Wandering in Woodacre – 6 May 2021

Contemporary Canadian Art – Nick Clements

Below (photographs) – “Coyote Snowstorm”; “Forest Moon”; “Black Bear/Darkness Series”; “Trumpeter Swan”; “Athabasca Wolf/Lightness Series”; “Horned Owl/Darkness Series.”

This Date in Literary/Intellectual History: Died 6 May 1862 – Henry David Thoreau, an American naturalist, essayist, poet, philosopher, and author of “Walden” and “Civil Disobedience.”

Some quotes from the work of Henry David Thoreau:

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”
“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
“The question is not what you look at, but what you see.”
“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.”
“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”
“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.”
“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away.”
“Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star.”


Contemporary Ukrainian Art – Victoria Sologubova

Below – “The sun in the snow”; “Winter night”; “Still life with coral”; “White tree of spring”; “In a laurel wreath”; “Still life with apple.”

This Dare in Literary History: Died 6 May 2014 – Farley Mowat, an award-winning Canadian writer, environmentalist, and author of “Never Cry Wolf” and “People of the Deer.”

Some quotes from the work of Farley Mowat:

“We have doomed the wolf not for what it is, but for what we deliberately and mistakenly perceive it to be –the mythologized epitome of a savage ruthless killer – which is, in reality, no more than a reflected image of ourself.”
“Whenever and wherever men have engaged in the mindless slaughter of animals (including other men), they have often attempted to justify their acts by attributing the most vicious or revolting qualities to those they would destroy; and the less reason there is for the slaughter, the greater the campaign for vilification.”
“It is to this new-found resolution to reassert our indivisibility with life, to recognize the obligations incumbent upon us as the most powerful and deadly species ever to exist, and to begin making amends for the havoc we have wrought, that my own hopes for a revival and continuance of life on earth now turn. If we persevere in this new way we may succeed in making man humane … at last.”
“Somewhere to the eastward a wolf howled; lightly, questioningly. I knew the voice, for I had heard it many times before. It was George, sounding the wasteland for an echo from the missing members of his family. But for me it was a voice which spoke of the lost world which once was ours before we chose the alien role; a world which I had glimpsed and almost entered…only to be excluded, at the end, by my own self.”
“On my 70th birthday, I was asked how I felt about mankind’s prospects. This is my reply: We are behaving like yeasts in a brewer’s vat, multiplying mindlessly while greedily consuming the substance of a finite world. If we continue to imitate the yeasts, we will perish as they perish, having exhausted our resources and poisoned ourselves in the lethal brew of our own wastes. Unlike the yeasts, we have a choice. What will it be?”


Contemporary Icelandic Art – Eoin Llwellyn

Below – “The Rising II”; “Young Woman with Fire”; “The Runaway”; “The Five Realities”; “The Diver”; “Man Sleeping in L.A. Apartment.”

A Poem for Today

“Walking Home From Oak-Head”
by Mary Oliver

There is something
about the snow-laden sky
in winter
in the late afternoon
that brings to the heart elation
and the lovely meaninglessness
of time.
Whenever I get home—whenever—
somebody loves me there.
Meanwhile
I stand in the same dark peace
as any pine tree,
or wander on slowly
like the still unhurried wind,
waiting,
as for a gift,
for the snow to begin
which it does
at first casually,
then, irrepressibly.
Wherever else I live —
in music, in words,
in the fires of the heart,
I abide just as deeply
in this nameless, indivisible place,
this world,
which is falling apart now,
which is white and wild,
which is faithful beyond all our expressions of faith,
our deepest prayers.
Don’t worry, sooner or later I’ll be home.
Red-cheeked from the roused wind,
I’ll stand in the doorway
stamping my boots and slapping my hands,
my shoulders
covered with stars.

Below – Gregor Pratneker: “In a Snowy Forest”

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