Sentient in San Francisco – 20 July 2019

This Date in Art History: Born 20 July 1847 – Max Liebermann, a German painter.

Below – “The Artist’s Studio”; Restaurant Terrace in Nienstedten”; “Bleaching on the Lawn”; “Tennis Game by the Sea”; “Beer Garden in Munchen”; “Birch grow.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 20 July 1936 – Alistair MacLeod, a Canadian novelist and short story writer.

Some quotes from the. work of Alistair MacLeod:

“No one has ever said that life is to be easy. Only that it is to be lived.”
“There is a kind of belief among my students that things that are true are interesting. But most things that are true are not interesting. Four pages describing how I got up and brushed my teeth in the morning would kill you.”
“Perhaps it is better to have a place to go to that you hate than to have no place at all.”
“And then there came into my heart a very great love for my father and I thought it was very much braver to spend a life doing what you really do not want rather than selfishly following forever your own dreams and inclinations.”
“All of us are better when we’re loved.”


This Date in Art History: Died 20 July 1994 – Paul Delvaux, a Belgian painter: Part I of II.

Below – “Harmony”; “The Tunnel”; “Femme al la Rose”; “The Joy of Life”; “The Office of Evening”; “The Sleeping Venus.”

Musings in Summer: Bliss Carman

“O heart of insatiably longing,
What spell, what enchantment lures thee
Over the rim of the world
With the sails of the sea-going ships?”

Below – Carmen Moreno: “Small sailboat on the high seas before the storm”


This Date in Art History: Died 20 July 1994 – Paul Delvaux, a Belgian painter: Part II of II.

Below – “Phases of the Moon III”; “The Village of the Sirens”; “The Street at Night”; “Salut”; “The Summer”; “Phases of the Moon II.”


This Date in Literary History: Born 20 July 1933 – Cormac McCarthy, an American novelist, playwright, screenwriter, author of “All the Pretty Horses,” “No Country for Old Men,” and “The Road,” and recipient of the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.

Some quotes from the work of Cormac McCarthy:

“He walked out in the gray light and stood and he saw for a brief moment the absolute truth of the world. The cold relentless circling of the intestate earth. Darkness implacable. The blind dogs of the sun in their running. The crushing black vacuum of the universe. And somewhere two hunted animals trembling like ground-foxes in their cover. Borrowed time and borrowed world and borrowed eyes with which to sorrow it.”
“You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.”
“You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget.”
“You give up the world line by line. Stoically. And then one day you realize that your courage is farcical. It doesn’t mean anything. You’ve become an accomplice in your own annihilation and there is nothing you can do about it. Everything you do closes a door somewhere ahead of you. And finally there is only one door left.”
“Between the wish and the thing the world lies waiting.”
“He stood at the window of the empty cafe and watched the activities in the square and he said that it was good that God kept the truths of life from the young as they were starting out or else they’d have no heart to start at all.”
“The man who believes that the secrets of the world are forever hidden lives in mystery and fear. Superstition will drag him down. The rain will erode the deeds of his life. But that man who sets himself the task of singling out the thread of order from the tapestry will by the decision alone have taken charge of the world and it is only by such taking charge that he will effect a way to dictate the terms of his own fate.”
“The closest bonds we will ever know are bonds of grief. The deepest community one of sorrow.”
“You can tell it any way you want but that’s the way it is. I should of done it and I didn’t. And some part of me has never quit wishing I could go back. And I can’t. I didn’t know you could steal your own life. And I didn’t know that it would bring you no more benefit than about anything else you might steal. I think I done the best with it I knew how but it still wasn’t mine. It never has been.”
“There is no later. This is later.”
“I got what I needed instead of what I wanted and that’s just about the best kind of luck you can have.”
“Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.”
“Every step you take is forever.”


Contemporary British Art – Ray Grinney

Below – “Storm Brewing”; “Deal Beach by Moonlight”; “Impurturbation”; “Voyeur”; “Denialist”; “Kiss.”

A Poem for Today

“Convergence”
by Christine Stewart-Nunez

Through the bedroom window
a February sunrise, fog suspended
between pines. Intricate crystals—
hoarfrost lace on a cherry tree.
My son calls out, awake. We sway,
blanket-wrapped, his head nuzzling
my neck. Hoarfrost, tree—I point,
shaping each word. Favorable
conditions: a toddler’s brain, hard
data-mining, a system’s approach.
Hoar, he hears. His hand reaches
to the wallpaper lion. Phenomena
converge: warmth, humidity,
temperature’s sudden plunge;
a child’s brain, objects, sound.
Eyes widening, he opens his mouth
and roars.

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