Sentient in San Francisco – 21 April 2020

Contemporary American Art – Lukas Griffin

Below (photographs) – “Kali”; “Me & My”; “Man + Sea”; “Moiety”; “Dolce far ninety”; “Beach Day.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 21 April 1910 – Mark Twain (the pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens), an American novelist, humorist, and author of “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”

Some quotes from the work of Mark Twain:

“No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot.”
“Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.”
“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”
“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”
“Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful day of your life.”
“How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again!”
“Never miss an opportunity to shut up.”
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”
“If we were meant to talk more than listen, we would have two mouths and one ear.”
“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”
“The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.”
“Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.”
′Classic′ – a book which people praise and don’t read.”
“Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”
“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.”
“I did not attend his funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.”
“I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.”
“What would men be without women? Scarce, sir…mighty scarce.”
“Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination.”
“The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.”
“Do not complain about growing old. It is a privilege denied to many.”

Contemporary Hungarian Art – Beata Belansky-Demko

Below – “Rising Fog”; “Valley of Dreams”; “Eternal Flow”; “A New World”; “Purple Wind”; “New Horizon.”

A Poem for Today

“Lighter Than Air”
by Ruth Stone

The fat girl next door would give us a nickel
to walk to the old man’s store
and get her an ice-cream cone,
vanilla, of course, the only flavor then.
On Powotan Avenue, Aunt Harriet and I would take
turns licking it all the way back.
It was hot that summer and we longed
to go to Virginia Beach and put our toes in the tide.
It rained every day and the James River swelled
up to our doorsteps.
Aunt Harriet and I wore tight rubber bathing caps
and long saggy bathing suits. How skinny we were.
She was nine and I was six. The lightning flashed
and we hid in the closet; the thunder crashed.
We had straight, bobbed hair and bangs.
Once a dirigible moved above the tops of the trees,
with little ladders dangling down, and we waved.

Contemporary American Art – Alex Nizovsky

Below – “Golden Gate Bridge Transit / Diptych”; “Nocturne #8 / Union Square”; Untitled; “Nocturne #10 / Welcome Center”; “Nocturne #19”; “Waterscape / Reflection IV.”


This Date in Literary/Cultural History: Born 21 April 1838 – John Muir, who was, in the words of one writer, “an influential Scottish-American naturalist, author, environmental philosopher, glaciologist, and early advocate for the preservation of wilderness in the United States of America.”

Some quotes from the work of John Muir:

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”
“Of all the paths you take in life,
make sure a few of them are dirt.”
“The sun shines not on us but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us. Thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing. The trees wave and the flowers bloom in our bodies as well as our souls, and every bird song, wind song, and tremendous storm song of the rocks in the heart of the mountains is our song, our very own, and sings our love.”
“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.”
“Hiking – I don’t like either the word or the thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains – not hike! Do you know the origin of that word ‘saunter?’ It’s a beautiful word. Away back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, they would reply, ‘A la sainte terre,’ ‘To the Holy Land.’ And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently, not ‘hike’ through them.”
“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”
“Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.”
“To sit in solitude, to think in solitude with only the music of the stream and the cedar to break the flow of silence, there lies the value of wilderness.”
“As long as I live, I’ll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I’ll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I’ll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can.”
“The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.”
“Bears are made of the same dust as we, and they breathe the same winds and drink of the same waters. A bear’s days are warmed by the same sun, his dwellings are overdomed by the same blue sky, and his life turns and ebbs with heart pulsing like ours. He was poured from the same first fountain. And whether he at last goes to our stingy Heaven or not, he has terrestrial immortality. His life, not long, not short, knows no beginning, no ending. To him life unstinted, unplanned, is above the accidents of time, and his years, markless and boundless, equal eternity.”
“This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried all at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.”
“Wilderness is not only a haven for native plants and animals but it is also a refuge from society. Its a place to go to hear the wind and little else, see the stars and the galaxies, smell the pine trees, feel the cold water, touch the sky and the ground at the same time, listen to coyotes, eat the fresh snow, walk across the desert sands, and realize why its good to go outside of the city and the suburbs. Fortunately, there is wilderness just outside the limits of the cities and the suburbs in most of the United States, especially in the West.”
“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”
“The mountains are calling and I must go.”

Contemporary American Art – Gwen Yip

Below – “Backs (NYC) No. 10”; “Backs (NYC) No. 22”; “Backs (NYC) No. 21”; “Backs (NYC) No. 23”; “Backs (NYC) No. 20.”

A Poem for Today

“Good News”
by Steve Langan

We say the trees are a canopy in mid July,
as if that’s a special description of home.

Walking down the hill to see a friend,
I have good news and bad news for him.

We say canopy made out of stars as our
special way to describe the universe to ourselves.

So which one will my friend choose today?

Canopy of trees gives way to the sky;
I’m walking now thinking all the way which
one will he choose good or bad which one?

I guess I can just say instead I love the way
you fixed up the place and these colors.

At a certain age a man can begin to say
things like that to his friends.

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