Wandering in Woodacre – 11 July 2020

This Date in Art History: Born 11 July 1834 – James Abbot McNeill Whistler, an American painter and illustrator.

Below – “Symphony in White No. 1: The White Girl”; “Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1” (popularly known as “Whistler’s Mother”); “Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket”; “The Princess from the Land of Porcelain”; “Whistler in His Studio”; “Nocturne: Blue and Gold – Old Battersea Bridge.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 11 July 1966 – Delmore Schwartz, an award-winning American poet and short story writer.

Some quotes from the work of Delmore Schwartz:

“Each minute bursts in the burning room,
The great globe reels in the solar fire,
Spinning the trivial and unique away.
(How all things flash! How all things flare!)
What am I now that I was then?
May memory restore again and again
The smallest color of the smallest day:
Time is the school in which we learn,
Time is the fire in which we burn.”
“I am a book I neither wrote nor read.”
“What was the freedom to which the adult human being rose in the morning, if each act was held back or inspired by the overpowering ghost of a little child?”
“In this our life there are no beginnings but only departures entitled beginnings, wreathed in the formal emotions thought to be appropriate and often forced. Darkly rises each moment from the life which has been lived and which does not die, for each event lives in the heavy head forever, waiting to renew itself.”
“Existentialism means that no one else can take a bath for you.”

This Date in Art History: Born 11 July 1946 – Martin Wong, an American painter.

Below – “Golden State MKT (storefront)”; “Puerto Rican Day Parade”; “Store Front, Chinatown SF”; “WACO Studio Loft”; “The babysitter”; “Self-portrait.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 11 July 1899 – E. B. White, an American author, essayist, journalist, and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

Some quotes from the work of E. B. White:

“If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”
“A library is a good place to go when you feel unhappy, for there, in a book, you may find encouragement and comfort. A library is a good place to go when you feel bewildered or undecided, for there, in a book, you may have your question answered. Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people – people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.”
“I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.”
“I am reminded of the advice of my neighbor. “Never worry about your heart till it stops beating. ”
“The world is full of people who have never, since childhood, met an open doorway with an open mind.”
“There is a book out called Dog Training Made Easy, and it was sent to me the other day by the publisher, who rightly guessed that it would catch my eye. I like to read books on dog training. Being the owner of dachshunds, to me a book on dog discipline becomes a volume of inspired humor. Every sentence is a riot. Some day, if I ever get a chance, I shall write a book, or warning, on the character and temperament of the Dachshund and why he can’t be trained and shouldn’t be. I would rather train a striped zebra to balance an Indian club than induce a dachshund to heed my slightest command. For a number of years past I have been agreeably encumbered by a very large and dissolute dachshund named Fred. Of all the dogs whom I have served I’ve never known one who understood so much of what I say or held it in such deep contempt. When I address Fred I never have to raise either my voice or my hopes. He even disobeys me when I instruct him in something that he wants to do. And when I answer his peremptory scratch at the door and hold the door open for him to walk through, he stops in the middle and lights a cigarette, just to hold me up.”
“All that I hope to say in books, all that I ever hope to say, is that I love the world.”
“Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.”

Contemporary American Art – Michael Lopez

Below – “Seated woman with hat”; “Nomen Nescio 2020”; “Lily of the field”; “Seated Woman II”; “Man Standing in Light.”

A Poem for Today

by Faith Shearin

Go north a dozen years
on a road overgrown with vines
to find the days after you were born.
Flowers remembered their colors and trees
were frothy and the hospital was

behind us now, its brick indifference
forgotten by our car mirrors. You were
revealed to me: tiny, delicate,
your head smelling of some other world.
Turn right after the circular room

where I kept my books and right again
past the crib where you did not sleep
and you will find the window where
I held you that June morning
when you opened your eyes. They were

blue, tentative, not the deep chocolate
they would later become. You were gazing
into the world: at our walls,
my red cup, my sleepless hair and though
I’m told you could not focus, and you

no longer remember, we were seeing
one another after seasons of darkness.

Below – Kartick Dutta: “mother holding her baby”

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