From the Pacific Northwest – Part LXXVII

Musings in Winter: Arthur Quiller-Couch

“In a flash I saw the truth; that my love for this spot is built up of numberless trivialities, of small memories all incommunicable, or ridiculous when communicated.”

Below – Katie Hennessey: “Memories of Home”

A Poem for Today

By Billy Collins

Why do we bother with the rest of the day,
the swale of the afternoon,
the sudden dip into evening,

then night with his notorious perfumes,
his many-pointed stars?

This is the best—
throwing off the light covers,
feet on the cold floor,
and buzzing around the house on espresso—

maybe a splash of water on the face,
a palmful of vitamins—
but mostly buzzing around the house on espresso,

dictionary and atlas open on the rug,
the typewriter waiting for the key of the head,
a cello on the radio,

and, if necessary, the windows—
trees fifty, a hundred years old
out there,
heavy clouds on the way
and the lawn steaming like a horse
in the early morning.

Musings in Winter: Albert Schweitzer

“Compassion, in which all ethics must take root, can only attain its full breadth and depth if it embraces all living creatures and does not limit itself to mankind.”

Art for Winter – Part I of IV: Eric Elliot (American, contemporary)

Below – “Photinia with Green Background”

Musings in Winter: Amy Leach

“Whether people need nature or not, it was clear that nature needed people. But perhaps nature needs us like a hostage needs her captors: nature needs us not to annihilate her, not to run her over, not to cover her with cement, not to chop her down. We can hardly admire ourselves, then, when we stop to accommodate nature’s needs: we are dubious heroes who create peril and then save it’s victims, we who rescue the animals and the trees from ourselves.”

A Second Poem for Today

“Sitting Outside”

By W. D. Snodgrass

These lawn chairs and the chaise lounge
of bulky redwood were purchased for my father
twenty years ago, then plumped down in the yard
where he seldom went when he could still work
and never had stayed long. His left arm
in a sling, then lopped off, he smoked there or slept
while the weather lasted, watched what cars passed,
read stock reports, counted pills,
then dozed again. I didn’t go there
in those last weeks, sick of the delusions
they still maintained, their talk of plans
for some boat tour or a trip to the Bahamas
once he’d recovered. Under our willows,
this old set’s done well: we’ve sat with company,
read or taken notes—although the arm rests
get dry and splintery or wheels drop off
so the whole frame’s weakened if it’s hauled
across rough ground.  Of course the trees,
too, may not last: leaves storm down,
branches crack off, the riddled bark
separates, then gets shed. I have a son, myself,
with things to be looked after. I sometimes think
since I’ve retired, sitting in the shade here
and feeling the winds shift, I must have been filled
with a child dread you could catch somebody’s dying
if you got too close. And you can’t be too sure.

Art for Winter – Part II of IV: Fran Ellisor (American, contemporary)

Below – “Lady”

Musings in Winter: Patti Smith

“Home is a desk. The amalgamation of a dream. Home is the cats, my books, and my work never done. All the lost things that may one day call to me, the faces of my children who will one day call to me. Maybe we can’t draw flesh from reverie nor retrieve a dusty spur, but we can gather the dream itself and bring it back uniquely whole.”

Below – Wilfrido Garcia: “Memories of Home”

A Third Poem for Today

“My Cats”
By Charles Bukowski

I know. I know.
they are limited, have different
needs and

but I watch and learn from them.
I like the little they know,
which is so

they complain but never
they walk with a surprising dignity.
they sleep with a direct simplicity that
humans just can’t

their eyes are more
beautiful than our eyes.
and they can sleep 20 hours
a day
hesitation or

when I am feeling
all I have to do is
watch my cats
and my

I study these

they are my

Art for Winter – Part III of IV: Pyotr Gorban (Russian, 1923-1995)

Below – “Models”

Musings in Winter: Chris Jami

“You might be an introvert if you were ready to go home before you left the house.”

A Fourth Poem for Today

“Living on the Plains”
By William Stafford

That winter when this thought came-how the river
held still every midnight and flowed
backward a minute-we studied algebra
late in our room fixed up in the barn,
and I would feel the curved relation,
the rafters upside down, and the cows in their life
holding the earth round and ready
to meet itself again when morning came.

