"I am not one who was born in the custody of wisdom. I am one who is fond of olden times and intense in quest of the sacred knowing of the ancients." Gustave Courbet

30 June 2010

Tunnel of Trees

Gustav Klimt, Kammer Park


A few from Jerry Douglas ... it is summer.

Big Bug Shuffle

Little Medley (Lil Ro Ro / Little Martha / A Monkey Let The Hogs Out) ... whew!

Patrick Meets The Brickbats

29 June 2010


For more than 50 years, Georgia O'Keeffe painted at her home at Ghost Ranch, in New Mexico.

As Hemingway wrote of what he truly knew, O'Keeffe expressed what she felt in her surroundings through color.

From the Black Door series ...

I don't see why we ever think of what others think of what we do – no matter who they are. Isn't it enough just to express yourself? I want to paint in terms of my own thinking and feeling.

Whether the flower or the color is the focus I do not know. I do know the flower is painted large to convey my experience with the flower – and what is my experience if it is not the color? I found I could say things with colors that I couldn't say in any other way – things that I had no words for.

The simple fact of yourself... there it is... just you... no excitement about it... a very simple fact... the only thing you have... keep it as clear as you can.

- Georgia O'Keeffe

Tunnel of Trees

I welcomed today's respite from the heat and humidity.

After a long day at work it was home to a bike ride, reading, and a late dinner ... outside.

This cool, quiet night deserved a long walk.

I enjoyed the twilight darkness that the tunnel of trees created around the road outside my place.

Fireflies had begun their nightly flight, birds were finishing the last of the day's songs (they're quiet now), and there was woodsmoke in the air. Someone has got the right idea.

All's well.

One final paragraph of advice: Do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am - a reluctant crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it's still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, encounter the grizz, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for awhile and contemplate the precious stillness, that lovely, mysterious and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much: I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those deskbound people with thier hearts in a safe deposit box and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this: you will outlive the bastards.
- Edward Abbey

Head in the clouds

Out on a bike ride, headed north on 657 near Drury Road

Over Granville

Over Drew and Zuzu's house

The dimming of the day ... a wonderful day with my kiddos. Miracles they are. Thanks monkeys!

28 June 2010


From the opening of the Georgia O'Keeffe Abstraction exhibition at the Whitney last fall and winter.

Kris Kristofferson, "Here Comes That Rainbow Again"

Last week I missed the birthday of one of my favorite poets.

Ol' boy turned 74 on the 22nd.

Here's a great story.

Better messages.

Thin Lizzy, "Cowboy Song"


Gifts come to us every day.

Hopefully we are aware and open to them ... whenever, wherever ... however.

I am so thankful that I am connected to these people ...




27 June 2010


Winslow Homer was a master at rendering water.

As a painter he spent a great deal of his career depicting it in watercolor.





Key West.

But my favorites are the images from his time spent in The Adirondack Mountains.

The rich depth of color combined with the ethereal blending of the pigments are appealing to me.

Here's my favorite.

You will see, in the future I will live by my watercolors.
-Winslow Homer

26 June 2010


"At night, you'll look up at the stars. It's too small, where I live, for me to show you where my star is. It's better that way. My star will be ... one of the stars, for you. So you'll like looking at all of them. They'll all be your friends. And besides, I have a present for you." He laughed again.

"Ah, little fellow, little fellow, I love hearing that laugh!"

"That'll be my present. Just that ... It'll be the same as for the water."

"What do you mean?"

"People have stars, but they aren't the same. For travelers stars are guides. For other people, they're nothing but tiny lights. And for still others, for scholars, they're problems. For my businessman, they were gold. But all those stars are silent stars. You, though, you'll have stars like nobody else."

"What do you mean?"

"When you look up at the sky at night, since I'll be living on one of them, since I'll be laughing on one of them, for you it'll be as if all the stars laughing. You'll have stars that can laugh!"

And he laughed again.

"And when you're consoled (everyone eventually is consoled), you'll be glad you've known me. You'll always be my friend. You'll feel like laughing with me. And you'll open your window sometimes just for the fun of it ... And your friends will be amazed to see you laughing while you're looking up at the sky. Then you'll tell them, 'Yes, it's the stars; they always make me laugh!' And they'll think you're crazy. It'll be a nasty trick I played on you ..."

And he laughed again.

"And it'll be as if I had given you, instead of stars, a lot of tiny bells that know how to laugh ... "
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery , The Little Prince

David Francey


Great Lakes sailor.

Hiker ... crossing Canada three times.


David Francey is one of my all time favorites. His haunting music gets inside me .. I feel it.

This is poetry ...

Now ... go live!

"The Amish version ..."

Lindley on fiddle!

24 June 2010

Head in the clouds

Monteverdi, "Beatus Vir"

For Georgia ...






