Sentient in San Francisco – 30 January 2020

Contemporary Polish Art – Tomasz Kozlowski: Part I of II.

Below – Untitled; “2016-12”; “2016-14”; “2016-13.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 30 January 2006 – Wendy Wasserstein, an American playwright, author of “The Heidi Chronicles,” and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

Some quotes from the work of Wendy Wasserstein:

“Our lives are not totally random. We make commitments, we cause things to happen.”
“No matter how successful I become as a playwright, my mother would be thrilled to hear me tell her that I’d just lost twenty pounds, gotten married and become a lawyer.”
“The arts reflect profoundly the most democratic credo, the belief in an individual vision or voice . . . The arts’ belief in potential gives each of us — both audience and creator — pride in our society’s ability to nurture individuals.”
“I really worked at becoming more assertive, and now none of my friends talk to me.”
“The real reason for comedy is to hide the pain.”
“As I ramble through life, whatever be my goal, I will unfortunately always keep my eye upon the doughnut and not upon the whole.”
“The struggle to be considered a grown-up begins, I believe, shortly after birth.”
“No matter how lonely you get or how many birth announcements you receive, the trick is not to get frightened. There’s nothing wrong with being alone.”
“Sloth is the fastest-growing lifestyle movement in the world, and that’s because it is completely doable. If you embrace sloth, it’s the last thing you’ll ever have to do again.”
“Every year I resolve to be a little less the me I know and leave a little room for the me I could be. Every year I make a note not to feel left behind by my friends and family who have managed to change far more than I.”

Contemporary Polish Art – Tomasz Kozlowski: Part II of II.

Below – “2016-18”; Untitled; “Dress”; Untitled.

This Date in Literary History: Born 30 January 1945 – Michael Dorris, an American novelist, essayist, and scholar.

Some quotes from the work of Michael Dorris:

“At different stages in our lives, the signs of love may vary: dependence, attraction, contentment, worry, loyalty, grief, but at heart the source is always the same. Human beings have the rare capacity to connect with each other, against all odds.”
“Grandfather was well known for being stubborn in his ideas. For instance… you had to go to sleep facing east so that you would be ready to greet the sun when it returned.”
“To be known for one’s saddest story is not the road to notoriety anyone would willingly choose.”
“Here are two facts that should not both be true:
There is sufficient food produced in the world every year to feed every human being on the planet
Nearly 800 million people literally go hungry every day, with more than a third of the earth’s population — 2 billion men and women — malnourished one way or another, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.”
“We Americans are tempted to distinguish ourselves from other current and former inhabitants of this planet by assuming that we are ruled by progress.”
“Without somebody to watch me, laugh at my jokes, tell me what to do, ask me questions, race me to the river, make me guess the names of birds, or challenge me to count the silvery fish in a school, there was nothing for me to do. Without somebody to be somebody to, it was as though I wasn’t somebody myself.”
“Names are strange and special gifts. There are names you give to yourself and names you show to the world, names that stay for a short while and names that remain with you forever, names that come from things you do and names that you receive as presents from other people. If your name is true, it is who you are.”

Contemporary American Art – Markenzy Cesar

Below – “Sur la Plage (on the beach)”; “Les baigneuse”; “The Other Woman”; “On the Water”; “Chute D’eau (waterfall)”; “Le Mur (the wall).”

This Date in Intellectual History: Born 30 January 1912 – Barbara W. Tuchman, an American historian, author of “The Guns of August” and “Stilwell and the American Experience in Chinas,” and two-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

Some quotes from the work of Barbara W. Tuchman:

“Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. Without books, the development of civilization would have been impossible. They are engines of change (as the poet said), windows on the world and lighthouses erected in the sea of time. They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind. Books are humanity in print.”
“Strong prejudices in an ill-formed mind are hazardous to government, and when combined with a position of power even more so.”
“Wooden-headedness, the source of self-deception, is a factor that plays a remarkably large role in government. It consists in assessing a situation in terms of preconceived fixed notions while ignoring or rejecting any contrary signs. It is acting according to wish while not allowing oneself to be deflected by the facts.”
“Policy is formed by preconceptions, by long implanted biases. When information is relayed to policy-makers, they respond in terms of what is already inside their heads and consequently make policy less to fit the facts than to fit the notions and intentions formed out of the mental baggage that has accumulated in their minds since childhood.”
“War is the unfolding of miscalculations.”
“In America, where the electoral process is drowning in commercial techniques of fund-raising and image-making, we may have completed a circle back to a selection process as unconcerned with qualifications as that which made Darius King of Persia. … he whose horse was the first to neigh at sunrise should be King.”
“The power to command frequently causes failure to think.”
“Business, like a jackal, trotted on the heels of war.”
“A phenomenon noticeable throughout history regardless of place or period is the pursuit by governments of policies contrary to their own interests.”
“Learning from experience is a faculty almost never practiced.”

Contemporary Australian Art – James Needham

Below- “Sisters”; “Maria with still life”; “Handstand 2”; “Holly Sleeping”; 11 Green Bottles”; “The Call.”

A Poem for Today

by Claudia Emerson

One rusty horseshoe hangs on a nail
above the door, still losing its luck,
and a work-collar swings, an empty
old noose. The silence waits, wild to be
broken by hoofbeat and heavy
harness slap, will founder but remain;
while, outside, above the stable,
eight, nine, now ten buzzards swing low
in lazy loops, a loose black warp
of patience, bearing the blank sky
like a pall of wind on mourning
wings. But the bones of this place are
long picked clean. Only the hayrake’s
ribs still rise from the rampant grasses.

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