Wandering in Woodacre – 13 July 2021

Contemporary Serbian Art – Luka Klikovac

Below (photographs) – “Baggage 8”; “Baggage 9”; “Momento/Mirror diptych 1”; “Baggage 5“; “Baggage 2”; “Memento/Mirror diptych 3.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 13 July 1934 – Wole Soyinka, a Nigerian playwright, novelist, poet, essayist, author of “Climate of Fear: The Quest for Dignity in a Dehumanized World,” and recipient of the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Some quotes from the work of Wole Soyinka:

“The greatest threat to freedom is the absence of criticism.”
“Well, some people say I’m pessimistic because I recognize the eternal cycle of evil. All I say is, look at the history of mankind right up to this moment and what do you find?”
“Books and all forms of writing are terror to those who wish to suppress truth.”
“Don’t take shadows too seriously. Reality is your only safety. Continue to reject illusion.”
“Well, I think the Yoruba gods are truthful. Truthful in the sense that I consider religion and the construct of deities simply an extension of human qualities taken, if you like, to the nth degree. I mistrust gods who become so separated from humanity that enormous crimes can be committed in their names. I prefer gods who can be brought down to earth and judged, if you like.”
“The fault, of course, is not in religion, but in the fanatic of every religion. Fanaticism remains the greatest carrier of the spores of fear, and the rhetoric of religion, with the hysteria it so readily generates, is fast becoming the readiest killing device of contemporary times.”
“In any case, the Christian world is not one, neither is the Islamic, nor does their combined authority speak to or for the entire world, but the world of the fanatic IS one and it cuts across all religions, ideologies and vocations. The tributaries that feed the cesspool of fanaticism may ooze from sources separated by history, clime and race, by injustices and numerous privations, but they arrive at the same destination – the zone of unquestioning certitude – sped by a common impetus that licences each to proclaim itself the pure and unsullied among the polluted. The zealot is one that creates a Supreme Being, or Supreme Purpose, in his or her own image, then carries out the orders of that solipsistic device that commands from within, in lofty alienation from, and utter contempt of, society and community.”
“For now, let us simply observe that the assault on human dignity is one of the prime goals of the visitation of fear, a prelude to the domination of the mind and the triumph of power”

Contemporary Vietnamese Art – Thomas Smith

Below – “Tourist #1”; “After the Game, Avon Beach”; “Pond Life”; “The Visitors 5”; “The Visitors 2”; “The Visitors 1”; “West Pennard.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 13 July 2014 – Thomas Berger, an award-winning American novelist, playwright, short story writer, and author of “Little Big Man.”

Some quotes from “Little Big Man”:

“The buffalo eats grass, I eat him, and when I die, the earth eats me and sprouts more grass. Therefore nothing is ever lost, and each thing is everything forever, though all things move.”
“If you want to really relax sometime, just fall to rock bottom and you’ll be a happy man. Most all troubles come from having standards.”
“I expect Custer was crazy enough to believe he would win, being the type of man who carries the whole world within his own head and thus when his passion is aroused and floods his mind, reality is utterly drowned.”
“You got to knock a man down and put your knife at his throat before he’ll hear you, like I did to that trooper. The truth seems hateful to most everybody.”
“Believe me, the real romantic person is him who ain’t done anything but imagine. If you have actually participated in disasters, like me, you get conservative.”
“You might have thought the colonel would be interested in my experiences of five years’ barbarism, but he wasn’t. I wasn’t long in discovering that it is a rare person in the white world who wants to hear what the other fellow says, all the more so when the other fellow really knows what he is talking about.”
“For he was big, and I don’t care what you say, for every inch a man grows over five foot five, his brain diminishes proportionately. All my life I have had a prejudice against overgrown louts.”
“I love her still, for if you know anything about that kind of feeling, you know how close it is connected to hopelessness and thus is about the only thing in civilization that don’t degenerate with time.”

Contemporary Polish Art – Jarek Kucharczyk

Below – “Forester – The barn”; “The dreamer is still asleep”; “Forester – The dog”; “Forester – The beekeeper”; “Layover in white”; “Forester – Come in.”

A Poem for Today

“The Peace That So Lovingly Descends”
by Noelle Kocot

“You” have transformed into “my loss.”
The nettles in your vanished hair
Restore the absolute truth
Of warring animals without a haven.
I know, I’m as pathetic as a railroad
Without tracks. In June, I eat
The lonesome berries from the branches.
What can I say, except the forecast
Never changes. I sleep without you,
And the letters that you sent
Are now faded into failed lessons
Of an animal that’s found a home. This.

Below – Alona Lukianchuk: “Solitude” (photograph)

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