Sentient in San Francisco – 26 November 2018

Contemporary Norwegian Art – June Sira

Below – “The River”; “Jil Blue”; “The Annunciation”; “Fireflies”; “A Young Girl Reading”; “Fountain.”

A Poem for Today

by Dorianne Laux

For days now a red-breasted bird
has been trying to break in.
She tests a low branch, violet blossoms
swaying beside her, leaps into the air and flies
straight at my window, beak and breast
held back, claws raking the pane.
Maybe she longs for the tree she sees
reflected in the glass, but I’m only guessing.
I watch until she gives up and swoops off.
I wait for her return, the familiar
click, swoosh, thump of her. I sip cold coffee
and scan the room, trying to see it new,
through the eyes of a bird. Nothing has changed.
Books piled in a corner, coats hooked
over chair backs, paper plates, a cup
half-filled with sour milk.
The children are in school. The man is at work.
I’m alone with dead roses in a jam jar.
What do I have that she could want enough
to risk such failure, again and again?

This Date in Art History: Died 26 November 2011 – Manon Cleary, an American painter.

Below – “Figure Study”; “Menage”; Untitled; “Randy and the Rat”; “Rat”; “Self-Portrait.”

Remembering a Figure from the American Old West: Born 26 November 1853 – Bartholemew Barclay “Bat” Masterson, a U.S. Army scout, gunfighter, lawman, professional gambler, and journalist.

Three quotes from the work of Bat Masterson:

“There are many in this old world of ours who hold that things break about even for all of us. I have observed, for example, that we all get the same amount of ice. The rich get it in the summertime and the poor get it in the winter.”
“Every dog, we are told, has his day, unless there are more dogs than days.”
“Shoot first and never miss.”

This Date in Art History: Died 26 November 2013 – Saul Leiter, an American photographer and painter.

Below – “Girl”; “Jay”; “Mirrors”; “Don’t Walk”; “Red Umbrella”; “Foot on El.”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of Her Birth: Born 26 November 1943 – Marilynne Robinson, an American novelist, essayist, recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award, recipient of the National Book Award, and two-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

Some quotes from the work of Marilynne Robinson:

“We experience pain and difficulty as failure instead of saying, I will pass through this, everyone I have ever admired has passed through this, music has come out of it, literature has come out of it. We should think of our humanity as a privilege.”
“Theologians talk about a prevenient grace that precedes grace itself and allows us to accept it. I think there must also be a prevenient courage that allows us to be brave – that is, to acknowledge that there is more beauty than our eyes can bear, that precious things have been put into our hands and to do nothing to honor them is to do great harm. And therefore, this courage allows us, as the old men said, to make ourselves useful. It allows us to be generous, which is another way of saying exactly the same thing.”
“There is so little to remember of anyone – an anecdote, a conversation at a table. But every memory is turned over and over again, every word, however chance, written in the heart in the hope that memory will fulfill itself, and become flesh, and that the wanderers will find a way home, and the perished, whose lack we always feel, will step through the door finally and stroke our hair with dreaming habitual fondness not having meant to keep us waiting long.”
“Sometimes I have loved the peacefulness of an ordinary Sunday. It is like standing in a newly planted garden after a warm rain. You can feel the silent and invisible life.”
“It was a source of both terror and comfort to me then that I often seemed invisible – incompletely and minimally existent, in fact. It seemed to me that I made no impact on the world, and that in exchange I was privileged to watch it unawares.”
“Every sorrow suggests a thousand songs and every song recalls a thousand sorrows and so they are infinite in number and all the same.”
“We are part of a mystery, a splendid mystery within which we must attempt to orient ourselves if we are to have a sense of our own nature.”
“This is an interesting planet. It deserves all the attention you can give it.”

Contemporary American Art – Victoria Selbach

Below – “Betsy”; “Perspective 2, Wicked Nurse of the West”; “Nocturne Landscape 2, Longview at Hillcrest”; “The Slip”; “Dervish 4”; “Chandi; My Heart Burns.”

A Poem for Today

“You Never Get One Thing”
by Greg Kosmicki

This notebook is so old the paper is yellow.
I wonder where the tree grew.

Seems like you never get one thing without losing another.
There’s some sort of law about that
to do with finite resources.

Somewhere some guys have figured out to the exact ounce
how much my life has cost the earth,
how many people have died that I might live.

Start with my parents, and theirs, and all who died
because of them. It’s like we drip in blood.
Who can wake up then tomorrow morning,
do the tasks set out before them
as if it was their work and their work only?
Who has the courage to look out to the east again
at someone else’s sun?

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