After starting "Longbows and Rosary Beads", my first order of the business was to recount my Christmas experiences for 2011, including a rather stressful Christmas concert, a beautiful mass for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, my annual cold-weather illness, and Christmas morning choir singing. The subject of Charles Wesley's original lyrics for what would become "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing" was among the subjects brought up in the comment boxes. Later, I recounted my participation in the Living Stations of the Cross production at church, Easter Vigil Mass, and my thoughts on allergies and spring fever. Also, my commenters obliged my request to post what they planned on offering up for the Lenten Season. Several months later, I recorded my meetings with several friends in
Stories of the Saints are always bountiful as the calendar runs its course, and I tried to post the back-stories of some of my favorite holy men and women, including St. Cuthbert, St. Thomas More, St. Margaret Ward, St. Edmund Campion, etc. Also, I posted various poems from the pens of famous authors, from our own "Poet Laureate", Mack from
Movie reviews also provided some fun forays into historical films and fantasy flicks, old and new. Although I am still primarily a period piece buff, this year I took a plunge into world of pixie-dust when I watched The Chronicles of Narnia, Merlin, and finally (under duress!) The Lord of the Rings. My reviews on the latter caused a flurry of commentary from my various friends who insisted I view the films. I must admit, their absolute zeal in the ranks of "Ringers" helped me appreciate the depth of the storyline better than I ordinarily would have. I can appreciate it best as a type of allegory for human nature and providence, as well as a parallel with different incidents in history. Plus I have gotten some fringe benefits, such as getting to write for a Tolkien-themed issue of an online magazine several my friends and I created, and being invited to a Tolkien-themed party!
The issue of Scottish independence (or conversely, the issue of breaking up the
Several major international events took place in 2012, including Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee, the Summer Olympics in
This year had it's ups and downs for my family on a personal level as well. We had to attend the funeral of a dear family friend who we knew since I was very young (full story to come in a future post.) Our own immediate family went through a variety of unexpected ailments, including my mom throwing out her back and later having an allergic reaction to corn, as well as my annual "exercise in misery" known as the common cold! Also, my elderly grandmother was taken to the hospital just the other day after contracting Pneumonia. She already suffers from Dementia and is now in a particularly weakened condition. While we have had some positive reports about her today, nothing is certain yet, and she still in suffering from an internal infection. She is in a Catholic hospital, and we put in the request that she receive the Anointing of the Sick and be visited by a priest for a blessing. Please pray for her recovery, the strength of her caretaker, and the peace of our entire family. Thank you to all those who responded with prayer and kind messages. We deeply appreciate it.
A final thought comes to mind when looking back on this year's blogging ventures is the way that music has played such an intricate part in my writing. My political blogging, especially dealing with the Scottish Independence Referendum, has been charged by rhythmic Gaelic singing from my collection of Celtic cassettes and CDs. My movie reviews have been given dimension by listening to correlating movie sound tracks. My Christmas and Easter chronicles are given a special sense of fondness by listening to traditional seasonal favorites. I believe that my two greatest interests, writing and music, really are mystically connected with one another. They are both very emotional arts, coming from the heart. It is interesting to muse on how the ancient bards of Celtic tradition sang songs and weaved yarns as a way of life, letting the two mix and mingle, flowing together like living water or rich wine. The Celts believed that the journey was just as important as the destination. Perhaps that is a very good summary for blogging, as well.
Again, thank you to all my readers and commenters for your encouraging, enlightening, and thought-provoking posts. Without you, this blog would never have gotten off the ground as it did. By the way, if you have any favorite memories from reading or commenting on "Longbows and Rosary Beads" this year, please post them!
|The Journey goes on....|