January Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

30 Jan

JANUARY, HOPE’S PATHWAY

1.jan2018.skyheart

“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering,
‘It will be happier.’”
Alfred Lord Tennyson

LOST AND FOUND

2.Monet.jan2018-USE

A Monet painting that had been missing since 1895 has been found through a Google search! The Effet de Brouillard, painted in 1872, was tracked down by art historian Richard Thomson. Missing for years, he discovered the painting had recently been sold in New Orleans and through the power of the internet he tracked it down! It has only been exhibited three times before: London in 1874 and in Boston and New York in 1895. The original owner of the painting was Galerie Durand-Ruel who bought the painting directly from Monet in Paris in 1873. Effet depicts a scene of the Argenteuil near Paris, where Monet lived for seven years and will go on display at the National Gallery this year.

3.Raphael.jan2018-USE

A 500-year-old mystery at the Vatican has just been solved. Two paintings by Renaissance master Raphael were discovered during the cleaning and restoration of a room inside the Vatican Museums. The two female figures, Justice and Friendship, were painted by Raphael around 1519, a year before his death at 37 in 1520. The oil paint, the brushwork, and the unusual shades of color were all clues confirming they were Raphaels. The job of restoring them along with the rest of the room will take until 2022 and cost over three million dollars!

DEEP PURPLE

4.PantonePurple2018.jan2018.lights-USE

Colors have the ability to convey deep messages and meanings, to inspire and influence. Pantone’s color of 2018 is Ultra Violet, a beautiful blue-based purple that conveys artistic expression, creative inspiration, and spiritual reflection. Reigning supreme in this new year, this mystical, dramatic, and provocative purple shade is inspired by music legends Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, and Prince (who received his own official Pantone hue in 2017). According to the company, it embodies individuality and spirituality, and alludes to the mysteries of the cosmos and the unknown. Oh, and it’s my favorite color.

WALK THIS WAY

5.WalkThisWay.withdog.jan2018.c.cr-USE

It’s said that taking a walk in the woods, in the city, in the fields, or on a beach, sets the mind free and aligns one’s self to Nature. In true solitude is when we hear our inner voices and we let our minds wander, creating a fertile ground for our imagination. In fact, walking is powerful, providing a way for us to get in touch with our intellect, judgement, awareness, and creativity … “When I go out for a walk, there is so much I see that makes me happy to be alive. Breathing. Not thinking. Observing. I am grateful beyond measure to be part of it all.” Artist Maira Kalman loves to walk. She has this in common with many great minds all of whom got their inspiration from long walks. Dickens and Hugo walked; Twain was a pacer; and Mozart preferred it to a carriage … Taking a long walk with my dog in the park makes me happy. And it’s especially peaceful to walk as the snow gently falls and quietly lands. There’s no real destination, no set time. Letting my mind wander. Listening to the world around me. Then getting so lost in my thoughts that I don’t hear anything else but my inner voice. And my dog’s cheerful bark. Just enjoying the journey.

DO YOU SPEAK DROOG?

6.ClockworkOrange.vancekelly.jan2018.e-USE

“Our pockets were full of deng, so there was no real need from the point of view of crasting any more pretty polly to tolchock some old veck in an alley and viddy him swim in his blood e old veck in an alley and viddy him swim in his blood…There was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie, and Dim.” … Alex speaks Nadsat, the language created by Anthony Burgess in his novel A Clockwork Orange. A mix of Russian (Nadsat is Russian for teen), gypsy, Cockney rhyming slang, criminal-speak, and Shakespeare’s English. Burgess wrote his dystopian tale in 1962 at the height of the Cold War and then Stanley Kubrick made the iconic brilliant film ten years later. Instead of creating a glossary, Burgess wanted us to figure out the meanings of the words just from the setting … Droog means friend and is the most famous Nadsat word, everyone who has ever seen the movie remembers it. It gains potency as we follow Alex’s brutal pranks with his wretched friends Pete, Georgie, and Dim … “I read this with care, my brothers, slurping away at the old chai, cup after tass after chasha, crunching my lomticks of black toast dipped in jammiwam and eggiweg” … At the end, Alex talks to his imagined son, wondering if he would heed any fatherly advice Alex might pass on: “And nor would he be able to stop his own son, brothers. And so it would itty on to like the end of the world, round and round and round, like some bolshy gigantic like chelloveck, like old Bog Himself turning and turning and turning a vonny grahzny orange in his gigantic rookers.” Got it?

