The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Ben Shahn's American Life #17


Miner's Wives (1948)

3 comments :

R.H. said...

I lived with those types in the Ministry of Housing. Women, very unattractive.

Madeline said...

My great great grandmother along with her husband and their nine children escaped a life of virtual servitude in the coal regions of Pennsylvania. She made preserves from wild berries she found in the woods and sold them until she had a small sum of money. The family fled in the night and managed to find a nearby railroad line. They caught a train which took them to safety and began a new life in another part of the state.
This painting reminds me to be thankful for the life I have and to appreciate the sacrifices my family made so their children could have a better life.

Tom Sutpen said...

Beautifully said.