February 14, 2019, River Crests, Hopper: Room In New York, A Love Poem

Atmosphere:

I live about nineteen miles upriver from Louisville and close enough to the mighty Ohio River to hear the thrumming of towboat engines. They have been especially loud lately in their struggle against the flood.

On lazy summer days I envy the locals who live on the banks or take their boats out for the spectacular sunrises and sunsets, but I do not envy the steep price they pay every spring during the floods of the Ohio.

The river crested overnight. From this point on, the water will recede. The McAlpine gauge in Louisville topped at 28.61 feet, a “moderate” flood. For comparison, last year’s “major” February flood crested at 35.64 feet.

It is impossible to overstate the Ohio River’s influence in this area on commerce, recreation, history, even romance. It is a thing here like the Kentucky Derby is a thing. It does not take kindly to being forgotten or taken for granted and every spring it shrugs out of its banks and demands recognition.

Art:

Room in New York is a 1932 oil on canvas painting by Edward Hopper.
About this art, from Wikipedia:

The scene of a brightly lit room is contained within the dark sill of a window. The stark framing makes the room the main focus, drawing the eye and giving realness to the action of peeping into a space where the subjects are unaware they are being watched. The genuineness of spying is a product of Hopper’s artistic process. He admitted the inspiration for Room in New York came from “glimpses of lighted interiors seen as I walked along city streets at night.” Despite the snapshot-esque quality of the scene, it is actually no one particular window or moment Hopper peered into but rather a culmination of many different narratives he saw as he roamed New York City.  The act of peering gives the viewer the sense that what is being seen is wholly real and unfiltered; “the self-absorbed figures do not know of his presence; otherwise, they would be embarrassed, startled, or otherwise uncomfortable.” Thus, the narrative Hopper portrays is one of unapologetic realness. More here.

Thought:

A Love Poem by Garrison Keillor

May 31, 2013 at 3:09 AM

A summer night, and you, and paradise,
So lovely and so full of grace,
Above your head, the universe has hung its lights,
And I reach out my hand to touch your face.

I believe in impulse, in all that is green,
Believe in the foolish vision that comes true,
Believe that all that is essential is unseen,
And for this lifetime I believe in you.

All of the lovers and the love they made:
Nothing that was between them was a mistake.
All that is done for love’s sake,
Is not wasted and will never fade.

All who have loved will be forever young
and walk in grandeur on a summer night 
along the avenue. 
They live in every song that is sung 
and every painting of pure light 
and every Pas De Deux.

O love that shines from every star,
Love reflected in the silver moon;
It is not here, but it’s not far.
Not yet, but it will be here soon.


“There is no remedy for love but to love more.”

Henry David Thoreau

Thought of the day provided by Thomas Brown – Madwillow Creekhouse.