"Moral Life of Downtown"

Earl Shorris was an essayist and social critic who began one of the first programs to bring literature to the poor and uneducated. Shorris died a few weeks ago and for anyone interested in the possibility of changing lives through literature, this represents a great loss.

While he was interviewing inmates for a book he was writing on poverty, he routinely asked them why poor people became poor. In response, one woman answered because they never learned “the moral life of downtown.” When Shorris asked her what she meant, she replied, “plays, museums, concerts, lectures, you know.”

Shorris concluded from these words that what they lacked wasn’t money, but education, education in the humanities. As a result he began developing the Clemente Course in the Humanities designed for economically and educationally disadvantaged individuals that was offered without cost. The participants studied four subjects: literature, art history, moral philosophy, and American History.

I was drawn to Shorris’ course, like others I’ve written about here, because of my interest in the effects of reading literature. The curriculum of most of these programs is based on Shorris’ course and almost all are intended to reach the poor, unemployed, low wage workers, addicts, the homeless and prisoners. Can you imagine groups that might be more resistant and as unlikely to benefit from such a course as these?

How successful is the course in achieving this goal? Gathering evidence to answer this question is not easy. It is often difficult to track down participants, many of whom lead chaotic lives with no permanent address or phone number. Shorris reports a preliminary evaluation in the Appendix to his first book, New American Blues: A Journey through Poverty to Democracy.

Only half (55%) of the students were able to complete the course the first time he offered it, leaving a sample of seventeen individuals for the pre- and post-course assessment. The findings indicated there were modest gains in the student’s self-esteem and use of cognitive strategies.

But most of the change scores were not significant, and absent comparative data from a group of individuals who were not able to participate in the course or were enrolled in an alternative program, it is difficult to know what to make of these findings.

The Clemente Course is currently being taught in over twenty cities in this country, as well as several foreign countries. Anecdotal evidence from students who have taken these courses and others like it, has been uniformly positive.

A student who spoke at the Spring 2006 graduation ceremony of a similar course (Humanity in Perspective) I evaluated for the Oregon Council of Humanities gave this account.

My classmates and I answered an invitation to come and learn. Twice a week for 2 semesters we gathered together to discuss some of history’s great minds and ideas. We read and discussed the Greek Philosophers and dramatists…the foundations of Democracy in America…the Transcendentalists and contemporary writers…issues of slavery, prejudice, women’s right, civil rights, human rights.

We wrote papers and formulated thesis arguments. These things alone would constitute an interesting educational experience. But this is not all we learned. We learned that these were not just texts to be read, but ideas to live by. We learned about the power of words to harm or to help. We learned how to listen, and how and when to speak up. We learned that our ideas and our opinions are important. We learned that each of us can make a difference in our lives, in our community, in the world. We learned these things not only from these texts and from our teachers, but from each other.

Others commented:

During this class, our minds were freed. That is something that will always be with us, and, trust me, it can never be taken away.

The course was the only positive in this whole bad prison experience.

The class is what people need to want to learn and be better people. I know I am because of it.

Reports like these make it clear how much the thousands of students who have taken courses based on Shorris’ conception owe to him.


Serendipitious Discovery

Early in my freshman year at Stanford I began working at the Library. In those days the great collection of books in the stacks wasn’t open to the students. At the circulation desk I would receive the student request card, try to recall from the book’s call number what level it was on, head into the stacks, down the stairs, through the long and dark aisles, until I came to the right shelf, run my hand along the spine of the books, glancing from time to time at the titles, wishing I could stop to read one or two, scanning the Dewey Decimal numbers, collect the book if it was there, head back down the aisle, up the stairs and pass the book on to the staff to be checked out after stealing a glance at its introductory pages.

That sounds pretty tedious, but it wasn’t. I liked wandering around the shelves, always intrigued by the books that were stored there, the new topics and areas of study that I didn’t know existed, stopping every now and then to grab a book to bring upstairs to read until I had to head down again to fetch one. Eventually I became eligible for one of study the tables located on each floor of the stacks. There I could keep my textbooks and other volumes that I had checked out from the library and do my class work in a setting that is about as favorable as they come.

I spent most of my days and many nights at that table in the stacks of the Library. It was utterly peaceful there, no one else was around and I could come and go as I pleased. Since I was in the throes of academic discovery, it was the best of all possible places.

