Wandering in Woodacre – 13 May 2021

Contemporary American Art – Jessica Alazraki

Below – “Bending Down”; “holding cat”; “Tiger”; “Cats & kids on Yellow”; “Red Hood”; “light in orange.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 13 May 1947 – Charles Baxter, an award-winning American short story writer, novelist, essayist, poet, and author of “Harmony of the World” and “The Feast of Love.”

Some quotes from the work of Charles Baxter:

“What’s agitating about solitude is the inner voice telling you that you should be mated to somebody, that solitude is a mistake. The inner voice doesn’t care about who you find. It just keeps pestering you, tormenting you–if you happen to be me–with homecoming queens first, then girls next door, and finally anybody who might be pleased to see you now and then at the dinner table and in bed on occasion. You look up from reading the newspaper and realize that no one loves you, and no one burns for you.”
“Forget art. Put your trust in ice cream.”
“As my mother once said to me, ‘They’re quite crazy, dear – men are. What you look for is one of them whose insanity is large enough, and calm and generous enough, to include you.”
“Savor the imminent weirdness of the day.”
“The point is that although love may die, what is said on its behalf cannot be consumed by the passage of time, and forgiveness is everything.”
“Every relationship has at least one really good day. What I mean is, no matter how sour things go, there’s always that day. That day is always in your possession. That’s the day you remember. You get old and you think: well, at least I had that day. It happened once. You think all the variables might just line up again. But they don’t. Not always. I once talked to a woman who said, ‘Yeah, that’s the day we had an angel around.’”


Contemporary American Art -Dean West

Below (photographs) – “Pink Dreams # 1, Miami Shores”; “Porto Katsiki Beach # 5, Under the Sun”; “Still Life # 1 (Desert Oasis)”; “Palm Springs # 3”; “New York #1”; “Tree.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 13 May 1940 – Bruce Chatwin, an award-winning English travel writer, novelist, journalist, and author of “In Patagonia” and “On the Black Hill.”

Some quotes from the work of Bruce Chatwin:

“Walking is a virtue, tourism is a deadly sin.”
“As a general rule of biology, migratory species are less ‘aggressive’ than sedentary ones.
There is one obvious reason why this should be so. The migration itself, like the pilgrimage, is the hard journey: a ‘leveller’ on which the ‘fit’ survive and stragglers fall by the wayside.
The journey thus pre-empts the need for hierarchies and shows of dominance. The ‘dictators’ of the animal kingdom are those who live in an ambience of plenty. The anarchists, as always, are the ‘gentlemen of the road’.”
“I haven’t got any special religion this morning. My God is the God of Walkers. If you walk hard enough, you probably don’t need any other god.”
“I climbed a path and from the top looked up-stream towards Chile. I could see the river, glinting and sliding through the bone-white cliffs with strips of emerald cultivation either side. Away from the cliffs was the desert. There was no sound but the wind, whirring through thorns and whistling through dead grass, and no other sign of life but a hawk, and a black beetle easing over white stones.”
“Sluggish and sedentary peoples, such as the Ancient Egyptians– with their concept of an afterlife journey through the Field of Reeds– project on to the next world the journeys they failed to make in this one.”
“Sometimes, I overheard my aunts discussing these blighted destinies; and Aunt Ruth would hug me, as if to forestall my following in their footsteps. Yet, from the way she lingered over such words as ‘Xanadu’ or ‘Samarkand’ or the ‘wine-dark sea,’ I think she also felt the trouble of the ‘wanderer in her soul.’”
“Man’s real home is not a house, but the Road, and that life itself is a journey to be walked on foot.”
“I pictured a low timber house with a shingled roof, caulked against storms, with blazing log fires inside and the walls lined with all the best books, somewhere to live when the rest of the world blew up.”

Contemporary American Art – Christy Powers

Below – “Pregnant glamour”; “the explorer”; “the dinner party crowd”; “teenage wasteland”; “Snow day army”; “Bronx zoo day.”

A Poem for Today

“Snowdrops”
by Louise Gluck

Do you know what I was, how I lived? You know
what despair is; then
winter should have meaning for you.
I did not expect to survive,
earth suppressing me. I didn’t expect
to waken again, to feel
in damp earth my body
able to respond again, remembering
after so long how to open again
in the cold light
of earliest spring–
afraid, yes, but among you again
crying yes risk joy
in the raw wind of the new world.

Below – Elena Lukina: “Snowdrops”

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