Sentient in San Francisco – 29 May 2020

This Date in Art History: Born 29 May 1871 – Clark Voorhees, an American painter.

Below – “Apple Blossoms”; “White House in a Spring Landscape”; “Still Lane, Old Lyme”; “Winter Moonrise”; “October Mountain in Winter, Lenox, MA”; “The Cliff Walk, Newport, R.I.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 29 May 2008 – Paula Gunn Allen, an award-winning Native American poet, novelist, and literary critic.

Some quotes from the work of Paula Gunn Allen:

“Snowflakes, leaves, humans, plants, raindrops, stars, molecules, microscopic entities all come in communities. The singular cannot in reality exist.”
“Truth, acceptance of the truth, is a shattering experience. It shatters the binding shroud of culture trance. It rips apart smugness, arrogance, superiority, and self-importance. It requires acknowledgment of responsibility for the nature and quality of each of our own lives, our own inner lives as well as the life of the world. Truth, inwardly accepted, humbling truth, makes one vulnerable. You can’t be right, self-righteous, and truthful at the same time.”
“The root of oppression is the loss of memory.”
“Healing the self means committing ourselves to a wholehearted willingness to be what and how we are-beings frail and fragile, strong and passionate, neurotic and balanced, diseased and whole, partial and complete, stingy and generous, twisted and straight, storm-tossed and quiescent, bound and free.”
“In the Native American tradition… a man, if he’s a mature adult, nurtures life. He does rituals that will help things grow, he helps raise the kids, and he protects the people. His entire life is toward balance and cooperativeness. The ideal of manhood is the same as the ideal of womanhood. You are autonomous, self-directing, and responsible for the spiritual, social and material life of all those with whom you live.”
“For the American Indian, the ability of all creatures to share in the process of ongoing creation makes all things sacred.”
“We are the land. To the best of my understanding, that is the fundamental idea that permeates American Indian life.”
“Indians think it is important to remember, while Americans believe it is important to forget.”

This Date in Art History: Died 29 May 1921 – Abbott Handerson Thayer an American painter.

Below – “Monadnock in Winter”; “The Sisters”; “Blue Jays in Winter”; “My Children”; “The Favorite Kitten”; “Pensive Model.”

A Poem for Today

“Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles”
by Sally Wen Mao

In Lijiang, the sign outside your hostel
glares: Ride alone, ride alone, ride
alone — it taunts you for the mileage
of your solitude, must be past

thousands, for you rode this plane
alone, this train alone, you’ll ride
this bus alone well into the summer night,
well into the next hamlet, town,

city, the next century, as the trees twitch
and the clouds wane and the tides
quiver and the galaxies tilt and the sun
spins us another lonely cycle, you’ll

wonder if this compass will ever change.
The sun doesn’t need more heat,
so why should you? The trees don’t need
to be close, so why should you?

Contemporary Thai Painting – Yuttana Chompupuen

Below – “The crescent moon reflection”; “Milky Way”; “The moving cloud”; “Sand carrier”; “Dreamscape VII.”

A Poem for Today

by Edna St. Vincent Millay

The railroad track is miles away,

And the day is loud with voices speaking,

Yet there isn’t a train goes by all day

But I hear its whistle shrieking.


All night there isn’t a train goes by,

Though the night is still for sleep and dreaming,

But I see its cinders red on the sky,

And hear its engine steaming.


My heart is warm with the friends

I make,
And better friends I’ll not be knowing,

Yet there isn’t a train I wouldn’t take,

No matter where it’s going.


Contemporary French Art – Benoit Montet

Below – “Hollywood Boulevard”; “Milkshake”; “Atelier Moto”; “Les trois amis”; “Porsche en été”; “Les Amoureux.”

A Poem for Today

“My Mother’s Penmanship Lessons”
by Wesley McNair

In her last notes, when her hand began
to tremble, my mother tried to teach it

the penmanship she was known for,
how to make the slanted stems

of the p’s and d’s, the descending
roundness of the capital m’s, the long

loops of the f’s crossed at the center,
sending it back again and again

until each message was the same:
a record of her insistence that the hand

return her to the way she was before,
and of all the ways the hand had disobeyed.

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