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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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Flickr's Simon K's "Resurrection,'" Easter 2012


Resurrection, originally uploaded by Simon_K.

"Innocence Can Be Bliss"

Does the robin know on what s/he rests?
Has the robin tasted winter but once?
Has the robin yet faced the hard task
Of raising a family, and all that asks?

--JW, for Simon K, wishing you a blessed Easter, 2012!



This work, and Simon K's title for it, reminds me of an experience from years ago, when we were all in our twenties. I was at the bedside of the dying mother of a close friend, and she said to her two gathered children, and me, do not cry at my funeral, for I shall now be free, and singing like a bird. The funeral was on a dreary, wet, grey, November day, in England, and as we stood by the graveside, reciting the prayer of committal, the sun broke momentarily through the clouds, and a bird started singing and singing in the nearby yew tree. All three of us looked at each other, and as the hair tingled on our spines, a smile crossed all our faces.

Simon K's tender photograph brings all this to sweet remembrance. She was a lovely Christian lady, whose parents had been medical missionaries in China, at the turn of the last century. It is fitting to think of her again at Easter time.

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John Walford

John Walford
Not All That Meets The Eye

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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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