Friday, February 3, 2012

Poems, Paintings, Sculptures, Analects, Prophecies, Plays, Quotes, Axioms, Photographs....

From Parabola:

Karl Blossfeldt, "Plant Study, Astrantia major," 1920Karl Blossfeldt, Plant Study, Astrantia major, 1920

Giorgio de Chirico, "The Nostalgia of the Infinite"Giorgio de Chirico, The Nostalgia of the Infinite, 1910-1914
‎"There is within us–in even the blithest, most light hearted among us—a fundamental dis-ease. It acts like an unquenchable fire that renders the vast majority of us incapable in this life of ever coming to full peace. This desire lies in the marrow of our bones and the deep regions of our souls. All great literature, poetry, art, philosophy, psychology, and religion tries to name and analyze this longing. We are seldom in direct touch with it, and indeed the modern world seems set on preventing us from getting in touch with it by covering it with an unending phantasmagoria of entertainments, obsessions, addictions, and distractions of every sort. But the longing is there, built into us like a jack-in-the-box that presses for release. Two great paintings suggest this longing in their titles—Gauguin’s Who Are We? Where Did We Come From?Where Are We Going? and de Chirico’s Nostalgia for the Infinite—but I must work with words. Whether we realize it or not, simply to be human is to long for release from mundane existence, with its confining walls of finitude and mortality.
—Huston Smith, Why Religion Matters: The Fate of the Human Spirit in an Age of Disbelief (New York, N.Y.: Harper Collins, 2001), p.28

William Mulready, "The Seven Ages of Man," 1838William Mulready, The Seven Ages of Man, 1838
“Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;
And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything.”

Shakespeare, As You Like It

Photo of Black Elk, his wife and daughter circa 1890-1910Photo of Black Elk, his wife and daughter circa 1890-1910
"Even elements of the environmental movement approach the earth as an object to be preserved, rather than as a spiritual reality to be respected. This misconception may prove to be fateful, for, as Tony Gonnela Frichner of the Onondoga Nation has pointed out, 'How can you "save the Earth" if you have no spiritual relationship with the Earth? There is an intellectual abstraction about the environment but no visceral participation with the Earth. Non-Indians can't change the current course of destruction without this connection.' "
—Joseph Epes Brown, Teaching Spirits: Understanding Native American Religious Traditions (Oxford University Press)

Wislawa Szymborska, Cracow Poland, October 23, 2009Wislawa Szymborska, Cracow Poland,  October 23, 2009

Some Like Poetry 
Some like poetry
that means not all.
Not even the majority of all but the minority.
Not counting the schools, where one must,
and the poets themselves, there will be perhaps two in a thousand.
but one also likes chicken noodle soup,
one likes compliments and the color blue, one likes an old scarf,
one likes to prove one's point,
one likes to pet a dog.
but what sort of thing is poetry?
More than one shaky answer
has been given to this question.
But I do not know and do not know and clutch on to it,
as to a saving bannister.

Wislawa Szymborska, who passed away earlier this week at 88.

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