Sentient in San Francisco – 24 November 2019

This Date in Art History: Born 24 November 1864 – Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, a French painter and illustrator: Part I of II.

Below – “La toilette”; “The Laundress”; “Portrait de Suzanne Valadon”; “The Reader”; “The Redhead with a White Blouse”; “Nude Woman seated on a Divan”; “Standing Nude.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 24 November 1968 – D. A. Levy, an American poet.

“Cleveland Undercovers”
by D. A. Levy

SOMETIMES CITY i walk at dawn
past the trucks parked
on the cold mornings edge
of the old viaduct to look at
the sore mouth of the Cuyahoga
eating and eaten by the dawn
and the city and i
KNOWING
in the east a new sun is rising
and the grass is growing
on the ashes of the city
where once i was born

Below – Sandy Dooley: “Grasses, Growing”

This Date in Art History: Born 24 November 1864 – Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, a French painter and illustrator: Part II of II.

Below – “At the Moulin Rouge”; “Portrait of Vincent van Gogh”; “In Bed”; “The Salon in the Rue des Moulins”; “Seated Dancer in Pink Tights”; “Reclining Nude”; “The Secret Grove.”


This Date in Intellectual History: Died 24 November 2002 – John Rawls, an award-winning American moral and political philosopher.

Some quotes from the work of John Rawls:

“Liberal constitutional democracy is supposed to ensure that each citizen is free and equal and protected by basic rights and liberties.
Justice is happiness according to virtue.”
“A just society is a society that if you knew everything about it, you’d be willing to enter it in a random place.”
“The sense of justice is continuous with the love of mankind.”
“Any comprehensive doctrine, religious or secular, can be introduced into any political argument at any time, but I argue that people who do this should also present what they believe are public reasons for their argument. So their opinion is no longer just that of one particular party, but an opinion that all members of a society might reasonably agree to, not necessarily that they would agree to. What’s important is that people give the kinds of reasons that can be understood and appraised apart from their particular comprehensive doctrines.”
“Many of our most serious conflicts are conflicts within ourselves. Those who suppose their judgements are always consistent are unreflective or dogmatic.”
“The good of political life is the good of free and equal citizens recognizing the duty of civility to one another and supporting the institutions of a constitutional regime.”
“The intolerant can be viewed as free-riders, as persons who seek the advantages of just institutions while not doing their share to uphold them.”

This Date in Art History: Died 24 November 1957 – Diego Rivera, a Mexican painter and sculptor.

Below – “Knife and Fruit in Front of the Window”; “Still Life with Tulips”; “Urban Landscape”; “Seated Woman”; “The Alarm Clock”; “Self-portrait with Broad-Brimmed Hat.”

This Date in Intellectual History: Died 24 November 1973 – John Neihardt, an American writer, poet, historian, and author of “Black Elk Speaks,” the record of a series of conversations between Neihardt and Black Elk, a Lakota holy man,

Below – Some quotes from “Black Elk Speaks”:

“The first peace, which is the most important,
is that which comes within the souls of people
when they realize their relationship,
their oneness with the universe and all its powers,
and when they realize that at the center of the universe
dwells the Great Spirit,
and that this center is really everywhere,
it is within each of us.”
“All things are our relatives; what we do to everything, we do to ourselves. All is really One.”
“Let every step you take upon the earth be as a prayer.”
“The Universe is circles within circles, and everything is one circle, and all the circles are connected to each other. Each family is a circle, and those family circles connect together and make a community, and the community makes its circle where it lives on the Earth. It (the community) cares for that part (of the Earth) but cares for it as a circle – which is to say in a cooperative and egalitarian way, where everybody is cared for, and everybody is respected.”
“We should understand well that all things are the work of the Great Spirit. We should know the Great Spirit is within all things: the trees, the grasses, the rivers, the mountains, and the four-legged and winged peoples; and even more important, we should understand that the Great Spirit is also above all these things and peoples. When we do understand all this deeply in our hearts, then we will fear, and love, and know the Great Spirit, and then we will be and act and live as the Spirit intends.”
“Grown men may learn from very little children, for the hearts of little children are pure, and, therefore, the Great Spirit may show to them many things which older people miss.”
“Once we were happy in our own country and we were seldom hungry, for then the two-leggeds and the four-leggeds lived together like relatives, and there was plenty for them and for us. But the Wasichus came, and they have made little islands for us and other little islands for the four-leggeds, and always these islands are becoming smaller, for around them surges the gnawing flood of the Wasichu; and it is dirty with lies and greed.”
“Any man who is attached to things of this world is one who lives in ignorance and is being consumed by the snakes of his own passions
“At the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit. And that center is really everywhere. It is within each of us.”
“I did not know then how much was ended. When I look back now from this high hill of my old age, I can still see the butchered women and children lying heaped and scattered all along the crooked gulch as plain as when I saw them with eyes still young. And I can see that something else died there in the bloody mud, and was buried in the blizzard. A people’s dream died there. It was a beautiful dream.”
“One should pay attention to even the smallest crawling creature for these too may have a valuable lesson to teach us.”
“There can never be peace between nations until there is first known that true peace which is within the souls of men.”
“It is hard to follow one great vision in this world of darkness and of many changing shadows. Among those men get lost.”
“The Great Spirit is everywhere; He hears whatever is in our minds and our hearts, and it is not necessary to speak to Him in a loud voice.”
“All over the sky a sacred voice is calling your name.”
“May you always walk in Beauty.”
“I was standing on the highest mountain of them all, and round about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world. And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being. And I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all children of one mother and one father. And I saw that it was holy.”
“Behold this day. It is yours to make.”


Contemporary Belgian Art – Hugo Pondz

Below – “Dream of a Late summer Afternoon”; “Waiting for Wexler”; “Summer Breeze”; “The Next Journey”; “The First Key”; “Confidences Between Friends.”


A Poem for Today

“Green Tea”
by Dale Ritterbusch

There is this tea
I have sometimes,
Pan Long Ying Hao,
so tightly curled
it looks like tiny roots
gnarled, a greenish-gray.
When it steeps, it opens
the way you woke this morning,
stretching, your hands behind
your head, back arched,
toes pointing, a smile steeped
in ceremony, a celebration,
the reaching of your arms.

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