“Orchard with Blossoming Trees” (1888, oil on canvas)
by Vincent van Gogh
“Bloomy Apple Garden” (1936)
by Nikolay Bogdanov Belsky
“Fruit Trees in Blossom” (1910-11)
by Edvard Munch
“Apple Trees in Blossom” (1896)
by Isaac Levitan
“Orchard in Bloom. Neskuchnoye” (1908)
by Zinaida Zerebriakova
“Apple Trees in Bloom, Old Lyme”
by Childe Hassam
“Apricot Tree in Blossom” (1942)
by Martiros Saryan
“Cherry Tree in Bloom” (1905, oil on canvas)
by Ferdinand Hodler
“Peach Trees in Blossom” (1888, oil on canvas)
by Vincent van Gogh
“Apple Tree, I” (1912, oil on canvas)
by Gustav Klimt
“Lilacs in the Sun” (1872)
by Claude Monet
“Apple Tree after Rain” (1906)
by Mikhail Larionov
“Bluhende Baume” (1935, oil on canvas)
by Ernst Stocker
“Cottonwood Tree in Spring” (1943)
by Georgia O’Keeffe
“Flowering Plum Tree, Eragny” (1894, oil on canvas)
by Camille Pissarro
“Almond Tree in Flower” (1947)
by Pierre Bonnard
“Apple Trees in Full Bloom at Giverny”
by Claude Monet
“Cherry Tree Blossoms”
by Jozsef Rippl-Ronai
“Apple Tree Blooming aka The Eternal Spring” (1908)
by Maurice Denis
Sunday Afternoon Saudade
Here. Have some spring blossoms, scents of apple, peach, lilac, and plum. Listen to some music. Read a poem.
Music by Natalie Walker, “Waking Dream”
What to do with this knowledge
that our living is not guaranteed?
Perhaps one day you touch the young branch
of something beautiful. & it grows & grows
despite your birthdays & the death certificate,
& it one day shades the heads of something beautiful
or makes itself useful to the nest. Walk out
of your house, then, believing in this.
Nothing else matters.
All above us is the touching
of strangers & parrots,
some of them human,
some of them not human.
Listen to me. I am telling you
a true thing. This is the only kingdom.
The kingdom of touching;
the touches of the disappearing, things.
“People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.” ~ Iris Murdoch
The Bradford pears and Tulip trees are in full bloom, and I am reminded of the year I made mother’s day cards from photos I had taken of the trees in bloom—I was very pleased with how they had turned out, but my mother looked at hers and said, “What’s this?” Lex later told me that Mom had complained that I was too cheap to buy a card; Lex tried to explain to her that I had shot the photograph, worked with it on Photoshop, and had the print made. I had thought the gesture special. Oh well.
Anyway, I have to admit that when I was clearing out the thousands of cards in my mother’s drawers, I came across almost every card I had given her in the past decade and sometimes beyond, and the flimsy free homemade card I had made her was there.
Here. Have some flowers of spring:
“Bloomy Apple Garden” (1936) by Nikolay Bogdanov-Belsky
“Pink Roses” (1890, oil on canvas) by Vincent van Gogh
“Two Austrian Copper Roses III” (1957, oil on canvas laid down on board) by Georgia O’Keeffe
“Wannsee Garden” (1923, oil on canvas) by Max Liebermann
“Pink and Yellow Tree” (nd, oil on canvas) by Albert Henry Krehbiel
“Paris Bouquet of Wild Flowers” (1923) by Pierre Bonnard
“Still Life with Pansies and Gladiolas” (nd, oil on canvas) by Arthur B. Carles
“Black Will-o-the-Wisp” (date unknown, ink and wash) by Takato Yamamoto
“Petunias” (1925, oil on hardboard panel) by Georgia O’Keeffe
“Flower Garden, Pansies” (1908, oil on canvas) by Emil Nolde
“Spring Breeze” (1946, oil on canvas) by Otto Torsten Andersson
“The Poppy FIelds” (c1963) by Anne Redpath
“Orchard with Blossoming Trees” (1888, oil on canvas) by Vincent van Gogh
“Marsh Marigolds” (1906) by Wladyslaw Slewinski
“L’amandier en fleurs” (1947) by Pierre Bonnard
“Hyacinth” (1941, oil on board) by Chen Baoyi
“Flowers by the Sea” (1965, oil on composition board) by Fairfield Porter
“The Orchard” (nd, oil on canvas) by Robert William Vonnoh
“Apple Tree Blooming” aka “The Eternal Spring” (1908) by Maurice Denis
“Flowers on a Chair” (1958, oil on canvas) by Adrian Ryan
“Poppies and Violet Asters” (nd, watercolor) by Emil Nolde
“Meadow” (1913, oil on canvas) by Mikko Oinonen
“Les Roses” (1925-26, oil on canvas) by Claude Monet
“Magnolien” (1945, oil on canvas) by Cuno Amiet
“Yellow Irises” (1901, oil on canvas) by Pablo Picasso
“Les Dahlias” (1921, oil on canvas) by Tsuguhara Foujita
“Poppies and Grasses” (1914, oil on canvas) by Pierre Bonnard
“Glass with Wild Flowers” (1890, oil on canvas) by Vincent van Gogh
“Poppy Field” by Michael Creese (nd)
“Sunflowers” (1958-59, oil on board) by Peter Coker
Music by Mussorgsky, “Pictures at an Exhibition” (Promenade), performed by The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
“Landscape, Olive Trees, Corfu (1909, watercolor), by John Singer Sargent
“Olive Trees” (nd), by Constantine Maleas
“Avenue of Olive Trees” (1952, oil on canvas), by Henri Matisse
“Olive Grove, Bright Blue Sky” (1889), by Vincent van Gogh
“Grove of Olive Trees in Bordighera” (1884), by Claude Monet
“It turned out that being together at twilight in the olive groves of Umbria did, indeed, measure everything after that.” ~ Jack Gilbert, from “Living Hungry After”
Some poems from Jack Gilbert’s book The Dance Most of All: Poems
Winter in the Night Fields
I was getting water tonight
off guard when I saw the moon
in my bucket and was tempted
by those Chinese poets
and their immaculate pain.
He is watching the music with his eyes closed.
Hearing the piano like a man moving
through the woods thinking by feeling.
The orchestra up in the trees, the heart below,
step by step. The music hurrying sometimes,
but always returning to quiet, like the man
remembering and hoping. It is a thing in us,
mostly unnoticed. There is somehow a pleasure
in the loss. In the yearning. The pain
going this way and that. Never again.
Never bodied again. Again the never.
Slowly. No undergrowth. Almost leaving.
A humming beauty in the silence.
To having been. Having had. And the man
knowing all of him will come to the end.
Mother was the daughter of sharecroppers.
And my father the black sheep of rich Virginia
merchants. She went barefoot until twelve.
He ran away with the circus at fourteen.
Neither one got through grammar school.
And here I am in the faculty toilet
trying to remember the dates of Emperor Vespasian.