Saturday, November 14, 2009

he is by nature led to peace

it's saturday morning.
so i'll indulge
your pleasure
and your patience
and share this longer piece
with you.

time needs to be ignored
for this
to truly
bring its advantages
to you.


there are advantages to growing older.
recognizing them for what they are is one feature of my unfolding life.

william wordsworth wrote about some of the advantages of growing older in his poem,

"a sketch".

the little hedge-row birds
that peck along the road, regard him not.
he travels on, and in his face, his step,
his gait, is one expression; every limb,
his look and bending figure, all bespeak
a man who does not move with pain, but moves
with thought--he is insensibly subdued
to settled quiet: he is one by whom
all effort seems forgotten, one to whom
long patience has such mild composure given,
that patience now doth seem a thing, of which
he hath no need. he is by nature led
to peace so perfect, that the young behold
with envy, what the old man hardly feels.

ivan kramskoy "the beekeeper"

i liked the feel of this man so i went for a walk with him.

the house was surrounded by ancient sycamores
which had always been allowed to grow naturally.
under the shelter of the trees, the shade developed
a thick grass beneath which seeped the overflow of
a broad spring....

e. pozdnekov "the little courtyard"

as we walked, he sang a song to himself.

"as i walked forth one summer's day,
to view the meadows green and gay
a pleasant bower i espied
standing fast by the river side,
and in't a maiden i heard cry:
alas! alas! there's none e'er loved as i."
(from "as i walked forth" by robert johnson)

soon we came upon harvesters.
we heard them talking and singing long before we passed
through a space in the hedgerow and into their field.

they walked together in the same direction through the grass.
the scythes all went together and the grass fell. they were surrounded
by the yellow grass. the tops of the grass with their grains and plumes
frothed lightly like foam on water, reflecting the sun.
john constable the wheatfield

our walk took us past farms. at one a weaver was at work.

the handles of the warp rods clicked. the shuttle hissed as it left the right hand,
struck the left hand; hissed upon leaving it, struck the right hand. the comb bar
struck heavily against the growing woollen cloth. the beam creaked
from time to time as it turned. and all those sounds were repeated,
one after the other, each in its place, without ever failing,
for each one did a definite work.
frederick carlton an old farm surrey

the heat of the day was soon broken by the cool murmur of the water meadows
"water meadows" edward wilkins-waite

at the edge of the pond there was a wide border of thinly sown rushes,
washed by a shallow overflow; a sort of half swamp. at the place where
the rush sprang from the water, it wore a little reddish-brown
ring. it was the image of the water, it was like an aureole, it was
all colours; it trembled and mixed the colours . . . .
i.i. levitan a neglected pond

we crossed the river by a small stone bridge. stopping in the middle
to gaze into its slow-swirling deep green mysterious depths.

he saw great immersed vines, fierce and supple as snakes, and as if made of
dream wood, so powerful that they had risen to within two fingers' breadth
of the surface, yet seemed rooted in the deepest reaches . . .
their leaves were broad and light
david bates on the way to nafford: a footbridge

soon we came to a village. we stopped before entering and the beekeeper turned to me and said;

there is one thing that i do not believe; that is that anyone deliberately
wants us to be unhappy. i think that things were made so that everybody can be happy.

henry john yeend-king woolhampton on the kennet

we passed through the village without stopping and soon left it behind
as the sun was setting and it was coming on to evening . . .
george vicat cole summer evening

we rounded the corner where the old man's home waited quiet and kind . . . .
he turned to me and said ...

one single joy and the world is still worthwhile
edward wilkins-waite end of the day

the moon rose amidst the pale salmon streamers of a lingering sunset.
its pale tangerine light washed gently over the hushed river and fields.

we lay down in the long cool grass at the edge of the farmhouse clearing.

the earth smelt of mushrooms and the scent of anise that comes from
the roots of all trees. from time to time a golden fly crossed the darkness
and its light went out beneath the moon.

edward wilkins-waite an autumn moonrise

the beekeeper slowly and deliberately stood up and turned back towards the house.

he went to his cellar. it was closed by a stone door. inside there was a room.
he entered. it was cool and smelt of roots. in the darkness he knew where to
find the dipper. it was a big bowl carved from a birch block. he held it under the
spigot and filled it. he drank it at a gulp. in his mouth was the taste of wine. new
wine made a month ago with the grapes of twenty rows of poor vines. although
it was new, it was ripe. no longer sweet. all the sweetness of the wine was changed
into tartness on the tongue and into a warmth that suddenly flamed within him.

"life is beautiful," he said.

(all italicized words unless otherwise indicated from) "joy of man's desiring" jean giono


Dan Gurney said...

I can't read the dark blue text. Is it text?

Jenny Stevning said...

Yes, that was worth it...well worth the indulging of my pleasure and patience. " single joy and the world is still worthwhile."

Titus said...

