666. Gathering 2015: a review of this year's posts

Gathering 2015 A review of posts.jpg

[NOTE: The links in this post are no longer correct]

I spent a couple hours this morning reviewing my blog posts from 2015. In The Art of Thinking, Ernest Dimnet wrote, “To keep no track of what one learns or thinks is as foolish as to till and seed one’s land with great pains, and when the harvest is ripe turn one’s back upon it and think of it no more.” I agree with Dimnet and so look back at posts, journals, book notes, and other evidences of – and learning from – this life journey, this blog being a piece of that. I believe in being a student of one's life.

But I also reviewed my posts in order to gather them together in one place with some kind of organizing structure for readers' use. New subscribers have come on throughout the year and may find this a handy list of posts, and even regular readers miss posts or may like to revisit posts. Here they are – well, most of them – grouped into categories. 

A couple preliminary comments: 1) this is the year that Finding Livelihood came out so that category got a heavy weighting; 2) these categories are fluid and artificially narrow - for example, most of the posts could be under a single category of "paying attention to your life" or "living with intention" or "living a meaningful life," and the posts for books could be distributed under multiple categories, and the posts "on hope" could just as well be listed as "on love" or "on pilgrimage."

I offer this list to you as a place in which to dip in and read, to peruse at random or with strategy, in the hope that whatever words you choose to read or re-read may come alongside you as you wind up your 2015 and launch whatever is next.

On astonishment and gratitude:

On pilgrimage and choices:

On love and community:

On leisure, rest, sabbath:

On books and the ideas they contain:

On writing and creativity:

On hope:

On Finding Livelihood:

On work: 


About this blog:

[Photo: taken of the Christmas day landscape. True color, no filter.]

Hope is the thing that blossoms

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Reading this morning in the Book of Psalms*:

"They that are planted in the house of the Lord, in the courts of our God they shall blossom forth."

Hope is built into the system of what is. Hope is built in.

I'm ending this week with gratitude for that.


*A Greek Orthodox version I like.

This post's title is a nod to Emily Dickinson's well known poem, "Hope is The Thing with Feathers."

[Photo: taken of a flower on the table of the coffee shop where I worked earlier this week.]

One lifetime isn't long enough

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It would take lifetimes to do all I want to do. I’m just finishing a new online class; the stack of books to read grows; the list of books and essays I dream of someday writing grows; there are so many publications to which I’d like to subscribe and have the time to read. Multiple careers still intrigue me. Life is so exciting in this way. I worry I’ll never get it all in—and I won’t. Nevertheless, it makes me happy that I think this about life. Watching the news can be so horribly depressing, but then I look at the stacks of books and think of the host of ideas represented, consider emails from friends about what they’re up to and interested in, and enthusiasm wells inside me. With all that we’re told is going wrong in the world, is that enthusiasm based on escapism or naiveté or could it be an awareness of an alternate reality, one in which truth, beauty and goodness, faith, hope and love are alive and well, a reality that the news correspondents aren’t paid to report on, that the viewing public would find of little interest, that doesn’t influence the course of history—or does it


[Photo: taken several years ago at an exhibit at the American Swedish Institute - sorry it's not too sharp. I don't know who Hilma Berglund is but I'm sure we're kindred spirits.]