At breakfast while my mother stirred the cereal
she said, “You’re studying too hard,”
and I would include her face and hands in my glance
and then look past my father’s gaze as
he told again our great race through the stars
and how the world can’t keep up with our dreams.

Musings in Winter: Sylvia Dolson

“Like us, animals feel love, joy, fear and pain, but they cannot grasp the spoken word. It is our obligation to speak on their behalf ensuring their well-being and lives are respected and protected.”

Art for Winter – Part IV of IV: Tatiana Gubareva (Russian, contemporary)

Below – “Mirage”

Musings in Winter: Sanober Khan

“i can’t always tell
what’s better

long drives
in the star-spangled deserts

or long walks
along winding tea gardens.”

Contemporary Russian Art – Part I of II: Ekaterina Gracheva

Artist Statement: “The canvas and the artist is one sacred entity. When an artist surrenders everything to an artwork the time must come for the work to be witnessed. If the work is not perceived or understood, the artist will mourn. This is why we need to be heard and recognized.
I try not to stray from this path. Usually, when people tell me, ‘Do this or that’ I usually respond by saying ‘I am an artist, if you accept my methods and my aesthetic judgment I will take on your challenge.’
Everyone is free to do as they please and do what they find meaningful. This also goes for the world of art.”

Below – “Farewell to Venice”; “Night 1”; “Twilight in Venice”; “Age of Autumn”; “Night 2”; “Champs Elysees.”

Musings in Winter: Jeff VanderMeer

“I looked not for shooting stars but for fixed ones, and I would try to imagine what kind of life lived in those celestial tidal pools so far from us.”

Contemporary Russian Art – Part II of II: Maksim Kayotkin

In the words of one writer, “1972  was born in Snezhinsk (Chelyabinsk area)
1992  graduated from Sverdlovsk Art Academy of I.D. Shadr, Ekaterinburg
1998  graduated from Ural filial of Russian Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, Perm
1999-2001  had an assistantship at painting department of Russian Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in Moscow
2003  assigned to a headmaster position at Ural of Russian Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, Perm.”

Below – “Sky above Shumkovoe”; “Pass”; “Coalfield”; “Locomotive Reserve”; “Boatyard”; “Destination Point.”

Musings in Winter:Jack Canfield

“They (dogs) love us, heal us, teach us, make us laugh and sometimes break our hearts with their passing.”

A Fifth Poem for Today

“The House Dog’s Grave”
By Robinson Jeffers

I’ve changed my ways a little; I cannot now
Run with you in the evenings along the shore,
Except in a kind of dream; and you,
If you dream a moment,
You see me there.
So leave awhile the paw-marks on the front door
Where I used to scratch to go out or in,
And you’d soon open; leave on the kitchen floor
The marks of my drinking-pan.
I cannot lie by your fire as I used to do
On the warm stone,
Nor at the foot of your bed; no,
All the nights through I lie alone.
But your kind thought has laid me less than six feet
Outside your window where firelight so often plays,
And where you sit to read‚
And I fear often grieving for me‚
Every night your lamplight lies on my place.
You, man and woman, live so long, it is hard
To think of you ever dying.
A little dog would get tired, living so long.
I hope that when you are lying
Under the ground like me your lives will appear
As good and joyful as mine.
No, dears, that’s too much hope:
You are not so well cared for as I have been.
And never have known the passionate undivided
Fidelities that I knew.
Your minds are perhaps too active, too many-sided…
But to me you were true.
You were never masters, but friends. I was your friend.
I loved you well, and was loved. Deep love endures
To the end and far past the end. If this is my end,
I am not lonely. I am not afraid. I am still yours.

Contemporary American Art – Sara Ware Howsam

In the words of one writer, “Sara Ware Howsam celebrates the complex and rhythmic beauty of the natural world. Exuberant, harmonious landscapes are created with a joyous excess of patterned shapes and layer upon layer of acrylic glazes. Her influences are many: medieval illuminations, Japanese woodcuts, the gilded paintings of Gustav Klimt and the colorful canvases of the French Impressionists.”

Below – “Blue Horizon #1”; “Canyon Suite”; “First Snow”; “Mesa Verde Dawn #1”; “Thundersnow”; “Glorious Colorado.”

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