Sentient in San Francisco – 5 December 2019

Contemporary Canadian Art – Elizabeth Lennie: Part I of III.

Below – “The Technicolor Sea”; “Forever Young”; “Gravity”; “Seaside”; “Beachlife 28”; “The Water Planet.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 5 December 1968 – Lydia Millet, an award-winning American novelist.

Some quotes from the work of Lydia Millet:

“It is not learning we need at all. Individuals need learning but the culture needs something else, the pulse of light on the sea, the warm urge of huddling together to keep out the cold. We need empathy, we need the eyes that still can weep.”
“The rooms of his apartment were full with the dog home again, convalescing. He was satisfied to know, even when she was out of sight, that somewhere in the apartment she was sleeping or eating or sitting watchfully. It was family, he guessed, more or less. Did most people want a house of living things at night, to know that in the dark around them other warm bodies slept? Such a house could even be the whole world.”
“Suffering itself is beloved: love and suffering are far closer to each other than love and pleasure.”
“We’re so many, we’re so hard to distinguish from each other, but we long to be distinguished.”
“Beneath the violet pillar, in the vacuum before the roar of the cloud, there came a soft sound that might have been heard by those who listened closely: the gentle sigh of an idea unbound.”
“The gun is mightier than the pen, was our true opinion, and the RPG is mightier still.”

Contemporary Canadian Art – Elizabeth Lennie: Part II of III.

Below – “Rabbit Lake 30”; “Aquatic Life”; “Australia”; “The Leisure Seekers”; “Time Travel.”

A Poem for Today

“Love Worn”
by Lita Hooper

In a tavern on the Southside of Chicago
a man sits with his wife. From their corner booth
each stares at strangers just beyond the other’s shoulder,
nodding to the songs of their youth. Tonight they will not fight.

Thirty years of marriage sits between them
like a bomb. The woman shifts
then rubs her right wrist as the man recalls the day
when they sat on the porch of her parents’ home.

Even then he could feel the absence of something
desired or planned. There was the smell
of a freshly tarred driveway, the slow heat,
him offering his future to folks he did not know.

And there was the blooming magnolia tree in the distance—
its oversized petals like those on the woman’s dress,
making her belly even larger, her hands
disappearing into the folds.

When the last neighbor or friend leaves their booth
he stares at her hands, which are now closer to his,
remembers that there had always been some joy. Leaning
closer, he believes he can see their daughter in her eyes.

Contemporary Canadian Art – Elizabeth Lennie: Part III of III.

Below – “Under a Silver Sky”; “Hold Still”; “Ali in Bali”; “Mythography 146”; “Mythography 147.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 5 December 1934 – Joan Didion, an American essayist, author of “The Year of Magical Thinking, and recipient of the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.

Some quotes from the work of Joan Didion:

“The willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life is the source from which self-respect springs.”
“We are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not.”
“To cure jealousy is to see it for what it is, a dissatisfaction with self.”
“Memory fades, memory adjusts, memory conforms to what we think we remember.”
“The fear is for what is still to be lost.”
“We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget.”
“Was there ever in anyone’s life span a point free in time, devoid of memory, a night when choice was any more than the sum of all the choices gone before?”
“I have already lost touch with a couple of people I used to be.”
“We are the stories we tell ourselves.”

Contemporary Italian Art – Nadia Lysakowska

Below – “Silent Flight”; “Il viale delle ombre”; “Autumn Live”; “Des souvenirs”; “kaleidoscope of reflections”; “Wanderer.”

A Poem for Today

“In the Mushroom Summer”
by David Mason

Colorado turns Kyoto in a shower,
mist in the pines so thick the crows delight
(or seem to), winging in obscurity.
The ineffectual panic of a squirrel
who chattered at my passing gave me pause
to watch his Ponderosa come and go—
long needles scratching cloud. I’d summited
but knew it only by the wildflower meadow,
the muted harebells, paintbrush, gentian,
scattered among the locoweed and sage.
Today my grief abated like water soaking
underground, its scar a little path
of twigs and needles winding ahead of me
downhill to the next bend. Today I let
the rain soak through my shirt and was unharmed.

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