Wandering in Woodacre – 11 January 2021

This Date in Art History: Born 11 January 1893 – Elinor Aiki, an Estonian painter.

Below – “Le lit de Kalevipoe”; “Ulled”; “Jour d’été”; “Bouilloire et chaudière”; “Jour d’hiver à Tartu”; “Tiiu, Tiina et Tuun.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 11 January 1972 – Padraic Colum, an Irish poet, novelist, biographer, playwright, children’s author, and collector of folklore.

“Old Woman of the Roads”
by Padraic Colum

O, to have a little house!
To own the hearth and stool and all!
The heaped up sods against the fire,
The pile of turf against the wall!
To have a clock with weights and chains
And pendulum swinging up and down!
A dresser filled with shining delph,
Speckled and white and blue and brown!
I could be busy all the day
Clearing and sweeping hearth and floor,
And fixing on their shelf again
My white and blue and speckled store!
I could be quiet there at night
Beside the fire and by myself,
Sure of a bed and loth to leave
The ticking clock and the shining delph!
Och! but I’m weary of mist and dark,
And roads where there’s never a house nor bush,
And tired I am of bog and road,
And the crying wind and the lonesome hush!
And I am praying to God on high,
And I am praying Him night and day,
For a little house – a house of my own
Out of the wind’s and the rain’s way.

Below – Larry Hamilton: “Irish Cottage”

Contemporary American Art – Bart Soutendijk

Below (wire sculptures) – “Nude flute player #1890”;“Nude Back”; “Seated Nude #868”;“Girl Kissing her Knee #364”“Seated Nude #3043”; “Horse.”

This Date in Literary/Intellectual History: Born 11 January 1887 – Aldo Leopold, and American author, philosopher, naturalist, scientist, ecologist, forester, conservationist, environmentalist, and author of “A Sand County Almanac.”

Some quotes from the work of Aldo Leopold:

“We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”
“The oldest task in human history: to live on a piece of land without spoiling it.”
“A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.”
“Land is not merely soil, it is a fountain of energy flowing through a circuit of soils, plants and animals.”
“Ethical behavior is doing the right thing when no one else is watching- even when doing the wrong thing is legal.”
“There can be no doubt that a society rooted in the soil is more stable than one rooted in pavements.”
“The hope of the future lies not in curbing the influence of human occupancy – it is already too late for that – but in creating a better understanding of the extent of that influence and a new ethic for its governance.”
“That land is a community is the basic concept of ecology, but that land is to be loved and respected is an extension of ethics.”
“Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question whether a still higher ‘standard of living’ is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free. For us of the minority, the opportunity to see geese is more important than television.”
“Nonconformity is the highest evolutionary attainment of social animals.”
“To those devoid of imagination a blank place on the map is a useless waste; to others, the most valuable part.”
“One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.”
“The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant: ‘What good is it?”
“My favorite quote: The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively: the land. In short, a land ethic changes the role of Homo sapiens from conqueror of the land-community to plain member and citizen of it. It implies respect for his fellow-members, and also respect for the community as such.”
“In wildness is the salvation of the world.”
“That the situation appears hopeless should not prevent us from doing our best.”
“This song of the waters is audible to every ear, but there is other music in these hills, by no means audible to all. On a still night, when the campfire is low and the Pleiades have climbed over rimrocks, sit quietly and listen, and think hard of everything you have seen and tried to understand. Then you may hear it – a vast pulsing harmony – its score inscribed on a thousand hills, its notes the lives and deaths of plants and animals, its rhythms spanning the seconds and the centuries.”

Contemporary American Art – Scott Reither

Below (photographs) – “Windcatcher”; “End of the Forest”; “Gateway to the Sacred”“Snow Hut”;“Spirit Seeker”“Structured Space.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 11 January 1928 – Thomas Hardy, an English novelist, poet, and author of “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” and “Jude the Obscure”: Part I of II.

Some quotes from the work of Thomas Hardy:

“If a path to the better there be, it begins with a full look at the worst.”
“Time changes everything except something within us which is always surprised by change.”
“Women are attracted to silent men. They believe they are listening.”
“To dwellers in a wood, almost every species of tree has its voice as well as its feature.”
“The sky was clear – remarkably clear – and the twinkling of all the stars seemed to be but throbs of one body, timed by a common pulse.”
“The sudden disappointment of a hope leaves a scar which the ultimate fulfillment of that hope never entirely removes.”
“Remember that the best and greatest among mankind are those who do themselves no worldly good. Every successful man is more or less a selfish man. The devoted fail.”
“Pessimism is playing the sure game. You cannot lose at it; you may gain. It is the only view of life in which you can never be disappointed. Having reckoned what to do in the worst possible circumstances, when better arise, as they may, life becomes child’s play.”
“I shall do one thing in this life – one thing certain – this is, love you, and long of you, and keep wanting you till I die.”

Contemporary Czech Art – Svetlana Kurmaz

Below – “Promenade”; “No1 From Set with Grey Ellipses”“Dreamy Day”; “Shadows on the Wall”;“Bather on the Beach”;“Girl Cutting Roses.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 11 January 1928 – Thomas Hardy, an English novelist, poet, and author of “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” and “Jude the Obscure”: Part II of II.

“A Broken Appointment”
by Thomas Hardy

You did not come,
And marching Time drew on, and wore me numb,—
Yet less for loss of your dear presence there
Than that I thus found lacking in your make
That high compassion which can overbear
Reluctance for pure lovingkindness’ sake
Grieved I, when, as the hope-hour stroked its sum,
You did not come.

You love not me,
And love alone can lend you loyalty;
–I know and knew it. But, unto the store
Of human deeds divine in all but name,
Was it not worth a little hour or more
To add yet this: Once you, a woman, came
To soothe a time-torn man; even though it be
You love not me?

Below – Igor Vitomirov: “Lonely Man” (photograph)

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