This Date in Art History: Born 18 February 1860 – Anders Zorn, a Swedish artist.
Below – “Castles in the Air”; “Reveil (Awakening), the artist’s wife”; “Omnibus I”; “Sommarnöje”; “En premiar”: “Self Portrait with Faun and Nymph.”
A Poem for Today
by Pauletta Hansel
My mother likes a man who works. She likes
my husband’s muddy knees, grass stains on the cuffs.
She loved my father, though when weekends came
he’d sleep till nine and would not lift
his eyes up from the page to move the feet
she’d vacuum under. On Saturdays my husband
digs the holes for her new roses,
softening the clay with peat and compost.
He changes bulbs she can no longer reach
and understands the inside of her toaster.
My father’s feet would carry him from chair
to bookshelf, back again till Monday came.
My mother likes to tell my husband
sit down in this chair and put your feet up.
Below – Vincent van Gogh: “Gardener”
Below – “Big Bow”; “She was sure it was the same gentleman!”; “Gloria In Her Gloves”; “Party Time”; “Cutlery Spin 8”; “Should Have Brought a Coat.”
Remembering a Nobel Laureate on the Date of Her Birth: Born 18 February 1931 – Toni Morrison, an American novelist, essayist, editor, recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, and recipient of the 1993 Nobel Prize for Literature.
Some quotes from the work of Toni Morrison:
“If you want to fly, you have to give up the things that weigh you down.”
“How exquisitely human was the wish for permanent happiness, and how thin human imagination became trying to achieve it.”
“There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.”
“There is no such thing as race. None. There is just a human race – scientifically, anthropologically. Racism is a construct, a social construct… it has a social function, racism.”
“The function of freedom is to free someone else.”
“Freedom is choosing your responsibility. It’s not having no responsibilities; it’s choosing the ones you want.”
“Books ARE a form of political action. Books are knowledge. Books are reflection. Books change your mind.”
“Please don’t settle for happiness. It’s not good enough. Of course you deserve it, but if that’s all you have in mind – happiness – I want to suggest to you that personal success devoid of meaningfulness, free of a steady commitment to social justice – that’s more than a barren life. It’s a trivial one.”
“Your life is already artful – waiting, just waiting, for you to make it art.”
Contemporary British Art – Bridget Davies: Part II of II.
Below – “If the Shoe Fits”; “The Shard at Night”; “London Taxi”; “Jealous no doubt!”; “Let it Snow, Let it Snow!”; “Three Vintage Whisks.”
Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Birth: Born 18 February 1883 – Nikos Kazantzakis, a Greek writer, philosopher, playwright, and author of “Zorba the Greek.”
Some quotes from the work of Nikos Kazantzakis:
“I felt once more how simple and frugal a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea. Nothing else.”
“What is love? It is not simply compassion, not simply kindness. In compassion there are two: the one who suffers and the one who feels compassion. In kindness there are two: the one who gives and the one who receives. But in love there is only one; the two join, unite, become inseparable. The I and the you vanish. To love means to lose oneself in the beloved.”
“My soul comes from better worlds and I have an incurable homesickness of the stars.”
“All my life one of my greatest desires has been to travel – to see and touch unknown countries, to swim in unknown seas, to circle the globe, observing new lands, seas, people, and ideas with insatiable appetite, to see everything for the first time and for the last time, casting a slow, prolonged glance, then to close my eyes and feel the riches deposit themselves inside me calmly or stormily according to their pleasure, until time passes them at last through its fine sieve, straining the quintessence out of all the joys and sorrows.”
“True teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross; then, having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create their own.”
“Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality.”
“Be always restless, unsatisfied, unconforming. Whenever a habit becomes convenient, smash it! The greatest sin of all is satisfaction.
The landscape affects the human psyche – the soul, the body and the innermost contemplations – like music. Every time you feel nature deeper you resonate better with her, finding new elements of balance and freedom.”
“Happy is the man, I thought, who, before dying, has the good fortune to sail the Aegean sea.”
“I am a weak, ephemeral creature made of mud and dream. But I feel all the powers of the universe whirling within me.”
“This is true happiness: to have no ambition and to work like a horse as if you had every ambition. To live far from men, not to need them and yet to love them. To have the stars above, the land to your left and the sea to your right and to realize of a sudden that in your heart, life has accomplished its final miracle: it has become a fairy tale.”
Below (collages) – “Metamorphic Landscape”; “Coexistence”; “Path of Experience”; “Ascension”; “The Sound if Shapes”; “Washed Clean.”
Remembering a Writer on the Date of His Birth: Born 18 February 1926 – A. R. Ammons, an American poet, critic, and two-time recipient of the National Book Award.
“In View of the Fact”
by A. R. Ammons
The people of my time are passing away: my
wife is baking for a funeral, a 60-year-old who
died suddenly, when the phone rings, and it’s
Ruth we care so much about in intensive care:
it was once weddings that came so thick and
fast, and then, first babies, such a hullabaloo:
now, it’s this that and the other and somebody
else gone or on the brink: well, we never
thought we would live forever (although we did)
and now it looks like we won’t: some of us
are losing a leg to diabetes, some don’t know
what they went downstairs for, some know that
a hired watchful person is around, some like
to touch the cane tip into something steady,
so nice: we have already lost so many,
brushed the loss of ourselves ourselves: our
address books for so long a slow scramble now
are palimpsests, scribbles and scratches: our
index cards for Christmases, birthdays,
Halloweens drop clean away into sympathies:
at the same time we are getting used to so
many leaving, we are hanging on with a grip
to the ones left: we are not giving up on the
congestive heart failure or brain tumors, on
the nice old men left in empty houses or on
the widows who decide to travel a lot: we
think the sun may shine someday when we’ll
drink wine together and think of what used to
be: until we die we will remember every
single thing, recall every word, love every
loss: then we will, as we must, leave it to
others to love, love that can grow brighter
and deeper till the very end, gaining strength
and getting more precious all the way. . . .
Below – Art Scholz: “Memories”