From the Pacific Northwest – Part LVI

Musings in Winter: Trish Deseine

“It has taken almost half my life away from Ireland for me to truly feel what home really is, and it is not what I was expecting. In the end it was not a place, or a past, or any sort of single, dazzling epiphany. It was all the little things. Cold butter spread thick on sweet wheaten bread or hot, subsiding potatoes; the scent of wet, black soil; a bushy spine of grass on a one-track road; wide iron gates leading to high beech corridors; the chalky smell of a cow’s wet muzzle, and, most of all, in Seamus Heaney’s words, the sound of rivers in the trees.”

Art for Winter – Part I of III: Robert William Vonnoh (American, 1858-1933)

Below – “A Grey Day”

A Poem for Today

“Einstein Defining Special Relativity”
By A. Van Jordan

INSERT SHOT: Einstein’s notebook 1905—DAY 1: a theory that is based on two postulates (a) that the speed of light in all inertial frames is constant, independent of the source or observer. As in, the speed of light emitted from the truth is the same as that of a lie coming from the lamp of a face aglow with trust, and (b) the laws of physics are not changed in all inertial systems, which leads to the equivalence of mass and energy and of change in mass, dimension, and time; with increased velocity, space is compressed in the direction of the motion and time slows down. As when I look at Mileva, it’s as if I’ve been in a space ship traveling as close to the speed of light as possible, and when I return, years later, I’m younger than when I began the journey, but she’s grown older, less patient. Even a small amount of mass can be converted into enormous amounts of energy: I’ll whisper her name in her ear, and the blood flows like a mallet running across vibes. But another woman shoots me a flirting glance, and what was inseparable is now cleaved in two.

Below – Albert Einstein with Mileva Maric, who was Einstein’s first wife.

Art for Winter – Part II of III: Martha Walter (American, 1875-1976)

Below – “The Swimming Pool, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania”

Musings in Winter: Bella Sara

“A generous spirit finds friends everywhere.”

Art for Winter – Part III of III: Kenneth Washburn (American, 1904-1989)

Below – “Freight Train”

A Second Poem for Today

By Marianne Moore

My father used to say,
“Superior people never make long visits,
have to be shown Longfellow’s grave
or the glass flowers at Harvard.
Self-reliant like the cat—
that takes its prey to privacy,
the mouse’s limp tail hanging like a shoelace from its mouth—
they sometimes enjoy solitude,
and can be robbed of speech
by speech which has delighted them.
The deepest feeling always shows itself in silence;
not in silence, but restraint.”
Nor was he insincere in saying, “Make my house your inn.”
Inns are not residences.

Below – Marianne Moore

Musings in Winter: Theophile Gautier

“Those horses must have been Spanish jennets, born of mares mated with a zephyr; for they went as swiftly as the wind, and the moon, which had risen at our departure to give us light, rolled through the sky like a wheel detached from its carriage.”

Spanish Art – Marta Moreu

In the words of one writer, “Born on 6 June 1961 in Barcelona, art has always been at the core of Marta Moreu’s life, sharing her love with her family and a special interest in sculpture with her father. In 1977 she took courses in design and painting and later on took the Fine Arts admittance examination. In 1980 she was accepted at the Fine Arts Faculty of Barcelona. Additionally, due to a strong interest in teaching, she combined her art studies with those of teaching at the Blanquerna Teaching School. In 1983 she obtained the Diploma of General Elementary Education and in 1985 she obtained the Diploma in Fine Arts with a specialization in Sculpture.”

A Third Poem for Today

“A Nearly Perfect Morning”
By Jessica Greenbaum

It was a nearly perfect morning—bucolic, pastoral—
so I found myself cataloguing my past humiliations.
Really, there was no reason for it! I might as well have
looked for an ant hill to lie down on in a meadow
of goldenrod. I can’t explain it but perhaps I thought
that with the rising sun as my witness, with the catbirds
crows, and whizzing hummingbirds my soundtrack
that I could ameliorate them, neutralize their charges
against me by holding them up to the woods now in wait
for the light to balance on their individual leaves, on
the absorbing vastness of my fortune. The concentric rings
of the spider web have the wiry shine of guitar strings
there’s been so little wind it seems the trees have not
yet shook themselves awake, but we are moving around
this light at such a pace that by now the sun is nested
in the crook of two thin branches that could not hold
anything else. I was barely up to the third count
against my integrity when the whole lake turned white
but I decided it was not aghast, just trying to erase.

