My Internet friend, Jerry Saltz, art historian and art critic, recently wrote on Instagram:
“…musing on Judd and Minimalism…from Marfa…Think of the boxes as Monet’s haystacks…”
Here the former art critic for The Village Voice and recipient of the Pulitzer Price for Criticism in 2028, is referring to Donald Judd‘s “boxes” at Marfa.
This reminded me of this note I received years ago from a gallery owner in Denver, Colorado:
”I am impressed with your sensitive and imaginative eye. Because of your photos, the viewer sees the landscape with all of its subtle nuances and myriad of compositional relationships. Many of your portraits capture the inner nature of the individuals without being posed or contrived….I have a gallery in Denver and also have an art consulting firm. We have been in business for 30 years……I’ve been intrigued with your photos for a long time…just waiting for the right client to show them to and I believe, that we have found one……….I am interested in doing a series of images of the mill pond that you so effectively depicted in B/W and color and at different times of the day and primarily during the Fall. It reminds me of Monet’s compositional and light variations of his series on Chartre, lily pond, haystacks etc. The images are accessible but thought provoking in their characterization of the nuances of change in a given environment…. they help the viewer understand that there is an ongoing transformation and evolution in a given landscape. Sometimes the change is slight; sometimes birds inhabit the scene, sometimes the grasses become the emphasis rather than the water, sometimes the log protrusions become geometric constructions in an otherwise organic surround…….” (–Sandy Carson)
For your viewing pleasure and inspiration, a few of those images (There are hundreds) (Click on image to enlarge):
Truly, I say to you, this is the best banana bread. Mango, dates, and a ginger and pistachio streusel topping.
Susan found this recipe. “Why don’t you make this for us? We have the ingredients.” And, I did.
You will be very happy you made this delicious and special banana bread.
2 cups all-purpose flour 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon baking soda ¼ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon ground ginger 2 eggs, lightly beaten 1 ½ cup mashed bananas 1 cup sugar ½ cup vegetable oil or melted butter ¼ cup chopped dates ½ cup chopped fresh mango 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of one 9x5x3-inch pan; set aside. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ginger. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside.
In a medium bowl stir together eggs, bananas, sugar, and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy). Meanwhile, toss chopped mango in 1 Tbsp. flour. Fold dates and mango into batter. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle Ginger Streusel-Nut Topping over batter.
Bake for about 70 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. If necessary to prevent overbrowning, cover loosely with foil for the last 15 minutes of baking. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely on rack. Wrap and store overnight before slicing. (I didn’t wait that long! It looked so delicious and it was delicious.)
Ginger Streusel-Nut Topping
In a small bowl combine brown sugar and flour. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in pistachios and crystallized ginger.
“This oven bake requires minimal effort and is very much a meal in itself. Daqa is a vinegar-based condiment, most commonly used when making the much-loved Egyptian koshari, a hearty dish of rice, pasta and lentils. Daqa is a nifty way to brighten stews, braises and anything that needs an acidic lift. Feel free to swap out the kabocha squash for root vegetables, such as sweet potato or celery root, and serve the whole thing with nothing more than a leafy green salad.”
¾ pound skin-on kabocha squash, seeds removed, cut into about 6 (1-inch-thick) wedges (I used butternut squash)
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons ground sweet paprika
3 tablespoons olive oil
Fine sea salt
2 small yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted
8 ounces/1 heaping cup (uncooked) French green lentils, rinsed
2 cups chicken stock
¾ cup sour cream
¼ cup finely chopped chives
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill, plus 1 tablespoon picked leaves for serving
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
Heat the oven to 450 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, squash, 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 tablespoon oil and 1 teaspoon salt; set aside.
Place the onions, 2 garlic cloves, ½ teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon salt and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and 2 teaspoons paprika in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and mix to combine. Roast for 10 minutes, stirring halfway, until the onions are lightly colored. Stir in the lentils, chicken stock and 1 cup of water. Arrange the squash wedges and the chicken, skin-side up, on top and roast for another 20 minutes, until the chicken skin is deeply golden. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees and cook for another 40 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the squash is nicely softened.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the sour cream, chives and dill; set aside.
To make the daqa, mix the remaining garlic and cumin with the vinegar, sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons of water.
When ready, remove the bake from the oven and top with spoonfuls of the sour cream mixture. Pour over the daqa and sprinkle with the extra dill. Serve hot, straight out of the baking dish.
I am the only man
in yoga class.
