Sentient in San Francisco – 5 May 2020

Contemporary Austrian Art – Petra Kandel: Part I of II.

Below – “River of sorrow”; “The girl next door”; “Roses”; “La mer”; “Pink Trees”; ““Everything’s gonna be all right.”

Art for a Birthday – Utamaro Kitagawa: “Japanese Woman Reading a Book”

Happy Children’s Day (Japan)

In the words of one writer, “On this day [5 May], families raise the koinobori, which are carp-shaped windsocks (carp because of the Chinese legend that a carp that swims upstream becomes a dragon and flies to Heaven, and the way the windsock blow in the wind looks like they are swimming), with a black carp for the father, a red or pink for the mother, and one carp (usually blue, and sometimes additionally green and orange) for each child.”
When I lived in Fayetteville, I always raised three koinobori on a bamboo staff above my house in order to honor my sons. This ceremony also provided me with a way to at least temporarily lesson the emotional burden of having three sons, since during the course of the day, whenever I found myself afflicted by the memory of being their father, I would walk outside and throw rocks at the carp.

Art for a Birthday – Tone: “Le Grande Sacrifice”

Contemporary Austrian Art – Petra Kandel: Part II of II.

Below – “Connection”; “The most delicate flower”; “Camille”; “Hotel Room II”; “Paradis perdus”; “Star Cape.”

Art for a Birthday – Denise Buisman Pilger: “Longing”

Happy Cinco de Mayo (Mexico)

In the words of one writer, “Cinco de Mayo in Mexico is an annual celebration held on May 5. The date is observed to commemorate the Mexican Army’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza.”

Below -John Yato: “Cinco De Mayo”

Art for a Birthday – Deskins Terri: “Solitude”

Contemporary Canadian Art – Nadia NL

Below – “Tete-a-tete”; “Hidden Bromelia”; “Bather”; “Z”; “Lazy Afternoon”; “Garden at Night.”

Art for a Birthday – Anja Eberhart: “Mountain geisha”

Musings on a Birthday: Abraham Lincoln

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

Art for a Birthday – Nadia NL: “Tea Time”

Contemporary Italian Art – Anna Rita Angiolelli

Below – “Red and Black”; “Geisha 2”; “Japanese Garden.”

Art for a Birthday – Goyo Hashiguchi: “Combing the Hair”

A Poem for a Birthday

“Passing Through”
by Stanley Kunitz

—on my seventy-ninth birthday

Nobody in the widow’s household
ever celebrated anniversaries.
In the secrecy of my room
I would not admit I cared
that my friends were given parties.
Before I left town for school
my birthday went up in smoke
in a fire at City Hall that gutted
the Department of Vital Statistics.
If it weren’t for a census report
of a five-year-old White Male
sharing my mother’s address
at the Green Street tenement in Worcester
I’d have no documentary proof
that I exist. You are the first,
my dear, to bully me
into these festive occasions.

Sometimes, you say, I wear
an abstracted look that drives you
up the wall, as though it signified
distress or disaffection.
Don’t take it so to heart.
Maybe I enjoy not-being as much
as being who I am. Maybe
it’s time for me to practice
growing old. The way I look
at it, I’m passing through a phase:
gradually I’m changing to a word.
Whatever you choose to claim
of me is always yours;
nothing is truly mine
except my name. I only
borrowed this dust.

Below – Egon Schiele: “Portrait of an Old Man”

Art for a Birthday – Maria Marta Guzzetti: “The Invited”

Contemporary American Art -Christophe Vacher

Below – “In The Realm of Morpheus”; “Glimmer of Hope”; “Girl in the Wind”; “Moonlight Ghost”; “Profile”; “The Mongol.”

Art for a Birthday – Lily Miura: “Sayonara Dance”

Musings on a Birthday: William Shakespeare

“The golden age is before us, not behind us.”

Art for a Birthday – Art Tyshenko: “Amazing evening”

Contemporary American Art – Felipe Echevarria

Below- “Brunette in Blue”; “Zoya the Model”; “Mina in a Burgundy Robe”; “Fashionable Rebel”; “Violet Robe”; Untitled.

