Sunday Salon 4-22-12

Hello again, Sunday Salon readers! I’ve been away from blogging for a couple of weeks, my only entry being a collection of pictures of a Russian actress, Tatiana Samoilova, whose work I really like. There’s a reason for my absence, which I’ll discuss shortly. But I would imagine that lots of those who blog run into roadblocks from time to time, and even need a little time away from regular writing. If you have helpful suggestions as to how to stay engaged and motivated in your blogging, I’d be very happy to hear them! Whether this Salon entry of mine signals a return to regular posting remains to be seen; I hope to become de-paralyzed shortly.

The reason for my pause in writing is somewhat strange, inasmuch as it was also probably the most tangible success my blogging has had to date. I got an email a week or two ago from an organization in Australia that specializes in the art of Oceania (I won’t identify it for now, as this arrangement is still tentative). Anyway, someone in the organization came across my blog article on the Jolika Collection of New Guinea Art at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. They apparently liked it, and asked me if it was all right if they reprint it in their newsletter.

On the one hand, this was fairly flattering, coming as it did from specialists on this art, and gives my writing a bit of validation. However, it also got me to thinking about all the other experts in their fields who could conceivably come across my writings. Unfortunately I know somewhere between little and nothing about most of the subjects that I write about – the writing of this blog is, honestly, part of my learning process. And I write about lots of different things, basically anything that captures my interest at a particular time. Suddenly I was feeling haunted by these theoretical, really knowledgeable people who might come across my stuff and find me to be a poseur, or an idiot. I suspect that a lot of people who put their writings out into the world have a fear of criticism. Apparently I do too, but hadn’t noticed it until now. We’ll see if I can get over this oversensitivity.

In the meantime, I’m still working on the same books I was two weeks ago: Paul F. State’s A Brief History of Ireland and Rachel Maddow’s Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power. In the evenings I’ve just started enjoying what seems to have become a classic in Scandinavian crime fiction, The Laughing Policeman by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö.

To close, some pictures – the view from outside my front door…

and from inside my front door, my probable reading for the next few months…

Happy Earth Day!

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