DOG NEWS

7.DogNews.BelovedDogBookKalman.jan2018.d-USE

“[Dogs] are constant reminders that life reveals the best of itself when we…extend our unconditional love…the most tender uncomplicated, most generous part of our being blossoms…when it comes to the love of a dog.” … Whimsical, funny, philosophical, moving, and witty. In her book, Beloved Dog (Penguin Press, 2015), author and illustrator Maira Kalman shares with us her affection for the dogs she has known and loved. Through her heart-warming anecdotes, stories and delightful artwork, we see how dogs can be the most loyalest friends we could ever have, happy to see us, always eager to play, and a great fresh-air companion. If you’ve ever loved a dog and lost a dog, you’ll definitely be moved, not in a maudlin way but in a weird quirky uplifting way. You’ll laugh and probably cry, too, but I think you’ll cherish your own dog just a little more.

ENDNOTE: ABRAHAM LINCOLN

8.Endnote.AbrahamLincoln.jan2018

“My dream is of a place and a time where America
will once again be seen as the last best hope of earth.”

Abraham Lincoln’s pronouncement was a reflection of his time, as it is also a reflection of ours. To gain any perspective on the anomaly of our cultural moment, it wouldn’t hurt to begin this new year filled with hope. Together, let’s have hope. Because really, what’ve we got to lose?

WE CAN HELP

9.WeCanHelp.Adopt.HomeMat.jan2018-USE

Big smiles. Cozy naps. A wagging tail every time we walk in the door. (Unless you have a Westie who stays on the couch and clearly conveys, “So you’re home, what’s for dinner?”) When we adopt a pet, so many things change for the better, for everyone. We can help change an animal’s life! Consider welcoming the love of a pet into your life. Putting our love into action is what adopting is about. Let’s spread the word that adoption is a cool thing to do. Each of us can play a role in creating a better world for animals. Adopting a pet who needs a loving home will make a difference in their lives, and ours.

Soundtrack to this Issue

10.Soundtrack.DreamOn.steventyler.jan2018-USE

Aerosmith’s Dream On

 Okay, okay, I know. You thought it would be Walk This Way. But it’s the beginning of a new year. We’re dreamin’ about new things and good things and hoping for the best. And y’know, it’s really hard not to smile when Steven Tyler’s doing his thing. What’s that expression? It never gets old. “There’s so many days where I dunno if I’m coming or going. Y’know sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug.” Inspiring. Gotta love him. Enjoy!

C’mon, sing along, you know the words:

Every time when I look in the mirror
All these lines on my face getting clearer
The past is gone
It went by, like dusk to dawn
Isn’t that the way

Everybody’s got the dues in life to pay

I know nobody knows
Where it comes and where it goes
I know it’s everybody sin
You got to lose to know how to win 

Half my life is books, written pages
Live and learn from fools and from sages
You know it’s true, oh
All these feelings come back to you 

Sing with me, sing for the years
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tears
Sing with me, just for today
Maybe tomorrow, the good Lord will take you away 

Dream on
Dream on
Dream on
Dream until your dreams come true

Who rescued whom?

11.KEEP-YP+Barkley

So grateful for Barkley coming into my life.
Thanks to Westie Rescue of New England.

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l

12.KEEP-Buddha

“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:
Maira Kalman quote #1: The Principles of Uncertainty by Maira Kalman (Penguin Press 2007)
Dog News pic: Beloved Dog (Penguin Press 2015)
Maira Kalman quote #2: Beloved Dog (Penguin Press 2015)
Dream On lyrics: Steven Tyler ©BMG Rights Management US, LLC

January 30, 2018
All Rights Reserved

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