Wandering in Woodacre – 25 March 2021

This Date in Art History: Died 25 March 1932 – Harriet Backer, a Norwegian painter.

Below – “Blatt interior”; “Pa blekevollen”; “Chez Moi”; “Kone som syr”; “Breton interior”; “Ved lampelys.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 25 March 1969 – Max Eastman, an American poet.

“At the Aquarium”
by Max Eastman

Serene the silver fishes glide,
Stern-lipped, and pale, and wonder-eyed!
As through the aged deeps of ocean,
They glide with wan and wavy motion!
They have no pathway where they go,
They flow like water to and fro.
They watch with never winking eyes,
They watch with staring, cold surprise,
The level people in the air,
The people peering, peering there:
Who wander also to and fro,
And know not why or where they go,
Yet have a wonder in their eyes,
Sometimes a pale and cold surprise.

Below – Motoko Kamada: “At the aquarium”

Contemporary British Art – Anna McNeil

Below – “Whisper”: “Lovers (youth)”; “That Summer”; Untitled: “Treetops”; Untitled.

This Date in Literary History: Born 25 March 1925 – Flannery O’Connor, an award-winning American short story writer, novelist, author of “The Complete Stories,” and recipient of the National Book Award.

Some quotes from the work of Flannery O’Connor:

“The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.”
“Anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days.”
“Art never responds to the wish to make it democratic; it is not for everybody; it is only for those who are willing to undergo the effort needed to understand it.”
“You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you odd.”
“I think it is safe to say that while the South is hardly Christ-centered, it is most certainly Christ-haunted.”
“Where you come from is gone, where you thought you were going to was never there, and where you are is no good unless you can get away from it. Where is there a place for you to be? No place… Nothing outside you can give you any place… In yourself right now is all the place you’ve got.”
“Whenever I’m asked why Southern writers particularly have a penchant for writing about freaks, I say it is because we are still able to recognize one.”
“Accepting oneself does not preclude an attempt to become better.”
“To expect too much is to have a sentimental view of life and this is a softness that ends in bitterness.”

Contemporary Ukrainian Art – Igor Melnyk

Below – “Silence”; “Family conversation”; “Bopoh”; “Dance”; “Let the couple go”; “Raven.”

A Poem for Today

by John O’Donohue

for Josie, my mother

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.

And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets into you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green
and azure blue,
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.

When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.

And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

Below – Alissa Kim Tjen: “Eulogy”

Contemporary British Art – Simon Hopkinson

Below – “Covid Regime”; “Cold Rainbow”; “Brit Coast”; “Scene Revisited”; “Sad Seaside”; “Dark Day two.”

A Poem for Today

“May We Raise Children Who Love The Unloved Things”
by Nicolette Sowder

May we raise children
who love the unloved
things–the dandelion, the
worms and spiderlings.
Children who sense
the rose needs the thorn

& run into rainswept days
the same way they
turn towards sun…

And when they’re grown &
someone has to speak for those
who have no voice

may they draw upon that
wilder bond, those days of
tending tender things

and be the ones.

Below – Maria de Vries: “Peers”

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