Sentient in San Francisco – 2 December 2018

This Date in Art History: Born 2 December 1859 – Georges Seurat, a French painter.

Below – “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte”; “The Circus”; “Gray weather, Grande Jatte”; “View of Fort Samson”; “Bathers at Asnieres”; “Models.”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of Her Birth: Born 2 December 1963 – Ann Patchett, an award-winning American author.

Some quotes from the work of Ann Patchett:

“Never be so focused on what you’re looking for that you overlook the thing you actually find.”
“No matter how much we love a book, the experience of reading it isn’t complete until we can give it to someone who will love it as much as we do.”
“Reading fiction is important. It is a vital means of imagining a life other than our own, which in turn makes us more empathetic beings.” “Following complex story lines stretches our brains beyond the 140 characters of sound-bite thinking, and staying within the world of a novel gives us the ability to be quiet and alone, two skills that are disappearing faster than the polar icecaps.”
“Just because things hadn’t gone the way I had planned didn’t necessarily mean they had gone wrong.”
“Sometimes not having any idea where we’re going works out better than we could possibly have imagined.”

Contemporary Italian Art – Mimmo Frassineti

Below – “Basket of Fruits”; “Sinbad’s Lost Diary”; “Albert Einstein”; “Citta Nuova”; “Queen of Hearts”; “Sigmund Freud.”

Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Death: Died 2 December 1985 – Philip Larkin, an English poet and novelist.

“An Arundel Tomb”
by Philip Larkin

Side by side, their faces blurred,
The earl and countess lie in stone,
Their proper habits vaguely shown
As jointed armour, stiffened pleat,
And that faint hint of the absurd—
The little dogs under their feet.

Such plainness of the pre-baroque,
Hardly involves the eye, until
It meets his left-hand gauntlet, still
Clasped empty in the other; and
One sees, with a sharp tender shock,
His hand withdrawn, holding her hand.

They would not think to lie so long.
Such faithfulness in effigy
Was just a detail friends would see:
A sculptor’s sweet commissioned grace
Thrown off in helping to prolong
The Latin names around the base.

They would not guess how early in
Their supine stationary voyage
The air would change to soundless damage,
Turn the old tenantry away;
How soon succeeding eyes begin
To look, not read. Rigidly they

Persisted, linked, through lengths and breadths
Of time. Snow fell, undated. Light
Each summer thronged the glass. A bright
Litter of birdcalls strewed the same
Bone-riddled ground. And up the paths
The endless altered people came,

Washing at their identity.
Now, helpless in the hollow of
An unarmorial age, a trough
Of smoke in slow suspended skeins
Above their scrap of history,
Only an attitude remains:

Time has transfigured them into
Untruth. The stone fidelity
They hardly meant has come to be
Their final blazon, and to prove
Our almost-instinct almost true:
What will survive of us is love.

Contemporary British Art – Yuliya Martynova

Below – “Blue Bay | Sunny Beach”; “Mountain Spring”; “Connected”; “Blue Bay | Sardinia”; “Ripples”; “Ripples | Maranhenses.”

A Poem for Today

“Everyday Grace”
by Stella Nesanovich

It can happen like that:
meeting at the market,
buying tires amid the smell
of rubber, the grating sound
of jack hammers and drills,
anywhere we share stories,
and grace flows between us.

The tire center waiting room
becomes a healing place
as one speaks of her husband’s
heart valve replacement, bedsores
from complications. A man
speaks of multiple surgeries,
notes his false appearance
as strong and healthy.

I share my sister’s death
from breast cancer, her
youngest only seven.
A woman rises, gives
her name, Mrs. Henry,
then takes my hand.
Suddenly an ordinary day
becomes holy ground.

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