Wandering in Woodacre – 24 June 2021

This Date in Art History: Born 24 June 1854 – Eleanor Norcross, an American painter.

Below – “Woman in a (Paris) Garden”; “Jeune fille a la robe rouge”; “The blacksmith shop, Chester Springs, PA’; “Tapestry”; “My Studio”; “Arte Moderne.”

A Poem for Today

“HeTaught Me to Drive”
By Marjorie Saiser

The road wasn’t a proper road; it was
two ruts across a pasture and down
into a dry creek bed and up

the other side, a cow path really,
soft sand up to the hub caps.
‘You didn’t gun it at the right time,’

he said. I knew that before he
said it, but I didn’t know how to get
the old Chevrolet out of the crevice

I had wedged it into. ‘You’ll figure it out,’
he said, and then he took a walk,
left me to my own devices, which until

that moment had included tears.
My face remained nearly dry,
as was the gas tank when he finally

returned, took a shovel out of the trunk,
and moved enough sand from around
the rear tires so he could rock

back and forth and get a little traction.
That country had very little traction;
it had mourning doves, which lay their eggs

on the ground, a few twigs for a nest,
no fluff. Mourning dove. Even the name
sounds soft. Even the notes they coo,

perched on a fence wire. But they are
hatched on the dirt. When they leave the shell,
the wind is already blowing their feathers dry.

Below – Laurie Arends: “Rise – Mourning Dove” (photograph)

This Date in Art History: Born 24 June 1865 -Robert Henri, an American painter.

Below- “Snow in New York”; “The Blue Kimono”; “Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney”; “Edna Smith in a Japanese Wrap”; “Tam Gan”; “The Beach Hat.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 24 June 1842 – Ambrose Bierce, an American short story writer, essayist, journalist, and author of “The Devil’sDictionary.”

Some quotes from “The Devil’s Dictionary”:

“Admiration, n.  Our polite recognition of another’s resemblance to ourselves.”
“Alliance, n.  In international politics, the union of two thieves who have their hands so deeply inserted in each other’s pocket that they cannot separately plunder a third.”
“Applause, n.  The echo of a platitude.”
“Bore, n.: A person who talks when you wish him to listen.”
“Christian, n.  One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. One who follows the teachings of Christ in so far as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin.”
“Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility.”
“Cynic, n. A blackguard whose faulty vision sees things as they are not as they ought to be.”
“Dog, n.  A kind of additional or subsidiary Deity designed to catch the overflow and surplus of the world’s worship.”
“Egotist, n. A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me.”
“Faith, n. Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.”
“Lottery: A tax on people who are bad at math.”
“Heathen, n. A benighted creature who has the folly to worship something he can see and feel.”
“Love, n. A temporary insanity curable by marriage.”
“Mayonnaise, n.  One of the sauces which serve the French in place of a state religion.”
“Selfish, adj. Devoid of consideration for the selfishness of others.”
“Pray, v. To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner, confessedly unworthy.”
“Religion, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.”
“Scriptures, n. The sacred books of our holy religion, as distinguished from the false and profane writings on which all other faiths are based.”
“Sweater, n. Garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.”
“Telephone, n.  An invention of the devil which abrogates some of the advantages of making a disagreeable person keep his distance.”

Contemporary Canadian Art – Richard Kaminski

Below- “Barn Swallows”; “Idaho”; “Copper & Plums”; “Orange In Foil”; “American Kestrel & Skull”; “Autumn Dove.”

A Poem for Today

“When Your Children Cut Their Hands”
by Margaret Atwood

Your children cut their hands on glass
by reaching through the mirror
where the beloved one was hiding.

You weren’t expecting this:
you thought they wanted happiness,
not laceration.

You thought the happiness
would appear simply, without effort
or any kind of work,

like a bird call
or a pathside flower
or a school of silvery fish

but now they’ve cut themselves
on love, and cry in secret,
and your own hands go numb

because there’s nothing you can do,
because you didn’t tell them not to
because you didn’t think

you needed to
and now there’s all this broken glass
and your children stand red-handed

still clutching at moons and echoes
and emptiness and shadow,
the way you did.

Below – Nik Ad: “Broken Mirror”

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