On such an occasion, I’d like to say something witty or wise, but wit and wisdom elude me, and in a way, the number speaks for itself. Like one of those major birthdays – the big five-ohh for example – all I can manage is a stammered, “Wow…that’s a lot. How did this happen?”
I more or less know how it happened, but that’s a story for another time. For now I’m posting some of my favorites, gleaned from a quick review of all the posts. I was aiming to cut the list down to ten, but it got a bit out of hand.
Enjoy! I’ll have a few reflections on this blog later on, but for now I will just affirm that if you keep coming back, I will too.
Lighter than air, posted October 21, 2010
In the fall of 2010, we couldn’t figure out where to go on vacation, so we wound up visiting nearby Santa Rosa. The posts that came out of this trip marked the point at which this blog, which I started the previous June, began to take off. Because the pictures remind me of this marvelous event, this remains a feel-good post to me.
True Grit, pothos, and westerns that stick with you, posted January 22, 1011
I loved the 2010 remake of True Grit, and it inspired trio of posts on westerns that truly moved me. I find the best western movies stir something like the vast western vistas do, which I called Pothos, a Greek word that means an insatiable longing for what lies beyone the horizon and is forever out of reach.
The world as shapeshifter: a Hindu parable, posted February 13, 2011
I’ve had a lifelong interest in Eastern thought. This is a great story and a good illustration of the Eastern view of the nature of creation.
A year of blogging, posted June 27, 2011.
I was just beginning to figure out what I was doing when this post was Freshly Pressed, which was wonderfully encouraging.
Shangra-La in Books, Movies and Legends, posted Oct. 31, 2o11
Something in us longs for an earthly paradise, and Shangra-La has been one of its names since David Hilton wrote Lost Horizon in 1933 and Frank Capra made the movie in 1937. As I said in this review, both seem dated now, but I still enjoy the portrayal of the legend.
The Empire Mine, posted November 28, 2011
With a visiting friend, we drove up to Grass Valley the Saturday after Thanksgiving to visit the Empire Mine State Park. It was a perfect fall day and we lucked out because the Historical Society people were decked out for the Cornish Christmas celebration, so named because numerous miners were enticed to the area from Cornwall because of their expertise in hard rock mining. A fascinating glimpse, narrated by experts, who explained everything from the mine blacksmith shop to the owner’s mansion. The mine owners had a wonderful rose garden, and if you visit at the right time, you can get cuttings of roses that date back to the 18th century.
The Open Culture website, posted February 9, 2012
This is a site with wonderful free resources that you are going to want to check out and bookmark.
Life, the Movie: How entertainment conquered reality by Neal Gabler, posted March 1, 2012
This the single most important book I’ve reviewed on this blog. It goes a long way toward illuminating our modern world, which Gabler calls, “not just a post-modern culture but a post-reality culture.”
The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism by Andrew Bacevich, posted August 21, 2012
This is the other essential book I’ve reviewed here.
The Icelandic posts, September 25 – October 18, 2012
I’ve been fascinated with Iceland since I did a report on the country in grade school. Last fall we had the chance to travel there with a small group of storytellers to discuss Njal’s Saga and visit some of the places where the thousand year old events took place. I was gratified to see how many people read and commented on my accounts of the sagas. That gave me confidence to increase my work folklore since then.
The Princess Mary box, posted December 24, 2012
The Christmas Truce, which broke out on the Western Front almost a 100 years ago, has always seemed one of the most poignant moments in modern history. This past Christmas, I discovered its connection to a small brass box I bought as teenager in a flea market outside Paris.
Tales of the Dummling, posted January 8, 2013
This was a difficult post to write. It was long, it took three days, and I doubted that many people would read it. I was all the more delighted when WordPress Freshly Pressed it. This was the third time I’ve had the honor, and this was the most meaningful because I was following one of my keenest interests, one that comments confirmed is shared by many others.
Remembering Ritchie Havens, posted April 22, 2013
Here is another chance to remember an extraordinary man and musician who left us in April.
The Worlds Revolve, posted May 13, 2013.
Now and then while writing, something both mysterious and familiar takes over the keyboard. This is the most recent time it happened here, and a post largely wrote itself.