Beleaguered in Bothell – 24 February 2018

Musings in Winter: Stephen Hawking

“If the government is covering up knowledge of aliens, they are doing a better job of it than they do at anything else.”

Art for Winter – Part I of IV: Tom Sierak (American, contemporary)

Below – “Marginal Way”; “Silhouettes”; “Rehearsal Portrait”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of Her Birth: Born 24 February 1837 – Rosalia de Castro, a Galician writer and poet.

“The Atmosphere Is Incandescent”
by Rosalia de Castro

The atmosphere is incandescent;
The fox explores an empty road;
Sick grow the waters
That sparkled in the clear arroyo,
Unfluttered stands the pine
Waiting for fickle winds to blow.

A majesty of silence
Overpowers the meadow;
Only the hum of an insect troubles
The spreading, dripping forest shadow,
Relentless and monotonous
As muffled rattle in a dying throat.

In such a summer the hour of midday
Could as well go
By the name of night, to struggle-weary
Man who has never known
Greater vexation from the vast cares
Of the soul, or from matter’s majestic force.

Would it were winter again! The nights! The cold!
O those old loves of ours so long ago!
Come back to make this fevered blood run fresh,
Bring back your sharp severities and snows
To these intolerable summer sorrows…
Sorrows!…While vine and corn stand thick and gold!

The cold, the heat; the autumn or the spring;
Where, where has delight set up its home?
Beautiful are all seasons to the man
Who shelters happiness within his soul;
But the deserted, orphaned spirit feels
No season smile upon its luckless door.


Art for Winter – Part II of IV: Pietro Signorelli (Italian, contemporary)

Below – “Magiche Trasparenze”; “Serenata”; “Allegoria Autunnale”

Musings in Winter: May Sarton

“Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace.”

Below – Camille Pissarro: “Woman Working in a Garden”

Art for Winter – Part III of IV: Wilson Silsby (American, 1883-1952)

Below – “A Day in the Park”; “Rue Broca, Paris”; “Paris Seashore”

Worth a Thousand Words: This award-winning photograph by Cathryn Baldock shows the beauty and intricacy of overlaid lily pads.

Art for Winter – Part IV of IV: Jonathan Singer (American, contemporary)

Below (all photographs) – “Fringed Poppy”; “Chinese Tree Peony”; “Artichoke in Bloom”

Musings in Winter: Confucius

“Roads were made for journeys – not destinations.”

Italian Art – Nicola Simbari (1927-2012)

In the words of one writer, “Nicola Simbari was considered by many to be Italy’s most important living artist. A painter of semiabstract impressionist works; he was a stunning colorist who favors brilliant tones, richly layered with a palette knife. Like the great impressionists of a century ago, Simbari’s paintings are drenched in light and energy, but provide new definition through his intensity of vision and dramatic technique.”

Below – “Circeo”; “Calabrian Girl”; “Seaside Shade”; “Josephina”; “Nettuno”; “Love Birds.”

A Poem for Today

“Waking at 3 a.m.”
by William Stafford

Even in the cave of the night when you
wake and are free and lonely,
neglected by others, discarded, loved only
by what doesn’t matter–even in that
big room no one can see,
you push with your eyes till forever
comes in its twisted figure eight
and lies down in your head.

You think water in the river;
you think slower than the tide in
the grain of the wood; you become
a secret storehouse that saves the country,
so open and foolish and empty.

You look over all that the darkness
ripples across. More than has ever
been found comforts you. You open your
eyes in a vault that unlocks as fast
and as far as your thought can run.
A great snug wall goes around everything,
has always been there, will always
remain. It is a good world to be
lost in. It comforts you. It is
all right. And you sleep.


This Date in Art History: Born 24 February 1836 – Winslow Homer, an American painter and illustrator.

Below – “Girl in the Hammock”; “The Fog Warning”; “The Gulf Stream”; “Moonlight”; “The Blue Boy”; “The Hudson River.”

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