Sentient in San Francisco – 9 October 2019

This Date in Art History: Born 9 October 1874 – Nicholas Roerich, a Russian painter, writer, archaeologist, and philosopher: Part I of III.

Below – “Kangchenjunga”; “Agni Yoga”; “The Black Gobi”; “Brahmaputra”; “The Crows”; “The Banner of the Future”; “Way to Shambala.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 9 October 1892 – Ivo Andric, a Yugoslav novelist, poet, short story writer, author of “The Bridge on the Drina,” and recipient of the 1961 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Some quotes from the work of Ivo Andric:

“Of everything that man erects and builds in his urge for living nothing is in my eyes better and more valuable than bridges. They are more important than houses, more sacred than shrines. Belonging to everyone and being equal to everyone, useful, always built with a sense, on the spot where most human needs are crossing, they are more durable than other buildings and they do not serve for anything secret or bad.”
“Between the fear that something would happen and the hope that still it wouldn’t, there is much more space than one thinks. On that narrow, hard, bare and dark space a lot of us spend their lives.”
“Forgetfulness heals everything and song is the most beautiful manner of forgetting, for in song man feels only what he loves.”
“I do not fear invisible worlds.”
“When I am not desperate, I am worthless.”
“If people would know how little brain is ruling the world, they would die of fear.”

This Date in Art History: Born 9 October 1874 – Nicholas Roerich, a Russian painter, writer, archaeologist, and philosopher: Part II of III.

Below – “The Earth Spell”; “Everest”; “The Himalayas”; “Kulu Valley”; “The Monastery, Tibet”; “Mother of the World.”

This Date in Spiritual History: Died 9 October 2009 – John Daido Loori, an American Zen Buddhist monastic, teacher and author of “The Zen of Creativity: Cultivating Your Artistic Life.”

Some quotes from the work of John Daido Loori:

“To be simple means to make a choice about what’s important, and let go of all the rest. When we are able to do this, our vision expands, our heads clear, and we can better see the details of our lives in all their incredible wonder and beauty.”
“The creative process, like a spiritual journey, is intuitive, non-linear, and experiential. It points us toward our essential nature, which is a reflection of the boundless creativity of the universe.”
“To be still means to empty yourself from the incessant flow of thoughts and create a state of consciousness that is open and receptive.”
“The future doesn’t exist. It hasn’t happened yet. The past doesn’t exist. It has already happened.”
“Serene illumination, or just sitting, is not a technique, or a means to some resulting higher state of consciousness, or any particular state of being. Just sitting, one simply meets the immediate present. Desiring some flashy experience, or anything more or other than ‘this’ is mere worldly vanity and craving.”
“Creativity is our birthright. It is an integral part of being human, as basic as walking, talking and thinking.”
“If you miss the moment, you miss your life.”

This Date in Art History: Born 9 October 1874 – Nicholas Roerich, a Russian painter, writer, archaeologist, and philosopher: Part III of III.

Below – “Remember!”; “The Pearls”; “Sancta”; “The Red Horses”; “Sky Battle”; “The Song of Shambala”; “Tara.”

This Date in History: Born 9 October 1899 – Bruce Catton, an American historian, author of “A Stillness at Appomattox,” and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

Some quotes from the work of Bruce Catton:

“A singular fact about modern war is that it takes charge. Once begun it has to be carried to its conclusion, and carrying it there sets in motion events that may be beyond men’s control. Doing what has to be done to win, men perform acts that alter the very soil in which society’s roots are nourished.”
“To learn to get along without, to realize that what the world is going to demand of us may be a good deal more important than what we are entitled to demand of it – this is a hard lesson.”
“There is a rowdy strain in American life, living close to the surface but running very deep. Like an ape behind a mask, it can display itself suddenly with terrifying effect.”
“Here was the greatest and most moving chapter in American history, a blending of meanness and greatness, an ending and a beginning. It came out of what men were, but it did not go as men had planned.”
“A certain combination of incompetence and indifference can cause almost as much suffering as the most acute malevolence.”
“It began with one act of madness, and it ended with another. John Brown heard history’s clock strike in the night and tried to hurry dawn along with gunfire; now John Wilkes Booth heard the clock strike, and he tried with gunfire to restore the darkness. Each man stood outside the human community, directed by voices the sane do not hear, and each kept history from going logically… The line from Harper’s Ferry to Ford’s Theater is a red thread binding the immense disorder of the Civil War into an irrational sort of coherence.”
“Even the most painstaking history is a bridge across an eternal mystery.”
“And there is the headlight, shining far down the track, glinting off the steel rails that, like all parallel lines, will meet in infinity, which is after all where this train is going.”

Contemporary American Art – Alex Selkowitz

Below – “Storefront in Sunlight 3”; “Between”; “Room 824”; “Storefront in Sunlight 2”; “Distant Memories 2”; “Motel.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 9 October 2014 – Carolyn Kizer, an American poet and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

“Amusing Our Daughters”
by Carolyn Kizer

after Po Chu-i
for Robert Creeley

We don’t lack people here on the Northern coast,
But they are people one meets, not people one cares for.
So I bundle my daughters into the car
And with my brother poets, go to visit you, brother.

Here come your guests! A swarm of strangers and children;
But the strangers write verses, the children are daughters like yours.
We bed down on mattresses, cots, roll up on the floor:
Outside, burly old fruit trees in mist and rain;
In every room, bundles asleep like larvae.

We waken and count our daughters. Otherwise, nothing happens.
You feed them sweet rolls and melon, drive them all to the zoo;
Patiently, patiently, ever the father, you answer their questions.
Later, we eat again, drink, listen to poems.
Nothing occurs, though we are aware you have three daughters
Who last year had four. But even death becomes part of our ease:
Poems, parenthood, sorrow, all we have learned
From these of tenderness, holds us together
In the center of life, entertaining daughters
By firelight, with cake and songs.

You, my brother, are a good and violent drinker,
Good at reciting short-line or long-line poems.
In time we will lose all our daughters, you and I,
Be temperate, venerable, content to stay in one place,
Sending our messages over the mountains and waters.

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