with little consequence;
A quiet mind, a strong body, short hours
In the office; close friends who speak the truth;
Good food, cooked simply; a memory that’s rich
Enough to build the future with; a bed
In which to love, read, dream, and re-imagine love;
A warm, dry field for laying down in sleep,
And sleep to trim the long night coming;
Knowledge of who you are, the wish to be
None other; freedom to forget the time;
To know the soul exceeds where it’s confined
Yet does not seek the terms of its release,
Like a child’s kite catching at the wind
That flies because the hand holds tight the line.

Fancies in Springtime: Robert M. Pirsig

“The past exists only in our memories, the future only in our plans. The present is our only reality. The tree that you are aware of intellectually, because of that small time lag, is always in the past and therefore is always unreal. Any intellectually conceived object is always in the past and therefore unreal. Reality is always the moment of vision before the intellectualization takes place. There is no other reality.”

Back from the Territory – Art: Gail Niebrugge (Part III)

In the words of one writer, “Gail Niebrugge (Knee-brew-ghe) born and raised in California has pursued art since childhood, winning a poster contest on the Johnny Jet television show at the age of twelve. The Niebrugge family fell in love with Alaska while on vacation in 1976 and never returned home, instead they established a residence in the remote interior settlement of Copper Center. Since 1995 Palmer has been home to the Niebrugges.
Traveling by mail plane, ski plane, helicopter, boat, raft, ATV, canoe, truck and camper as well as hiking on foot, enables her to gain first-hand knowledge and understanding of Alaska’s wilderness, wildlife, landscape and history. Returning home to work in the studio her love of these subjects is translated into colorful paintings.”

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

Below – “Red Roses”; “Silent Traveler”; “Spirit of Flight”; “Summer Place”; “Sunset Cove”; “Sweet Repast”; “Teklanaka Bears”; “Tiger Swallowtail.”








Fancies in Springtime: Barry Lopez

“Once in his life a man ought to concentrate his mind upon the remembered earth. He ought to give himself up to a particular landscape in his experience; to look at it from as many angles as he can, to wonder upon it, to dwell upon it. He ought to imagine that he touches it with his hands at every season and listens to the sounds that are made upon it. He ought to imagine the creatures there and all the faintest motions of the wind. He ought to recollect the glare of the moon and the colors of the dawn and dusk.”

Below – Dawn in Prince Edward Island; dusk in the Yukon Territory.

Wind River, Yukon Territory, Canada summer scenic

A Sixth Poem for Today

“Little Rooms”
By William Stafford

I rock high in the oak – secure, big branches –
at home while darkness comes. It gets lonely up here
as lights needle forth below, through airy space.
Tinkling dishwashing noises drift up, and a faint
smooth gush of air through leaves, cool evening
moving out over the earth. Our town leans farther
away, and I ride through the arch toward midnight,
holding on, listening, hearing deep roots grow.

There are rooms in a life, apart from the others, rich
with whatever happens, a glimpse of moon, a breeze.
You who come years from now to this brief spell
of nothing that was mine: the open, slow passing
of time was a gift going by. I have put my hand out
on the mane of the wind, like this, to give it to you.

Fancies in Springtime: Neil deGrasse Tyson

“So you’re made of detritus [from exploded stars]. Get over it. Or better yet, celebrate it. After all, what nobler thought can one cherish than that the universe lives within us all?”

American Art – Part V of V: Adam Miller

Artist Adam Miller (born 1979) was accepted to the Florence Academy of Art when he was just sixteen, and while there he underwent extensive training in classical painting techniques. He has been described in reviews as “a rising star of realism,” and in the opinion of one critic, Miller “would be considered a master in any era.”

Below – “Leda in the Gulf”; “Boatman’s Fee”; “Baptism”; “A Gentle Breeze”; “Narcissus”; “The Third Party – Invitation”; “Artemis Triptych Nymph 1”; “Artemis Triptych Center Panel”; “Artemis Triptych Nymph 2”; “Oil Slick”; “Role Play”; “Seaside – Dreaming”; “Ariadne”; “The Lotus Eater”; “Twilight in Arcadia”; “Apollo and Daphne.”
painting by Adam Miller















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