Wandering in Woodacre – 16 February 2021

This Date in Art History: Born 16 February 1841 – Armand Guillaumin, a French painter.

Below- “Landscape”; “Agay”; “Landscape with Ruins”; “The Haystacks”; “View of the Seine, Paris”; “Snowy landscape in Crozant.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 16 February 1944 – Richard Ford, an American novelist, short story writer, author of “Independence Day,” and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

Some quotes from the work of Richard Ford:

“The art of living your life has a lot to do with getting over loss. The less the past haunts you, the better.”
“Love isn’t a thing, after all, but an endless series of single acts.”
“Your life doesn’t mean what you have or what you get. Its what your’e willing to give up.”
“When people realize they are being listened to, they tell you things.
“Some idiotic things are well worth doing.”
“If you lose all hope, you can always find it again.”
“It’s been my habit of mind, over these years, to understand that every situation in which human beings are involved can be turned on its head. Everything someone assures me to be true might not be. Every pillar of belief the world rests on may or may not be about to explode. Most things don’t stay the way they are very long. Knowing this, however, has not made me cynical. Cynical means believing that good isn’t possible; and I know for a fact that good is. I simply take nothing for granted and try to be ready for the change that’s soon to come.”

This Date in Art History: Died 16 February 1990 – Keith Haring, an American painter.

Below – “Andy Mouse”; “Barking Dog”; Untitled; “Statue of Liberty”; “Monkey Puzzle”; “Flowers IV.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 16 February 1992 – Angela Carter, an award-winning English novelist, short story writer, and author of “The Bloody Chamber” and Nights at the Circus.”

Some quotes from the work of Angela Carter:

“Nostalgia, the vice of the aged. We watch so many old movies our memories come in monochrome.”
“Cities have sexes: London is a man, Paris a woman, and New York a well-adjusted transsexual.”
“I am entirely alone. I and my shadow fill the universe.”
“Is not this world an illusion? And yet it fools everybody.”
“She stood lost in eternity wearing a crazy dress, watching the immense sky.”
“I think it’s one of the scars in our culture that we have too high an opinion of ourselves. We align ourselves with the angels instead of the higher primates.”
“To pin your hopes upon the future is to consign those hopes to a hypothesis, which is to say, a nothingness. Here and now is what we must contend with.”
“For most of human history, ‘literature,’ both fiction and poetry, has been narrated, not written — heard, not read. So fairy tales, folk tales, stories from the oral tradition, are all of them the most vital connection we have with the imaginations of the ordinary men and women whose labor created our world.”
“There was a house we all had in common and it was called the past, even though we’d lived in different rooms.”

Contemporary Lithuanian Art: Aurelija Kairyte-Smolianskiene

Below – “Fox”; “Bath” “Knitting of the Wings”; “Guardian of heart”; “The cat”; “The witchcraft”; “The heart.”

A Poem for Today

“Applied Geometry”
by Russell Libby

Applied geometry,
measuring the height
of a pine from
like triangles,
Rosa’s shadow stretches
seven paces in
low-slanting light of
late Christmas afternoon.
One hundred thirty nine steps
up the hill until the sun is
finally caught at the top of the tree,
let’s see,
twenty to one,
one hundred feet plus a few to adjust
for climbing uphill,
and her hands barely reach mine
as we encircle the trunk,
almost eleven feet around.
Back to the lumber tables.
That one tree might make
three thousand feet of boards
if our hearts could stand
the sound of its fall.

Below – Stacy Krise: “Pine Tree”

Contemporary Australian Art – Ronzo Weideman

Below – “Snapper Whales!”; “Run Thru The Jungle”; “2 Up”; “Wonderland”; “Emerald Beach”; “Beach Cricket.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 16 February 1958: Natalie Angier, an American nonfiction writer, science journalist for “The New York Times,” author of “The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science,” and recipient of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science Science Journalism Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting.

Some quotes from the work of Natalie Angier:

“We are made of stardust; why not take a few moments to look up at the family album?”
“Scientists have discovered that the small, brave act of cooperating with another person, of choosing trust over cynicism, generosity over selfishness, makes the brain light up with quiet joy.”
“Science is not a body of facts. Science is a state of mind. It is a way of viewing the world, of facing reality square on but taking nothing on its face. It is about attacking a problem with the most manicured of claws and tearing it down into sensible, edible pieces.”
“I may not believe in life after death, but what a gift it is to be alive now.
“The surest and most insidious enemy of freedom is not dictatorship, but complacency.”
“Astronomers are pure of heart and appealingly puerile. They look into the midnight sky and ask big questions, just as we did when we were in college: Who are we? Where do we come from? And why are we standing around outside on the night before finals, do we want to end up making elevator parts for a living like our father or what?”
“Evolution is a tinkerer, an ad-hocker, and a jury-rigger. It works with what it has on hand, not with what it has in mind. Some of its inventions prove elegant, while in others you can see the seams and dried glue.”
“I’m an Atheist. I don’t believe in God, Gods, Godlets or any sort of higher power beyond the universe itself, which seems quite high and powerful enough to me.”
“Astronomy is so easy to love. … Fairly or not, physics is associated with nuclear bombs and nuclear waste, chemistry with pesticides, biology with Frankenfood and designer-gene superbabies. But astronomers are like responsible ecotourists, squinting at the scenery through high-quality optical devices, taking nothing but images that may be computer-enhanced for public distribution, leaving nothing but a few Land Rover footprints on faraway Martian soil, and OK, OK, maybe the Land Rover, too.”
“Nature is a tenacious recycler, every dung heap and fallen redwood tree a bustling community of saprophytes wresting life from the dead and discarded, as though intuitively aware that there is nothing new under the sun. Throughout the physical world, from the cosmic to the subatomic, the same refrain resounds. Conservation: it’s not just a good idea, it’s the law.”

Contemporary Russian Art – Vera Khodakova

Below – “Where we aren’t” “Look at the emptiness”; “Who am I? Where did I come from?”; “The breath of emptiness”; “Step into emptiness”; “Hug.”

A Poem for Today

“How Is It That the Snow”
by Robert Haight

How is it that the snow
amplifies the silence,
slathers the black bark on limbs,
heaps along the brush rows?

Some deer have stood on their hind legs
to pull the berries down.
Now they are ghosts along the path,
snow flecked with red wine stains.

This silence in the timbers.
A woodpecker on one of the trees
taps out its story,
stopping now and then in the lapse
of one white moment into another.

Below – Christopher Canote: “Didn’t You Hear Me Calling?”

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