Wandering in Woodacre – 14 November 2020

Today is the beginning of Diwali, the festival of lights in Hinduism. In the words of one writer, Diwali symbolizes the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.”

This Date in Art History: Born 14 November 1840 – Claude Monet, a French painter: Part I of II.

Below – “The Magpie”; “In the Garden”; “Women in the Garden”; “Madame Monet in a Japanese kimono”; “Le Grenouillere”; “Water Lilies.”

A Poem for Today

by Barbara Schmitz

It is very hot—92 today—to be wearing
a stocking cap, but the adolescent swaggering
through the grocery store automatic door
doesn’t seem to mind; does not even appear
to be perspiring. The tugged-down hat
is part of his carefully orchestrated outfit:
bagging pants, screaming t-shirt, high-topped
shoes. The young woman who yells to her friends
from an open pickup window is attired
for summer season in strapless stretch
tube top, slipping down toward bountiful
cleavage valley. She tugs it up in front
as she races toward the two who have
just passed a cigarette between them
like a baton on a relay team. Her white
chest gleams like burnished treasure
as they giggle loudly there in the corner
and I glance down to see what costume
I have selected to present myself to
the world today. I smile; it’s my sky blue
shirt with large deliberately faded Peace sign,
smack dab in the middle, plus grey suede
Birkenstocks—a message that “I lived through
the sixties and am so proud.” None of the
young look my way. I round the corner and
walk into Evening descending.

This Date in Art History: Born 14 November 1840 – Claude Monet, a French painter: Part II of II.

Below – “Springtime”; “Water Lilies and the Japanese bridge”;
“Woman in the Garden”; “The Studio Boat”; “Water Lilies”; “Flowering Arches, Giverny.”

Contemporary Italian Art – di teodoro angela

Below – “Sea At Night”; “Sensitive Experience”; “the lost paradise.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 14 November 1916 – Saki (pen name of Hector Hugh Munro), a British short story writer who is often compared with O. Henry and Dorothy Parker.

Some quotes from the work of Saki:

“The young have aspirations that never come to pass, the old have reminiscences of what never happened.”
“We all know that Prime Ministers are wedded to the truth, but like other wedded couples they sometimes live apart.”
“The cat is domestic only as far as suits its own ends.”
“He is one of those people who would be enormously improved by death.”
“I hate posterity – it’s so fond of having the last word.”
“Children are given us to discourage our better emotions.”
“You needn’t tell me that a man who doesn’t love oysters and asparagus and good wines has got a soul, or a stomach either. He’s simply got the instinct for being unhappy highly developed.”
“Hors d’oeuvres have always a pathetic interest for me; they remind me of one’s childhood that one goes through wondering what the next course is going to be like – and during the rest of the menu one wishes one had eaten more of the hors d’oeuvres.”
“Find yourself a cup; the teapot is behind you. Now tell me about hundreds of things.”

Contemporary Swedish Art – Helen Dooley

Artist Statement: “I construct my encaustic paintings by collecting pure beeswax, some natural pigments and wood ash from the Swedish forest to give a deep connection to the place and time I am lucky enough to call safe and home.”

Below – “Narcissi Havera”; “Lily Stamens”; “Midsummer Meadow”; “English Spring”; “May Hedgerow”; “polypodium vulgar”; “Wild Rose.”

A Poem for Today

“Peace Lilies”
by Cathy Smith

I collect them now, it seems. Like
sea-shells or old
thimbles. One for
Father. One for

Mother. Two for my sweet brothers.
Odd how little
they require of
me. Unlike the

ones they were sent in memory
of. No sudden
shrilling of the
phone. No harried

midnight flights. Only a little
water now and
then. Scant food and
light. See how I’ve

brought them all together here in
this shaded space
beyond the stairs.
Even when they

thirst, they summon me with nothing
more than a soft,
indifferent furl-
ing of their leaves.

Below – Karin Best: “Peace Lilies”

Contemporary Spanish Art – Susana Mata

Below – “Bath time IV”; “Young girl in yellow shorts lying on a sofa”; “The library”; “Interior: The rest”; “Bath time V”; “Woman lying in a pool.”

A Poem for Today

“One’s Ship Comes In”
by Joe Paddock

I swear
my way now will be
to continue without
plan or hope, to accept
the drift of things, to shift
from endless effort
to joy in, say,
that robin, plunging
into the mossy shallows
of my bird bath and
splashing madly till
the air shines with spray.
Joy it will be, say,
in Nancy, pretty in pink
and rumpled T-shirt,
rubbing sleep from her eyes, or
joy even in
just this breathing, free
of fright and clutch, knowing
how one’s ship comes in
with each such breath.

Below – Veronika Kryukova: “After”

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