This Date in Art History: Born 14 January 1836 – Henri Fantin-Latour, a French painter and lithographer.
Below – “La Lecture”; “Sonia”; “By the Table”; “Still Life with a Carafe, Flowers and Fruit”; “A Studio at Batignolles”; “Peonies.”
This Date in Literary History: Born 14 January 1949 – Mary Robison, an award-winning American short story writer, novelist, and author of “Why Did I Ever.”
Some quotes from the work of Mary Robison:
“Something else that makes me angry is that I got too old to prostitute myself. I wasn’t going to anyway but it was there, it was my Z plan.”
“I’ve come to pick up Collie and caught the glint of her buzzed red head out back here in the yard. She’s deep in, standing under a ruined magnolia tree, peering up into its branches. There are fallen dysfunctional blossoms, looking like killed pelicans, all around.”
“He wanted to tell her, from the greater perspective that he had, that to own only a little talent, like his, is an awful, plaguing thing; that being only a little special meant that you expected too much, most of the time, and like yourself too little. He wanted to assure her that she had missed nothing.”
“Once more I’m out, at one A.M., in some store trying to purchase bedding plants. The cashier woman says, ‘They’re three for five dollars. You sure you need eight?’
I”m distracted, looking at this man behind me.
She ask, ‘You’re sure you want to cut it off at eight?’
This guy behind me in the checkout lane is wearing a sweater vest and his arms bare. He’s waiting with a hundred-dollar bill to pay for Twizzlers and a porterhouse steak.
Which leads me to look down at my own self.
‘Do I know you?’ he asks softly.
‘No,’ I say, sighing. ‘Not in the way you mean.’”
This Date in Art History: Born 14 January 1841 – Berthe Morisot, a French painter.
Below – “Summer’s Day”; “Grain field”; “Reading”; “The Dining Room”; “The Bath”; “Winter.”
This Date in Literary History: Died 14 January 1977 – Anais Nin, a French-Cuban American diarist, essayist, short story writer, novelist, and author of “Delta of Venus.”
Some quotes from the work of Anais Nin:
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”
“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”
“What we call our destiny is truly our character and that character can be altered. The knowledge that we are responsible for our actions and attitudes does not need to be discouraging, because it also means that we are free to change this destiny. One is not in bondage to the past, which has shaped our feelings, to race, inheritance, background. All this can be altered if we have the courage to examine how it formed us. We can alter the chemistry provided we have the courage to dissect the elements.”
“Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”
“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.”
“Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.”
Contemporary French Art – Sylvia Baldeva: Part I of II.
Below – “Spirit of Nature”; “Blue Dawn”; “Woman with red lips”; “Falling night”; “Longing.”
A Poem for Today
by Ted Kooser
Only one cell in the frozen hive of night
is lit, or so it seems to us:
this Vietnamese café, with its oily light,
its odors whose colorful shapes are like flowers.
Laughter and talking, the tick of chopsticks.
Beyond the glass, the wintry city
creaks like an ancient wooden bridge.
A great wind rushes under all of us.
The bigger the window, the more it trembles.
Below – Duta Razvan: “Winter Town”
Contemporary French Art – Sylvia Baldeva: Part II of II.
Below – “Expecting”; “Stoical”; “Young girl with a hat”; “Ginger”; “Nude stretching.”
“The Letter From Home”
by Nancyrose Houston
The dogs barked, the dogs scratched, the dogs got wet, the
dogs shook, the dogs circled, the dogs slept, the dogs ate,
the dogs barked; the rain fell down, the leaves fell down, the
eggs fell down and cracked on the floor; the dust settled,
the wood floors were scratched, the cabinets sat without
doors, the trim without paint, the stuff piled up; I loaded the
dishwasher, I unloaded the dishwasher, I raked the leaves,
I did the laundry, I took out the garbage, I took out the
recycling, I took out the yard waste. There was a bed, it was
soft, there was a blanket, it was warm, there were dreams,
they were good. The corn grew, the eggplant grew, the
tomatoes grew, the lettuce grew, the strawberries grew, the
blackberries grew; the tea kettle screamed, the computer
keys clicked, the radio roared, the TV spoke. ‘Will they ever
come home?’ ‘Can’t I take a break?’ ‘How do others keep
their house clean?’ ‘Will I remember this day in fifty years?’
The sweet tea slipped down my throat, the brownies melted
in my mouth. My mother cooked, the apple tree bloomed, the
lilac bloomed, the mimosa bloomed, I bloomed.
Below – Dorina Costras: “Blooming”