"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Rediscovering America, and self--books of January

I rediscovered America this month with six books completed, especially reading a condensed version of the Journals of Lewis and Clark edited by Anthony Brandt, begun in December.
Having traveled some of their route in years past, I found myself discovering much about America, provoking my imagination and admiration, and thinking about the huge changes wrought on other peoples, on other life forms and the country by our so-called civilization in the mere 214 years since they made that fantastic trip.
It was a month of self discovery too in the other books I completed.
My Do It Yourself art school education completed How to Paint with a Knife by Coulton Waugh, and then yesterday I read the inspiriting The Watercolors of Winslow Homer by Miles Unger, provoked into attempting more change.
I reread Ray Bradbury's last novel, From the Dust Returned, which I bought in 2001. That first edition is now worth about $100. From Bradbury I discover more about writing and the beauty of words.
The same is true of finishing House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday, wonderful lyrical novel  set primarily around Jemez Pueblo, where I've been and can visualize the country and people.
Finally, in exploring, I read Chakra Healing, by Margarita Alcantara, which provokes thoughts and ideas about self and the connectedness of all things.
February Discoveries? Yesterday I began reading Mark Manson's The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F#ck, a different view of themes I find in Thomas Merton, Richard Rohr and others. And echoing advice from the last book completed in 2019,  Embrace Your Weird by Felecia Day
I've ordered, from Best of Books in Edmond, Te Ata, Chickasaw Storyteller, American Treasure, by Richard Green. Richard is one of the people I have breakfast with once a month at Classen Grill, most of us old journalists. I showed the group my watercolor portrait of Te Ata, and found out he'd written the book.  Discoveries.

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