Wandering in Woodacre – 20 October 2020

This Date in Art History: Born 20 October 1847 – Frits Thaulow, a Norwegian painter.

Below – “A River”; “Norse winter landscape”; “Ambiance Du Soir”; “Marmortrappen”; “Moonlight in Beaulieu”; “Fra Dieppe med elven Arques.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 20 October 1946 – Elfriede Jelinek, an Austrian novelist, playwright, and recipient of the 2004 Nobel Prize in Literature for her “musical flow of voices and counter-voices in novels and plays that, with extraordinary linguistic zeal, reveal the absurdity of society’s clichés and their subjugating power.”

Some quotes from the work of Elfriede Jelinek:

“Love points the way. Desire is its ignorant advisor.”
“Very few women wait for Mr. Right. Most women take the first and worst Mr. Wrong.”
“Seek and you shall find the repulsive things you secretly hope to find.”
“Eroding solidarity paradoxically makes a society more susceptible to the construction of substitute collectives and fascisms of all kinds.”
“Literature that keeps employing new linguistic and formal modes of expression to draft a panorama of society as a whole while at the same time exposing it, tearing the masks from its face – for me that would be deserving of an award.”

This Date in Art History: Born 20 October 1909, Died 20 October 1993 – Yasushi Sugiyama, a Japanese painter.

Below – “Water”; “Gracefulness”; “Dancing”; “Crystal Clear”; “Brilliance”; “Fuji.”

A Poem for Today

“Telling Time”
by Jo McDougall

My son and I walk away
from his sister’s day-old grave.
Our backs to the sun,
the forward pitch of our shadows
tells us the time.
By sweetest accident
he inclines
his shadow,
touching mine.

Contemporary American Art – Kristin Moore

Below – “Lost Horse Saloon (Marfa)”; “Circus Liquor (North Hollywood)”; “Highway 90”; “Over California”; “Desert Moon (Marfa)”; “LA Cityscape (Purple).”

A Poem for Today

“The Promise”
by Jane Hirshfield

Stay, I said
to the cut flowers.
They bowed
their heads lower.

Stay, I said to the spider,
who fled.

Stay, leaf.
It reddened,
embarrassed for me and itself.

Stay, I said to my body.
It sat as a dog does,
obedient for a moment,
soon starting to tremble.

Stay, to the earth
of riverine valley meadows,
of fossiled escarpments,
of limestone and sandstone.
It looked back
with a changing expression, in silence.

Stay, I said to my loves.
Each answered,

Below – Sheila Javid: “Thinking of You”

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Wandering in Woodacre – 19 October 2020

This Date in Art History: Died 19 October 1943 – Camille Claudel, a French sculptor.

Below – “Perseus and the Gorgon”; “Sakuntala”; “The Wave”; “The Mature Age”; “La fortune”; “The Waltz.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 19 October 1966 – David Vann, an award-winning American novelist, short story writer, and author of
“Legend of a Suicide.”

Some quotes from the work of David Vann:

“Each thing that happens to us, each and every thing, it leaves some dent, and that dent will always be there. Each of us is a walking wreck.”
“Even now, I still believe metamorphosis is the greatest beauty.”
“The dead reaching for us, needing us, but this isn’t true. There’s only us reaching for them, trying to find ourselves.”
“Because you can choose who you’ll be with, but you can’t choose who they’ll become.”
“We live through evolution ourselves, each of us, progressing through different apprehensions of the world, at each age forgetting the last age, every previous mind erased. We no longer see the same world at all.”
“A change in those moments, some switch turned off forever, the end of trust or safety or love, and how do we ever find the switch again?”
“Memories are infinitely richer than their origins, I discovered; to travel back can only estrange one even from memory itself. And because memory is often all that a life or a self is built on, returning home can take away exactly that.”
“Origins…They don’t explain us, you know. They never do. Each of us is our own piece of work.”

This Date in Art History: Died 19 October 1945 – N. C. Wyeth, an American painter and illustrator.

Below – “Wash Day”; “Maine Islands”; “A Song of the South”; “View of the kelp beds, port clyde”; Untitled; “The Artist’s Studio.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 19 October 1950 – Edna St. Vincent Millay, an American poet and playwright: Part I of II.

“Euclid Alone”
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Euclid alone has looked on Beauty bare.
Let all who prate of Beauty hold their peace,
And lay them prone upon the earth and cease
To ponder on themselves, the while they stare
At nothing, intricately drawn nowhere
In shapes of shifting lineage; let geese
Gabble and hiss, but heroes seek release
From dusty bondage into luminous air.
O blinding hour, O holy, terrible day,
When first the shaft into his vision shone
Of light anatomized! Euclid alone
Has looked on Beauty bare. Fortunate they
Who, though once only and then but far away,
Have heard her massive sandal set on stone.

This Date in Art History – Died 19 October 1952 – Edward S. Curtis, an American ethnologist and photographer whose work focused on the American West and on Native American people.

