Contemporary Belarusian Painting: Sviatlana Vetrava
Below – “Lights”; “A Squirrel”; “Green Monkey”; “Latvia, 03.2029 N 01”; “Umbrella left”; “Autumn Mood.”
Musings in Summer: Truman Capote, an American novelist, playwright, and screenwriter – died 25 August 1984.
“Home is where you feel at home. I’m still looking.”
Contemporary American Art – Wayne Pruse: Part I of II.
Below – “The Lady in the Lake”: “Tiger Lily”; “Trickster II: Prelude”; “Snow Leopard”; “Contradictions”; “Caught In The Open II.”
“Sitting Outside at the End of Autumn”
by Charles Wright
Three years ago, in the afternoons,
I used to sit back here and try
To answer the simple arithmetic of my life,
But never could figure it—
This object and that object
Never contained the landscape
nor all of its implications,
This tree and that shrub
Never completely satisfied the sum or quotient
I took from or carried to,
nor do they do so now,
Though I’m back here again, looking to calculate,
Looking to see what adds up.
Everything comes from something,
only something comes from nothing,
Lao Tzu says, more or less.
Eminently sensible, I say,
Rubbing this tiny snail shell between my thumb and two fingers.
Delicate as an earring,
it carries its emptiness like a child
It would be rid of.
I rub it clockwise and counterclockwise, hoping for anything
Resplendent in its vocabulary or disguise—
But one and one make nothing, he adds,
endless and everywhere,
The shadow that everything casts.
Contemporary American Art – Wayne Pruse: Part II of II.
Below – “Great Horned Owls”; “Recovery”; “Siamese Fighting Fish III”; “Family Affair”; “Just Listening”; “Harvest Nymph.”
Musings in Summer: Friedrich Nietzsche, a German philosopher, philologist, and critic – died 25 August 1900.
“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”
Below – “on the rocks”; “No more fires”; “Mt Patterson”; “Prairie Thunder”; “Athabasca River”; “Tired old soldier.”
Born 25 August 1935 – Charles Wright, an American poet and recipient of both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize: Part II of III.
by Charles Wright
My traveling clothes light up the noon.
I’ve been on my way for a long time
back to the past,
That irreconcilable city.
Everyone wants to join me, it seems, and I let them.
Roadside flowers drive me to distraction,
Hover like lapus lazuli, there, just out of reach.
Narrow road, wide road, all of us on it, unhappy,
Unsettled, seven yards short of immortality
And a yard short of not long to live.
Better to sit down in the tall grass
and watch the clouds,
To lift our faces up to the sky,
Considering—for most of us—our lives have been a constant mistake.
Below – Sophie Labayle: “Tall Grass”
Contemporary Romanian Art – Safir Rifas: Part I of II.
Below – “Ophelia lying in the forest”; “Spring bouquet with red tulip”; “Heartache song”; “Blue Flowers”; “Geisha”; “Flower bouquet still life.”
This Date in Literary History: Born 25 August 1949 Martin Amis, a British novelist, essayist, memoirist, screenwriter, and author of “Money.”
Some quotes from the work of Martin Amis:
“Love is an abstract noun, something nebulous. And yet love turns out to be the only part of us that is solid, as the world turns upside down and the screen goes black. We can’t tell if it will survive us. But we can be sure that it’s the last thing to go.”
“And meanwhile time goes about its immemorial work of making everyone look and feel like shit.”
“Closure is a greasy little word which, moreover, describes a nonexistent condition. The truth, Venus, is that nobody gets over anything.”
“The universe is a million billion light-years wide, and every inch of it would kill you if you went there. This is the position of the universe with regards to human life.”
“He awoke at six, as usual. He needed no alarm clock. He was already comprehensively alarmed.”
“It is straightforward—and never mind, for now, about plagues and famines: if God existed, and if he cared for humankind, he would never have given us religion.”
“I have always derived great comfort from William Shakespeare. After a depressing visit to the mirror or an unkind word from a girlfriend or an incredulous stare in the street, I say to myself: ‘Well. Shakespeare looked like shit.’ It works wonders.”
“Money doesn’t mind if we say it’s evil, it goes from strength to strength. It’s a fiction, an addiction, and a tacit conspiracy.”
“Cities at night, I feel, contain men who cry in their sleep and then say Nothing. It’s nothing. Just sad dreams. Or something like that…Swing low in your weep ship, with your tear scans and sob probes, and you would mark them. Women–and they can be wives, lovers, gaunt muses, fat nurses, obsessions, devourers, exes, nemeses–will wake and turn to these men and ask, with female need-to-know, ‘What is it?’ And the men will say, ‘Nothing. No it isn’t anything really. Just sad dreams.’”
“We all have names we don’t know about.”
Below – “Belladonna”; “Flamenco dancer”; “Still life with spring flower and green frog”; “Beauty of time”; “Spring Flower bouquet”; “Selene.”
Born 25 August 1935 – Charles Wright, an American poet and recipient of both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize: Part III of III.
“After Reading Tu Fu, I Go Outside to the Dwarf Orchard”
by Charles Wright
East of me, west of me, full summer.
How deeper than elsewhere the dusk is in your own yard.
Birds fly back and forth across the lawn
looking for home
As night drifts up like a little boat.
Day after day, I become of less use to myself.
Like this mockingbird,
I flit from one thing to the next.
What do I have to look forward to at fifty-four?
Tomorrow is dark.
Day-after-tomorrow is darker still.
The sky dogs are whimpering.
Fireflies are dragging the hush of evening
up from the damp grass.
Into the world’s tumult, into the chaos of every day,
Go quietly, quietly.
Below – Sara Lee Brown: “Stone City Fireflies Take Two” (collage)