American Art – Part I of III: Mark Meunier

In the words of one writer, “Mark Meunier was born in western Massachusetts and moved with his family to Washington D.C. where he attended college majoring in art. In the early 70’s upon graduation, he moved back to Massachusetts. Some years later, while visiting a restoration art project at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass, he became inspired by the natural pigments and the medium used, egg tempera.
For over 25 years, Mark has been refining and perfecting his unique talent creating a number of exquisite works. Mark has won numerous awards along the way, gaining national recognition, and seeing his paintings featured in American Artist, Cape Cod and Yankee magazines, among others. Mark currently lives and paints in Northampton.”

Musings in Winter: Kevin McCloud

“Sustainability is now a big baggy sack in which people throw all kinds of old ideas, hot air and dodgy activities in order to be able to greenwash their products and feel good.”

A Fourth Poem for Today

“The Sciences Sing a Lullabye”
By Albert Goldbarth

‘Physics’ says: go to sleep. Of course
you’re tired. Every atom in you
has been dancing the shimmy in silver shoes
nonstop from mitosis to now.
Quit tapping your feet. They’ll dance
inside themselves without you. Go to sleep.

‘Geology’ says: it will be all right. Slow inch
by inch America is giving itself
to the ocean. Go to sleep. Let darkness
lap at your sides. Give darkness an inch.
You aren’t alone. All of the continents used to be
one body. You aren’t alone. Go to sleep.

‘Astronomy’ says: the sun will rise tomorrow,
‘Zoology’ says: on rainbow-fish and lithe gazelle,
‘Psychology’ says: but first it has to be night, so
‘Biology’ says: the body-clocks are stopped all over town
‘History’ says: here are the blankets, layer on layer, down and down.

Musings in Winter: Cormac McCarthy

“The names of the cerros and the sierras and the deserts exist only on maps. We name them that we do not lose our way. Yet it was because the way was lost to us already that we have made those names. The world cannot be lost. We are the ones. And it is because these names and these coordinates are our own naming that they cannot save us. They cannot find for us the way again.”

American Art – Part II of III: Robert Vickrey

In the words of one writer, “Robert Remsen Vickrey (August 26, 1926 – April 17, 2011)[1] was a Massachusetts-based artist and author who specialized in the ancient medium of egg tempera. His paintings are surreal dreamlike visions of sunset shadows of bicycles, nuns in front of mural-painted brick walls, and children playing.”

A Fifth Poem for Today

“It Was Like This: You Were Happy”
By Jane Hirshfield

It was like this:
you were happy, then you were sad,
then happy again, then not.

It went on.
You were innocent or you were guilty.
Actions were taken, or not.

At times you spoke, at other times you were silent.
Mostly, it seems you were silent—what could you say?

Now it is almost over.

Like a lover, your life bends down and kisses your life.

It does this not in forgiveness—
between you, there is nothing to forgive—
but with the simple nod of a baker at the moment
he sees the bread is finished with transformation.

Eating, too, is a thing now only for others.

It doesn’t matter what they will make of you
or your days: they will be wrong,
they will miss the wrong woman, miss the wrong man,
all the stories they tell will be tales of their own invention.

Your story was this: you were happy, then you were sad,
you slept, you awakened.
Sometimes you ate roasted chestnuts, sometimes persimmons.

Musings in Winter: Beth Revis

“The glitter in the sky looks as if I could scoop it all up in my hands and let the stars swirl and touch one another but they are so distant so very far apart that they cannot feel the warmth of each other even though they are made of burning.”

American Art – Part III of III: Margaretta Gilboy

Painter Margaretta Gilboy earned a BFA from the Philadelphia College of Art in 1965 and an MFA from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1981.

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