“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
Started the year sending books to women’s prisons. Apparently, they have a lack of books and are so grateful to have new and old ones donated to their libraries. There is a website where you can find more info. https://prisonpenpals.com/booksbehindbars.html
Recently took the little people to the Palm Springs Art Museum, which if you haven’t been is one of the most spectacular museums around. Their collection is world class. One of kids got frustrated at some of the more “modern” pieces questioning “this is art?” Which has got me thinking about art and its reception in the world.
There are movies we consider classics, such as “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “Blade Runner,” “Citizen Kane” and yes, “Polar Express” that were box office “flops” when the premiered; books, such as “The Great Gatsby” and “Moby Dick” were “failures.” “A Confederacy of Dunces” was considered unpublishable. Rediscovered and appreciated later on I wonder does it give comfort to the creator? How does an artist continue to create art that is not appreciated in their time? But in the end they weren’t flops, which I’m sure is no comfort to the dead artists that poured their work into them..
Van Gogh, sold maybe a couple painting in his lifetime. Was he satisfied making art that would live forever and sell in the multi-millions or would he rather have had modest success and money in his
lifetime? Edgar Allen Poe was another. And on and on. Is art for its time? For the ages? Are some movies and books better with age? How does an artist continue making art he and she deems worthy, art they have to make (because artists are driven to do what they do) when it is not immediately well received?
And then there was Fiji. We’ve been going every January for the past 17 years! So grateful to recharge, write, read a ton of books and stare at this turquoise water every day. But now its back to reality, including our new puppy Coco.
My goal for 2019 is to read 85 books, besting my read 76 last year. I recently finished “Prophet of Freedom.” Frederick Douglass’ story is epic and so is this 800 + page book! Scholarly, sometimes tedious and repetitious, it is not for the faint of heart. Worth the effort to get through the excruciating detail of this man’s heroic, tragic, inspiring life. A mostly self-taught orator, journalist, diplomat and so much more. Prescient in his beliefs here is just one quote from the book that is as relevant today as it was in 1861 at the start of the Civil War:
“Americans, Douglass believed, instinctively and culturally watched history and preferred not to act in it. Douglass summed up his bitter complaint as `this terrible paradox of passing history’ rooted in a distinctively American selfishness. . . . Americans loved to celebrate their `own heritage, and on this condition are content to see others crushed in our midst.’”
And while a loud critic of blatant and passive racism Douglass wrote “What is The World afraid of? Does it fear that with equal protection Negro blood would prove more than a match for Anglo-Saxon blood in the race of improvement?”
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If your BOOK CLUB would like me to visit via Skype I’m available on the road or when I’m at home. It’s been fun coming into your homes, sending specialty FAN cocktail recipes before for you all to try. email me at [email protected] if you want me to join in on some Fun FAN talking. A questionnaire is available on my website to download for your Book club.