Wandering in Woodacre – 15 November 2020

This Date in Art History: Died 15 November 1951 – Frank Weston Benson, an American painter.

Below – “Summer”; “Eleanor”; “Herons and Lilies”; “Chickadees in Winter”; “The Watcher”; “My Daughter Elizabeth.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 15 November 1887 – Marianne Moore, an American poet, critic, translator, and recipient of the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize: Part I of II.

Some quotes from the work of Marianne Moore:

“The heart that gives, gathers.”
“The deepest feeling always shows itself in silence.”
“Poetry is the art of creating imaginary gardens with real toads.”
“Life is energy, and energy is creativity. And even when individuals pass on, the energy is retained in the work of art, locked in it and awaiting release if only someone will take the time and the care to unlock it.”
“Excess is the common substitute for energy.”
“Your thorns are the best part of you.”

This Date in Art History: Born 15 November 1867 – Georgia O’Keeffe, an American painter.

Below – “Black Mesa Landscape, New Mexico”; “Lake George Reflection”; “Jimson Weed, White Flower No. 1”; “Ram’s Head White Hollyhocks and Little Hills”; “Hollyhock Pink with Pedernal”; “Black Hollyhock Blue Larkspur.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 15 November 1887 – Marianne Moore, an American poet, critic, translator, and recipient of the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize: Part II of II.

“To a Chameleon”
by Marianne Moore

Hid by the august foliage and fruit of the grape-vine
your anatomy
round the pruned and polished stem,
Fire laid upon
an emerald as long as
the Dark King’s massy
could not snap the spectrum up for food as you have done.

Below – Laura Lumeau: “Chameleon Rainbow” (sculpture)

Contemporary American Art – Katelyn Alain

Below – “Looking out at the night as the night itself”; “Self With A Gut Feeling”; “The Ship Was False And Held But One”; “Ambivalence”; “Awakening In The Depths”; “Ready for Change.”

Born 15 November 1930 – J. G. Ballard, an award-winning English novelist, short story writer, essayist, and author of “The Drowned World” and “Empire of the Sun.”

Some quotes from the work of J. G. Ballard:

“We live in a world ruled by fictions of every kind – mass merchandising, advertising, politics conducted as a branch of advertising, the instant translation of science and technology into popular imagery, the increasing blurring and intermingling of identities within the realm of consumer goods, the preempting of any free or original imaginative response to experience by the television screen. We live inside an enormous novel.”
“I think the enemy of creativity in the world today is that so much thinking is done for you.”
“Unhappy parents teach you a lesson that lasts a lifetime.”
“The advanced societies of the future will not be governed by reason. They will be driven by irrationality, by competing systems of psychopathology.”
“Sooner or later, everything turns into television.”
“Along with our passivity, we’re entering a profoundly masochistic phase everyone is a victim these days, of parents, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, even love itself. And how much we enjoy it. Our happiest moments are spent trying to think up new varieties of victimhood.”
“It was an excess of fantasy that killed the old United States, the whole Mickey Mouse and Marilyn thing, the most brilliant technologies devoted to trivia like instant cameras and space spectaculars that should have stayed in the pages of Science Fiction . . . some of the last Presidents of the U.S.A. seemed to have been recruited straight from Disneyland.”
“I believe in the power of the imagination to remake the world, to release the truth within us, to hold back the night, to transcend death, to charm motorways, to ingratiate ourselves with birds, to enlist the confidences of madmen.”
“Memories have huge staying power, but like dreams, they thrive in the dark, surviving for decades in the deep waters of our minds like shipwrecks on the sea bed.”

Contemporary Indian Art – Ranga J

Below – “Deep in the woods at night”; “Willow creek”; “An Accidental Bloom”; “Moon Fly”; “Tears of mermaid”; “Girl with her Red dress.”

A Poem for Today

“How You Know”
by Joe Mills

‘How do you know if it’s love?’ she asks,
and I think if you have to ask, it’s not,
but I know this won’t help. I want to say
you’re too young to worry about it,
as if she has questions about Medicare
or social security, but this won’t help either.
“You’ll just know” is a lie, and one truth,
“when you still want to be with them
the next morning,” would involve too
many follow-up questions. The difficulty
with love, I want to say, is sometimes
you only know afterwards that it’s arrived
or left. Love is the elephant and we
are the blind mice unable to understand
the whole. I want to say love is this
desire to help even when I know I can’t,
just as I couldn’t explain electricity, stars,
the color of the sky, baldness, tornadoes,
fingernails, coconuts, or the other things
she has asked about over the years, all
those phenomena whose daily existence
seems miraculous. Instead I shake my head.
‘I don’t even know how to match my socks.
Go ask your mother.’ She laughs and says,
‘I did. Mom told me to come and ask you.’

Below – Tanya Firn: “At the Lake”

Contemporary German Art – Regine Kuschke

Below – “At Night”; “Here. At this location”; “Idyll with dog”; “The View”; “Night Chants”; “Sea Queen”; “Swimming.”

A Poem for Today

“Brief Eden”
by Lois Beebe

For part of one strange year we lived
in a small house at the edge of a wood.
No neighbors, which suited us. Nobody
to ask questions. Except
for the one big question we went on
asking ourselves.
That spring
myriads of birds stopped over
briefly. Birds we’d never seen before, drawn
to our leafy quiet and our brook and because,
as we later learned, the place lay beneath
a flyway. Flocks appeared overnight—birds
brilliant or dull, with sharp beaks
or crossed bills, birds small
and enormous, all of them pausing
to gorge at the feeder, to rest their wings,
and disappear. Each flock seemed surer than we
of a destination. By the time we’d watched them
wing north in spring, then make
an anxious autumn return,
we too had pulled it together and we too moved
into what seemed to be our lives.

Below – Daria Shestopalova: “A small house in the woods”

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