Sunday, February 27, 2005

art appreciation

"funraisers" by Sandra Jones Cambell


three smart Women

of serious mien

In need of culture felt

So into a car, open-topped

They cruised

For art, their hearts to melt

But first a bite! They thought themselves

And perhaps a dollop

The Terrace was lovely, The food not good

But the drinks ~ they packed a wallop

A gallery or two they thought

And then perhaps a claret

For art , we know, will cleanse the soul

And so perchance the palate

Yay ~ on they wandered, room to room

To bistro , bar and patio

Till, hark; a tavern! they have art!

And the music made them glad-io

they spoke in Arabic along the way

or so the town drunk told them

they laughed and ate and pondered art

so there! Thou das't not scold them!

Friday, February 18, 2005

what lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why

It’s been raining in California for days on end now. Uncharacteristically fierce, thundering storms with powerful gusts and downpours. I’m a melancholy thing by nature, and in general find comfort in these blue gray days of seamless sad serenity. I look forward to, and inhabit them; it seems to me the only time when my interior and exterior worlds rest peacefully side by side; for this brief period of time, at least, unified.

But these storms have brought deadly landslides and unaccustomed sorrow to this land so blessed by nature, and the pleasure of solitary afternoons delving into books by the fire has proven elusive. I’ve been thinking a lot about creativity, and the things I’ve left undone. A poem keeps running through my mind, in particular the line, “…but the rain is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh upon the glass and listen for reply…

I keep thinking too that I had planned a painting inspired by this poem, which I'd begun sketches for a long time ago. This canvas is fully realized in my mind in shades of gray and mauve and indigo, with slashes of deep scarlet, created in rich oils applied with a thick impasto brush. It is beautiful and evocative, residing there quietly in my mind's eye. It beckons at moments like these, and chides. As do so many things I have left undone. And unsaid. The roads not taken. The challenges un-embraced. The losses so long unmourned.

The rain is full of ghosts tonight.


What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,

I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply;
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in the winter stands a lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet know its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone;
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.

Edna St. Vincent Millay

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