Below – “A Navajo medicine man”; “Mandan girls gathering berries”; “Geronimo – Apache”; “Hopi mother”; “Boys in kayak, Nunivak”; “Canyon de Chelly -– Navajo. Seven riders on horseback and dog trek against background of canyon cliffs.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 19 October 1950 – Edna St. Vincent Millay, an American poet and playwright: Part II of II.

“Dirge Without Music”
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely.  Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains,—but the best is lost.

The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,—
They are gone.  They are gone to feed the roses.  Elegant and curled
Is the blossom.  Fragrant is the blossom.  I know.  But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know.  But I do not approve.  And I am not resigned.

Below – Margo Schopf: “Everyone leaves”

Contemporary Moldovan Art – Cozmolici Victoria

Below – “Cocktail”; “wildflowers with mountains”; “summer”; “red armchair”; “Model”; “woman.”

A Poem for Today

“Mockingbird II”
By Carol V. Davis

How perfectly he has mastered
the car alarm, jangling us from sleep.
Later his staccato scatters smaller birds
that landed on the wire beside him.
Perhaps the key to success
is imitation, not originality.
Once, when the cat slinked up
the orange tree and snatched a hatchling,
the mockingbird turned on us,
marked us for revenge.
For two whole weeks he dive bombed
whenever I ventured out the screen door
lured by his call: first tricked into thinking
the soft coo was a mourning dove courting,
next drawn by the war cry of a far larger animal.
He swooped from one splintered eave, his mate from the other,
aiming to peck out my eyes, to wrestle
the baby from my arms, to do God knows what
with that newborn.

Below- Andrey V Egorov: “Mockingbirds”

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Wandering in Woodacre – 18 October 2020

This Date in Art History: Died 18 October 1956 – Yoshio Markino, a Japanese watercolor artist who from 1897 – 1942 was based in London: Part I of II.

Below (titles uncertain) – Chelsea embankment; the Thames; lodging house in Sydney Street, London (not stylistic similarities to some nighttime views in Edward Hopper’s work); Earls Court Station; the lake by Earls Court; a wet day on Sloane Square; Cale Street Chelsea.

This Date in Literary History – Born 18 October 1948 – Nozake Shange, an award-winning American playwright, poet, and author of “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suitcide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf.”

Some quotes from the work of Nozake Shange:

“Creation is everything you do. Make something.”
“I’m a firm believer that language and how we use language determines how we act, and how we act then determines our lives and other people’s lives.”
“I write for young girls of color, for girls who don’t even exist yet, so that there is something there for them when they arrive. I can only change how they live, not how they think.”
“Where there is a woman there is magic. If there is a moon falling from her mouth, she is a woman who knows her magic, who can share or not share her powers. A woman with a moon falling from her mouth, roses between her legs and tiaras of Spanish moss, this woman is a consort of the spirits.”
“Our society allows people to be absolutely neurotic and totally out of touch with their feelings and everyone else’s feelings, and yet be very respectable.”
“My spirit is too ancient to understand the separation of soul & gender.”
“And this is for Colored girls who have considered suicide, but are moving to the ends of their own rainbows.”

This Date in Art History: Died 18 October 1956 – Yoshio Markino, a Japanese watercolor artist who from 1897 – 1942 was based in London: Part II of II.

Below (titles uncertain) – reading in Kensington Gardens; outside in South Kensington; the Brompton Oratory; the Carlton Hotel; Thistle Grove; Fulham Road.

A Poem for Today

“Breakfast for Supper”
by Christine Stewart-Nunez

At IHOP, after the skinny brunette
with a band-aid covering her hickey
comes to whisk away burnt toast,
Mom mentions Theresa, face
brightening. She had a dream
about her—80s flip hair, smooth
complexion. I’ve been living
in Tulsa for eighteen years,
Theresa said. I understand.
Even as I watched men lower
her casket, I fantasized the witness
protection program had resettled her.

How funny we look, mother
and daughter laughing over
scrambled eggs, tears dripping
onto bacon, hands hugging
coffee mugs. For a moment Mom felt
Theresa there. Such faith. Freshen
your cup? the waitress asks me, poised
to pour. Cloudy in the cold coffee,
my reflection. I offer the mug.

Below – Olinda Camelo: “Cup of Coffee”