Art for a Birthday – Franco Aguila – “A woman from the old world”

A Poem for a Birthday

“For a Girl I Know About to Be a Woman”
by Miller Williams

Because you’ll find how hard it can be
to tell which part of your body sings,
you never should dally with any young man
who does any one of the following things:

tries to beat all the yellow lights;
says, “Big deal!” or “So what?”
more than seven times a day;
ignores yellow lines in a parking lot;

carries a radar detector;
asks what you did with another date;
has more than seven bumper stickers;
drinks beer early and whiskey late;

talks on a cellular phone at lunch;
tunes to radio talk shows;
doesn’t fasten his seat belt;
knows more than God knows;

wants you to change how you do your hair;
spits in a polystyrene cup;
doesn’t use his turn signal;
wants you to change your makeup;

calls your parents their given names;
doesn’t know why you don’t smoke;
has dirt under his fingernails;
makes a threat and calls it a joke;

pushes to get you to have one more;
seems to have trouble staying awake;
says “dago” and “wop” and words like that;
swerves a car to hit a snake;
sits at a table wearing a hat;
has a boneless handshake.

You’re going to know soon enough
the ones who fail this little test.
Mark them off your list at once
and be very careful of all the rest.

Below – Pierre-Auguste Renoir: “Young Woman Seated (The Thought)”

Art for a Birthday – Felipe Echevarría: “Goth Kimono”

Contemporary American Art – Irena Jablonski: Part I of II.

Below – “Madama Butterfly”; “Angela in a Green Dress”; “Charon’s Guest IV”; “Nymph With a Lily”; “Spare Key”; “I Have Finished the Painting.”

Art for a Birthday – John Yato: “Guiding Light”

Musings on a Birthday: Mark Twain

“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”

Art for a Birthday – Watanabe Seitei: “Pink Sky”

Contemporary American Art – Irena Jablonski: Part II of II.

Below – “Young Medusa”; “Sunglasses Left Behind”; “Do Disturb”; “Cat with Orange Eyes”; “Redhead With Fan”; “Passion II.”

Art for a Birthday – Narita Morikane: “Ribbon”

A Poem for a Birthday

“Counting Backwards”
by Linda Pastan

How did I get so old,
I wonder,
my 67th birthday.
Dyslexia smiles:
I’m 76 in fact.

There are places
where at 60 they start
counting backwards;
in Japan
they start again
from one.

But the numbers
hardly matter.
It’s the physics
of acceleration I mind,
the way time speeds up
as if it hasn’t guessed

the destination—
where look!
I see my mother
and father bearing a cake,
waiting for me
at the starting line.

Art for a Birthday – Deirdre Shibano: “The Blue Kimono”

Contemporary Italian Art – Nicola Mountney

Below – “Cranes Under A Cobalt Sky 3”; “Cranes in a Rocky Landscape”; “”Circle 7”; “Dancing Cranes”; “Magnolia 5”; “Cranes Under A Cobalt Sky 4”; “Lotus I”; “Breaking Waves”; “Gazing Tigers”; “Circle 12.”

Art for a Birthday – Massimo Onnis: “Japanese Girl”

Musings on a Birthday: Pablo Picasso

“It takes a long time to become young.”

Art for a Birthday – Julia Tokar: “Samurai Girl”

Contemporary Spanish Art – Marina del Pozo

Below – “Geisha and mirror”; “Silver Geisha”; “Little geisha 9”; “Joven”; “One of a Kind”; “Mimesis, interior rojo.”

Art for a Birthday – Yulia Luchkina: “Japanese poetry”

A Poem for a Birthday

“A Birthday Poem”
by Ted Kooser

Just past dawn, the sun stands
with its heavy red head
in a black stanchion of trees,
waiting for someone to come
with his bucket
for the foamy white light,
and then a long day in the pasture.
I too spend my days grazing,
feasting on every green moment
till darkness calls,
and with the others
I walk away into the night,
swinging the little tin bell
of my name.

Art for a Birthday – Denise Buisman Pilger: “Radiant”

Friends: As you have probably guessed from my posts, today is my birthday, and for the the thirtieth consecutive year, I just turned 108 years old. Some of my students might recall my belief that, once you reach 108, the aging process stops – or at least becomes irrelevant.
I want each of you to give me the same birthday present today: Please take care of yourself.

Below – Taking a stroll on my birthday. (Barber shops are closed in San Francisco.)

Sorry, everyone. I just accidentally posted photographs of a dapple-gray mare and a red gift bow. What an odd mistake to make on my birthday.

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