I just finished reading Laurie Lisle’s Portrait of an Artist: A Biography of Georgia O’Keeffe. The last chapter in the book is called “Shadows.” Each preceding chapter in the book was given a title based on the location in which O’Keeffe was working, so it made me wonder why the author chose this particular title.

Shadows as legacy … in the moment.

O’Keefe’s work was entirely based on expression … vision. She painted and repainted subjects and settings over and over, challenging herself to see with increasing focus and depth … to achieve the simple distilled essence. She was rarely satisfied.

In the final chapter of the book, the author quotes Blanche Matthias, a friend of the artist, in her explanation of what inspired the painter, “She tries for more than her potentiality. Most of us only dream that perhaps we have one, and growl because family or daily grind of life keeps us from finding out about it.”

Hardly an appropriate connotation, grind. O’Keeffe’s daily grind was her art. Her life was her art and her art, her life.

A young student of O’Keeffe’s described the careful consideration she observed, … “Everything is done with full attention. Even to the precise way she folded a silk scarf or a linen handkerchief. She’s not thinking of anything else. She’s right there folding that napkin. That’s the form she’s observing … One day we were walking out in the cliffs when everything seemed so – different. There’s something about that woman. It isn’t just charisma, and it isn’t just personality. I think it’s other levels of consciousness.”

O’Keeffe continued, “Too much complaining and too little work. You have a chance to get what you want if you go out and work for it. But you must really work, not just talk about it.”

She was true to herself alone. Honest. Aggressive. Persevering. Strongly attentive and aware.

“I compare my existence to balancing on the thin, sharp blade of a knife where, I’ve decided, it is worth the misstep if I am enjoying myself.”

Her gospel was truth … “Even if you think it doesn’t count – and for some of you it may not – doing something that is entirely your own may be pretty exciting.”

O’Keeffe was fond of garlic and chile peppers. Bach and Monteverdi were played regularly in her home.

She lived.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Portrait and I’m sad that I’m finished.

Experience it for yourself.

Robert Plant, "Shine It All Around"

As the evening starts to glow ...

Just in from a beautiful bike ride ...hills and clouds! Off to a hot shower with a cold beer!

Simple pleasures.


There is no greater error in the study of human things than to believe that the search for what is essential must lead us to what is hidden.
- Roger Scruton

Georgia O'Keeffe, In The Patio


Mendelssohn's "Nocturne" from A Midsummer Night's Dream

Good night.

23 June 2010


Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire,
I do wander everywhere.

- Puck, from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream

The overture to Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream, on piano, four hands ...

Midsummer Night.

Midsummer Night is not long but it sets many cradles rocking.
- Swedish proverb

Light a bonfire tonight.

More here and here

22 June 2010


Tonight I walked outside to take the trash to the road and was struck by the brightness of the moon.

Bright. Stunningly so.

I grabbed the binoculars and sat ... transfixed.

Throughout time, how many millions of people have done what I'm doing ... gazed at the contrasts of color and craters of the moon?

Copernicus and little kids.

Even wolves!

I enjoyed how gazing at that rock made me feel so small.

And aware, gazing at things floating around in space.

I could make out the moon's ragged outline against the black of the eternal distance.

I trained my glasses on the woods for a minute and watched the forest flicker with fireflies and then, as I looked back at the moon, my eyes ached as they adjusted to the moon's brilliancy.

Yes, indeed ... marvel.

Moon Song
A child saw in the morning skies
The dissipated-looking moon,
And opened wide her big blue eyes,
And cried: "Look, look, my lost balloon!"
And clapped her rosy hands with glee:
"Quick, mother! Bring it back to me."

A poet in a lilied pond
Espied the moon's reflected charms,
And ravished by that beauty blonde,
Leapt out to clasp her in his arms.
And as he'd never learnt to swim,
Poor fool! that was the end of him.

A rustic glimpsed amid the trees
The bluff moon caught as in a snare.
"They say it do be made of cheese,"
Said Giles, "and that a chap bides there. . . .
That Blue Boar ale be strong, I vow --
The lad's a-winkin' at me now."

Two lovers watched the new moon hold
The old moon in her bright embrace.
Said she: "There's mother, pale and old,
And drawing near her resting place."
Said he: "Be mine, and with me wed,"
Moon-high she stared . . . she shook her head.

A soldier saw with dying eyes
The bleared moon like a ball of blood,
And thought of how in other skies,
So pearly bright on leaf and bud
Like peace its soft white beams had lain;
Like Peace! . . . He closed his eyes again.

Child, lover, poet, soldier, clown,
Ah yes, old Moon, what things you've seen!
I marvel now, as you look down,
How can your face be so serene?
And tranquil still you'll make your round,
Old Moon, when we are underground.
- Robert Service

The Police, "Walking On The Moon"

It's summer.