Contemporary Spanish Art – Natividad Sanchez Fernandez

Below – PAINTINGS: “Covid 19”; “Wharfs in Mar Minor”; SCULPTURE: “Diana the Huntress green”; “Diana”; “Diana the Huntress golden”; “Checo.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 18 October 1980 – Edwin Way Teale, an American writer, naturalist, photographer, author of “North with the Spring” and “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.”
“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.”
“Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life, and the labors of life reduce themselves.”
“If I were to choose the sights, the sounds, the fragrances I most would want to see and hear and smell–among all the delights of the open world–on a final day on earth, I think I would choose these: the clear, ethereal song of a white-throated sparrow singing at dawn; the smell of pine trees in the heat of the noon; the lonely calling of Canada geese; the sight of a dragon-fly glinting in the sunshine; the voice of a hermit thrush far in a darkening woods at evening; and–most spiritual and moving of sights–the white cathedral of a cumulus cloud floating serenely in the blue of the sky.”
“The difference between utility and utility plus beauty is the difference between telephone wires and the spider web.”
“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.”
“Change is a measure of time and, in the autumn, time seems speeded up. What was is not and never again will be; what is is change.”
“To those whom the tree, the birds, the wildflowers represent only ‘locked-up dollars’ have never known or really seen these things.”
“A man who never sees a bluebird only half lives.”
“The city man, in his neon-and-mazda glare, knows nothing of nature’s midnight. His electric lamps surround him with synthetic sunshine. They push back the dark. They defend him from the realities of the age-old night.”
“It is easier to accept the message of the stars than the message of the salt desert. The stars speak of man’s insignificance in the long eternity of time; the desert speaks of his insignificance right now.”
“The seasons, like greater tides, ebb and flow across the continents. Spring advances up the United States at the average rate of about fifteen miles a day. It ascends mountainsides at the rate of about a hundred feet a day. It sweeps ahead like a flood of water, racing down the long valleys, creeping up hillsides in a rising tide. Most of us, like the man who lives on the bank of a river and watches the stream flow by, see only one phase of the movement of spring. Each year the season advances toward us out of the south, sweeps around us, goes flooding away to the north.”

Contemporary American Art – Vincent Zuniaga

Below (photographs/digital painting) – “Elephant”; “The Lion Queen”; “Colorful Woman“; “Tea Leaves.”

Contemporary Canadian Art – Julia Hacker

Below – “On the wild side.2”; “Boats”; “On the wild side.5”; “Seasons Maturity.”

A Poem for Today

“Temporary Job”
by Minnie Bruce Pratt

Leaving again. If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t be
grieving. The particulars of place lodged in me,
like this room I lived in for eleven days,
how I learned the way the sun laid its palm
over the side window in the morning, heavy
light, how I’ll never be held in that hand again.

Below – Zilia Zamanova: “Portrait in front of the window”

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Wandering in Woodacre – 17 October 2020

This Date in Art History: Born 17 October 1859 – Frederick Childe Hassam, an American painter and illustrator: Part I of II.

Below – “Late Afternoon, New York, Winter”; “Rainy Day, Boston”; “The Water Garden”; “Snowstorm, Madison Square”; “The Avenue in the Rain”; “Montauk.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 17 October 1961 – David Means, an award-winning American short story writer, novelist, and author of “Hystopia.”

Some quotes from the work of David Means:

“I love the nooks and crannies of the American landscape; the back roads and back alleys, the places that are still untouched by the corporate gloss, the veneer of sameness that seems to be spreading across the country.”
“A good folk song tells you something you already know, in a form you’re already familiar with, on terms that were set down long before you were born – when the country was primarily windblown dust, open wagon trains, and dysfunctional towns like Deadwood.”
“Americans are pragmatic; we want quick, clean, simple solutions to vast problems. The paradox is that we’re a deeply confessional culture, but we’re not often contemplative.”
“Vietnam and Iraq are part of the same national trauma and delusion; we folded the war up when Reagan became president and unpacked it with Bush.”
“We believe in cures; we’re a quick-fix country, and we drive forward, and we eat up what we have extremely fast in terms of natural resources and also ideas and intellectual property. We’re kind of willfully stupid a lot of the time, anti-intellectual.”
“History is delusional. Not just an illusion, it’s a delusion. America is this giant country, so it has these big delusions, and history is where delusions play out.”

This Date in Art History: Born 17 October 1859 – Frederick Childe Hassam, an American painter and illustrator: Part II of II.

Below – “The Victorian Chair”; “Meadows”; “A Back Road”; “April – (The Green Gown)”; “Improvisation”; “Summer Sunlight.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 17 October 1938 – Les Murray, an award-winning Australian poet and critic.

“The Meaning of Existence”
by Les Murray

Everything except language
knows the meaning of existence.
Trees, planets, rivers, time
know nothing else. They express it
moment by moment as the universe.

Even this fool of a body
lives it in part, and would
have full dignity within it
but for the ignorant freedom
of my talking mind.

This Date in Art History: Died 17 October 1962 – Natalia Goncharova, a Russian painter.

Below – “Apelsinia”; “Street in Moscow”; “Still Life with Fruits”; “Orchard in Autumn”; “Gardening”; “Bluebells.

This Date in Literary History: Born 17 October 1903 – Nathanael West, an American writer, screenwriter, and author of “Miss Lonelyhearts” and “The Day of the Locust.”