Every once in a while, I’d take a little “study break” to wander up and down the aisles, checking the titles of the books that caught my eye. This kind of exploration will no longer be possible in the new bookless library. There will no discovery of that unknown book that you subsequently found indispensable. Thomas Benton has recently described the importance of such moments in the process of doing research.

I remember one time I was writing about Edgar Allan Poe and phrenology when I found a box of ephemera—not catalogued in any detail—that included a pamphlet for a book by an early psychologist who analyzed Poe on the basis of daguerreotypes of the poet. I quickly found the book in another area of the same library, and discovered a sequence of pages that purported to show that Poe was suffering from a disorder that affected only one hemisphere of his brain and that revealed itself in the asymmetry of his face…that accidental discovery—the centerpiece of a subsequent article—would never have been made but for the serendipity and convenience of the stacks.

How often I recall a similar experience in my own research. I would go in search of a particular bound volume of a journal. Accidentally I’d pick out the wrong one and beginning scanning the pages, only to discover another article, perhaps even more important than the one I was searching for and that, in turn, led me on a path of further inquiry that would never had occurred if I was searching for the article online. Who has not had the pleasure of discovering such an article by thumbing through the journals of their discipline?

To be sure searching online can be a rich source of information and unexpected sources do appear sometimes. But the search is a targeted one, a narrow one. You are looking for a particular document and you find it or something close. As a friend wrote to me in describing her own online experiences: “There is no room in that equation for the serendipitous discovery. When all goes well, you find what you are looking for. But sometimes what you need to find is what you are not looking for.”


On Friendships

All friends are friends in a different way. James Salter

I have been mulling over three films I’ve seen recently, thinking about what I might say about each one. Then a couple of days ago, I suddenly realized they have a common theme, namely the various forms of friendship. (This sometimes happens when I’ve been mulling over something for a while and not getting anywhere.)

The Intouchables
The Intouchables depicts the unlikely friendship between Philippe, a wealthy French tetraplegic (all four limbs are paralyzed) and Driss, a young Senegalese offender who is hired to be his live-in caretaker. From an awkward adjustment to his life in Philippe’s Parisian townhouse and Philippe’s needs, a delightful bond develops between these two individuals from vastly different cultures.

Monsieur Lazhar
Bashir Lazhar, an Algerian immigrant with a painful past and uncertain status in Montreal, learns of a teacher who committed suicide in a nearby school. He presents himself to the school’s principal, describes his teaching background and is hired as a replacement. At first the students resent his presence, miss their former teacher, but as times passes a reciprocal love and respect develops between the students and Lazhar, as well as been Lazhar and other members of the faculty.

Take This Waltz
Margot and Daniel meet by chance on a flight back to Toronto. Although devotedly married, she finds herself attracted to him. Surprisingly Daniel lives across the street from Margot and her husband Lou. Margot and Daniel do little to avoid the mutual infatuation that develops between them. The ambivalence of their romantic attraction becomes the slow waltz that sometimes characterizes a friendship.



Even the strongest were weak…even the bravest lacked courage; even the wisest were ignorant. Paul Auster

Paul Auster’s Leviathan recounts a long and complicated story with a good deal of action and almost as much talk. It begins with a man being killed in a bomb blast. We learn from the narrator Peter Aaron that it was his long time friend Benjamin Sachs. Was it an accident or a suicide?

Both Sachs and Aaron are writers. They met on a snowy night in New York after their joint appearance at a reading was cancelled and became great friends afterward. Aaron knows what happened and wants to write the story before the FBI tracks him down.

Sachs is a troubled man. He writes, he spends days wandering around the city, and escapes to his cabin in Vermont from time to time. While he is deeply in love with his wife, Fanny, he disappears one day, is never found, and is presumed to be dead.

In fact, while walking out in the woods in Vermont, he meets a man who threatens him with a gun. Sachs ends up killing the man and runs off with a bag full of one hundred dollar bills he finds in the guy’s truck. Sachs becomes a wanted man. After driving across the country for days, he ends up in Berkeley.

He calls a friend in New York, explains where he is and why. She pledges secrecy and gives him the number of a friend of hers. He calls, she is willing to have him stay for awhile, eventually they fall in love (nothing like proximity) but he can’t remain there forever.

