Sentient in San Francisco – 18 August 2019

This Date in Art History: Born 18 September 1838 – Anton Mauve, a Dutch painter.

Below – “Wooded Landscape with a Standing Figure”; “Avenue in the Netherlands”; “Farm on a Country Road”; “The Return of the Flock”; “Morning Ride on the Beach.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 18 September 1980 – Katherine Anne Porter, an American novelist, journalist, essayist, short story writer, and recipient of the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.

Some quotes from the work of Katherine Anne Porter:

“All life worth living is difficult, nobody promised us happiness; it is not a commodity you have earned, or shall ever earn. It is a by-product of brave living, and it never comes in the form we expect, or at the season we hoped for, or as the result of our planning for it.
“The past is never where you think you left it.”
“Perhaps the habit which distinguishes civilized people from others is that of discussion, exchange of opinion and ideas, the ability to differ without quarrelling, to say what you have to say civilly and then to listen civilly to another speaker.”
“You shouldn’t side-step suffering if you have to go through it to get where you’re going.”
“I will never again attempt to tell any young person what to do – the really gifted don’t need advice and the others can’t take it.”
“The real sin against life is to abuse and destroy beauty, even one’s own even more, one’s own, for that has been put in our care and we are responsible for its well-being.”

This Date in Art History: Died 18 September 1975 – Fairfield Porter, an American painter.

Below – “Sunrise on South Main Street”; “The Bedroom”; “Tree-lined Street”; “Spruce and Birch”; “Under the Elms”; “Twilight.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 18 September 1951 – Gelett Burgess, an American poet, humorist, and the author of nonsense verse.

“The Purple Cow”
by Gelett Burgess

I never saw a Purple Cow,
I never hope to see one,
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I’d rather see than be one!

Contemporary Italian Art – Roberto Lacentra

Below – “Composizione di vasi anni 50/60”; “Medusa”; “Sea horses”; “Pesce grande mangia pesce piccolo”; “Three Fishes”; “The fortress of the pirates.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 18 September 1964 – Sean O’Casey, an Irish dramatist and memoirist.

Some quotes from the work of Sean O’Casey:

“All the world’s a stage and most of us are desperately unrehearsed.
“There’s nothing so passionate as a vested interest disguised as an intellectual conviction.”
“That’s the Irish all over — they treat a joke as a serious thing and a serious thing as a joke.”
“Laughter is wine for the soul – laughter soft, or loud and deep, tinged through with seriousness – the hilarious declaration made by man that life is worth living.”
“Politics – I don’t know why, but they seem to have a tendency to separate us, to keep us from one another, while nature is always and ever making efforts to bring us together.”
“It’s my rule never to lose me temper till it would be detrimental to keep it.”
“To me life is simply an invitation to live.”
“Here, with whitened hair, desires failing, strength ebbing out of him, with the sun gone down and with only the serenity and the calm warning of the evening star left to him, he drank to Life, to all it had been, to what it was, to what it would be. Hurrah!”
“I have found life an enjoyable, enchanting, active, and sometime terrifying experience, and I’ve enjoyed it completely. A lament in one ear, maybe, but always a song in the other.”

Contemporary French Art – Isabelle Joubert

Below – “The ‘hippie chic’ girl”; “Like a sunflower”; “Sky above me, earth below me”; “When I’m silent.”

A Poem for Today

“Night Dive”
By Sam Green

Down here, no light but what we carry with us.
Everywhere we point our hands we scrawl
color: bulging eyes, spines, teeth or clinging tentacles.
At negative buoyancy, when heavy hands
seem to grasp & pull us down, we let them,

we don’t inflate our vests, but let the scrubbed cheeks
of rocks slide past in amniotic calm.
At sixty feet we douse our lights, cemented
by the weight of the dark, of water, the grip
of the sea’s absolute silence.  Our groping

hands brush the open mouths of anemones,
which shower us in particles of phosphor
radiant as halos.  As in meditation,
or in deepest prayer,
there is no knowing what we will see.

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