Sentient in San Francisco – 5 June 2020

Contemporary Spanish Art – Kasia Derwinski: Part I of II.

Below (photographs) – “the untold stories”; “me myself and I”; “bath”; “like footprints on the sand”; “the world is full of magic things”; “tomorrow is today’s dream”; “everybody’s got a Fairyland of their own.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 5 June 1900 – Stephen Crane, an American poet, novelist, shorty story writer, and author of  “The Red Badge of Courage” and “The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky.”

Some quotes from the work of Stephen Crane:

“Sometimes, the most profound of awakenings come wrapped in the quietest of moments.”
“A man said to the universe:
‘Sir, I exist!’
‘However,’ replied the universe.
‘The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation.”
“These stupid peasants, who, throughout the world, hold potentates on their thrones, make statesmen illustrious, provide generals with lasting victories, all with ignorance, indifference, or half-witted hatred, moving the world with the strength of their arms, and getting their heads knocked together in the name of God, the king, or the stock exchange-immortal, dreaming, hopeless asses, who surrender their reason to the care of a shining puppet, and persuade some toy to carry their lives in his purse.”
“Half of tradition is a lie.”
“Doubtless there are other roads.”

Contemporary Spanish Art – Kasia Derwinski: Part II of II.

Below (photographs) – “the cage”; “upon the silent vastness”; “on paper butterflies never die”; “we live as we dream”; “dream within a dream”; “when words are useless”; “dream of flight.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 5 June 1939 – Margaret Drabble, an award-winning English novelist, biographer, and critic.

Some quotes from the work of Margaret Drabble:

“Our desire to conform is greater than our respect for objective facts.
“I confidently predict the collapse of capitalism and the beginning of history. Something will go wrong in the machinery that converts money into money, the banking system will collapse totally, and we will be left having to barter to stay alive. Those who can dig in their garden will have a better chance than the rest. I’ll be all right; I’ve got a few veg.”
“How extraordinary people are, that they get themselves into such situations where they go on doing what they dislike doing, and have no need or obligation to do, simply because it seems to be expected.”
“England’s not a bad country? It’s just a mean, cold, ugly, divided, tired, clapped-out, post-imperial, post- industrial slag-heap covered in polystyrene hamburger cartons.”
“I have switched on this modern laptop machine. And I have told myself that I must resist the temptation to start playing solitaire upon it.”
“My anti-Americanism has become almost uncontrollable. It has possessed me, like a disease. It rises up in my throat like acid reflux, that fashionable American sickness. I now loathe the United States and what it has done to Iraq and the rest of the helpless world.”

Contemporary Polish Art – Queen Verona: Part I of II.

Below – “Ikebana No2”; “Ikebana I”; “White Pelican”; “Angelika With Fan”; “Purple Irises.”

This Date in Literary/Spiritual History: Died 5 June 2006 – Frederick Franck, a Dutch-American painter, sculptor, and author of “The Zen of Seeing.”

Some quotes from the work of Frederick Franck:

“It is in order to really see, to see ever deeper, ever more intensely, hence to be fully aware and alive, that I draw what the Chinese call ‘The Ten Thousand Things’ around me. Drawing is the discipline by which I constantly rediscover the world. I have learned that what I have not drawn, I have never really seen, and that when I start drawing an ordinary thing, I realize how extraordinary it is, sheer miracle.”
“Art is neither a profession nor a hobby. Art is a way of being.”
“In this twentieth century, to stop rushing around, to sit quietly on the grass, to switch off the world and come back to the earth, to allow the eye to see a willow, a bush, a cloud, a leaf, is an unforgettable experience.”
“I know artists whose medium is life itself, and who express the inexpressible without brush, pencil, chisel or guitar. They neither paint nor dance. Their medium is Being. Whatever their hand touches has increased life…. They are the artists of being alive.”
“Merely looking at the world around us is immensely different from seeing it.”
“Everyone thinks he knows what a lettuce looks like. But start to draw one and you realise the anomaly of having lived with lettuces all your life but never having seen one, never having seen the semi-translucent leaves curling in their own lettuce way, never having noticed what makes a lettuce a lettuce rather than a curly kale.”
“While drawing grasses I learn nothing ‘about’ grass, but wake up to the wonder that there is grass at all.”
“When the eye wakes up to see again, it suddenly stops taking anything for granted.”
“The eye awakened is the eye in love.”

Contemporary Polish Art – Queen Verona: Part II of II.

Below – “Irises & Butterflies”; “Peony No1”; “Colourful Irises”; “Art In The Time Of Plague – Polish Reminiscence/The Pack.”

A Poem for Today

“Taking Apart My Childhood Piano”
by Rebecca Macjeski

My mother and I sit on the back porch,
bare feet in summer grass
as we take the upright down to pieces,
breeze humming through its strings.

I extract each melodic tooth and sort them
in octaves for rinsing, tidy enclosure in boxes,
remembering in each how my young fingers
rioted over them searching for sound

and the way it grows like its own
unruly animal. The old piano
lies open to Sunday morning sun,
swallowing blossoms that drift over like stars

from the apple tree I climbed as a girl.
My mother and I sit here in a quiet
usually reserved for churches,
hands moving slowly over what we gather

—piles of soft hammers, odd coils of wire.
We take up wet rags and wash each wooden key
down its surface, wet music
pooling onto our skin.

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