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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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

"A Silent Earthquake" - a phrase from John Steinbeck's "East of Eden," as recalled by my friend, musician Howie Whitaker.

"A silent earthquake"

When the first snow of winter falls upon the ground,
Like a soft blanket, it covers the year's tumult,
And a silent stillness falls upon the world.
Painted over with a snow-white purity,
All pains and scars are covered over,
And a serenity fills the still air. And yet -
It is cold inside, deep down inside,
As a chill sets into our souls and bones,
With a sadness for what has passed,
And the bleak prospect before us:
For some, just getting through winter;
For some, loneliness and heart ache,
Unrelieved by the warming rays of
Summer sun, splashing water,
Humming bees, nectar, and flowers
Dancing in the breeze. For yet others -
Alone in the crowd, going about one's day,
Carrying inside what few can know,
The tremors of a silent earthquake.
Thus, must each of us recall, indeed,
Once more the earth, it will be shaken.
Nothing we can build will stand, and yet -
And yet, our one and only, steadfast hope,
Faith, the Word of God endures for ever.
-- JW, for Howie Whitaker, Dec 8, 2009.

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John Walford

John Walford
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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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