28 June2017 – Beleaguered in Bothell: Part VII

Musings in Summer: Carl Sagan

“Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light‐years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. So are our emotions in the presence of great art or music or literature, or acts of exemplary selfless courage such as those of Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.”

Art for Summer – Part I of VI: Yvan Favre (French, contemporary)

Below – “No. 6”

Musings in Summer: H.L Mencken

“The way to deal with superstition is not to be polite to it, but to tackle it with all arms, and so rout it, cripple it, and make it forever infamous and ridiculous. Is it, perchance, cherished by persons who should know better? Then their folly should be brought out into the light of day, and exhibited there in all its hideousness until they flee from it, hiding their heads in shame. True enough, even a superstitious man has certain inalienable rights. He has a right to harbor and indulge his imbecilities as long as he pleases, provided only he does not try to inflict them upon other men by force. He has a right to argue for them as eloquently as he can, in season and out of season. He has a right to teach them to his children. But certainly he has no right to be protected against the free criticism of those who do not hold them. He has no right to demand that they be treated as sacred. He has no right to preach them without challenge.”

Art for Summer – Part II of VI: Dan McCaw (American, contemporary)

Below – “Nude”

A Poem for Today

“Sometimes, When the Light”
By Lisel Mueller

Sometimes, when the light strikes at odd angles
and pulls you back into childhood

and you are passing a crumbling mansion
completely hidden behind old willows

or an empty convent guarded by hemlocks
and giant firs standing hip to hip,

you know again that behind that wall,
under the uncut hair of the willows

something secret is going on,
so marvelous and dangerous

that if you crawled through and saw,
you would die, or be happy forever.

Art for Summer – Part III of VI: Dixie Gay (American, contemporary)

Below – Untitled

Musings in Summer: Miguel de Unamuno

“The less we read, the more harmful it is what we read.”

Below – Ferdinand Heilbuth (French, 1826-1889): “The Reader”

Art for Summer – Part IV of VI: Claude Gaveau (French, contemporary)

Below – “Blue Nude”

Musings in Summer: John J. Geddes

“I covet solitude and storms…and rain, with its geography of dark silence and distance.”

Art for Summer – Part V of VI: Daniel Gerhartz (American, contemporary)

Below – “Laurel”

A Second Poem for Today

“I Was Never Able To Pray”
By Edward Hirsch

Wheel me down to the shore
where the lighthouse was abandoned
and the moon tolls in the rafters.

Let me hear the wind paging through the trees
and see the stars flaring out, one by one,
like the forgotten faces of the dead.

I was never able to pray,
but let me inscribe my name
in the book of waves

and then stare into the dome
of a sky that never ends
and see my voice sail into the night.

Art for Summer – Part VI of VI: Bill Gersh (American, 1943-1994)

Below – “I See by Your Outfit That You Are a Cowboy”

Musings in Summer: Annie Dillard

“Push it. Examine all things intensely and relentlessly.”

Contemporary American Art – Ron Hicks

In the words of one writer, “Representational painter Ron Hicks’s figures and interiors seek to achieve a balance between revealing too much detail and revealing too little, reviving many of the artistic considerations of 19th-century French Impressionism. Perhaps as an antidote to this tension, Hicks emphasizes the forms and light of a particular space and sitter. ‘I am a shape guy,’ he says. ‘By that I mean I see things more in terms of shape rather than the objects or people. Everything is about shape, medium shape vs. large shape, lighter shape vs. darker shape.’ His paintings have an emotional and moody tone, which he achieves through his vigorous brushstrokes and his use of multiple shades of gray.

Below – “Winter Woman”; “Twilight Conversation”; “Longing to See Myself before I See Me”; “Ordinary People”; “Compliments of the Gentleman”; “Ms M.”

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