Sentient in San Francisco – 31 May 2019

This Date in Art History: Born 31 May 1860 – Walter Sickert, an English painter: Part I of II.

Below – “The Proposal”; “The Wardrobe”; “Brighton Pierrots”; “Ennui”; “The Acting Manager or Rehearsal: The End of the Act, (portrait of Helen Carte)”; “Seated Nude.”


This Date in American Cultural History: Died 31 May 1996 – Timothy Leary, an American psychologist and author who, in the words of one writer, was “known for advocating the exploration of the therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs under controlled conditions.”

Some quotes from the work of Timothy Leary:

“You’re only as young as the last time you changed your mind.”
“Information is Power. Think For Yourself. CAUTION: proper use of the brain is not endorsed by federal governments nor huge corporations involved in serious financial profit from a brainwashed and enslaved population. Mild discomfort may occur as confusing independent thought challenges popular views of the world.”
“Throughout human history, as our species has faced the frightening, terrorizing fact that we do not know who we are, or where we are going in this ocean of chaos, it has been the authorities – the political, the religious, the educational authorities – who attempted to comfort us by giving us order, rules, regulations, informing – forming in our minds – their view of reality. To think for yourself you must question authority and learn how to put yourself in a state of vulnerable open-mindedness, chaotic, confused vulnerability to inform yourself.”
“TURN ON. to contact the ancient energies and wisdoms that are built into your nervous system. They provide unspeakable pleasure and revelation. TUNE IN. to harness and communicate these new perspectives in a harmonious dance with the external world. DROP OUT. detach yourself from the tribal game. current models of social adjustment – mechanized, computerized, socialized, intellectualized, televised, sanforized – make no sense to the new LSD generation who see clearly that American society is becoming an air-conditioned anthill.”
“Psychedelic drugs cause paranoia, confusion, and total loss of reality in politicians that have never taken them.”
“You cannot use butterfly language to communicate with caterpillars.
“My favorite three words in the English language are: ’I don’t know’, because every time I say them, I learn something new.”
“You are a powerful, unlimited and eternal soul who is here to enjoy the experience of creativity and contribute to humanity’s evolution.”

This Date in Art History: Born 31 May 1860 – Walter Sickert, an English painter: Part II of II.

Below – “Two Women on a Sofa”; “Girl at a Window, Little Rachel”; “The American”; “Tipperary”; “Baccarat – The Fur Cape”; “Young Belgium Women.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 31 May 1819 – Walt Whitman, an American poet, essayist, and journalist: Part I of II.

Some quotes from the work of Walt Whitman:

“Happiness, not in another place but this place…not for another hour, but this hour.”
“Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.”
“This is what you should do: love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men … re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss what insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem.”
“Either define the moment or the moment will define you.”
“Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you. You must travel it by yourself. It is not far. It is within reach. Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know. Perhaps it is everywhere – on water and land.”
“Every hour of every day is an unspeakably perfect miracle.”
“Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road. Healthy, free, the world before me. The long brown path before me leading me wherever I choose. Henceforth, I ask not good fortune, I myself am good fortune. Henceforth, I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing.”

This Date in Art History: Born 31 May 1892 – Michel Kikoine, a Litvak-French painter.

Below – “Portrait of a Young Girl”; “Figures by Lake”; “Home”; “Figures Amidst Trees”; “Portrait of a lady”; “Horsemen.”


This Date in Literary History: Born 31 May 1819 – Walt Whitman, an American poet, essayist, and journalist: Part II of II.

“Verse 53” from “Song of Myself”
by Walt Whitman
The spotted hawk swoops by and accuses me—he complains of my gab and my loitering.
I too am not a bit tamed—I too am untranslatable;
I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.

The last scud of day holds back for me;
It flings my likeness after the rest, and true as any, on the shadow’d wilds;
It coaxes me to the vapor and the dusk.

I depart as air—I shake my white locks at the runaway sun;
I effuse my flesh in eddies, and drift it in lacy jags.

I bequeathe myself to the dirt, to grow from the grass I love;
If you want me again, look for me under your boot-soles.

You will hardly know who I am, or what I mean;
But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,
And filter and fibre your blood.

Failing to fetch me at first, keep encouraged;
Missing me one place, search another;
I stop somewhere, waiting for you.

Below – Robert Lacy: “Walt Whitman”

Contemporary French Art – Pascale Taurua

Below – “Flowers”; “Soft Pink”; “Rainbow”; “Flying”; “La pose”; “Dans la pénombre.”

A Poem for Today

“More Lies”
by Karin Gottshall

Sometimes I say I’m going to meet my sister at the café—
even though I have no sister—just because it’s such
a beautiful thing to say. I’ve always thought so, ever since

I read a novel in which two sisters were constantly meeting
in cafés. Today, for example, I walked alone
on the wet sidewalk, wearing my rain boots, expecting

someone might ask where I was headed. I bought
a steno pad and a watch battery, the store windows
fogged up. Rain in April is a kind of promise, and it costs

nothing. I carried a bag of books to the café and ordered
tea. I like a place that’s lit by lamps. I like a place
where you can hear people talk about small things,

like the difference between azure and cerulean,
and the price of tulips. It’s going down. I watched
someone who could be my sister walk in, shaking the rain

from her hair. I thought, even now florists are filling
their coolers with tulips, five dollars a bundle. All over
the city there are sisters. Any one of them could be mine.

Below – Daniel Gerhartz: “Woman reading and drinking tea”

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