Sentient in San Francisco – 18 July 2019

Contemporary American Art – Richard Stravitz

Below (bronze sculptures) – “Grace”; “Salacia at Rest”; “Cross Court”; “Hang Time.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 18 July 1817 – Jane Austen, an English novelist and author of “Pride and Prejudice” and “Emma.”

Some quotes from the work of Jane Austen:

“Look into your own heart because who looks outside, dreams, but who looks inside awakes.”
“It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.”
“Our scars make us know that our past was for real.”
“Her eye fell everywhere on lawns and plantations of the freshest green; and the trees, though not fully clothed, were in that delightful state when farther beauty is known to be at hand, and when, while much is actually given to the sight, more yet remains for the imagination.”
“Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves; vanity, to what we would have others think of us.”
“And sometimes I have kept my feelings to myself, because I could find no language to describe them in.”
“None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.”

Contemporary Romanian Art – Felicia Simion

Below (photographs) – “The pursuit”; “Flux”; “Stardust”; “Flight”; “Selfie in the park”; “Immersion into blue”; “Melancholia.”

Poem for Today

“The Letter From Home”
by Nancyrose Houston

The dogs barked, the dogs scratched, the dogs got wet, the
dogs shook, the dogs circled, the dogs slept, the dogs ate,
the dogs barked; the rain fell down, the leaves fell down, the
eggs fell down and cracked on the floor; the dust settled,
the wood floors were scratched, the cabinets sat without
doors, the trim without paint, the stuff piled up; I loaded the
dishwasher, I unloaded the dishwasher, I raked the leaves,
I did the laundry, I took out the garbage, I took out the
recycling, I took out the yard waste.  There was a bed, it was
soft, there was a blanket, it was warm, there were dreams,
they were good. The corn grew, the eggplant grew, the
tomatoes grew, the lettuce grew, the strawberries grew, the
blackberries grew; the tea kettle screamed, the computer
keys clicked, the radio roared, the TV spoke. “Will they ever
come home?” “Can’t I take a break?” “How do others keep
their house clean?” “Will I remember this day in fifty years?”
The sweet tea slipped down my throat, the brownies melted
in my mouth. My mother cooked, the apple tree bloomed, the
lilac bloomed, the mimosa bloomed, I bloomed.

Below – Kevin Hopkins: “Woman Reading a Letter”

Contemporary German Art – Stefanie Schneider: Part I of II.

Below (photographs) – “Henry watching Athena Dance (Stay)”; “Feathered (Stage of Consciousness)”; “North Shore Mirage I (California Badlands)”; “Radha Pink” (29 Palms, CA); “The Girl and the Garbage Man (The Girl behind the White Picket Fence)”; “Narween (Saigon).”

This Date in Literary History: Born 18 July 1902 – Jessamyn West, an American novelist, short story writer, and author of “The Friendly Persuasion.”

Some quotes from the work of Jessamyn West:

“There are two barriers that often prevent communication between the young and their elders. The first is middle-aged forgetfulness of the fact that they themselves are no longer young. The second is youthful ignorance of the fact that the middle aged are still alive.”
“Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures.”
“You make what seems a simple choice: choose a man or a job or a neighborhood- and what you have chosen is not a man or a job or a neighborhood, but a life.”
“A good time for laughing is when you can.”
“It is very easy to forgive others their mistakes; it takes more grit and gumption to forgive them for having witnessed your own.”
“A religious awakening which does not awaken the sleeper to love has roused him in vain.”
“A rattlesnake that doesn’t bite teaches you nothing.”
“The past is really almost as much a work of the imagination as the future.”
“A taste for irony has kept more hearts from breaking than a sense of humor, for it takes irony to appreciate the joke which is on oneself.”
“Nothing is so dear as what you’re about to leave.”
“Each death and departure comes to us as a surprise, a sorrow never anticipated. Life is a long series of farewells; only the circumstances should surprise us.”

Contemporary German Art – Stefanie Schneider: Part II of II.

Below (photographs) – “OK Corral (Stranger than Paradise)”; “Instructor (Suburbia)”; “Young and Unaccountable (Wastelands)”; “Mindscreen 6”; “White Picket Fence (Suburbia)”; “Green Pool (Suburbia).”

A Poem for Today

“Music at My Mother’s Funeral”
by Faith Shearin

During the weeks when we all believed my mother
was likely to die she began to plan
her funeral and she wanted us, her children,
to consider the music we would play there. We remembered
the soundtrack of my mother’s life: the years when she swept
the floors to the tunes of an eight track cassette called Feelings,
the Christmas when she bought a Bing Crosby album
about a Bright Hawaiian Christmas Day. She got Stravinsky’s
Rite of Spring stuck in the tape deck of her car and for months
each errand was accompanied by some kind
of dramatic movement. After my brother was born,
there was a period during which she wore a muumuu
and devoted herself to King Sunny Ade and his
African beats. She ironed and wept to Evita, painted
to Italian opera. Then, older and heavier, she refused
to fasten her seatbelt and there was the music
of an automated bell going off every few minutes,
which annoyed the rest of us but did not seem to matter
to my mother who ignored its relentless disapproval,
its insistence that someone was unsafe.

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