Oh, thank you steven! Lovely words interwoven with images that helped on this very wet morning!

ellen abbott said...

Oh yes, life is beautiful. thanks for the walk.

Barry said...

There are few things I love in life more than a good walk. Especially a good walk with good company.

Now I think I've had that today.

Life is indeed beautiful, Steven, thank you for show me.

Reya Mellicker said...

Life is beautiful and life is a bitch and life is everything that lies between.

Hey Steven you are my favorite curator. Your shows here, with paintings and poems and prose and quotes and thoughts are so beautifully put together.

I love the golden fish gallery. Thank you for this!

Have a great Saturday!

Pauline said...

"One single joy and the world is still worthwhile..."

This whole post was a joy! Thanks - everything else today will be frosting :)

steven said...

hi dan - it's text - sorry to mess up your eyes! i've adjusted the colour and i hope it translates out a little better. i've melded a poem with my own writing. i used the colour to distinguish the poetry from my words. i hope that all helps! have a peaceful saturday dan. steven

steven said...

pauline - i'm so delighted that you enjoyed it. it was a really fun escape to create it actually. i'm not old - fifty-two - but i feel the benefits of age beginning to appear. let me rephrase that - i feel the benefits that i like, appearing in my patience, my understanding, my ability to love without condition or expectation. this is frosting for me on my life! steven

steven said...

hi jenn - one single joy - there's not one day when that's not available to us - it's all a matter of opening yourself to the joy and not expecting to be blown off your feet as much as reminded of how amazing this whole place is. so i see a small purple flower after everything else has gone and ... there it is!!! have a lovely day. steven

steven said...

hey titus - every little bit of goodness helps doesn't it!!!! have a lovely wet day! steven

steven said...

ellen - i know you see that even when life loads you up with far far too much!!! have a sweet day! steven

steven said...

hey barry - you know this better than many!!! i love walking almost as much as i love biking. it places you right in the moment, face-to-face with a little part of this world and then it turns inwards - into yourself and whomever you're walking with. it always does. have a peaceful saturday. steven

steven said...

hey reya - it was an escape for me to look up art and words and then to stitch them together for myself and for my bloggy friends. my outer life constantly teeters between good happy fine and tough ugly hard while my inner life seems to move, flow smoothly and be a good place. i'd love for the two places to meld more often but hey - that's unlikely!!!!! i'm glad you like this place. i do too. i love to visit back here and see what i shared and what i thought. have a peaceful dc day. steven

Crafty Green Poet said...

gorgeous selection of words and photos and I love the photo of your promontory in your previous post

Margaret Pangert said...

Hi Steven~ Seamless, flawless, elegiac narrative--I think you're ready for your memoirs, prose, poetry, or film (with such a perfect choice of artwork to match the lines). "An Autumn Moonrise" is luscious!

steven said...

hello crafty green - thankyou very much - i really enjoyed creating this post - it was somewhat cathartic as most escapes are! have a peaceful evening. steven

steven said...

oh margaret my life might not quite be glamorous enough for memoirs! isn't it a gorgeous piece of art!! thanks for the nice comment. have a lovely evening. steven

Alaine said...

Thank you for fixing the blue, knew you would when you woke up! What you've put together for us here is so lovely, Steven and thank you again for your wonderful work. I'm going to read some more Wordsworth; I've gained patience as I've aged, some lose it completely. Enjoy your weekend.

Anonymous said...

Very well done, Steven. I really like the artwork. So many things to think about.

steven said...

thankyou very much abe - it's the strangest thing for me to post artwork like this but it's who i am and where i'm at at this point in my life. i love the poem very much as well. every day should leave us with much to think about. have a peaceful one. steven

Anonymous said...

I found your blog by way of Staceys respite, so glad I did....I will be back;)


steven said...

hello alaine and thankyou very much for your generous comment!!! i wake up and see what i see and what i saw was - uh oh! it looked good the night before but not so good by the dawn's early light!!! i too am a much more patient and understanding person now. i'm so grateful for that as it provides a wonderful respite for those around me who are less patient!!!! it's lovely to see you here. steven

steven said...

hello steven - stacey j is a beautiful person and so i'll try to honour the connection as best as i can. thankyou for visiting. see you again. steven

Liza said...

What a collage of beauty! I could stare at any of those paintings all day.
"there is one thing that i do not believe; that is that anyone deliberately wants us to be unhappy. i think that things were made so that everybody can be happy"
I couldn't agree more.
Thank you for sharing this incredible post.

steven said...

hello liza - me too! i mean i could stare at those paintings and wonder at the astonishing ability of these people to contain a moment, lives, knowledge, goodness, beauty on cnavas with paint. that's pure magic that escapes this place completely. thanks for quoting the essence of the post. that's what this whole thing is all about. steven

Golden West said...

That's really a stunning collection of paintings, Steven. Their autumn colors are a perfect tonic on a November afternoon.