Some quotes from the work of Nathanael West:

“Perhaps I can make you understand. Let’s start from the beginning. A man is hired to give advice to the readers of a newspaper. The job is a circulation stunt and the whole staff considers it a joke. He welcomes the job, for it might lead to a gossip column, and anyway he’s tired of being a leg man. He too considers the job a joke, but after several months at it, the joke begins to escape him. He sees that the majority of the letters are profoundly humble pleas for moral and spiritual advice, and they are inarticulate expressions of genuine suffering. He also discovers that his correspondents take him seriously. For the first time in his life, he is forced to examine the values by which he lives. This examination shows him that he is the victim of the joke and not its perpetrator.”
“Only those who still have hope can benefit from tears. When they finish, they feel better. But to those without hope, whose anguish is basic and permanent, no good comes from crying. Nothing changes for them. They usually know this, but still can’t help crying.”
“All their lives they had slaved at some kind of dull, heavy labor, behind desks and counters, in the fields and at tedious machines of all sorts, saving their pennies and dreaming of the leisure that would be theirs when they had enough. Finally that day came. They could draw a weekly income of ten or fifteen dollars. Where else should they go but California, the land of sunshine and oranges?
Once there, they discover that sunshine isn’t enough. They get tired of oranges, even of avocado pears and passion fruit. Nothing happens. They don’t know what to do with their time. They haven’t the mental equipment for leisure, the money nor the physical equipment for pleasure. Did they slave so long just to go to an occasional Iowa picnic? What else is there? They watch the waves come in at Venice. There wasn’t any ocean where most of them came from, but after you’ve seen one wave, you’ve seen them all. The same is true of the airplanes at Glendale. If only a plane would crash once in a while so that they could watch the passengers being consumed in a ‘holocaust of flame,’ as the newspapers put it. But the planes never crash.
Their boredom becomes more and more terrible. They realize that they’ve been tricked and burn with resentment. Every day of their lives they read the newspapers and went to the movies. Both fed them on lynchings, murder, sex crimes, explosions, wrecks, love nests, fires, miracles, revolutions, wars. Their daily diet made sophisticates of them. The sun is a joke. Oranges can’t titillate their jaded palates. Nothing can ever be violent enough to make taut their slack minds and bodies. They have been cheated and betrayed. They have slaved and saved for nothing.”
“Art Is a Way Out. Do not let life overwhelm you. When the old paths are choked with the débris of failure, look for newer and fresher paths. Art is just such a path. Art is distilled from suffering.”
“You once said to me that I talk like a man in a book. I not only talk, but think and feel like one. I have spent my life in books; literature has deeply dyed my brain its own colour. This literary colouring is a protective one–like the brown of the rabbit or the checks of the quail–making it impossible for me to tell where literature ends and I begin.”
“He Sat in the window thinking. Man has a tropism for order. Keys in one pocket, change in the other. Mandolins are tuned G D A E. The physical world has a tropism for disorder, entropy. Man against Nature…the battle of the centuries. Keys yearn to mix with change. Mandolins strive to get out of tune. Every order has within it the germ of destruction. All order is doomed, yet the battle is worthwhile.”

Contemporary American Art – Nancy Bossert

Below – “Red Koi 2”; “Covered Face Recline”;
“Seated Patches”; “Koi Duo”;“Pose 8”; “Nude and Tapestry.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 17 October 1900 – Yvor Winters, an American poet and literary critic.

“At the San Francisco Airport”
by Yvor Winters

“To my daughter, 1954

This is the terminal: the light
Gives perfect vision, false and hard;
The metal glitters, deep and bright.
Great planes are waiting in the yard—
They are already in the night.

And you are here beside me, small,
Contained and fragile, and intent
On things that I but half recall—
Yet going whither you are bent.
I am the past, and that is all.

But you and I in part are one:
The frightened brain, the nervous will,
The knowledge of what must be done,
The passion to acquire the skill
To face that which you dare not shun.

The rain of matter upon sense
Destroys me momently. The score:
There comes what will come. The expense
Is what one thought, and something more—
One’s being and intelligence.

This is the terminal, the break.
Beyond this point, on lines of air,
You take the way that you must take;
And I remain in light and stare—
In light, and nothing else, awake.

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Wandering in Woodacre- 16 October 2020

Contemporary French Art – Iva Tesorio

Below – “Foret”; “Vanite a l’orange”; “Une histoire de chien”; ‘Colombe”; “La petite fille sur fond rouge”; “Sur la balancoire.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 16 October 1854 – Oscar Wilde, an Irish poet, playwright, and author of “The Picture of Dorain Gray” and “The Importance of Being Earnest.”

Some quotes from the work of Oscar Wilde:

“Be yourself; everyone else is taken.”
“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.”
“Religion is like a blind man looking in a black room for a black cat that isn’t there, and finding it.”
“An optimist will tell you the glass is half-full; the pessimist, half-empty; and the engineer will tell you the glass is twice the size it needs to be.”
“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.”
“Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary.”
“Live the wonderful life that is in you.”

