From the Pacific Northwest – Part XXXI

Musings in Autumn: Bernard De Voto

“One may lack words to express the impact of beauty but no one who has felt it remains untouched. It is renewal, enlargement, intensification. The parks preserve it permanently in the inheritance of the American citizens.”


A Poem for Today

By Sara Teasdale

Life has loveliness to sell,
All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And childrens’s faces looking up
Holding wonder in a cup.

Life has loveliness to sell,
Music like a curve of gold,
Scent of pine trees in the rain,
Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
And for your spirit’s still delight,
Holy thoughts that star the night.

Spend all you have for loveliness,
Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
Count many a year of strife well lost,
And for a breath of ecstacy
Give all you have been, or could be.


American Art – Susan Russell Hall

Artist Statement: “The meditative space and inner and outer worldliness of the painting is something I am drawn to.
By observing the perfect imperfections of the leaf, one sees beyond the surface to the actual beauty and into the depth of the object. Removing ourselves from viewing the surface and going deeper bonds us with others and with nature.”

Below – “Wonder”; “The Dawning of Light”; “Gateway”; “Connected”; “Discovery”; “Repose”; “Bravely Attempting to Listen.”








Musings in Autumn: Adam Rex

“The United States was a big country where everybody wore funny t-shirts and ate too much.”


A Second Poem for Today

“Poem Beginning with a Line by John Ashbery”
By Randall Mann

Jealousy. Whispered weather reports.
The lure of the land so strong it prompts
gossip: we chatter like small birds
at the edge of the ocean gray, foaming.

Now sand under sand hides
the buried world, the one in which our fathers failed,
the palm frond a dangerous truth
they once believed, and touched. Bloodied their hands.

They once believed. And, touched, bloodied their hands;
the palm frond, a dangerous truth;
the buried world, the one in which our fathers failed.
Now sand under sand hides

at the edge of the ocean: gray, foaming
gossip. We chatter like small birds,
the lure of the land so strong it prompts
jealousy. Whispered weather reports.


Art for November – Part I of III: Tom Thomson

Below – “Algonquin, October 1914”


Musings in Autumn: Ellen DeGeneres

“I ask people why they have deer heads on their walls. They always say because it’s such a beautiful animal. There you go. I think my mother is attractive, but I have photographs of her.”


Art for November – Part II of III: Lawren S. Harris

Below – “Mountains and Lake”


A Third Poem for Today

“The White Horse”
By D. H. Lawrence

The youth walks up to the white horse, to put its halter on
and the horse looks at him in silence.
They are so silent, they are in another world.


Musings in Autumn: Anatole France

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”


Art for November – Part III of III: Steven Armstrong

Below – “Second Week In May”


James “Jim” Harrison (1937-2016) was an American author known for his poetry, fiction, reviews, essays about the outdoors, and writings about food.

Some quotes from the work of Jim Harrison:

“The danger of civilization, of course, is that you will piss away your life on nonsense.”
“I like grit, I like love and death, I’m tired of irony.”
“The days are stacked against what we think we are.”
“Birthdays are ghost bounty hunters that track you down to ask, ‘Que pasa, baby?’”
“Barring love I’ll take my life in large doses alone–rivers, forests, fish, grouse, mountains. Dogs.”
“I did not want to live out my life in the strenuous effort to hold a ghost world together. It was plain as the stars that time herself moved in grand tidal sweeps rather than the tick-tocks we suffocate within, and that I must reshape myself to fully inhabit the earth rather than dawdle in the sump of my foibles.”
“Imagine if Congress were actually knowledgeable of American history.”
“It’s very difficult to look at the World and into your heart at the same time. In between, a life has passed.”
“The world that used to nurse us now keeps shouting inane instructions. That’s why I ran to the woods.”
“I’m hoping to be astonished tomorrow by I don’t know what.”
“Beware, O wanderer, the road is walking too.”


A Fourth Poem for Today

“The Rider”
By Naomi Shihab Nye

A boy told me
if he roller-skated fast enough
his loneliness couldn’t catch up to him,
the best reason I ever heard
for trying to be a champion.
What I wonder tonight
pedaling hard down King William Street
is if it translates to bicycles.
A victory! To leave your loneliness
panting behind you on some street corner
while you float free into a cloud of sudden azaleas,
pink petals that have never felt loneliness,
no matter how slowly they fell.


Musings in Autumn: Ilya Ilf

“This (San Francisco) is the most beautiful city in America, Probably because it looks nothing like America.”


Canadian Art – Part I of II: John MacDonald

In the words of one writer, “John Macdonald is an accomplished British Columbian artist whose large-scale oil on canvas works have been collected and exhibited nationally for over a decade. Informed by the traditional as well as the avant-garde, his work depicts figurative subjects engaged in an instinctual response to their environment, reinforced by the materiality of the painted surface. John Macdonald’s paintings are landscapes and figures in landscapes implying in various forms our alienation and isolation in relation to our cultural environment and the displacement that is experienced. Other paintings deal with the encompassing of our environment: of its materialism and of unresolved interior and exterior conflicts that emerge. These paintings are metaphors for common experience reflecting certain aspects of the anxieties of our times. The work is enigmatic and open-ended, encouraging dialogue with the viewer that evokes a mix of responses.”

Below – “Copper Light”; “Untitled Woods”; “Abstraction #2”; “West Coast Lily Pool”; “Close Up”; “Abstraction #1.”







A Fifth Poem for Today

“Live Blindly and Upon the Hour”
By Trumbull Stickney

Live blindly and upon the hour. The Lord,
Who was the Future, died full long ago.
Knowledge which is the Past is folly. Go,
Poor child, and be not to thyself abhorred.
Around thine earth sun-wingèd winds do blow
And planets roll; a meteor draws his sword;
The rainbow breaks his seven-coloured chord
And the long strips of river-silver flow:
Awake! Give thyself to the lovely hours.
Drinking their lips, catch thou the dream in flight
About their fragile hairs’ aërial gold.
Thou art divine, thou livest,—as of old
Apollo springing naked to the light,
And all his island shivered into flowers.


Musings in Autumn: John Muir

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”


Canadian Art – Part II of II: RFM McInnis

In the words of one writer, “ RFM McInnis was born in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1942. After receiving a Diploma in Fine and Applied Arts in 1961 he spent five years in the Royal Canadian Air Force as a photographer. ‘It was the nearest to making pictures I could do and still earn a living in those days’. Thus began a career of traveling and painting. McInnis has lived and painted in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec. These experiences have provided McInnis an opportunity to get to know the history, the people, the terrain, and the art scene of most of Canada. During his stay in Calgary in the late 1970’s he was commissioned to do portraits of the leaders of the Progressive Conservative Party which currently hang in the National Headquarters building in Ottawa. In 2006 he relocated to the city of Winnipeg. He finds inspiration in the city’s locations and landscapes and has completed a series of paintings of views from his studio window.”

Below – “Totems at Skidegate”; “Totems at Midnight”; “Starry Night Mink Lake”; “Totem at Sunset – Kitwanga, BC”; “Haida Poles, Skidegate.”






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