” . . . how the gravity of Nature and the silence startle you, when you stand face to face with her, undistracted, before a barren ridge” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

William Leech RHA Boats nd oil on board
“Boats” (nd, oil on board)
by William Leech, RHA

Two for Tuesday: Life . . .

Tuesday evening. Partly cloudy, hot and humid, 90s.

Had some energy when I got out of bed for the first time in two weeks, so of course I overdid it cleaning………..

Alice Neel Sunset, Riverside Drive 1961 oil on canvas
“Sunset, Riverside Drive” (1961, oil on canvas)
by Alice Neel


Once I could imagine my soul I could imagine my death. When I imagined my death my soul died. This I remember clearly.

My body persisted.
Not thrived, but persisted.
Why I do not know.

When I was still very young
my parents moved to a small valley
surrounded by mountains
in what was called the lake country.
From our kitchen garden
you could see the mountains,
snow covered, even in summer.

I remember peace of a kind
I never knew again.

Somewhat later, I took it upon myself
to become an artist,
to give voice to these impressions.

The rest I have told you already.
A few years of fluency, and then
the long silence, like the silence in the valley
before the mountains send back
your own voice changed to the voice of nature.

This silence is my companion now.
I ask: of what did my soul die?
and the silence answers

if your soul died, whose life
are you living and
when did you become that person?

~ Louise Gluck


Paul Signac Asnières oil on canvas 1882
“Asnières” (1882, oil on canvas)
by Paul Signac

It Is Not the Fact That I Will Die That I Mind

but that no one will love as I did
the oak tree out my boyhood window,
the mother who set herself
so stubbornly against life,
the sister with her serious frown
and her wish for someone at her side,
the father with his dreamy gaze
and his left hand idly buried
in the fur of his dog.
And the dog herself,
that mournful look and huge appetite,
her need for absolute stillness
in the presence of a bird.
I know how each of them looks
when asleep. And I know how it feels
to fall asleep among them.
No one knows that but me,
No one knows how to love the way I do.

~ Jim Moore


Music by Poets of the Fall, “Where Do We Draw the Line?