The Blog of John Walford, British-born, but long resident in The United States. I am an art historian, currently studying satire in Netherlandish art, an amateur photographer, and occasional writer, who writes here about art, photography, and the human condition--some of it ekphratic poetry, responding to works of art. This is to be a site for words and images, interacting on one another, as vehicles of human expression.

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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Flickr's Catch the dream's "The Dreamwalker," 2009


The Dreamwalker, originally uploaded by Catch the dream.

"Days of the Dream-walker"

How many days must we toil our field?
How many nights must we wonder?
How many disappointments must we
Learn to overcome? Oh! How many?

How many times will we repeat our bad ways?
How much patience will be shown toward us?
How much grace must we to others extend? -
Before we reach our dreams, reap what's sown?

The wise say: What we sow, we will reap.
The bad we do, it haunts our dreams.
The good we do, we see not where it went.
Yet please tell us, we labored not in vain.
--JW, for Catch the dream, Dec 31, 2009.

As the symbolic last post--together with the one above, also by Flickr's Catch the Dream--of the first decade of the new millennium, it seemed fitting to write about dreams and longing, about past labors and future hopes, on such a night, in the final 45 minutes of 2009. Catch the Dream's "Dreamwalker" seemed to express just how one might feel in passing from one decade to the next, and his photograph (above) of the fisherman casting his net into a polluted river speaks to me in similar ways.

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I am a British-born, art historian, teaching in the USA; I studied law, in England,1964-68; worked part-time in the art world, 1968-69; then studied art history at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, 1969-76; completed my Ph.D. diss. at the University of Cambridge, 1981; moved to the States in 1981, and have since written, or co-authored, other books. I am currently studying satire in Netherlandish art. My wife, Maria, was born in Milan, Italy, where she worked as an interpreter, in business; she spent seven years in Switzerland, at the University of Lausanne, 1963-70. She came to Amsterdam in 1971, and we soon married. She is a wife, mother, literary critic, of Italian (and French) literature, and completed her Ph. D. diss. in 2002, at the University of Chicago, on Cesare Pavese and His Critics. We have three married children, and eight grandchildren, all of whom we excessively adore! I welcome dialog about art, photography, human behavior, beliefs, and motivation from all comers, regardless of race, color, gender, orientation, values, or beliefs. This is to be a site for words and images, as vehicles of human expression, around topics of mutual interest.

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