Sentient in San Francisco – New Year’s Day 2019

Art for the New Year: Lauren Edmond: “New Year’s Day”


A Poem for the New Year

“New Year’s Morning”

by Kobayashi Issa

New Year’s morning:
the ducks on the pond
quack and quack.

Below – Amy Vangsgard: “Four Ducks on Pond”


Art for the New Year: Helen Bradley: “It was Midnight on New Year’s Eve”

Musings on New Year’s Day: Henry David Thoreau

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.”

Art for the New Year: Pierre Reymond: “New Year’s Day on Broadway”

A Poem for the New Year

“To the New Year”
By W. S. Merwin

With what stillness at last
you appear in the valley
your first sunlight reaching down
to touch the tips of a few
high leaves that do not stir
as though they had not noticed
and did not know you at all
then the voice of a dove calls
from far away in itself
to the hush of the morning

so this is the sound of you
here and now whether or not
anyone hears it this is
where we have come with our age
our knowledge such as it is
and our hopes such as they are
invisible before us
untouched and still possible

Art for the New Year: Carol Borrell: “New Year’s Day Maple Bay”

Musings on New Year’s Day: Wayne Gretzky

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

Art for the New Year: Anna Shukeylo: “Ft. Hunter Road (New Year’s Day)”

A Poem for the New Year

“New Year’s Day”
by Kobayashi Issa

New Year’s Day–
everything is in blossom!
I feel about average.

Art for the New Year: Childe Hassam: “New York Street”

Musings on New Year’s Day: Albert Einstein

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning.”

Art for the New Year: Winslow Homer: “An Open Window”

A Poem for the New Year

“Archaic Torso of Apollo”
by Rainer Maria Rilke

We cannot know his legendary head
with eyes like ripening fruit. And yet his torso
is still suffused with brilliance from inside,
like a lamp, in which his gaze, now turned to low,

gleams in all its power. Otherwise
the curved breast could not dazzle you so, nor could
a smile run through the placid hips and thighs
to that dark center where procreation flared.

Otherwise this stone would seem defaced
beneath the translucent cascade of the shoulders
and would not glisten like a wild beast’s fur:

would not, from all the borders of itself,
burst like a star: for here there is no place
that does not see you. You must change your life.


Art for the New Year: John Singer Sargent: “A Capriote, 1878”

Musings on New Year’s Day: John Burroughs

“One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: To rise above the little things.”

Art for the New Year: Claude Monet: “Sunrise”

A Poem for the New Year

“New Year’s Day”
by Kim Addonizio

The rain this morning falls
on the last of the snow

and will wash it away. I can smell
the grass again, and the torn leaves

being eased down into the mud.
The few loves I’ve been allowed

to keep are still sleeping
on the West Coast. Here in Virginia

I walk across the fields with only
a few young cows for company.

Big-boned and shy,
they are like girls I remember

from junior high, who never
spoke, who kept their heads

lowered and their arms crossed against
their new breasts. Those girls

are nearly forty now. Like me,
they must sometimes stand

at a window late at night, looking out
on a silent backyard, at one

rusting lawn chair and the sheer walls
of other people’s houses.

They must lie down some afternoons
and cry hard for whoever used

to make them happiest,
and wonder how their lives

have carried them
this far without ever once

explaining anything. I don’t know
why I’m walking out here

with my coat darkening
and my boots sinking in, coming up

with a mild sucking sound
I like to hear. I don’t care

where those girls are now.
Whatever they’ve made of it

they can have. Today I want
to resolve nothing.

I only want to walk
a little longer in the cold

blessing of the rain,
and lift my face to it.


Happy New Year, my friends. I hope that 2019 proves to be a year in which you overcome challenges, meet with notable success in all your important endeavors, and find joy in realizing your fondest dreams.

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