Nuala’s Painting

In my essay, Angel Wing; An Illustrated Meditation on Nature Immersion, I mentioned Morris Mountain, with a picture of part of it.

If you’ve been following this blog, you’ve heard of Nuala, the non-resident Balsamean. She has been learning watercolor painting. She liked Morris Mountain enough to invest in it. Below is the photo, and her painted rendition, which is framed under glass in my bathroom with two old favorite photos. Thanks again, Nuala.

I’m glad to have another original piece in this little house.  I have a massive collection of photos of art in all media throughout the ages on my computer, but very little original art in the house.  There are a few nice prints that my parents gave me ages ago.  There are some framed photos, all mine except one forest scene from a friend.

The dominant piece is a painting by another watercolor student, Vivian Smithwick, that she framed and gave me as a gift 43 years ago in Portsmouth, Virginia.  Still in the same frame.  I doubt she’s still painting.  If she is, she would have to be well over a hundred years old.  She left me better than she found me.

Untitled Watercolor by Vivian Smithwick, 1976

Now I have a second original painting, from the early works of the only person who can ever be a non-resident Balsamean.  If she made the picture with crayons and the skill of a three year old, I’d cherish it as much or more.  (No offense to three year olds.)

You may think a bathroom is an odd home for a cherished watercolor, but think more.  It hangs in the most conspicuous place of all the walls in the house.  It is above the primary bath towel bar, across from the toilet, beside the shower.  It gets a lot of viewer “hits.”  No, bathroom moisture won’t hurt it.  It’s sealed under glass.

I’ll insert the picture below as intensive practice for learning not to care what people think of me, for Nuala’s sake:

Nuala’s picture is the one on the left. I’m patting myself on the back for getting a shot in such a small room that includes everything I included in my description of the picture’s location.

I am not jaded by all the years of looking at these two other pictures, old photos.  They are more than pictures.  They are moments, situations, experiences, people.

The new painting is all of that plus relationships with nature and with a person, the longest sustained, continually positive and productive human relationship of any kind I’ve had in my adult life.

Marvel of Modern Science

TIME OUT FROM COVID FOR CLASSICS

I don’t know why I can’t watch this without laughing, my also being a marvel of modern science.  This is a 20-second clip from a five-minute video:

Link to the video: https://youtu.be/dIzw6KKZLgA

Doctor:  Do you think there’s anything wrong with your mind really?
Randall: Not a thing, Doc.  I’m a goddam marvel of modern science.

From One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) for which Louise Fletcher (Nurse Ratched) & Jack Nicholson (R.P. McMurphy) won Oscars.  You knew she had ratcheted up the Academy’s attention by ten clicks with her strangulation face …

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It’s one world NOW, huh?

“Dance” by Henri Matisse, 1909

I never paid much attention to this Matisse painting until recently when I added it to my screen saver collection. I now see that Matisse’s dancers are all women. Good. That’s the stuff of a one-world mind, because men are feudal. Women are the more evolved half of humanity. I’m not kidding.

In a pandemic, everyone is responsible for everyone else in the world. Everyone fights for everyone to win. If they don’t do it together, it cannot be done. The virus will continue to flourish. We walk and stand together or fall down together. Frankly, that’s a scary thought.

THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS IF WE DON’T ALL WASH OUR HANDS. Photo: Spencer Tunick Arrow To Washington, NYC, 1995

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Australia Black Summer Untold? And Slicing Songs.

I promise that if you stay with this post to the end, you won’t be sorry.  If you start feeling sorry, feel free to just jump to the end!

I want to follow-up on my post of January 3, 2020, I Am Australian Today.  I’m concerned that it will be forgotten because the news media have moved on to the latest crises.  I’m not letting go of it.  I want to remember that we ARE STILL all burning together.  Watch what happens when Antarctica starts dropping whole worlds of ice into the ocean, which is coming soon to a planet near you.  Have you heard?  Greenland is pouring ice melt water into the ocean at a rate equivalent to the mass of 2,000 elephants per second!  No kidding.  I saw an ice expert who studies Greenland say it.

I owe it to myself to not let rapacious news feeds — including the best of them on public broadcast services — feed on my attention as though it were theirs to consume, not mine to apply.  And there is no more important news than the planet’s ability to sustain life (as we know it and depend on it).

I’m not certain that humanity really should continue to exist.  Maybe it’s time we went the way of the dinosaurs (although they did not kill their own world).  Fine.  But we don’t have the right to destroy the world for all the other species.

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Follow-up re: No Juice for Presidential Candidates in Syria

In my post on Thursday Feb. 20, 2020, Experts all over say shame on UN, international community, I wrote (referring mainly to Syria), “Now to queue up a recording of tonight’s Las Vegas Democrat presidential candidate debate and see how much air time they gave to striving to act decisively and comprehensively on negotiating help for our worst humanitarian crises around the world, or maybe just one of them.”

It was not on their agenda.  We can’t ignore that, nor the fact that the so-called “moderators” are not pressing for answers to the biggest cases of state-sponsored war crimes and humanitarian disasters in the world.  The “moderators” in these mockeries of debates are no better than the candidates they toy with.  They’re not debates.  They’re boxing matches.

We’re fortunate to have a reader here, Emilie, who wrote a comment on my prior post, pointing out Scott Simon’s editorial on the same topic on Saturday morning.  I added this to my earlier post, but wanted to make sure Emilie’s gift got seen, and I’ve added a couple more things here, to rattle Western minds with the bones of babies literally frozen to death in Syria:

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Blog sharing and Like buttons no more

Because the Internet Age has developed in a way that makes everything about you into products used for abuses by unregulated hyper-capitalism (the National Religion of America, the other NRA) and all manner of spies, hackers, boneheads and creeps, I limit the amount of myself they can trade on.  This is reflected in the following blogging practices that apply to all readers here …

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Experts all over say shame on UN, international community

What do I say? Hey, there’s always another war. Get over it. Except for this: the human devastation of this war just keeps getting worse, and the UN and international leading countries aren’t doing anything (relatively speaking) about it. Syria is not a local problem. It is a global one, for a number of reasons. As we avoid responsibility for it, we condemn ourselves.

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How much does it matter?

Added to the end of my previous post:

In “town halls” held by election candidates, and in the television blockbuster events called campaign debates, and in journalist interviews with candidates, how many times do you hear questions like, “What about our support of Saudi Arabia’s role in the creation of the worst humanitarian crisis in the world in Yemen?  What about the inhuman camps in Sudan and Syria and other places?  Isn’t the UN supposed to protect and defend people like that, even in a war zone?  Are we pushing the UN for that, or are people like Assad, Russia, Myanmar and the Saudi family too big for us to engage?  Are you going to engage the leading powers of the world to hold a summit conference about it?  What priority is it for you?  What legislation or policy or program will you pursue to deal with these massive humanitarian crises, which seem to just keep getting worse?  Not just deal with their crisis, but deal with our role in it, and our not caring about it.  Will you work to raise awareness of it?”

If such diplomatic efforts are underway, why don’t I see or hear anything about them in comprehensive news programs and documentaries on BBC, PBS and NPR, which I follow closely, among other news sources?  Are the humanitarian efforts and negotiations toward efforts not important enough to report alongside the eyeball-grabbing terrible conditions? Does Trump dominate the airwaves so much that we have nothing else to talk about?

If you have a link to a site reporting that any current presidential or congressional candidate seriously addresses such big humanitarian issues as a campaign position or point, I would be grateful to have it and will post it here.