This Date in Art History: Born 18 February 1860 – Anders Zorn, a Swedish painter.
Below – “Reveil (Awakening)” (the artist’s wife); “Sommarnoie”; “Castles in the Air”; “Omnibus I”; “An Irish Girl”; “En premiar.”
This Date in Literary History: Born 18 February 1931 – Toni Morrison, an American novelist, essayist, author of “Beloved,” and recipient of both the Pulitzer Prize and the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Some quotes from the work of Toni Morrison:
“If you want to fly, you have to give up the things that weigh you down.”
“The function of freedom is to free someone else.”
“There is no such thing as race. None. There is just a human race – scientifically, anthropologically. Racism is a construct, a social construct… it has a social function, racism.”
“Make a difference about something other than yourselves.”
“From my point of view, your life is already a miracle of chance waiting for you to shape its destiny.”
“The peace I am thinking of is the dance of an open mind when it engages another equally open one.”
Below – “Racine”; “Midnight Barn”; “Garden Flood”; “April River Reflections”; “Lilac Bridge”; “Stone City Fireflies Take Two.”
This Date in Literary History: Born 18 February 1883 – Nikos Kazantzakis, a Greek novelist, playwright, travel writer, essayist, philosopher, memoirist, and author of “Zorba the Greek.”
Some quotes from the work of Nikos Kazantzakis:
“Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality.”
“True teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross; then, having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create their own.”
“The landscape affects the human psyche – the soul, the body and the innermost contemplations – like music. Every time you feel nature deeper you resonate better with her, finding new elements of balance and freedom.
“All my life one of my greatest desires has been to travel-to see and touch unknown countries, to swim in unknown seas, to circle the globe, observing new lands, seas, people, and ideas with insatiable appetite, to see everything for the first time and for the last time, casting a slow, prolonged glance, then to close my eyes and feel the riches deposit themselves inside me calmly or stormily according to their pleasure, until time passes them at last through its fine sieve, straining the quintessence out of all the joys and sorrows.”
“Happy is the man, I thought, who, before dying, has the good fortune to sail the Aegean sea.”
“I felt once more how simple and frugal a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea. Nothing else.”
Contemporary Serbian Art – Milena Radic: Part I of II.
Below – “Irina’s light”; “Justicia”; “Aya Sofia”; “Blue”; “Lee Me.”
This Date in Literary History: Born 18 February 1909 – Wallace Stegner, an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, author of “Angle of Repose” and “The Spectator Bird,” and recipient of both the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award.
Some quotes from the work of Wallace Stegner:
“Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed … We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in.”
“Whatever landscape a child is exposed to early on, that will be the sort of gauze through which he or she will see all the world afterwards.”
“One cannot be pessimistic about the West. This is the native home of hope. When it fully learns that cooperation, not rugged individualism, is the quality that most characterizes and preserves it, then it will have achieved itself and outlived its origins. Then it has a chance to create a society to match its scenery.”
“National parks are the best idea we ever had. Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst.”
“The brook would lose its song if we removed the rocks.”
“It should not be denied… that being footloose has always exhilarated us. It is associated in our minds with escape from history and oppression and law and irksome obligations, with absolute freedom, and the road has always led West.”
“What is such a resource worth? Anything it costs. If we never hike it or step into its shade, if we only drive by occasionally and see the textures of green mountainside change under wind and sun, or the fog move soft feathers down the gulches, or the last sunset on the continent redden the sky beyond the ridge, we have our money’s worth. We have been too efficient at destruction; we have left our souls too little space to breathe in. Every green natural place we save saves a fragment of our sanity and gives us a little more hope that we have a future.”
“I gave my heart to the mountains the minute I stood beside this river with its spray in my face and watched it thunder into foam, smooth to green glass over sunken rocks, shatter to foam again. I was fascinated by how it sped by and yet was always there; its roar shook both the earth and me.”
Contemporary Serbian Art – Milena Radic: Part II of II.
Below – “The Girl That Will Save The Moon”; “Slientium”; “Nightlight”; “Sweet secret”; “Broken wing.”
A Poem for Today
“The Old Liberators”
by Robert Hedin
Of all the people in the mornings at the mall,
it’s the old liberators I like best,
those veterans of the Bulge, Anzio, or Monte Cassino
I see lost in Automotive or back in Home Repair,
bored among the paints and power tools.
Or the really old ones, the ones who are going fast,
who keep dozing off in the little orchards
of shade under the distant skylights.
All around, from one bright rack to another,
their wives stride big as generals,
their handbags bulging like ripe fruit.
They are almost all gone now,
and with them they are taking the flak
and fire storms, the names of the old bombing runs.
Each day a little more of their memory goes out,
darkens the way a house darkens,
its rooms quietly filling with evening,
until nothing but the wind lifts the lace curtains,
the wind bearing through the empty rooms
the rich far off scent of gardens
where just now, this morning,
light is falling on the wild philodendrons.