Archive for May 8th, 2009

PenelopeThis painting is titled Penelope after the wife of Ulysses who waited in Ithaca for his return, putting off suitors, in Homer’s The Odyssey.  Where I live in the Finger Lakes region of New York state, many of the small towns and villages are named from the classics.  There is Hector, Homer, Ovid, Ithaca, Sparta, Carthage, Romulus and so on.

When I was younger and became aware of the original places from which the names of these local towns were adopted, I always wondered about the people who settled these towns and decided what their new towns should be called.  What was the person like who decided that their new town would be Sparta and they would be the new Spartans?  In what trait in themselves did these people see a connection with the original Spartans?  Maybe it was a matter of dissuading other settlers from pushing into their newly claimed home.  You know- don’t screw with us, we’re Spartans.  It’s hard to see now, Sparta being a sleepy rural township above Cayuga Lake with hardly a sign of any carnage existing.

This painting is another going to my show at the Principle Gallery in June.  As I’ve written before, I am in the midst of preparations for this show , keeping me very busy.  I’ve got to run now but I wanted to leave a song from one of my favorites, Neko Case.  Her live CD, The Tiger’s Have Spoken, is a dynamic set that really showcases her powerful voice.  There’s a certain wistful quality there that I can’t put my finger on.  It’s definitely here in Maybe Sparrow

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