Contemporary American Art – Mary Young

Below – “She woke up from the past”; “Stagnant Sway”; “No care for those forgotten”; “There was no talk of tomorrow, only fire in the night”; “How much of ourself is left”; “But we are ‘patriots’.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 16 October 1888 – Eugene O’Neill, an American playwright, author of “Beyond the Horizon,” “Anna Christie,” “Strange Interlude,” and “A Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” three-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, and recipient of the 1936 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Some quotes from the work of Eugene O’Neill:

“There is no present or future – only the past, happening over and over again – now.”
“None of us can help the things life has done to us. They’re done before you realize it, and once they’re done they make you do other things until at last everything comes between you and what you’d like to be, and you’ve lost your true self forever.”
“We talk about the American Dream, and want to tell the world about the American Dream, but what is that Dream, in most cases, but the dream of material things? I sometimes think that the United States for this reason is the greatest failure the world has ever seen.”
“We need above all to learn again to believe in the possibility of nobility of spirit in ourselves.”
“When you’re 50 you start thinking about things you haven’t thought about before. I used to think getting old was about vanity – but actually it’s about losing people you love. Getting wrinkles is trivial.”
“One last word of farewell, dear master and mistress. Whenever you visit my grave, say to yourselves with regret but also happiness in your hearts at the remembrance of my long happy life with you: ‘Here lies one who loves us and whom we loved.’ No matter how deep my sleep I shall hear you, and not all the power of death can keep my spirit from wagging a grateful tail.”
“Suppose I was to tell you that it’s just beauty that’s calling me, the beauty of the far off and unknown, the mystery and spell which lures me, the need of freedom of great wide spaces, the joy of wandering on and on—-in quest of the secret which is hidden over there—-beyond the horizon?”

Contemporary British Art – Iva Troj

Below – “Dancer Series IV”; “I See You In The Shadows”; “Swedish Anna II”; “Some People’s Shadows”; “Fish Pond”; “Wherever I Go They Follow.”

A Poem for Today

by Kay Ryan

We say
A pin hole
of light. We
can’t imagine
how bright
more of it
could be,
the way
this much
defeats night.
It almost
isn’t fair,
poked this,
with such
a small act
to vanquish

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Wandering in Woodacre – 15 October 2020

Contemporary American Art – Stephen Walsh

Below – “Green Door Stable”; “Shed in Snow”; “Rockport Harbor”; “Beyond the Ledge”; “Sea and Sky.”

Musings in Autumn: Jane Hirshfield

“Something looks back from the trees,
and knows me for who I am.”

Below – Dado Motta: “Woman in the forest”

Contemporary Dutch Art – Bonnie Severien

Below – “Forest Hideaway”; “Serene Reality”; “Sun & Stars”; “Signs”; “Urban Nature Treasure #4”; “Reflections.”

A Poem for Today

by Daniel J. Langton

I was sent home the first day
with a note: Danny needs a ruler.
My father nodded, nothing seemed so apt.
School is for rules, countries need rulers,
graphs need graphing, the world is straight ahead.

It had metrics one side, inches the other.
You could see where it started
and why it stopped, a foot along,
how it ruled the flighty pen,
which petered out sideways when you dreamt.

I could have learned a lot,
understood latitude, or the border with Canada,
so stern compared to the South
and its unruly river with two names.
But that first day, meandering home, I dropped it.

Contemporary Croatian Art – Alina Neculcea: Part I of II.

Below – “The Cow – Nurturing And Patient – Take Care Of Yourself”; “Hummingbird Queen – Know Your Worth”; “Forest Shamanka – Start Helping Others”; “The Fox – Agility and Elegance”; “Sun Goddess”; “Modern Venus – The Beauty Of Small Pleasures.”

Musings in Autumn: Mary Oliver

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”

Below – Amanda B Johnson: “She Watches”

Contemporary Croatian Art – Alina Neculcea: Part II of II.

“The Whale – Dive Deep Into Your Heart”; “Rising Sun – Renouncing Stiff Beliefs”; “Running Horses – Force In Action”; “Venus Awakens – A Call For Love And Balance”; “Rara Avis – Celebrate Your Uniqueness”; “The Tree – As Above So Below.”

A Poem for Today

“Flathead Lake, October”
by Geraldine Connolly

The eagle floats and glides,
circling the burnished aspen,

then takes the high pines
with a flash of underwing.

As surely as the eagle sails
toward the bay’s open curve,

as surely as he swoops and seizes
the struggling fish, pulling

it from an osprey’s beak;
so too, autumn descends,

to steal the glistening
summer from our open hands.

Below – Anil Sawe: “Aspens in Fall”

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Wandering in Woodacre -14 October 2020

Contemporary Turkish Art – Said Mingu: Part I of II.

Below – “Searching”; “Madama Butterfly”; “Cascade”; “Moonstruck”; “Random II.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 14 October 1894 – e e cummings, an award-winning American poet, playwright, and essayist.

Some quotes from the work of e e cummings:

“The hardest challenge is to be yourself in a world where everyone is trying to make you be somebody else.”
“Love is the voice under all silences, the hope which has no opposite in fear; the strength so strong mere force is feebleness: the truth more first than sun, more last than star.”
“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.”
“the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses”
“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”

Contemporary Turkish Art – Said Mingu: Part II of II.

