Posts Tagged ‘John Keats’


There is an electric fire in human nature tending to purify – so that among these human creatures there is continually some birth of new heroism. The pity is that we must wonder at it, as we should at finding a pearl in rubbish.

–John Keats


I find myself nodding in agreement with the above words from the poet John Keats. It seems that there is ample evidence that humans have the desire and capability for living heroic lives. Yet to do so is a rare and wondrous thing.

A pearl in rubbish, as he says.

Maybe our failure is that we only see heroism defined in epic terms, not in the bravery of the responsibility that comes in making everyday decisions that opt for doing what is right and not expedient or self-serving. Not every hero wears a cape or jumps from buildings.

It’s a matter of perspective.

I think of when my mother was dying from cancer many years ago now. In her final months, she had a picture next to her bed of my father in a small cheap frame with press-on letters on the bottom leg of it that spelled out the word hero.

Now, hero is not a term I have often equated with my father, a man who is deeply flawed in many ways. I confess that, in this aspect, the apple doesn’t fall from the tree.

But this was especially evident when it came to his relationship with my mother. Most of their life together was loud and contentious. They were always one word or a single side glance away from their next battle royale, the horror shows of mine and my siblings’ childhoods.

But somehow through the years of anger and adversity she still saw something in this man that she recognized as being heroic. Maybe it was that he had simply stayed, had maintained a sense of responsibility and caring for her that became very obvious in her last days.

I will never know for sure. The psychology of it all evades me. But that cheap frame on a dying woman’s bedside table with that word hero on it still lingers with me and always will.

It’s a matter of perspective.

I didn’t plan on writing this for today’s post, didn’t seek to be so personally biographical. It just came and I guess I can live with that. I only wanted to jot down a little something to introduce the song below for this Sunday morning music. It is one of my favorite David Bowie songs, Heroes, performed by the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. I know it sounds like it should be a joke or a parody but it’s a wonderful version. I think my mom might well understand it.

Have a good day. Be a hero to somebody.


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GC Myers- Endymion  This is a new painting that is part of my upcoming exhibit, Islander,  at the West End Gallery which opens on July 26th. It is a 20″ by 24″ canvas titled Endymion,  somewhat based on the mythic character of that name.  There are many conflicting myths as far as Endymion is concerned but the basic myth is that he was a mortal, some having either a king or a shepherd,   who was in  love with the Moon, who because of his beauty returned his love.  Some myths have Endymion in an endless state of sleep as either punishment or reward from Zeus, some with his eyes wide open as he slept but all maintain the love between him and the Moon.

The Romantic poet  John Keats wrote a poem titled Endymion that tells his version of the myth.  It begins with the well known line: A thing of beauty is a joy for ever.  My favorite line, and one that I think speaks to this painting, comes later in that first stanza: Some shape of beauty moves away the pall  from our dark spirits.

Whatever the myth behind the poem or the title of this painting, there is a sleepy hypnotic quality to this piece and there is a real sense of attraction and longing between the Red Tree and the Moon here.  I see the Moon as the unattainable ethereal and the Red Roofed houses and farms as being the temporal reality with the Red Tree hovering somewhere in between, part of the Earth yet longing for the sky.

Well, at least that’s how I see it…

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