Alexander Averin

Friday 13 March 2009

New Discoveries

A little Breton girl.
George Clausen
(M's grandmother was one of these and probably around the same era).

I do not seek I find
Pablo Picasso

Dear Diary,

It is already Friday again.

I am going to write a few words about the blessings that are New Discoveries and how one discovery can lead to another. The first is a book that led me to an artist by the name of George Clausen. No doubt you have heard of him but I hadn’t - or maybe I had but had forgotten his name (most likely) and no doubt the artist will lead me on to other delights. I will let you know.

The book, which was published in 2001, is Now is the Time by Sister Stanislaus Kennedy and I believe it was a bestseller in Ireland some years ago. I was led to this book via an American-Irish mailing list of which I am a member. I do not live in America but somehow discovered a rather good site for all things Irish that appeal to the Irish diaspora.

As usual I digress. I receive a book list from this American site every so often - new publications - fiction and non-fiction (including poetry!) and all by Irish authors or with an Irish connection somehow. The latest email mentioned a few spiritual books by a woman called Sister Stanislaus Kennedy who grew up on the Dingle peninsula (as did my mother). I looked on Amazon and found a copy going cheap so I sent off for it and it arrived very quickly. I have only just started reading her spiritual reflections but here is a taster, a description of what the book contains.

From the back cover:

Now is the Time became an instant bestseller when it was first published, and in this expanded edition, which includes five new entries, Stan's message remains the same: we have the time, if we make the choice to take time ... Now is the Time is an inspiring book for everyone; young or old, male or female, for the converted or those who are irreligious or plain disaffected. Even people for whom a spiritual view of the world is a closed book should try opening this one. Now is the Time looks beyond the boundaries of any one faith or church and draws on the great spiritual and philosophical traditions of east and west. As Sister Stan focuses on a line of poetry from one of the world's great authors, an idea from a psychotherapist or philosopher, or a proverb from oriental wisdom, she weaves her own thoughts around them in a way that presents them afresh, and allows us to see them from a new perspective. Widely loved as a committed social activist and tireless worker on behalf of people in need, Sister Stan reveals an entirely different side of her nature - the reflective, contemplative and the spiritual – and offers us an inspiring and thought-provoking work of vision.

The book's cover is a beautiful work of art in itself. A painting by, you’ve guessed it, Sir George Clausen. I can only find the tiniest picture of it which you can see above. It is meant to be called the Haymaker but I am not so sure having looked online. It is supposed to be in the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery in Dublin. I have only been to their National Gallery.

Changing the subject, but keeping the theme of discovery, the rest of this post shows photos I took of a ruined mill not far from here. I have been doing a bit of detective work for someone in the state of Utah, USA, who is researching his family tree. It’s a long story but a borrower of mine was contacted by him as he discovered her email address online (she is secretary of a local history society). She told me how he was drawing a blank on one of the properties on a census return so I got on the case as I happen to live in the same area. Anyway, to cut a long story short, a friend of mine asked someone else and a long-gone property that no-one had been able to find for this man was discovered. I took some photos last weekend and I shall email them to him along with some of the local chapel where he has many relatives buried, some in the 1800’s. No doubt when this man comes to Wales, as he is planning to, there will be a big gathering of the clans as there are still many living in these parts with the same surname!

Before I go here is a poem.

but if a living dance upon dead minds

but if a living dance upon dead minds
why,it is love;but at the earliest spear
of sun perfectly should disappear
moon's utmost magic,or stones speak or one
name control more incredible splendor than
our merely universe, love's also there:
and being here imprisoned,tortured here
love everywhere exploding maims and blinds
(but surely does not forget,perish, sleep
cannot be photographed,measured;disdains
the trivial labelling of punctual brains...
-Who wields a poem huger than the grave?
from only Whom shall time no refuge keep
though all the weird worlds must be opened?

e e cummings

So that’s all for today.
Isn’t the internet wonderful?
And aren’t new discoveries exciting as well?

Go mbeannai Dia duit,


Barbee' said...

Absolutely, the Internet is wonderful! I would never have found you, otherwise.

Frances said...

Yes, Cait, the internet is wonderful, and new discoveries can be wonderful (a note of caution there!) but reading any post of yours is always a pleasure, and intriguing, and a way to get my mind to awake.


Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Oh, I love e e cummings. Lovely choice.
And, I've never heard of the book you're recommending and shall look for it. Thanks for the suggestion. Lovely paintings as well!

Happy Weekend, Cait!

Pipany said...

Seriously beautiful photographs Cait. I hadn't heard of that artist either. Always good to discover a new one. Have a lovely weekend xx

Elizabethd said...

A truly lovely post. I so enjoyed reading about your discoveries.


Cait, I met Sr. Stan years ago. She is an amazing Lady, with an incredible mind.I have not read the book you mention, but Mush bought me"Gardening the Soul" which are reflections through the seasons.I like to dip into this sort of book to improve myself. I am always amazed by "one discovery leads to another" I find this happens to me all the time, particularly with books. Books I read, always seem to mention other books and authors I love. I don't seem to find books, they seem to find me. I must blog about this.Just finished a lovely Romance that jumped out at me at a garage sale in Brisbane, using a quote from Yates as it's core,called Firebird By Janice Graham Published by Little, Brown 1998.

Exmoorjane said...

Those photographs of the chapel are so beautiful Cait - it looks such a peaceful spot. How fantastic you were able to help that chap in the US - bet he was grateful.
I love ee cummings too.
Have finally (about time too) answered your questions on my blog.... janexx

Tess Kincaid said...

LOVE Clausen!! And your magical photos of the old mill site. The guy researching his family is so lucky to have you sleuthing for him!

Fire Byrd said...

I was going to comment on this post when I got to the banner reading, about having an Irish Mother, and it stopped me in my tracks..... Cause now I'm crying and just nodding, yep they don't come any better than My own Irish Mother, who I still miss 22 years after her death. And never more so at this time of year with Mother's Day almost upon us.

Calico Kate said...

Your mill photos all are beautiful Cait.
Thank you for sharing your discoveries too.

Pondside said...

I'm glad that your Blogger's Block faded away, Cait. Lovely to read your last two and to learn about a new book worth reading.
Gorgeous photos!
The internet - what a tool for change, for connection between all sorts of people. I think it's wonderful.

Elizabeth said...

What lovely pictures of the ruined mill.
I have been out of the loop for a bit but also love the Clausen painting.

Suffolkmum said...

Beautiful photographs, what a haunted place that looks. I'd never heard of the artist so thanks for that discover. Aren't coincidences amazing?

Leenie said...

What a treat for the eyes! Love the Clausen paintings. You captured some kind of mystical light in those photos. I am looking closer for elves and lepricons... e.e. cummings has a magical quality too. Thanks!

Irish Eyes said...

Absolutely beautiful as always from one with the heart of a Kerry native. Glorious. Fair play to you with your detective work, you are an amazing lady.

Love the e e cummings, agree that the I/net is wonderful but concur on the caution with Frances and the pictures are amazing.

Sr Stan is an amazing lady, I met her many years ago at a function and she has just got that 'something' about her that draws you to her.

Be good to yourself C and enjoy Paddy's Day.
IE x

FireLight said...

Cait, your photographs seem to be twinkling in the almost spring light. Your man from Utah should be delighted to see these. I really enjoy stopping by here.
And yes, the internet is amazing!

Auntie sezzzzzz... said...

Such a beautiful country!

Happy St.Patrick's Day! _Everyone_ is a bit Irish, today. I'm 1/4. :-)

Aunt Amelia
"This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever."
~~Sigmund Freud (speaking about the Irish) >,-)

Vee said...

Hi Cait,

Yes, discoveries are grand. I made at least two here visiting you today.

Those photographs you've taken are just wonderful. There's nothing I love better than a stone wall or old stone foundation. I love the different looks and techniques you've used.

Anonymous said...

A great post Cait, with some really interesting finds!

Peggy said...

Your lovely pictues make me long for something I can't quite put my finger on. Wonderful! :-)

CAMILLA said...

Sorry I am late here Cait, what wonderful photo's, I have never heard of that artist, I always get so excited when I find an artist I have never come across before.

Your posts always cheer me Cait, all beautiful.


ClausenFan said...

The picture on the book cover you featured is titled "The Haymaker; A Study in Shadows", painted in oils in 1904. Another version in pastels was produced by Clausen at about the same time - it is a mirror image of the oil painting, so it is likely that both derive from the same sketch. The girl is not named in Clausen's records and she is not one of his daughters, whoom he frequently painted. The oil version of the picture is at the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin.