Sentient in San Francisco – 29 May 2019

This Date in Art History: Died 29 May 1921 – Abbott Handerson Thayer, an American painter: Part I of II.

Below – “Monadnock in Winter”; “My Children”; “Blue Jays in Winter”; “The Garden”; “A Virgin” (a painted allusion to “Winged Victory of Samothrace”).


Musings in Spring: Oswald Spengler, a German historian and philosopher, who was born on 29 May 1880.

“This is our purpose: to make as meaningful as possible this life that has been bestowed upon us . . . to live in such a way that we may be proud of ourselves, to act in such a way that some part of us lives on.”


This Date in Art History: Died 29 May 1921 – Abbott Handerson Thayer, an American painter: Part II of II.

Below – “Girl Arranging Her Hair”; “Male Wood Duck in a Forest Pool”; “Spring Hillside”; “Study of Alma Wollerman”; “View to Monadnock.”

A Poem for Today

“Lone Egret”
by Kathleen M. McCann

Classically stagy, goose-neck
elegant, river’s third eye.
Pencil thin head. S
for a throat. Skeleton of a saint.

Plodder, preening posturer.
One foot,
another.
Up from the dank weeds.

Below – Brooke Heindl Newman: “Egret” (hanging just above my writing desk)


Contemporary German Art – A Weyer: Part I of II.

Below –  “Cleopatra.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 29 May 2008 – Paula Gunn Allen, a Native American poet, literary critic, and novelist.

Some quotes from the work of Paula Gunn Allen:

“Truth, acceptance of the truth, is a shattering experience. It shatters the binding shroud of culture trance. It rips apart smugness, arrogance, superiority, and self-importance. It requires acknowledgment of responsibility for the nature and quality of each of our own lives, our own inner lives as well as the life of the world. Truth, inwardly accepted, humbling truth, makes one vulnerable. You can’t be right, self-righteous, and truthful at the same time.”
“Snowflakes, leaves, humans, plants, raindrops, stars, molecules, microscopic entities all come in communities. The singular cannot in reality exist.”
“For the American Indian, the ability of all creatures to share in the process of ongoing creation makes all things sacred.”
“My mother told me stories all the time… And in all of those stories she told me who I was, who I was supposed to be, whom I came from, and who would follow me… That’s what she said and what she showed me in the things she did and the way she lives.”
“America does not seem to remember that it derived its wealth, its values, its food, much of its medicine, and a large part of its ‘dream’ from Native Americans.”
“America has amnesia. … Certainly, there is a passion for memory loss in American thought. … Americans may be the world champion forgetters.”
“Humor is widely used by Indians to deal with life. Indian gatherings are marked by laughter and jokes, many directed at the horrors of history, at the continuing impact of colonization, and at the biting knowledge [of what] living as an exile in one’s own land necessitates. . . . Certainly the time frame we presently inhabit has much that is shabby and tricky to offer; and much that needs to be treated with laughter and ironic humor.”
“We are the land. To the best of my understanding, that is the fundamental idea that permeates American Indian life.”
“What the Indians are saying is that they are recognizing the right of wilderness to be wilderness. Wilderness is not an extension of human need or of human justification. It is itself and it is inviolate, itself. This does not mean that, therefore, we become separated from it, because we don’t. We stay connected if, once in our lives, we learn exactly what that connection is between our heart, our womb, our mind, and wilderness. And when each of us has her wilderness within her, we can be together in a balanced kind of way. The forever, we have that within us.”

Contemporary German Art – A Weyer: Part II of II.

Below – “Sea.”

A Poem for Today

“Counting Backwards”
by Linda Pastan

How did I get so old,
I wonder,
contemplating
my 67th birthday.
Dyslexia smiles:
I’m 76 in fact.

There are places
where at 60 they start
counting backwards;
in Japan
they start again
from one.

But the numbers
hardly matter.
It’s the physics
of acceleration I mind,
the way time speeds up
as if it hasn’t guessed

the destination—
where look!
I see my mother
and father bearing a cake,
waiting for me
at the starting line.

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