Wandering in Woodacre – 2 June 2021

Contemporary Norwegian Art – June Sira

Below – “Dusk”; “Cherry Blossom”; “A Girl With Flowers On Her Dress”; “Oreo”; “Girl under a tree”; “A Girl With A Red Shirt.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 2 June 1935 – Carol Shields, an American-born Canadian novelist, short story writer, author of “The Stone Diaries,” and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

Some quotes from the work of Carol Shields:

“Open a book this minute and start reading. Don’t move until you’ve reached page fifty. Until you’ve buried your thoughts in print. Cover yourself with words. Wash yourself away. Dissolve.”
“This is why I read novels: so I can escape my own unrelenting monologue.”
“There are chapters in every life which are seldom read, and certainly not aloud.”
“The larger loneliness of our lives evolves from our unwillingness to spend ourselves, stir ourselves. We are always damping down our inner weather, permitting ourselves the comforts of postponement, of rehearsals”
“Happiness is the lucky pane of glass you carry in your head. It takes all your cunning just to hang on to it, and once it’s smashed you have to move into a different sort of life.”
“Dreaming her way backward in time, resurrecting images, the young girl realized, with wonder, that the absent are always present, that you don’t make them go away simply because you get on a train and head off in a particular direction.”
“When we think of the past we tend to assume that people were simpler in their functions, and shaped by forces that were primary and irreducible. We take for granted that our forbears were imbued with a deeper purity of purpose than we possess nowadays, and a more singular set of mind, believing, for example, that early scientists pursued their ends with unbroken ‘dedication’ and that artists worked in the flame of some perpetual ‘inspiration’. But none of this is true. Those who went before us were every bit as wayward and unaccountable and unsteady in their longings as people are today. The least breeze, whether it be sexual or psychological – or even a real breeze, carrying with it the refreshment of oxygene and energy – has the power to turn us from our path.”
“Anyone’s childhood can be an act of disablement if rehearsed and replayed and squinted at in a certain light.”
“In one day I had altered my life; my life, therefore, was alterable. This simple axiom did not call out for exegesis; no, it entered my bloodstream directly, as powerful as heroin. I could feel it pump and surge, the way it brightened my veins to a kind of glass. I had wakened that morning to narrowness and predestination and now I was falling asleep in the storm of my own free will.”
“Here’s to another year and let’s hope it’s above ground.”

Contemporary American Art – Joe Bednarski

Below – “Afternoon Coffee”; “Starry Night Girl”; “Cowboy”; “Vase of Sunflowers”; “Le Poulet Blanc”; ”Monika.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 2 June 1899 – Edwin Way Teale, an American naturalist, photographer, writer, author of the four-part series “The American Seasons” (“North with the Spring,” “Journey into Summer,” “Autumn Across America,” “Wandering Through Winter”), and recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

Some quotes from the work of Edwin Way Teale:

“Our minds, as well as our bodies, have need of the out-of-doors. Our spirits, too, need simple things, elemental things, the sun and the wind and the rain, moonlight and starlight, sunrise and mist and mossy forest trails, the perfumes of dawn and the smell of fresh-turned earth and the ancient music of wind among the trees.”
“It is morally as bad not to care whether a thing is true or not, so long as it makes you feel good, as it is not to care how you got your money as long as you have got it.”
“Those who wish to pet and baby wild animals ‘love’ them. But those who respect their natures and wish to let them live normal lives, love them more.”
“Nature is shy and noncommittal in a crowd. To learn her secrets, visit her alone or with a single friend, at most. Everything evades you, everything hides, even your thoughts escape you, when you walk in a crowd.”
“It is those who have compassion for all life who will best safeguard the life of man. Those who become aroused only when man is endangered become aroused too late. We cannot make the world uninhabitable for other forms of life and have it habitable for ourselves. It is the conservationist who is concerned with the welfare of all the land and life of the country, who, in the end, will do most to maintain the world as a fit place for human existence.”
“Time is the river. We are the islands. Time washes around us and flows away and with it flow fragments of our lives. So, little by little, each island shrinks….But where, who can say, down the long stream of time, are our eroded days deposited?”

Contemporary American Art – Sara Fletcher

Below – “Afternoon”; “Mother of the Bride”; “Garden”; “Makers”; “Card game with a unicorn”; “The Dreamer”; “Preparing the bride.”

A Poem for Today

“Monarchs, Viceroys, Swallowtails”
by Robert Hedin

For years they came tacking in, full sail,
Riding the light down through the trees,
Over the rooftops, and not just monarchs,
But viceroys, swallowtails, so many
They became unremarkable, showing up
As they did whether we noticed them or not,
Swooping and fanning out at the bright
Margins of the day. So how did we know
Until it was too late, until they quit coming,
That the flowers in the flower beds
Would close their shutters, and the birds
Grow so dull they’d lose the power to sing,
And how later, after the river died,
Others would follow, admirals, buckeyes,
All going off like some lavish parade
Into the great overcrowded silence.
And no one bothered to tell the trees
They wouldn’t be coming back any more,
The huge shade trees where they used
To gather, every last branch and leaf sagging
Under the bright freight of their wings.

Below – Gino Belassen: “Before It Fades” (collage)

Contemporary American Art – David Jackson

Below – “Rinse, Repeat”; “Elusive”; “Tidepool”; “Santa Monica, Dusk”; “Mirror Image”; “Afternoon.”

A Poem for Today

“In Passing”
by Lisel Mueller

How swiftly the strained honey
of afternoon light
flows into darkness

and the closed bud shrugs off
its special mystery
in order to break into blossom

as if what exists, exists
so that it can be lost
and become precious

Below – Paula Honsmerk: “Afternoon light”

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