Thursday, May 7, 2009

Frances & Sarah fill in for Fram

I have not posted since Sunday, and actually feel a bit guilty about it. What can I say? Since I have not been in the mood to write anything the past few days, I have decided to post another painting by Frances Anne Hopkins. "Shooting the Rapids –1879" is the title. If you look closely, you will be able to see Frances in her usual location, seated next to her husband at approximately the middle of the voyageur canoe. "That be me," incidentally, standing in the rear of the canoe -- the steersman who guides the craft. Between looking at the canoe paintings of Frances and mentioning the canoe novel "Deliverance" in a comment I made the other day, my mouth is beginning to water and my eyes are commencing to glaze over and my body is starting to twitch.

Paddle Your Own Canoe
By Sarah Bolton, 1851

Voyager upon life's sea,
To yourself be true,
And whatever your lot may be,
Paddle your own canoe.
Never, though the winds may rave,
Falter or look back;
But upon the darkest wave
Leave a shining track.
Paddle your own canoe.

Nobly dare the wildest storm,
Stem the hardest gale,
Brave of heart and strong of arm
You will never fail.
When the world is cold and dark,
Keep your aim in view;
And toward the beacon work,
Paddle your own canoe....

....Would you crush the giant wrong,
In the world's free fight?
With a spirit brave and strong,
Battle for the right.
And to break the chains that bind
The many to the few
To enfranchise slavish mind,
Paddle your own canoe.

Nothing great is lightly won,
Nothing won is lost,
Every good deed, nobly done,
Will repay the cost.
Leave to Heaven, in humble trust,
All you will to do:
But if succeed, you must
Paddle your own canoe.

16 comments:

TheChicGeek said...

Hi Fram :) I think that's really neat that Frances always puts herself in the painting...I guess she sticks by her man :D

If you are twitching, it means it's time to shoot the rapids yourself :D Go for it!

Have a Happy Day, Fram :D
xox

Rachael Cassidy said...

I own 5 movies. Deliverance is one of them.

A Cuban In London said...

Bloody 'ell, mate! I can barely see you :-)! You were almost left out of the photo, let alone the boat.

The poem is exquisite. 'Paddle your own canoe'. Sometimes refrains like this serve as life's most useful metaphors. 'Paddle your own canoe'. I'll keep that. Thanks.

Greetings from London.

Fram said...

There is no doubt I will have to spend a few days in a canoe before too long, Kelly. Even a couple of afternoon jaunts and maybe an overnighter or two will restore my health in that regard for the time being.

It is neat the way Frances chooses to include herself. Do you suppose one of her reasons for doing so was to prove she could do anything a man could do and go anywhere a man could go?

Fram said...

Now, you have me curious, Rachael. What are the other four?

No doubt, if I were restricted to owning only a few, like you, "Deliverance" would be among them.

Fram said...

Yes, CiL, me, too, regarding the poem.

As for me choosing the position of being the last man in the canoe, in addition to being the one who chooses the "best pathway" to proceed and who steers the craft down the river, I am able to maintain a degree of invisibility among the others, and am the most free to be watching everything and everyone. The position is my sort of persona.

TheChicGeek said...

Hi Fram :) Maybe. I would have to study her personality more. I would imagine it was a little of both elements of wanting to make a statement, being proud of what she was able to do, also maybe loving to be right there with her man...LOL
In any event, it is lovely :)

Magdalena said...

Hi handsome boy :-) I can see you are really good in canoing. Paddle your own canoe - the most important direction to all of us, that's sure. Nice, that one canoe can contain so many friends and people we love, that we do not have to sail by ourselves, if we don't want to. Thank you for that beutiful poem, Fram. Bye, bye :-)

Fram said...

Neat to see you return to answer the question, Kelly.

I like to think Frances was trying to be the best at everything she did, whether it was being a wife or a painter or a wilderness explorer. In any event, she was a remarkable woman.

Fram said...

Greetings of the early morning (here), beautiful Polish girl .... I love to see you here.

There are not many canoes the size of the voyageurs today, but there are some, where friends and family are able to share a common experience.

Most canoes are smaller, and offer a very personal way to silently slip through the water of a lake or of a river, and to see the earth in its natural beauty.

To absorb within you the natural world is to understand life, I think.

Katy said...

I love the way Frances has captured the water in this picture Fram, such a difficult thing to do so well. Sorry, I cannot help but notice the water, it's just the way I am. So you're in there too paddling that there canoe for all time - not a bad way to spend eternity I guess.

You've made me try and think of other artists who regularly put themselves in the picture. Alfred Hitchcock comes to mind, as does the writer Colin Dexter in the brilliant TV adaptations of his brilliant books (Inspector Morse, if you've ever come across that). I'm sure there are loads more. Thinking...

Have a great day - pouring with rain here :-)

Magdalena said...

Yes, I agree, this is one of ways to learn, to understand life. Very beautiful one. I like very much Minnesota's early mornings :-)

Rachael Cassidy said...

The other four are: Open Range (Kevin Costner)
Super Troopers-
Super Bad-
and.....
A River Runs Through It

Fram said...

Frozen in time in a canoe in the rapids. Sounds about right for me.

Watching water is fascinating, I agree, Katy.

I have never read the "Inspector Morse" books, but was a fan of the television adaptations that appeared on public television in the U.S. Nearly all the British detective series that have been shown on "Mystery" were fantastic, I thought.

Painters like to include themselves on paintings, as well. There is a painting, for example, although I cannot recall the artist, who shows his reflection in a mirror while the painting itself is of a lady in all her finery. My memory is a repository for many things, but few names of artists or paintings are to be found there. James Dickey, author of "Deliverance," appears as "the sheriff" in the movie.

Fram said...

Yes, Magda, it is a very beautiful way to learn, to understand life.

It also is a good way to learn about individuals. How a person treats nature often reveals how he treats other people.

Fram said...

I have watched "Open Range" a number of times, Rachael, and probably will obtain a copy some day. I am a "free grazer" myself when it comes to selecting a campsite along a river or a lake.

I think "A River Runs Through It" is a fine movie, and read the book after seeing the movie for the first time. I understand why you selected the other two.

Something special ....