Sentient in San Francisco – 5 October 2019

Contemporary Norwegian Art – Kesha Tabaczuk

Below – “Receiving Hands”; “Boy floating on water”; “Stormy Sky”; “Magenta Hills”; “Boy with balloons.”

A Poem for Today

“Medical History”
By Carrie Shipers

I wanted it: arc of red and blue
strobing my skin, sirens singing
my praises, the cinching embrace
of the cot as the ambulance
slammed shut and steered away.
More than needle-pierce
or dragging blade, I wanted the swab
of alcohol and cotton, the promise
of gauze-covered cure.
My mother saved anyone
who asked, but never me,
never the way I wanted:
her palms skimming my limbs
for injury, her fingers finding
what hurt, her lips whispering,
‘I got here just in time.’

Contemporary Dutch Art – Sophia Heeres: Part I of II.

Below – “Beach huts”; “Prinsengracht (Amsterdam)”; “Small orchestra”; “Lighthouse”; “Feathers’ splendor.”

This Date in Literary/Political History: Born 5 October 1936 – Vaclav Havel, a Czech poet, playwright, and the first President of the Czech Republic.

Some quotes from the work of Vaclav Havel:

“The kind of hope that I often think about…I understand above all as a state of mind, not a state of the world. Either we have hope within us, or we don’t. It is a dimension of the soul It’s not essentially dependent upon some particular observation of the world or estimate of the situation. Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.”
“Our social and economic statistics are telling us what we already know in our hearts: we have created a world that works for only a few. To change this, we must learn to act toward each other and our environment in profoundly different ways.”
“Ideology is a specious way of relating to the world. It offers human beings the illusion of an identity, of dignity, and of morality while making it easier for them to part with them.”
“The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but that it bothers him less and less.”
“I am not an optimist, because I am not sure that everything ends well. Nor am I a pessimist, because I am not sure that everything ends badly. I just carry hope in my heart. Hope is the feeling that life and work have a meaning. You either have it or you don’t, regardless of the state of the world that surrounds you. Life without hope is an empty, boring, and useless life. I cannot imagine that I could strive for something if I did not carry hope in me.”
“Human rights are universal and indivisible. Human freedom is also indivisible: if it is denied to anyone in the world, it is therefore denied, indirectly, to all people. This is why we cannot remain silent in the face of evil or violence; silence merely encourages them.”
“Follow the man who seeks the truth; run from the man who has found it.”

Contemporary Dutch Art – Sophia Heeres: Part II of II.

“Tuscany”; “Heather”; “Drentsche Aa (river in the north of the Netherlands)”; “Encounters & On the opening”; “Growth.”

A Poem for Today

“Today’s News”
by David Tucker

A slow news day, but I did like the obit about the butcher
who kept the same store for fifty years.   People remembered
when his street was sweetly roaring, aproned
with flower stalls and fish stands.
The stock market wandered, spooked by presidential winks,
by micro-winds and the shadows of earnings.   News was stationed
around the horizon, ready as summer clouds to thunder–
but it moved off and we covered the committee meeting
at the back of the statehouse, sat around on our desks,
then went home early.   The birds were still singing,
the sun just going down.   Working these long hours,
you forget how beautiful the early evening can be,
the big houses like ships turning into the night,
their rooms piled high with silence.

Contemporary American Art – Athena Petra Tasiopoulos

Artist Statement: “My imagination is continuously lured by the mystery of found photographs –piles of ‘instant relatives’ discarded and forgotten in musty antique stores. It is as if the subjects I select exist in an interesting sort of limbo – simultaneously trapped yet saved within the photograph. I find myself feeling compassion for them. By re-inventing the portrait, I aim to disjoint my subjects from an antiquated identity, allowing them to transcend the constraints of time and place.”

Below – “Aunt Nellie”; “Polka Dots”; “More Than That”; “Reach”; “Look”; “Children.”

A Poem for Today

by Steven Huff

You used to be able to flag a ride in this country.
Impossible now—everyone is afraid
of strangers.   Well, there was fear then too,
and it was mutual: drivers versus hitchhikers.
And we rode without seat belts,
insurance or beliefs.  People
would see me far ahead on a hill like a seedling,
watch me grow in the windshield
and not know they were going to stop until
they got right up to me.  Maybe they wanted
company or thought I’d give them
some excitement.  It was the age
of impulse, of lonesome knee jerks.  An old woman
stopped, blew smoke in my face
and after I was already in her car she asked me
if I wanted a ride.  I’m telling you.
Late one night a construction boss pulled over.
One of his crew had been hit
by the mob, he said as he drove, distraught
and needing to talk to someone.
We rode around for a long time.
He said, ‘I never wore a gun to a funeral before,
but they’ve gotta be after me too.’
Then he looked at me and patted the bulge
in his coat.  ‘Don’t worry,’ he said, ‘you’re safe.’

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