Thursday, April 30, 2009

photos taken in cemeteries in Berlin and Baltimore

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"A man's work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened."
Albert Camus

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

"It had seemed like the beginning of happiness, and Clarissa is still sometimes shocked, more than thirty years later to realize that it was happiness; that the entire experience lay in a kiss and a walk. The anticipation of dinner and a book. The dinner is by now forgotten; Lessing has been long overshadowed by other writers. What lives undimmed in Clarissa's mind more than three decades later is a kiss at dusk on a patch of dead grass, and a walk around a pond as mosquitoes droned in the darkening air. There is still that singular perfection, and its perfect in part because it seemed, at the time, so clearly to promise more. Now she knows: That was the moment, right then. There has been no other."
from 'The Hours' by Michael Cunningham

Monday, April 27, 2009

"I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people."
Vincent Van Gogh

Sunday, April 26, 2009

This weekend I suggest you get your significant other, sit on a couch or a picnic blanket and read aloud Annie Dillard's short story, 'Living like Weasels' to be found here,, or in your copy of her 'Teaching a Stone to Talk'.

Friday, April 24, 2009

"He got up and walked out to the road. The black shape of it running from dark to dark. Then the distant low rumble. Not thunder. You could feel it under your feet. A sound without cognate and so without description. Something imponderable shifting out there in the dark. The earth itself contracting with the cold. It did not come again. What time of year? What age the child? He walked out into the road and stood. The silence. The salitter drying from the earth. The mudstained shapes of flooded cities burned to the waterline. At a crossroads a ground set with dolmen stones where the spoken bones of oracles lay moldering. No sound but the wind. What will you say? A living man spoke these lines? He sharpened a quill with his small pen knife to scribe these things in sloe or lampblack? At some reckonable and entabled moment? He is coming to steal my eyes. To seal my mouth with dirt."
from 'The Road' by Cormac McCarthy

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Aerie, 17x11"
now in the collection of
Barbara and Jimmy Walton,
Martinez, GA
"Time that withers you will wither me. We will fall like ripe fruit and roll down the grass together. Dear friend, let me lie beside you watching the clouds until the earth covers us and we are gone."
from Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
Anais Nin

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"I was on acid and I looked at the trees and I realized that they all came to points, and the little branches came to points, and the houses came to point. I thought, 'Oh! Everything has a point, and if it doesn't, then there's a point to it."
Harry Nilsson

Monday, April 20, 2009

"A choir of seedlings arching their necks out of rotted tree stumps, sucking life out of earth."
from The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

Sunday, April 19, 2009

"Sometimes I see something so moving I know I’m not supposed to linger. See it and leave. If you stay too long, you wear out the wordless shock. Love it and trust it and leave."
from Underworld by Don DeLillo

Saturday, April 18, 2009

"She must find a boat and sail in it. No guarantee of shore. Only a conviction that what she wanted could exist, if she dared to find it."
from Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

Friday, April 17, 2009

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent."
Victor Hugo

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bower, 17x11"
"This is what jazz is: jazz is freedom. I don't think you always have to play in time. But there's two different ways of playing. There's a way of playing where you can play with no time. Or, you can have a fixed time and play against it. That's what I feel is heaven - being able to be that free, spiritual, musical."
Sonny Rollins

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

"What you risk reveals what you value."
from Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"Art doesn't listen to excuses."
from BIRTHPLACE Moving into Nearness by William S. Wilson

Monday, April 13, 2009

"Art is a kind of innate drive that seizes a human being and makes him its instrument. The artist is not a person endowed with free will who seeks his own ends, but one who allows art to realize its purpose through him. As a human being he may have moods and a will and personal aims, but as an artist he is 'man' in a higher sense- he is 'collective man'- one who carries and shapes the unconscious, psychic forms of mankind."
Carl Gustav Jung

Sunday, April 12, 2009

"He seems to have understood painting as a collaborative process between the artist's hand and the beholder's eye, in which the former laid down suggestive elements and the imaginative observer assembles them in his mind to make a coherent subject. Sometimes he would help the process along, Sometimes not. But he was much taken by the indeterminacy of the exercise, by forms that escaped resolution. The sobriety of the hard edge became, one has to think, a sign of conceptual banality, a weakness in the mind's eye."
Simon Schama on J.M.W. Turner

Saturday, April 11, 2009

"What I want of my art I can eventually find. The work must go beyond this. It is my main concern to go beyond what I know and what I can know."
Eva Hesse

Friday, April 10, 2009

"My writing is not so much about what I know as about what we don't know. And what is unknowable."
William Bronk