“Mustang”; “Harbinger”; “Quarantine Hopscotch”; “Black Swan”; “Slit II.”

This Date in Literary History – Born 14 October 1949 – Katha Pollitt, an award-winning American poet and essayist.

“Two Cats”
by Katha Pollitt

It’s better to be a cat than to be a human.
Not because of their much-noted grace and beauty—
their beauty wins them no added pleasure, grace is
only a cat’s way

of getting without fuss from one place to another—
but because they see things as they are. Cats never mistake a
saucer of milk for a declaration of passion
or the crook of your knees for

a permanent address. Observing two cats on a sunporch,
you might think of them as a pair of Florentine bravoes
awaiting through slitted eyes the least lapse of attention—
then slash! the stiletto

or alternately as a long-married couple, who hardly
notice each other but find it somehow a comfort
sharing the couch, the evening news, the cocoa.
Both these ideas

are wrong. Two cats together are like two strangers
cast up by different storms on the same desert island
who manage to guard, despite the utter absence
of privacy, chocolate,

useful domestic articles, reading material,
their separate solitudes. They would not dream of
telling each other their dreams, or the plots of old movies,
or inventing a bookful

of coconut recipes. Where we would long ago have
frantically shredded our underwear into signal
flags and be dancing obscenely about on the shore in
a desperate frenzy,

they merely shift on their haunches, calm as two stoics
weighing the probable odds of the soul’s immortality,
as if to say, if a ship should happen along we’ll
be rescued. If not, not.

Below – Eva Fialka: “Light And Shadow”

Contemporary British Art – Francesca Backhouse

Below – “Self Reflection”; “Exotic Koi”; “Theatrical Neptune”;“Finding Balance”; “Noir Dodo”; “Friends.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 14 October 1888 – Katherine Mansfield (pen name of Kathleen Mansfield Murry), a New Zealand novelist, poet, short story writer, and essayist.

Some quotes from the work of Katherine Mansfield:

“Make it a rule of life never to regret and never to look back. Regret is an appalling waste of energy, you can’t build on it it’s only good for wallowing in.”
“How hard it is to escape from places. However carefully one goes they hold you — you leave little bits of yourself fluttering on the fences — like rags and shreds of your very life.”
“Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently, but life itself would come to be different.”
“I adore Life. What do all the fools matter and all the stupidity. They do matter but somehow for me they cannot touch the body of Life. Life is marvellous. I want to be deeply rooted in it – to live – to expand – to breathe in it – to rejoice – to share it. To give and to be asked for Love.”
“The pleasure of all reading is doubled when one lives with another who shares the same books.”
“By health I mean the power to live a full, adult, living, breathing life in close contact with what I love – the earth and the wonders thereof – the sea – the sun, all that we mean when we speak of the external world. I want to enter into it, to be part of it, to live in it, to learn from it, to lose all that is superficial and acquired in me and to become a conscious, direct human being. I want, by understanding myself, to understand others.”
“I think of you often. Especially in the evenings, when I am on the balcony and it’s too dark to write or to do anything but wait for the stars. A time I love. One feels half disembodied, sitting like a shadow at the door of one’s being while the dark tide rises. Then comes the moon, marvellously serene, and small stars, very merry for some reason of their own. It is so easy to forget, in a worldly life, to attend to these miracles.”

Contemporary Russian Art – Samir Rakhmanov

Below – “Tea Break”; “Portrait of Galina under red light”; “During the Break”; “Portrait in a red blanket”; “The Act of Reading”; “Portrait of Sona.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 14 October 1965 – Randall Jarrell, an American poet, literary critic, essayist, novelist, and recipient of the National Book Award.

“The Breath of Night”
by Randall Jarrell

The moon rises. The red cubs rolling
In the ferns by the rotten oak
Stare over a marsh and a meadow
To the farm’s white wisp of smoke.
A spark burns, high in heaven.
Deer thread the blossoming rows
Of the old orchard, rabbits
Hop by the well-curb. The cock crows
From the tree by the widow’s walk;
Two stars in the trees to the west,
Are snared, and an owl’s soft cry
Runs like a breath through the forest.
Here too, though death is hushed, though joy
Obscures, like night, their wars,
The beings of this world are swept
By the Strife that moves the stars.

Below- Kasia Derwinska: “children of the wind” (photograph)

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Wandering in Woodacre – 13 October 2020

Contemporary American Art – Chin h Shan

Below – “Brooklyn Bridge”; “Soho Sunset”; “Green Fog New York”; “On the Way Home 1”; “Early Spring in Washington Square”; “Winter Rainy Day Walkers in New York.”

A Poem for Today

“Barn Clothes”
by Michael Walsh

Same size, my parents stained and tore
alike in the barn, their brown hair

ripe as cow after twelve hours of gutters.
At supper they spoke in jokey moos.

