Beleaguered in Bothell – 26 November 2017

Musings in Autumn: Mary Oliver

“What would the world be like without music or rivers or the green and tender grass? Would would this would be like without dogs?”

Art for Autumn – Part I of VI: Rene Lalonde (Canadian, contemporary)

Below – “Sans Titre”; “What Toys Do While We Sleep”

For Your Information: 26 November is both National Cake Day in the United States and International Anti-Obesity Day. To compound the irony, Maurice McDonald, an American businessman and co-founder of McDonald’s, was born on 26 November 1902.

Art for Autumn – Part II of VI: Wilfredo Lam (Cuban, 1902-1982)

“Barcelona (With Green)”; Untitled

Remembering a Cultural Icon on the Date of HIs Birth: Born 26 November 1922 – Charles M. Schulz, an American cartoonist and the creator of “Peanuts.”

Art for Autumn – Part III of VI: Georges Lambert (French, 1919-1998)

Below – “Sunflowers”

Musings in Autumn: Christopher Lasch

“Much of what is euphemistically known as the middle class, merely because it dresses up to go to work, is now reduced to proletarian conditions of existence. Many white-collar jobs require no more skill and pay even less than blue-collar jobs, conferring little status or security.”

Art for Autumn – Part IV of VI: Ronnie Landfield (American, contemporary)

Below – “High Tide”

Worth a Thousand Words: The “Toy Train” in Darjeeling, India.

Art for Autumn – Part V of VI: Wilfred Lang (Chinese, contemporary)

Below – “Dusk in the City”; Untitled Landscape

A Poem for Today

“The Purse-Seine”
By Robinson Jeffers

Our sardine fishermen work at night in the dark
of the moon; daylight or moonlight
They could not tell where to spread the net,
unable to see the phosphorescence of the
shoals of fish.
They work northward from Monterey, coasting
Santa Cruz; off New Year’s Point or off
Pigeon Point
The look-out man will see some lakes of milk-color
light on the sea’s night-purple; he points,
and the helmsman
Turns the dark prow, the motorboat circles the
gleaming shoal and drifts out her seine-net.
They close the circle
And purse the bottom of the net, then with great
labor haul it in.

I cannot tell you
How beautiful the scene is, and a little terrible,
then, when the crowded fish
Know they are caught, and wildly beat from one wall
to the other of their closing destiny the
Water to a pool of flame, each beautiful slender body
sheeted with flame, like a live rocket
A comet’s tail wake of clear yellow flame; while outside
the narrowing
Floats and cordage of the net great sea-lions come up
to watch, sighing in the dark; the vast walls
of night
Stand erect to the stars.

Lately I was looking from a night mountain-top
On a wide city, the colored splendor, galaxies of light:
how could I help but recall the seine-net
Gathering the luminous fish? I cannot tell you how
beautiful the city appeared, and a little terrible.
I thought, We have geared the machines and locked all together
into inter-dependence; we have built the great cities; now
There is no escape. We have gathered vast populations incapable
of free survival, insulated
From the strong earth, each person in himself helpless, on all
dependent. The circle is closed, and the net
Is being hauled in. They hardly feel the cords drawing, yet
they shine already. The inevitable mass-disasters
Will not come in our time nor in our children’s, but we
and our children
Must watch the net draw narrower, government take all
powers–or revolution, and the new government
Take more than all, add to kept bodies kept souls–or anarchy,
the mass-disasters.
These things are Progress;
Do you marvel our verse is troubled or frowning, while it keeps
its reason? Or it lets go, lets the mood flow
In the manner of the recent young men into mere hysteria,
splintered gleams, crackled laughter. But they are
quite wrong.
There is no reason for amazement: surely one always knew
that cultures decay, and life’s end is death.

Art for Autumn – Part VI of VI: Carole LaRoche (American, contemporary)

Below – “Blue Wolfpack with Flowers”; “Galaxy”

Musings in Autumn: Christopher Isherwood

“An afternoon drive from Los Angeles will take you up into the high mountains, where eagles circle above the forests and the cold blue lakes, or out over the Mojave Desert, with its weird vegetation and immense vistas. Not very far away are Death Valley, and Yosemite, and Sequoia Forest with its giant trees which were growing long before the Parthenon was built; they are the oldest living things in the world. One should visit such places often, and be conscious, in the midst of the city, of their surrounding presence. For this is the real nature of California and the secret of its fascination; this untamed, undomesticated, aloof, prehistoric landscape which relentlessly reminds the traveller of his human condition and the circumstances of his tenure upon the earth. ‘You are perfectly welcome,’ it tells him, ‘during your short visit. Everything is at your disposal. Only, I must warn you, if things go wrong, don’t blame me. I accept no responsibility. I am not part of your neurosis. Don’t cry to me for safety. There is no home here. There is no security in your mansions or your fortresses, your family vaults or your banks or your double beds. Understand this fact, and you will be free. Accept it, and you will be happy.’”

This Date in Art History: Born 26 November 2017 – George Segal, an American sculptor and painter.

Below – “Woman Resting”; “Holocaust Memorial” (Legion of Honor Museum, San Francisco); “Woman Brushing Her Hair on Green Chair”; “Three Figures and Four Benches”; “The Curtain.”

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