Sentient in San Francisco – 2 June 2019

This Date in Art History: Born 2 June 1840 – Emile Munier, a French painter.

Below – “Head of aYoung Girl”; “The Peacock Fan”; “Portrait of a Woman”; “The Hookah Smoker”; “Bacchantie Frolic before a Herm of a Satyr.”

Born 2 June 1840 – Thomas Hardy, an English novelist and poet: Part I of II.

Some quotes from the work of Thomas Hardy:

“If a path to the better there be, it begins with a full look at the worst.”
“Time changes everything except something within us which is always surprised by change.”
“Remember that the best and greatest among mankind are those who do themselves no worldly good. Every successful man is more or less a selfish man. The devoted fail.”
“And yet to every bad there is a worse.”
“I may do some good before I am dead–be a sort of success as a frightful example of what not to do; and so illustrate a moral story.”
“Measurement of life should be proportioned rather to the intensity of the experience than to its actual length.”
“The resolution to avoid an evil is seldom framed till the evil is so far advanced as to make avoidance impossible.”

This Date in Art History: Born 2 June 1904 – Frank Runacres, an English painter.

Below – “Figures on a Balcony”; “The Big Wheel”; “Girl in Venice”; “Ladies on bridge”; “Afternoon Cruise”; “Seaside.”

Born 2 June 1840 – Thomas Hardy, an English novelist and poet: Part II of II.

“The Darkling Thrush”
by Thomas Hardy

I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-grey,
And Winter’s dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.

The land’s sharp features seemed to be
The Century’s corpse outleant,
His crypt the cloudy canopy,
The wind his death-lament.
The ancient pulse of germ and birth
Was shrunken hard and dry,
And every spirit upon earth
Seemed fervourless as I.

At once a voice arose among
The bleak twigs overhead
In a full-hearted evensong
Of joy illimited;
An aged thrush, frail, gaunt, and small,
In blast-beruffled plume,
Had chosen thus to fling his soul
Upon the growing gloom.

So little cause for carolings
Of such ecstatic sound
Was written on terrestrial things
Afar or nigh around,
That I could think there trembled through
His happy good-night air
Some blessed Hope, whereof he knew
And I was unaware.

Below – Image by Linda Richardson.

Contemporary Romanian Art – Laslo Sergiu

Below – “Flowing”; “Touch”; “Old”; “Pine”; “Glacier”; “Nude.”

This Date in Intellectual History: Born 2 June 1953 – Cornel West, an American philosopher, political activist, social critic, author, and public intellectual.

Some quotes from the work of Cornel West:

“There is a price to pay for speaking the truth. There is a bigger price for living a lie.”
“Hope and optimism are different. Optimism tends to be based on the notion that there’s enough evidence out there to believe things are gonna be better, much more rational, deeply secular, whereas hope looks at the evidence and says, ‘It doesn’t look good at all. Doesn’t look good at all. Gonna go beyond the evidence to create new possibilities based on visions that become contagious to allow people to engage in heroic actions always against the odds, no guarantee whatsoever.’ That’s hope. I’m a prisoner of hope, though. Gonna die a prisoner of hope.”
“The country is in deep trouble. We’ve forgotten that a rich life consists fundamentally of serving others, trying to leave the world a little better than you found it. We need the courage to question the powers that be, the courage to be impatient with evil and patient with people, the courage to fight for social justice. In many instances we will be stepping out on nothing, and just hoping to land on something. But that’s the struggle. To live is to wrestle with despair, yet never allow despair to have the last word.”
“Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public.”
“The greatest gift you can give someone is the gift of inspiration.”
“Too many young folk have addiction to superficial things and not enough conviction for substantial things like justice, truth and love.”
“It takes tremendous discipline, takes tremendous courage, to think for yourself, to examine yourself.”
“We have to be militants for kindness, subversive for sweetness and radicals for tenderness.”
“The love of wisdom is a way of life; that is to say, it’s a set of practices that have to do with mustering the courage to think critically about ourselves, society, and the world; mustering the courage to empathize; the courage, I would say, to love; the courage to have compassion with others, especially the widow and the orphan, the fatherless and the motherless, poor and working peoples, gays and lesbians, and so forth – and the courage to hope.”
“You’ve got to be a thermostat rather than a thermometer. A thermostat shapes the climate of opinion; a thermometer just reflects it.”

Contemporary Russian Art – Anna Levitskaia

Below – “The Wonderful Park”; “7 AM”; “Early Morning at Meschutt Beach”; “Calm.”

A Poem for Today

“One Day”
by Patricia Jebbeh Wesley

One day, you will awake from your covering
and that heart of yours will be totally mended,
and there will be no more burning within.
The owl, calling in the setting of the sun
and the deer path, all erased.
And there will be no more need for love
or lovers or fears of losing lovers
and there will be no more burning timbers
with which to light a new fire,
and there will be no more husbands or people
related to husbands, and there will be no more
tears or reason to shed your tears.
You will be as mended as the bridge
the working crew has just reopened.
The thick air will be vanquished with the tide
and the river that was corrupted by lies
will be cleansed and totally free.
And the rooster will call in the setting sun
and the sun will beckon homeward,
hiding behind your one tree that was not felled.

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