Sure, showers could dampen that reek
down to a whiff under fingernails, behind ears,

but no wash could wring the animal from their clothes:
one pair, two pair, husband, wife, reversible.

Below – Allen Jones: “Kows”

Contemporary British Art – Niki Duffy

Below – “At the Window”; “Yokai”; “Under Beetham”; “In the House of Saints”; “Under Lamplight”; “Silk.”

Musings in Autumn: Kawabata Yasunari

“Was this the bright vastness the poet Bashō saw when he wrote of the Milky Way arched over a stormy sea?”

Below – Christopher Turner: “Milky Way Over Sea Ranch” (photograph)

Contemporary German Art – Stefan Neubauer

Below – “Smooth Swing #1”; “The Circle of Passion”; “Don’t Forget Your Dreams, Darling”; “Trump Strip Plaza”; “Welcome Chaos Paradise”; “Paradise and Four Horsemen.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 13 October 2014 – Margaret Hillert, an award-winning poet and author.

“Just Me”
by Margaret Hillert

Nobody sees what I can see, 
For back of my eyes there is only me.
And nobody knows how my thoughts begin, 
For there’s only myself inside my skin.
Isn’t it strange how everyone owns, 
Just enough skin to cover his bones?
My father’s would be too big to fit –
I’d be all wrinkled inside of it.
And my baby brother’s is much too small — 
It just wouldn’t cover me up at all.
But I feel just right in the skin I wear, 
And there’s nobody like me anywhere.

Below – Helene Vallas: “Just me!” (photograph)

Contemporary American Art – Salma Nasreldin

Below – “Star in her eyes”; “Blue Mask”; “Time Out”; “Solo Show”; “Gossip girl”; “The Letter.”

A Poem for Today

by Douglas S. Jones

The spider living in the bike seat has finally spun
its own spokes through the wheels.
I have seen it crawl upside down, armored
black and jigging back to the hollow frame,
have felt the stickiness break
as the tire pulls free the stitches of last night’s sewing.
We’ve ridden this bike together for a week now,
two legs in gyre by daylight, and at night,
the eight converting gears into looms, handle bars
into sails. This is how it is to be part of a cycle—
to be always in motion, and to be always
woven to something else.

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Wandering in Woodacre – 12 October 2020

This Date in Art History: Died 12 October 1858 – Hiroshige Utagawa, a Japanese woodblock print artist: Part I of II.

Below – “Kanbara”; “Rain Shower at Shono”; “The Plum Garden in Kameido”; “Evening View of Tsukuda with Lady on a Balcony”; “Fishing boats on a lake”; “Sokokura.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 12 October 1908 – Paul Engle, an American poet, novelist, playwright, and critic: Part I of II.

“Twenty Below”
by Paul Engle

Twenty below, I said, and closed the door,
A drop of five degrees and going down.
It makes a tautened drum-hide of the floor,
Brittle as leaves each building in the town.
I wonder what would happen to us here
If that hard wind of winter never stopped,
No man again could watch the night grow clear,
The blue thermometer forever dropped.

I hope, you answered, for so cruel a storm
To freeze remoteness from our lives too cold.
Then we could learn, huddled all close, how warm
The hearts of men who live alone too much,
And once, before our death, admit the old
Need of a human nearness, need of touch.

Below – Kateryna feher Yosypivna: “Is Winter in mountains”

This Date in Art History: Died 12 October 1858 – Hiroshige Utagawa, a Japanese woodblock print artist: Part II of II.

Below – “Evening on the Sumida River”; “Sudden Shower Over Shin-Ohashi Bridge and Atake”; “Moon Bridge in Meguro”; “Horikiri Iris Garden”; “A shrine among trees on a moor”; “Full moon over a mountain landscape.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 12 October 1908 – Paul Engle, an American poet, novelist, playwright, and critic: Part II of II.

“Return in Autumn”
by Paul Engle

The land unchanged, the cattle track,
Narrow for two split hooves to meet,
Winds to walnut grove and back
As when I walked it with bare feet,

Horses with no different eye—
Brown water flowing over stone—
Watch white-maned north wind running by,
Or corn from fields that they had sown.

New mood in older things must be
An inner change, mind’s bone grown longer,
Nerves less blind, more quick to see,
Blood’s cry for air turned stronger.

A man’s age like returning rain
Mingles with flesh it knew when younger,
Raising for him that bitter grain,
Remembered things, which ease no hunger.

Through that rain beating on my face
I see the huddled shape of days
That wandered with me in this place,
But lost their old and friendly ways.

Can I hills, horses understand,
And not past self? Yet here, I know
That one tense mind, one troubled hand,
Make present self forever go,

As frozen pond, the end of food,
Drives the southward duck to flying.
Though I return in autumn wood
I can find nothing but its crying.

Below – Orest-Vasyl Kuziv: “Autumn”

Contemporary Russian Art – Marina Podgaevskaya: Part I of II.

