Wandering in Woodacre- 12 January 2021

This Date in Art History: Born 12 January 1856 – John Singer Sargent, an American painter.

Below – “Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose,” “Robert Louis Stevenson”; “Morning Walk”; “Claude Monet Painting by the Edge of a Wood”; “The Daughters of Edward Darley Bolt”; “Muddy Alligators.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 12 January 1876 – Jack London, an American novelist, journalist, and author of “The Call of the Wild.”

I know that I have posted about Jack London just two months ago, but “The Call of the Wild” had a profound effect on my intellectual and emotional life. After reading it as a boy, the book made me a life-long reader, and it fueled my determination to one day visit the Arctic to experience the world depicted in it. Though it was several decades after I first read the novel, I did finally get to ride in a dog sled, and I did get to witness the Northern Lights in all their glorious splendor. I’ll make this post brief.

Two of my favorite quotes from the work of Jack London:

“A vast silence reigned over the land. The land itself was a desolation, lifeless, without movement, so lone and cold that the spirit of it was not even that of sadness. There was a hint in it of laughter, but of laughter more terrible than any sadness-a laughter that was mirthless as the smile of the Sphinx, a laughter cold as the frost and partaking of the grimness of infallibility. It was the masterful and incommunicable wisdom of eternity laughing at the futility of life and the effort of life. It was the Wild, the savage, frozen-hearted Northland Wild.”

“I ride over my beautiful ranch. Between my legs is a beautiful horse. The air is wine. The grapes on a score of rolling hills are red with autumn flame. Across Sonoma Mountain, wisps of sea fog are stealing. The afternoon sun smolders in the drowsy sky. I have everything to make me glad I am alive.”

Contemporary French Art – Kelly Allison Peyrouzet

Below – “Fragola”; “Bordeaux Merlot”; “One Day”; “Crescendo”; “Message in a Bottle”; “Passageways.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 12 December 1949 – Haruki Murakami, an award-winning Japanese novelist, short story writer, essayist, and author of “A Wild Sheep Chase” and “Kafka on the Shore.”

Some quotes from the work of Haruki Murakami:

“Say it before you run out of time. Say it before it’s too late. Say what you’re feeling. Waiting is a mistake.”

“Spend your money on the things money can buy. Spend your time on the things money can’t buy.”

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”

“Never let the darkness or negativity outside affect your inner self. Just wait until morning comes and the bright light will drown out the darkness.”

“Life is a lot more fragile than we think. So you should treat others in a way that leaves no regrets. Fairly, and if possible, sincerely.”

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”

“Deep rivers run quiet.”

“Unclose your mind. You are not a prisoner. You are a bird in flight, searching the skies for dreams.”

“But if you knew you might not be able to see it again tomorrow, everything would suddenly become special and precious, wouldn’t it?”

Contemporary Spanish Art – Daniel Galvan

Below – “In Real Life There Is No Algebra”; ““Mantenerse al margen”; “Take Me Somewhere Nice”; “Resplandecer” “Prevalecer sobre el resto”; “En el mismo instante.”

A Poem for Today

“Not Knowing Why”

by Ann Struthers

Adolescent white pelicans squawk, rustle, flap their wings,

lift off in a ragged spiral at imaginary danger.

What danger on this island in the middle

of Marble Lake? They’re off to feel

the lift of wind under their iridescent wings,

because they were born to fly,

because they have nothing else to do,

because wind and water are their elements,

their Bach, their Homer, Shakespeare,

and Spielberg. They wheel over the lake,

the little farms, the tourist village with their camera eyes.


In autumn something urges

them toward Texas marshes. They follow

their appetites and instincts, unlike the small beetles

creeping along geometric roads, going toward small boxes,

toward lives as narrow or as wide as the pond,

as glistening or as gray as the sky.

They do not know why. They fly, they fly.

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