The story moves on, it has a nice momentum, several mysteries remain unsolved, and so I keep reading. It gets more complicated, there are multiple identities, other romances, and I have only given you a partial account, saying nothing at all about the narrator, Peter Aaron and his life. You have to like this sort of novel to stay with it.

Earlier we learned that Sachs had been in prison for his strong opposition to the Vietnam War. He decides to start down this path once again, learns how to build bombs, purchases the materials to assemble them, and works his way back and forth across the country blowing up replicas of the Statue of Liberty in those scattered communities where they stand.

It is never made entirely clear why Sachs is doing this other than his general anti-establishment views. But we know he is a man of action, not words. “You’re confusing thoughts and deeds. There’s a world of difference between doing something and just thinking about it.”

An accident happens, one of his bombs goes off prematurely, and Sachs is killed. It appears to be an accident. Maybe yes, maybe no. Finally the FBI finds Peter Aaron. However, it’s too late, he has already finished his manuscript and his novel can be published.

Is Auster trying to tell us something? Perhaps he wishes to remind us that life is nothing but a random chain of coincidences. That each event is in one or another connected with every other one. Or that freedom can be dangerous. More likely he simply wants to tell a good story.

Some critics view Auster as a pre-modernist, others as a modernist, still others as thoroughly post-modern. Others have found one fault after another with the way Auster writes. And then there are some critics who claim the narratives in Auster’s novels are all pretty much the same. Let them have their say. In no way did their views interfere with my enjoyment of Leviathan.


The Places in Murakami's Novels

The New York Times has published a combo photo-audio-passage page about the places in Tokyo that Murakami writes about in his novels. The one above is the Metropolitan Expressway 3. His new novel, IQ84, opens on this expressway as taxi is caught in a traffic jam. Murakami writes:

The taxi’s radio was tuned to a classical FM broadcast. Janacek’s ‘Sinfonietta’ -- probably not the ideal music to hear in a taxi caught in traffic. The middle-aged driver didn’t seem to be listening very closely, either. With his mouth clamped shut, he stared straight ahead at the endless line of cars stretching out on the elevated expressway, like a veteran fisherman standing in the bow of his boat, reading the ominous confluence of two currents. Aomame settled into the broad back seat, closed her eyes, and listened to the music.”

Go here to see a similar combination for:

Jingu Stadium and What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
Jingu-Gaien—a favorite Murakami running route from the running book
Denny’s and After Dark
Hotel Okura and IQ84
Kanagawa Prefecture and Gene Pitney’s Town Without Pity
Kinokuniya Books and his running book
Prada Store and IQ84
Aoyama Itchome—a subway station—and Hard-Boiled Wonderland & The End of the World
Nakamuraya Café and IQ84


What Time Is It?

“What is time? If no one asks me, I know. If I wish to explain it to one that asketh, I know not.” St. Augustine

How often do you wonder what time it is? Time rules much our life. Time to go to bed, time to get up, time to get to work, time to have dinner, time to call it a day. And most of the time we really have a pretty fair idea what time it is.

Unless we are suffering from jet lag, we generally know when to eat and when to sleep. And that is what I am experiencing now, having returned from Italy to the West Coast. The flight took a fair amount of a day. The adjustment is going to take a fair amount of a week or two.

It is said that you need one day to recover for every time zone you travel through. That means nine days for me. Based on previous experience, I think that’s about right. I begin to wonder if the trip is worth it after all.

I find the west-east trip (Portland to Florence) doesn't cause much of a problem, hardly any, in fact. That’s odd given the reports of most other travelers. Perhaps it’s the pleasure of being back in Florence that does the trick. There is light, there is sun, the sky is blue. My clocks click in to Florentine time almost immediately.

On the other hand the return trip, east to west (Florence to Portland) really does me in. I’ve no idea why there is this difference. It’s still the same crossing of 9 different time zones. It isn’t that it may be grey, perhaps rainy, cloudy most of the day. Even when it’s sunny, as it can be in July and August, I experience a prolonged period of jet lag.

I don’t think age has much to do with it. It has always been uncomfortable. I just have to follow the routine, jet lag or not, and then eventually it will disappear. What it has to do with is the way we tell time. We tell time by our internal clock and we tell time by our psychological clock.