Below – “Nude #5”; “Morning bouquet”; “Aurora No. 2”; “Head of Venus”; “Forest Nymph”; “Butterfly No. 6.”

A Poem for Today

by Jeffrey Harrison

It wasn’t until we got the Christmas tree
into the house and up on the stand
that our daughter discovered a small bird’s nest
tucked among its needled branches.

Amazing, that the nest had made it
all the way from Nova Scotia on a truck
mashed together with hundreds of other trees
without being dislodged or crushed.

And now it made the tree feel wilder,
a balsam fir growing in our living room,
as though at any moment a bird might flutter
through the house and return to the nest.

And yet, because we’d brought the tree indoors,
we’d turned the nest into the first ornament.
So we wound the tree with strings of lights,
draped it with strands of red beads,

and added the other ornaments, then dropped
two small brass bells into the nest, like eggs
containing music, and hung a painted goldfinch
from the branch above, as if to keep them warm.

Contemporary Russian Art – Marina Podgaevskaya: Part II of II.

Below – “Blue dream”; “Florence”; “Butterfly No. 3”; “The birth of Venus”; “Butterfly No. 8”; “Orchids.”

A Poem for Today

“Family Vacation”
by Judith Slater

Four weeks in, quarreling and far
from home, we came to the loneliest place.
A western railroad town. Remember?
I left you at the campsite with greasy pans
and told our children not to follow me.
The dying light had made me desperate.
I broke into a hobbled run, across tracks,
past warehouses with sun-blanked windows
to where a playground shone in a wooded clearing.
Then I was swinging, out over treetops.
I saw myself never going back, yet
whatever breathed in the mute woods
was not another life. The sun sank.
I let the swing die, my toes scuffed earth,
and I was rocked into remembrance
of the girl who had dreamed the life I had.
Through night, dark at the root, I returned to it.

Below – Liz Bretz: “Gone” (photograph)

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Wandering in Woodacre – 11 October 2020

Contemporary American Art – Christine Jasper

Below – “Still Life With Striped Fabric”; “My cat doesn’t like you.”

This Date in Spiritual History: Born 11 October 1926 – Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, peace activist, writer, poet, and author of “The Miracle of Mindfulness”: Part I of II.

Some quotes from the work of Thich Nhat Hanh:

“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child—our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”
“Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.”
“Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.”
“We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness.”
“Compassion is a verb.”
“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”

Contemporary Spanish Art – Raul Lara

Below – “Cessabit”; “Clypeus”; “Faces Serie 4”; “Lacus”; “cogitatione”; “Lotus”; “Fragili.”

This Date in Spiritual History: Born 11 October 1926 – Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, peace activist, writer, poet, and author of “The Miracle of Mindfulness”: Part II of II.

“Drink Your Tea”
by Thich Nhat Hanh

Drink your tea slowly and reverently,
as if it is the axis
on which the world earth revolves
– slowly, evenly, without
rushing toward the future;
Live the actual moment.
Only this moment is life.

Contemporary Chinese Art – April Yang

Below – “Up.”

Musings in Autumn: Sei Shonagon (Japanese, circa 966 – 1017 or 1025)

“Things That Arouse a Fond Memory of the Past

Dried hollyhock. The objects used during the Display of Dolls. To find a piece of deep violet or grape-colored material that has been pressed between the pages of a notebook.

It is a rainy day and one is feeling bored. To pass the time, one starts looking through some old papers. And then one comes across the letters of a man one used to love.

Last year’s paper fan. A night with a clear moon.”

Below – “Sei Shonagon,” an illustration from an issue pf “Hyakunin Isshu” (Edo period, 1603 – 1868).

Contemporary American Art – Ed Freeman

Below (photographs) – “El Morocco Motel, Bakersfield, CA”; “Plain House, Trona, CA”; “Antenna House – Calipatria, CA”; “Gem Theater, Pioche Nevada”; “Do You Believe, Tucumcari NM”; “Abandoned Steel Mill – Pueblo, Co.”

A Poem for Today

“The Softest Word”
by Andrew Jones

The softest word is ‘leaf ‘
it zigzags
in the air and
falls on the yellow ground

Note: Andrew Jones wrote this poem when he was in first grade.

Contemporary German Art – Walter Roos

Below – “Red hair, young woman”; “I look at you, but…”; “Pssst #2”; “What? Why?”; “The Letter”; “Ballerina Nr 10.”

A Poem for Today

“A Little Shiver”
by Barton Sutter

After the news, the forecaster crowed
With excitement about his bad tidings:
Eighteen inches of snow! Take cover!
A little shiver ran through the community.
Children abandoned their homework.
Who cared about the hypotenuse now?
The snowplow driver laid out his long johns.
The old couple, who’d barked at each other
At supper, smiled shyly, turned off the TV,
And climbed the stairs to their queen-size bed
Heaped high with blankets and quilts.
And the aging husky they failed to hear
Scratch the back door, turned around twice
In the yard, settled herself in the snow,
And covered her nose with her tail.

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