Archive for February, 2016

Vincent Van Gogh and Don McLean

February 22, 2016

No words necessary – this is Art Aware’s message…


Rudyard Kipling’s Gift of “If”

February 16, 2016
red futon - china highrise
I grew up in a high rise in Manhattan but nothing like this one near Shanghai, China.
Imagine writing something that would appeal to all the people who live here.
I’ve never had children – but have taught art appreciation to many
elementary school children over the years.
I wish I could have introduced every child to this poem by Rudyard Kipling
(1865-1936). I’m sure it has been translated into Chinese. I know that many
Japanese people know of it. For me it has been like a life-long prayer.
Barbara Pfeiffer
If by Rudyard Kipling
If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:


If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:


If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’


If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

I Am Not Old

February 16, 2016



I Am Not Old by Samantha Reynolds   (see more of her poems on
I am not old…she said.
I am rare.
I am the standing ovation
at the end of the day.
I am the retrospective
of my life as art.
I am the hours
connected like dots
into good sense.
I am the fullness
of existing.
You think I am waiting to die…
but I am waiting to be found.
I am a treasure.
I am a map.
And these wrinkles are
imprints of my journey.
Ask me anything.
(the photo is of Barbara Pfeiffer)

We turn not older…

February 14, 2016

emily dickinson poem

We Turn Not Older…

Can I turn one month of challenges into a poem?

I want to believe in the poems I like, for example
“I’m not old, I’m rare”* and
“We grow not older with years but newer every day.”**
I half believe them.
Hunkering down safe inside for two days of snow storm.
Then two days of shoveling, four hours each day.
A neighbor, half my age, inviting me over
to sit with her by the fireplace (she had no snow to shovel).
Exhibiting at Kroc Center paintings by African American
Romare Bearden, wondering if they’d be well received.
Then bad weather again
predictions of flooding – not snow
Then car giving out – $500.
Then awakening to a smoke-filled house at 3 a.m.
only to discover fire was three blocks away.
No wonder I had a sleep of nightmares
being old, sick, incapacitated.
To prove the dream wrong
I go to the pool and swim twenty laps.
What is in store for tomorrow?
Can I have faith “I’m not old, I’m rare” and
“We grow not older with years but newer every day?”
* by Samantha Reynolds – go to
** by Emily Dickinson