Our bodily rhythms, circadian rhythms and some say, our genetically determined temporal blueprint, govern our internal clock. Our daily routine and social schedule and obligations govern our psychological clock. These two types of clocks run fairly automatically and we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about them.

But now these two time-controlling systems are radically askew to put it mildly, “fucked up” as Katherine Schulz wrote in her review of Till Roenneberg’s Internal Time: Chronotypes, Social Jet Lag, and Why You’re So Tired.

When it’s time to get up here in Portland, it’s early afternoon in Florence. Who wants to have breakfast then? When it’s time to go to bed in Portland, it’s early morning in Florence. Who can sleep then? No one. It is miserable.

For me sleeping through the so-called night is the worst part of jet lag. The other commonly attributed symptoms—headaches, disorientation, memory loss, depression, digestive problems, irritability—never bother me. Fatigue and sleep deprivation do.

By the end of the day, I am so utterly exhausted that I usually fall asleep at once. But after sleeping for perhaps an hour or two, I’m up the rest of the night. By morning, I’m a wreck. I want to work; my body wants to sleep. After lunch, I try to nap, but then it’s early evening in Florence, and I haven’t the slight ability to nap then.

And it goes on like this for days. Eventually the disjointed craziness disappears, and I forget about all this discomfort by the time the next summer rolls around and Italy beckons once again.


Archeology of The Present

For her next project, Maria took a temporary job as a chambermaid in a large midtown hotel. The point was to gather information about the guests, but not in any intrusive or compromising way. She intentionally avoided them in fact, restricting herself to what could be learned from the objects scattered about their rooms. …It was an archeology of the present, so to speak, an attempt to reconstitute the essence of something from only the barest fragments: …Paul Auster Leviathan

Their names were Carla and Roberto. I learned this from the welcome sign in the kitchen. I also knew that Moretti is their family name. That was the name on the Post-Its that I found in one of the drawers. Professor Roberto Moretti. Maybe Professor Carla Moretti too.*

A few years ago I stayed in their apartment in Florence and came to know them in this rather indirect fashion. Each day I learned something more and each time I looked at something that I thought I had seen before, I realized it was something new. One day I noticed there were psychiatric journals in the upstairs family room. Maybe Professor Moretti was a psychiatrist. Or maybe Carla was and they shared an office together.

I was not surprised that Roberto and maybe Carla were professors. The number of books in their apartment was enormous. In practically every room, there were floor to ceiling bookcases full of learned texts in music, art, philosophy, literature and several major reference sets and collections of fine editions. In the music room, there was also a grand piano. Perhaps that was Carla’s. Or maybe they both played the piano. That was more likely from the looks of things around there.

Most of the books, however, were literary masterpieces--all the classic novels, many contemporary ones from every nation, all beautifully bound in Italian editions. I looked about this place and asked: Have they really read all of this stuff? I also bemoaned the fact that I did not know Italian. Ces’t la vie.

“…it was fascinating to see the different ways people arranged themselves, and how much you could infer about their lives from a few objects.”
Peter Stamm Seven Years

What can one learn about a person from the place they live in, by looking at the objects they have put on their shelves and in their drawers, as well as the photographs and paintings that they put up on the walls? They are the traces of their life that they have left in their home, traces that reveal a great deal about anyone in any place or time. The traces are real, they are brought into their homes and put somewhere by someone. They are not secondary accounts, or someone’s recollections, or something you might be told if you asked about them.

This place clearly belonged to a learned family. I had no idea how old they were, but that was not important. I knew they had a family, or at least two children, whose beautifully framed photographs were hung on the walls of their bedroom.

Their daughter was shown at various stages of her life, from a young child, through adolescence and as mature women. She was in a reflective mood in one photograph. Her dark eyes were framed by equally dark shoulder length hair. Her wide forehead and full lips told me that she would not be easily swayed.

Nearby were three photos of what must surely was her brother. He was also shown at various stages of his life. In the most recent he had a full head of curly hair, was wearing glasses and appeared to be a most studious fellow just like everyone else in this family.

There was also a picture of a nicely dressed young man and woman, caught in an informal embrace. They were smiling and I thought was surely Carla and Roberto around the time they were married. What a handsome couple they were! They reminded me a bit of how my wife and I looked when we were setting out together.