Abeyancy: Hanging vs. Floating

Thursday, April 9, 2009

"Maybe madness is the excess of possibility...and writing is about reducing possibility to one idea, one book, one sentence, one word. Madness is a form of self-expression. It is the opposite of creativity. You cannot make anything that can be separated from yourself if you are language was my protection, my guarantee against madness and when there was no one to listen my language vanished along with my reader."
from Hallucinating Foucault by Patricia Duncker

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Sitting over words
very late I have heard a kind of whispered sighing
not far
like a night wind in pines or like the sea in the dark
the echo of everything that has ever
been spoken
still spinning its one syllable
between the earth and silence

W.S. Merwin

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

"I have spent my life watching, not to see beyond the world, merely to see, great mystery, what is plainly before my eyes. I think the concept of transcendence is based on a misreading of creation. With all respect to heaven, the scene of the miracle is here, among us. The eternal as an idea is much less preposterous than time, and this very fact should seize our attention."
from The Death of Adam: Essays on Modern Thought by Marilynne Robinson

Monday, April 6, 2009

"All of us, even when we think we have noted every tiny detail, resort to set pieces which have already been staged often by others. We try to reproduce the reality, but the harder we try, the more we find the pictures that make up the stock-in-trade of the spectacle of history forcing themselves upon us: the fallen drummer boy, the infantryman shown in the act of stabbing another, the horse's eye starting from its socket, the invulnerable Emperor surrounded by his generals, a moment frozen still amidst the turmoil of battle. Our concern with history, so Hilary's thesis ran, is a concern with preformed images already imprinted on our brains, images at which we keep staring while the truth lies elsewhere, away from it all, somewhere as yet undiscovered."
from Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald

Sunday, April 5, 2009

"Would he go on helplessly broadcasting his dreams wherever he went?"
from Amnesia Moon by Jonathan Lethem

Saturday, April 4, 2009

"I grew up not knowing that language was for everyday purposes. I grew up with the Word and the Word was God. Now, many years after a secular Reformation, I still think of language as something holy.

My parents owned six books between them. Two of those were Bibles and the third was a concordance to the Old and New Testaments. The fourth was The House at Pooh Corner. The fifth, The Chatterbox Annual 1923 and the sixth, Malory's Morte d' Arthur.

I found it necessary to smuggle books in and out of the house and I cannot claim too much for the provision of an outside toilet when there is no room of one's own. It was on the toilet that I first read Freud and D.H. Lawrence and perhaps that was the best place, after all. We kept a rubber torch hung on the cistern, and I had to divide my money from a Saturday job between buying books and buying batteries. My mother knew exactly how long her Evereadys would last if used only to illuminate the gap that separated the toilet paper from its function.
Once I had tucked the book back down my knickers to get indoors again, I had to find somewhere to hide it, and anyone with a single bed, standard size, and paperbacks, standard size, will discover that seventy-seven can be accommodated per layer under the mattress. But as my collection grew, I began to worry that my mother might notice that her daughter's bed was rising visibly. One day she did. She burned everything."
from Art [Objects]: Essays on Ecstasy and Effrontery by Jeanette Winterson

Friday, April 3, 2009

Episode In a Library
"A blond girl is bent over a poem. With a pencil sharp as a lance she transfers words onto a white sheet of paper and translates them into lines, accents, caesuras. The fallen poet's lament now looks like a salamander gnawed by ants.
When we carried him off under fire, I believed his still warm body would be resurrected in the word. Now I see words dying. I know that there is no limit to decay. What will remain after us are fragments of words scattered on the black earth. Accent signs over nothingness."
Zbigniew Herbert

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Solar Eclipse Had Ended, 11x17"
now in the collection of Molly McGrath, Baltimore


You make me remember all of the elements
the sea remembering all of its waves

in each of the waves there was always a sky made of water
and an eye that looked once

there was the shape of one mountain
and a blood kinship with rain

and the air for touch and for the tongue
at the speed of light

in which the world is made
from a single star

and our ears
are formed of the sea as we listen

W.S. Merwin

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

"I would like to learn, or remember, how to live. I come to Hollins Pond not so much to learn how to live as, frankly, to forget about it. That is, I don't think I can learn from a wild animal how to live in particular- shall I suck warm blood, hold my tail high, walk with my footprints precisely over the prints of my hands?- but I might learn something of mindlessness, something of the purity of living in the physical sense and the dignity of living without bias or motive. The weasel lives in necessity and we live in choice, hating necessity and dying at the last ignobly in its talons. I would like to live as I should, as the weasel lives as he should. And I suspect that for me the way is like the weasel's: open to time and death painlessly, noticing everything, remembering nothing, choosing the given with a fierce and pointed will."
from the short story Living Like Weasels by Annie Dillard