Fifteen women and me.
I am here
with my wife
Next to her a woman
on her left.
on her right.
I recognize the woman.
"You look familiar."
"I am a cashier
at Big Y Supermarket."
"I thought you might have recognized me."
so many people,"
with my yoga family.
My body is
My mind is
My eyes closed.
with my yoga family
This is simply delicious! And simple to make. I made a few changes which are noted below.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon ground fennel
½ teaspoon ground coriander
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 thyme sprig
½ teaspoon grated fresh orange rind
¼ teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
1 ½ cups water
1 ½ cups clam juice
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 pound flounder fillet, cut into (2-inch) pieces (I used Cod.)
1 (14-ounce) can great Northern beans, rinsed and drained (I used small and diced potatoes from The Little Potato Company and Chopped Green Beans; about 1 cup+.)
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, fennel, coriander, garlic, and thyme sprig; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in rind and saffron; add water, clam juice, tomatoes, potatoes and green beans. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in salt, fish; cook 5 minutes.
Amen, Amen, I say to you
This is the day the Lord has made
Rejoice and be glad
Join us onboard
The Intention Express
A magic carpet ride
Faith and Doubt
Will be your companions
The source will be
Your guide, this is
A sacred mystery
An ancient form
A spiritual guide
What you are
Created to be
On Saturday I wore an old flannel shirt Bought years ago Black and Red Bought probably at WalMart I didn’t know Better, underneath I wore a Red T-shirt Life is Good A camera Mountain range On the shirt Two favorite things These are a few Of my favorite things A gift From Susan I made her a peach And raspberry cake And a bacon, mushroom Spinach quiche Life is good She made bread
Teacher spoke softly saying
Through your nose
Through your mouth
Breathing in deeply
Helps me to center myself
Thoughts come and go
Like the clouds above
The urn, when breathing
Breathe, when praying
Pray, when looking
See, the birds
Engraved on the urn
There too triangles
Circles and straight lines
Signs that are read
Top to bottom
Bottom to top
In the distance
Out the window
In need of repair
Alludes to the thought
The Church can never be completed
Always, like us, in need
Of breath, of repair
We see a peacock
We know from our art
It can be easy to ignore
Birds and peacocks
As symbols or art
But writing stems
From the pictorial
The peacock became a symbol of immortality in Christian art
The peacock serves as a reminder of the Resurrection and eternal life
The peacock is symbolic of re-growth and rejuvenation,
Royalty, respect, honor, and integrity
The peacock is also a symbol of beauty, love, and passion
In Egypt the peacock was linked to the worship of the sun god, Amon-Ra and associated with the all-seeing eye of Horus. To the Hindus, the peacock was associated with Hindra, the god of thunder who became a peacock endowed with one hundred eyes that enabled him to watch out for the demon Ravana
Peacocks are also symbolic in the Buddhist religion
Symbolic because they display their feathers by opening their tails they are associated with openness and purity, and their feathers are even used in Buddhist purification rituals
Teacher softly speaks
This advice from Swami Buaji
Begin the day with Love
Spend the day with Love
End the day with Love
This is the way to Source
In the January/February issue of Poets & Writers the award-winning playwright, poet, and essayist, Sarah Ruhl, shares her reasons to keep writing.
“Sometimes I forget why I should keep writing. I hope you make a list of your own. Here is mine:
Write for God. The cave. The envelope.
Write for your mother. Your father. Your friend who is sick.
Write for the future. Write for the past. Write for the present, but sideways.
Write for the child who saw cruelty, and for those dispossessed, but sidways.
Write for your daughter. Write for your sone. If they don’t exist, write for the dream of them.
Write for your uncle to weep, for your aunt to laugh. For your babysitter to cover her face with recognition.
Write for the church you walked past with a sign that read: THEATER AT SACRAMENT. And you misread it as: THEATER AS SACRAMENT.
Write for the accountants whose eyes are too tired at night for numbers. For the farmers who grow your corn.
Write for your teachers. Write for every single hour they left off writing their own sentences so that they could read yours.
Write to thank the books you love.
Write for yourself.
Write for God. The cave. The envelope.
Sarah Ruhl teaches at the Yale School of Drama, and her most recent projects are the memoir Smile (Simon & Schuster, 2021), Love Poems in Quarantine (Copper Canyon, 2022); and a production of Becky Nurse of Salem by Lincoln Center Theater.
The featured photo I took this morning, January 1, 2023. Sunrise.