Their apartment is in the university section of the Florence, although I thought they did not teach there. If they did, surely they would be living in the apartment. I sensed that there was more that was hidden from me.

Why didn’t they live there? Their apartment was furnished so beautifully, with a fully equipped kitchen, two bedrooms and ample space for entertaining. Perhaps they fell on hard times and had to move to more modest quarters. But then again, perhaps they simply needed a place that had more bookshelves.

* To protect their privacy, I have used fictitious names.


A Free Bench

We spend our life trying to bring together in the same instant a ray of sunshine and a free bench.
Beckett, Texts for Nothing

The days drift by. The Florentine mood is peaceful. Being here is almost hypnotic, slightly soporific. At noon each day I take my bag lunch and sit out on a bench, more accurately a ledge attached to some of the classic Renaissance buildings.

The Palazzo Ruccelai, shown above, was designed by the architect Leon Battista Alberti and built between 1446 and 1451. On either side of the two main doorways are long stone benches that run the length of the building. They served then, and still do, as resting places for the weary and occasional picnicker.

I stare at the people passing by and wonder about their life, where they are from, what they do during the day, and how they like it. The variation between them is enormous-the wealthy out shopping with their overflowing bags, the over-dressed, the simply dressed, the undressed. I think she could lose some weight, she is wearing too much makeup, how wonderfully thin she is, why doesn’t she look over this way, what does she see in him.

At breakfast several years ago I drank too much of the strong coffee they make around here and experienced what is known as a vasovagal reaction, a mild form of fainting. I desperately wanted to lie down and sleep for a bit. Frankly, I thought it might be the end.

Luckily I happened to be passing by the Palazzo Strozzi, a center of cultural events in Florence. The Palazzo is furnished on three of its sides with a large stone benches originally intended as a shady resting place for servants and the motley assortment of characters the palace attracted long ago. The bench now gives everybody a welcome opportunity to rest for a moment and let their latest vasovagal reaction fade away.

One day I penned a little poem about the bench I try to visit when I’m in Portland.

Across the street from my home and down about half a block
a bench has been thoughtfully placed beside the building.
I go there around teatime when the rains have passed
to sip my diet Snapple and linger in the sun.

I watch the cars go by and stare a little too long at the pretty girls
from the art school around the corner. It is my bench or so I like to think.
Sometimes another neighbor or passing stranger will come to sit beside me
and we may strike up a conversation which I do not mind at all.

But I do mind when the clouds are overhead and the rain is pouring down
upon the bench across the street from my home and down about half a block.
For then my bench and I must take our drinks indoors which is, I regret to say
most of the time around here.


Studying Psychotherapy

From time to time one of my former students comes to see me when he or she is in Portland. It is one of the great pleasures of my life, especially when they go on to achieve the kind of success that the person who came to see me a few weeks ago day has.

Professor Jeffrey Berman was one of the first students who studied with me at Reed. I guided him on his senior thesis and Jeffrey was able to publish the results. Since then he has conduced a large number of influential studies on the effects of psychotherapy.

A great many therapists resist the experimental scrutiny of their practice. Nevertheless, Jeffrey forges on. He always has a new study to tell me about and no doubt it is a controversial one, in spite of its methodological rigor. In most cases, his research takes issue with one of the many current myths about psychotherapy.

Much of his research involves comparing the outcomes of different types of therapy, say behavioral, cognitive, humanistic, psychoanalytic, or “undifferentiated” counseling, etc. In the study we discussed in detail he compared the therapeutic effects of trained (professional) and untrained (paraprofessional) therapists.

Training programs are almost naturally assumed to be necessary for clinical success, that a trained therapist is bound to be more effective than an untrained one. Most of the prior research confirmed this assumption. However, Jeffrey found they were based on inappropriate comparisons and statistical analyses.

To avoid those problems he carried out a more selective comparison with stiffer methodological requirements. Unlike the previous studies he found that professional (trained) and paraprofessional (untrained) therapists were generally equal in client outcome effectiveness.

Further, there were no outcome differences for patient problems or for type of treatment or, finally, for treatments carried out individually or in groups. In a word, on these measures, trained therapists were no more effective than those who were untrained.

Of course, these findings are no better than the previous studies upon which they were based. And while they were chosen with great care, they were not original studies carried out by Jeffrey, research that is extremely difficult to conduct now. So in the end he had to fall back on a second order comparison, known as meta-analysis that has become the standard method of summarizing research findings but to some commentators has its own inherent limitations.

