Showing posts from December, 2014

Goodbye 2014

What December
This year,        the same as that before the first                 thing, passes not.   I pass, it remains. My   want of control holds the  fixed moving,        the moving                                    steadfast.

-Jane Odartey

* For everything, thank you. Have a sweet holidays, a neat Christmas, and a blissful new year. Will be back sometime January!

Photography: Brown Black and White

On an early afternoon walk yesterday, I stopped and listened for a bit then shot this image. Even in dead-looking trees on gray winter days there is beautiful music: birds tweeting, fluttering, and hopping on small branches that are themselves moved by the wind.
Have a blast! Jane

Poetry: On Being Brought from Africa to America by Phyllis Wheatley

On Being Brought from Africa to America
by Phyllis Wheatley

'Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land,
Taught my benighted soul to understand
That there's a God, that there's a Saviour too:
Once I redemption neither sought nor knew.
Some view our sable race with scornful eye,
"Their colour is a diabolic die."
Remember, Christians, Negros, black as Cain,
May be refin'd, and join th' angelic train.

* If this is your first time reading this poem, please read it very slowly and carefully; it will be helpful to look up the italicized words (preferably in the OED). Also if you don't already know about the poet read Wheatley's bio via the Poetry Foundation for a good intro.


Opinion: Mind Over Matter

The needs of my body have power over me and so does my emotions. There have been many good sleeps and great dreams spoilt by the need to urinate. Most annoying, though in retrospect hilarious. There have been many days when I have made a complete fool of myself because I found myself in-love or in-lust. I have good stories. None of which I am ashamed of, though some I will never recount. What is power? I believe power is the ability to affect things in a favorable way. I am fascinated by the power that can be gleaned from one's own sense of self: through understanding of one's needs, and one's will to act in order that those needs are satiated. Here is what I am thinking: where does one exercise the most power? It seems to me that we have the most power over ourselves.

Have you noticed how some people of very little means laugh with their whole being, where as some of great fortune and fame seem to have forgotten what it means to actually laugh? It is something that one c…

Art: The Love Within an Exhibition by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye at The Jack Shainman Gallery

We braved the snow/rain, Esi and I, and met at the Jack Shainman Gallery in Chelsea for Yiadom-Boakye's exhibition, The Love Withinwhich opened on Nov. 21st and is scheduled to close on the 10th of January. It was Esi's idea, but what made me the most eager to attend is the artist's last name. She is Ghanaian. It is a good feeling to walk into a solo exhibition of your country's person; especially since it is so rare to do so.
Examining the paintings closely showed daps  and smudges of dried oil paints on canvases. Their motion and forms were purposeful, emotional, and seemingly abstract.  But examination of the paintings from a distance revealed clear subjects with expressive emotions. One subject in a white collar button-up shirt, charcoal cardigan, and beige pants exudes comfort as he sits with legs loosely crossed, his right hand supported by the sofa on which he sits which in turn extends up, gently,  and supports his head in his palm. His relaxed fingers are c…

Poetry: The Wild Iris by Louise Glück

The Wild Iris
by Louise Glück

At the end of my suffering
there was a door.

Hear me out: that which you call death
I remember.

Overhead, noises, branches of the pine shifting.
Then nothing. The weak sun
flickered over the dry surface.

It is terrible to survive
as consciousness
buried in the dark earth.

Then it was over: that which you fear, being
a soul and unable
to speak, ending abruptly, the stiff earth
bending a little. And what I took to be
birds darting in low shrubs.

You who do not remember
passage from the other world
I tell you I could speak again: whatever
returns from oblivion returns
to find a voice:

from the center of my life came
a great fountain, deep blue
shadows on azure seawater

Listen to my reading of "The Wild Iris" below:

Meet Christine of Art That Moves

Jane: Tell us a little about yourself!

My name is Christine Pensa and I'm a visual artist whose practice evolved after my kids were born. I had a successful career doing something very far removed from art. After I had my first child I decided it was time for change. I took an art course and remembered my true passion was creating. I hadn't realized I was creatively starving. Now creating is so fundamental to my well being - I can't imagine a day without it.

I knew my creative starvation was something that many other people shared. That's why I began to teach adults and kids to open up to their own creative magic. I offer weekly and weekend classes for adults. I think of my courses as a tool - like handing participants a divining rod - which allows them to find (remember) their own artist within.

Mural making and special projects with kids in elementary schools is something I get to do part time too! I use much of our time together to introduce kids to exercises and i…