Head in the clouds

On the way in to work this morning ... a lone tree on Appleton Road.

A meeting.

"... you see?"



“Master, how do you put enlightenment into action? How do you practice it in everyday life?”
“By eating and by sleeping,” replied the master.
“But Master, everybody sleeps and everybody eats.”
“But not everybody eats when they eat, and not everybody sleeps when they sleep.”

A further Glimpse ... here.

21 June 2010

Head in the clouds

Tonight I walked into the sunset.
- Georgia O'Keeffe

Peter Rowan, "Pullin' The Devil By The Tail"

Perfect for the first day of summer ...


Frost at Midnight

The Frost performs its secret ministry,
Unhelped by any wind. The owlet's cry
Came loud, -and hark, again! loud as before.
The inmates of my cottage, all at rest,
Have left me to that solitude, which suits
Abstruser musings: save that at my side
My cradled infant slumbers peacefully.
'Tis calm indeed! so calm, that it disturbs
And vexes meditation with its strange
And extreme silentness. Sea, hill, and wood,
With all the numberless goings-on of life,
Inaudible as dreams! the thin blue flame
Lies on my low-burnt fire, and quivers not;
Only that film, which fluttered on the grate,
Still flutters there, the sole unquiet thing.
Methinks its motion in this hush of nature
Gives it dim sympathies with me who live,
Making it a companionable form,
Whose puny flaps and freaks the idling Spirit
By its own moods interprets, every where
Echo or mirror seeking of itself,
And makes a toy of Thought.

But O! how oft,
How oft, at school, with most believing mind,
Presageful, have I gazed upon the bars,
To watch that fluttering stranger! and as oft
With unclosed lids, already had I dreamt
Of my sweet birthplace, and the old church-tower,
Whose bells, the poor man's only music, rang
From morn to evening, all the hot Fair-day,
So sweetly, that they stirred and haunted me
With a wild pleasure, falling on mine ear
Most like articulate sounds of things to come!
So gazed I, till the soothing things, I dreamt,
Lulled me to sleep, and sleep prolonged my dreams!
And so I brooded all the following morn,
Awed by the stern preceptor's face, mine eye
Fixed with mock study on my swimming book:
Save if the door half opened, and I snatched
A hasty glance, and still my heart leaped up,
For still I hoped to see the stranger's face,
Townsman, or aunt, or sister more beloved,
My playmate when we both were clothed alike!

Dear Babe, that sleepest cradled by my side,
Whose gentle breathings, heard in this deep calm,
Fill up the interspersed vacancies
And momentary pauses of the thought!
My babe so beautiful! it thrills my heart
With tender gladness, thus to look at thee,
And think that thou shalt learn far other lore,
And in far other scenes! For I was reared
In the great city, pent mid cloisters dim,
And saw nought lovely but the sky and stars.
But thou, my babe! shalt wander like a breeze
By lakes and sandy shores, beneath the crags
Of ancient mountain, and beneath the clouds,
Which image in their bulk both lakes and shores
And mountain crags: so shalt thou see and hear
The lovely shapes and sounds intelligible
Of that eternal language, which thy God
Utters, who from eternity doth teach
Himself in all, and all things in himself.
Great universal Teacher! he shall mould
Thy spirit, and by giving make it ask.

Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether the summer clothe the general earth
With greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Enjoy the day, Drew and Zoe ... this day ... your day.

I love you!


[T]he way you see nature depends on whatever has influenced your way of seeing ... Why not make things look like nature? Because I do not consider that important and it is my nature to make them this way. To me it is perfectly natural. They exist in themselves, as an object does in nature.

Objective painting is not good painting unless it is good in the abstract sense. A hill or tree cannot make a good painting just because it is a hill or tree. It is lines and colors put together so that they may say something. The abstraction is often the most definite form for the intangible thing in myself that I can clarify in paint. Whether the flower or the color is the focus I do not know. I do know the flower is painted large to convey my experience with the flower – and what is my experience if it is not the color? I know I cannot paint a flower. I cannot paint the sun on the desert on a bright summer morning, but maybe in terms of paint color I can convey to you my experience of the flower or the experience that makes the flower of significance to me at that particular time.

Making your unknown known is the important thing -- and keeping the unknown always beyond you -- catching -- crystalizing your simpler clearer vision of life -- only to see it turn stale compared to what you vaguely feel ahead -- that you must always keep working to grasp.

- Georgia O'Keeffe


I like [music] better than anything in the world. Color gives me the same thrill once in a long, long time. It is usually just the outdoors or the flowers or something that will call a picture to my mind — that will affect me like music.
- Georgia O'Keeffe

Music, Pink and Blue No. 2

Blue and Green Music