Nevertheless, his findings both surprised and pleased me; one more myth about psychotherapy falls by the wayside to empirical analysis. Of course, I was also pleased to hear about his research and how provocative it continues to be.

Recently, he has been returning to Reed each year, ostensibly for his annual class reunion. But I know it also reflects how much his years at Reed, his many friends, the great spirit of the place means to him. It is an ailment for which there is no cure, one that affects most graduates of this very special college.


You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train

“People should go where they are not supposed to go, say what they are not supposed to say, and stay when they are told to leave.”
Howard Zinn

In 1994 I read Howard Zinn’s You Can’t be Neutral on a Moving Train. I know this from the passages I collected in my commonplace book 18 years ago.

I am quite distant from my copy of the book now and recall very little other than Zinn’s impassioned plea for equal justice in this country and the power of speaking out when it is denied. Since then, I have seen his films, read about him, and admired his life-long protests to insure genuine equality in this society.

Howard Zinn died early in 2010. I remember him on this July 4th and reassert the values we presumably celebrate today by citing some of the passages I recorded from You Can’t be Neutral on a Moving Train.

It is easy to mistake silence for acceptance.

I knew that the letter of the law was not as important as who held the power in any real-life situation.

The chain of relationships made me think of how connections are made—you read a book [Johnny Got His Gun, Born on the Fourth of July], you meet a person, you have a single experience, and your life is changed in some way.

The crimes of the rich and powerful go mostly unpunished.

Free speech? Try it and the police will be there with their horses, their bulbs, their guns, to stop you.

From that moment on, I was no longer a liberal, a believer in the self-correcting character of American democracy. I was a radical, believing that something fundamental was wrong in this country—not just the existence of poverty amidst great wealth, not just the horrible treatment of black people, but something rotten at the root. The situation required not just a new president or new laws but an uprooting of the old order, the introduction of a new kind of society—cooperative, peaceful, egalitarian.

…to relinquish the safety of silence.

I had always insisted that a good education was a synthesis of book learning and involvement in social action, that each enriched the other.

Going around the country, I was impressed again and again by how favorably people reacted to what, undoubtedly, is a radical view of society—antiwar, anti-military, critical of the legal system, advocating a drastic redistribution of the wealth, supportive of protest even to the point of civil disobedience.

We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people can transform the world.

What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act…


Americans in Florence

I don’t have the gift of entering into paintings as I do when reading a book. It isn’t that they leave me without a thought or two and some kind of vague appreciation of their colors and style.

But beyond that, I am at a loss for words and words are the only way I think and imagine, at least insofar as I am aware of. I feel very much like Edgar Logan in Jennie Erdal’s The Missing Shade of Blue.

At that point the language to interpret a painting was simply not available to me. …My eyes were innocent like those of a child, though to me they were simply crude and ignorant.

In spite of this, last week I went to see the exhibition, Americans in Florence, at the Palazzo Strozzi and hoped I could learn a little something about the many American painters who enjoyed their days here, as much as I do, and were suitably inspired to express their pleasure in the way they know best.

The exhibition featured the work of John Singer Sargent. Like many Americans who travel to Florence, they made a first stop in a local hotel. Here is how Sargent depicted one such room.

William Merrit Chase, less well known among the American Impressionists, usually preferred to stay in one of the many villas just outside the centro. Chase painted this picture of the Villa Silli before he bought it a few years later.

Many of Sargent’s paintings were portraits of the writers and artists who visited Florence. The British writer Vernon Lee (pseudonym of Violet Paget) known for her novels, essays, and travelogues, was among them.

Willard Metcalf, also not as widely known as Sargent, was among the several artists who painted the Tuscan countryside. Here is one he painted of Fiesole, located up in the hills above Florence. It is one of my favorite places to visit while I’m here.

Sargent’s painting of Henry James is often reproduced; perhaps you’ve seen it before. One reviewer wrote of this painting, His eyes, watery green, yet secret and profound will look at you, will touch and catch you intimately.

These are only a sampling of the exhibition’s paintings. It runs until July 15th, so there’s plenty of time to head over for a first-hand viewing. If you can’t make it, there’s an app of the exhibition available at the iBooks store.