I got up at 7:00 a.m., coolest hour of the day, to pull the fans and shut the windows and curtains...
Here's an image of this week's hot-weather picnic. Spanish tapas followed by homemade ice cream hiding little morsels of fresh cherries and dark chocolate.
If somebody has a secret weapon against Japanese knotweed (that green stuff in the background), let me know! Losing every battle here...
The weather was around 90F yesterday--not bad compared to what's happening elsewhere, but disturbing for many a Yankee villager. I'm rather glad to get hot out-of-doors, though I like to preserve the coolness in the house.
Brainchild of poet and publisher Karen Kelsay, The Orchards Poetry Journal popped up online today. Find it HERE.
I see writers I e-know--Dan Sheehan, David Landrum, Katherine Hoerth, etc.--and one of my poems can be found on pp. 82-83. "Midnight Between the Water and the Air." It is set in winter, so good for mental cooling. You may take a vicarious walk on Lake Otsego aka James Fenimore Cooper's Glimmerglass.
A GOGOLIAN THOUGHT
Art reconciles us with life. Art is the introduction of order and harmony into the soul, not of trouble and disorder... If an artist does not accomplish the miracle of transforming the soul of the spectator into an attitude of love and forgiveness, then his art is only an ephemeral passion. --Nicholas Gogol
This is not how post-post-moderns think of art.
Gogol believed that art and life should fit together, that they must achieve a kind of friendship. In his view, art gifts us with the opposite of chaos--with order and resolution and consolation. But that's not always what the past century of art has sought to give us. Nor is it what most of our academies teach today, not after having passed through the wringer of the French critics. Many of our "best schools" show a marked disdain for works that sought after beauty and the harmony that comes with resolution of narrative or form. It's very old news that we can send a son or daughter to college for an English major and have them leave school without reading Sir Gawain and the Green Knight or Lear or Jane Eyre or many another work of beauty and power.And of course it is difficult to talk of what beauty can do for the human soul when so many think there is no element in us that could be named as soul. Dissect us, and the soul proves invisible, impossible to capture. We're materialists! Why not get rid of the past when its beauties can do nothing for a non-existent thing? And so if people never pick up Emily Dickinson's poems or Fielding's Tom Jones, well, there's just no finding out that perhaps works of arts do something strange and potent and stirring to an incorporeal, hard-to-pin part of them. Meanwhile, in a time of chaos and lack of unity between peoples, Gogol goes on telling us to reach for the highest possible thing in the realm of art. Imagine a making so strong and beautiful and full of energies that it leads to the transformation of all those who encounter it.ENDING ON A CHILLY NOTE
Picnic with no dessert? It took a while to freeze. But here's a 67-year-old woman with a bowl of homemade ice cream studded with fresh cherries and dark chocolate.
Was it fantabulous? Yes. Made her a child again.