A Poem for Today
By Linda Pastan
Who can mediate
between the body and its undoing?
At night in each of my limbs
I feel the skeletal tree ache,
and I dream of leaves
in their feverish colors, floating
through the small streams
and tributaries of the blood.
At noon in the smoldering woods
I gather black grapes
that purse and caress the mouth,
I gather thistles and burrs —
whole armfuls of dissolution,
while from a branch
the chuck-will’s widow calls
Canadian Art – Part I: Neil Clifford
Artist Statement: “I believe the quality of our lives is enhanced by surrounding ourselves with art that express values beyond their aesthetic that possess intelligence in their creation, that one can interact with and that will stimulate the senses every time one engages with them.
Over the past thirty-five years I have traveled to remote areas of the planet, fascinated by cultures that live in community with nature – to engage with artists whose work is imbued with powerful connections to their ancestral lands. The awareness that art-making acts as a vehicle for understanding our place within a greater context guides my own artistic pursuits.
The rugged Canadian wilderness provides the inspiration and the materials for my new series of sculptures. While scouting rapids on wild rivers, hiking through dense forest or snowshoeing along frozen shorelines, I encounter special stones. Eroded and etched, some fractured and split by the powerful forces of wind, water, and ice and changing seasons – I choose each one for its natural beauty.
With great care and effort, I bring these stones back to the studio and create sculptures that compliment their unique characteristics. Influenced by my journeys into the wilds and by those whose lives remain connected to the earth, I strive to make compelling works of art for the viewer that evokes the dynamic of our natural world.”
Below – “Release”; “Etrius”; “Uplifted”; “Bronze Age”; “Silent Wanderer.”
Musings in Autumn: Rachel Peden
“There comes a time when it cannot be put off any longer. The radio warns of a killing frost coming in the night, and you must say good-by to the garden. You dread it, as you dread saying good-by to any good friend; but the garden waits with its last gifts, and you must go with a bushel basket or big buckets to receive them.”
Anais Nin (1903-1977) was an essayist and memoirist born to Cuban Parents in France. She lived most of her life in the United States.
Some quotes from the work of Anais Nin:
“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”
“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.”
“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.”
“You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book… or you take a trip… and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death. Some never awaken.”
“One word I would banish from the dictionary is ‘escape.’ Just banish that and you’ll be fine. Because that word has been misused regarding anybody who wanted to move away from a certain spot and wanted to grow. He was an escapist. You know if you forget that word you will have a much easier time. Also you’re in the prime, the beginning of your life; you should experiment with everything, try everything…. We are taught all these dichotomies, and I only learned later that they could work in harmony. We have created false dichotomies; we create false ambivalences, and very painful one’s sometimes -the feeling that we have to choose. But I think at one point we finally realize, sometimes subconsciously, whether or not we are really fitted for what we try and if it’s what we want to do.
You have a right to experiment with your life. You will make mistakes. And they are right too. No, I think there was too rigid a pattern. You came out of an education and are supposed to know your vocation. Your vocation is fixed, and maybe ten years later you find you are not a teacher anymore or you’re not a painter anymore. It may happen. It has happened. I mean Gauguin decided at a certain point he wasn’t a banker anymore; he was a painter. And so he walked away from banking. I think we have a right to change course. But society is the one that keeps demanding that we fit in and not disturb things. They would like you to fit in right away so that things work now.”
“Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.”
A Second Poem for Today
By Ted Hughes
October is marigold, and yet
A glass half full of wine left out
To the dark heaven all night, by dawn
Has dreamed a premonition
Of ice across its eye as if
The ice-age had begun its heave.
The lawn overtrodden and strewn
From the night before, and the whistling green
Shrubbery are doomed. Ice
Has got its spearhead into place.
First a skin, delicately here
Restraining a ripple from the air;
Soon plate and rivet on pond and brook;
Then tons of chain and massive lock
To hold rivers. Then, sound by sight
Will Mammoth and Sabre-tooth celebrate
Reunion while a fist of cold
Squeezes the fire at the core of the world,
Musings in Autumn: Alfred Tennyson
Canadian Art – Part II: Cori Creed
In the words of one writer, “Cori Creed is a Canadian painter who has the ability to capture the west coast landscape with joy and vitality.
The wealth of textures and colours in our Canadian landscape provide Creed with the perfect reference for an exploration in process. The reflections of tangled branches observed while canoeing on a tranquil eastern lake; the graphic contrast found in a grove of birches; shadows cast over jumbles of rocks and driftwood on west coast beaches; and wading through fields of wild grasses and blooms all lend inspiration to Creed’s work. The artist’s strong connection to the natural world encourages her to draw from its revelations and recreate an impression of the land on canvas.”