I am deviating from the usual format for these Sunday Salons today, in order to point out the obvious – after a long period of of dormancy, my blog is active once again. My goal here simply is to write about things that interest me, with the hope that they might be of interest to you, too. Music, books, film, history, travel, visual art, worthwhile quotes, and more will all find their way here. I haven’t quite reached my goal of writing a blog post every day. But my recent record of 11 posts in 13 days is pretty reasonable. The diversity level hasn’t been too bad, either:
* Yesterday’s short look at Nalanda, the ancient university in India
* A discussion of Ma Yuan’s lovely thirteenth century painting Walking on a path in spring
* A look at David Helvarg’s book The Golden Shore, on the relationship between California and the Pacific Ocean
* Pictures from my recent visit to Point Lobos, California
* Some history on the Mission San Carlos Borroméo del río Carmelo, a visit to which was also part of that California trip
* Words from Karen Armstrong, Arthur Schopenhauer, and Mencius on the subject of compassion
* My appreciation of Star Trek: The Animated Series
* A note on Han Kang’s Man Booker International Prize-winning novel The Vegetarian
* The collaboration between Walt Disney and Salvador Dalí in the animated short Destino
* Video of 1,000 komuz players performing recently at the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan
This has already been my busiest blogging month since May of 2014, and there’s plenty of time yet. Among the posts I have in the works are some thoughts about two art exhibitions I saw recently in the Bay Area, Emperors’ Treasures: Chinese Art from the National Palace Museum, Taipei at the Asian Art Museum, and the de Young Museum’s exhibition Ed Ruscha and the Great American West. I would also like to write about Cemetery of Splendor, the most recent film written and directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, along with some general words about this great Thai director and his wonderful, puzzling, mysterious films. An unusual list of some of my favorite symphonies is coming, as is as a detailed look at Edward Hopper’s painting Nighthawks.
One other important point I’d like to make will be the subject of another short blog post soon. But I’ll anticipate myself by saying that one thing you won’t find much of in this blog is negativity. My point in writing is to share my enthusiasms! The freedom with which people criticize, complain, troll, and otherwise share their bile online has become tiresome. And I don’t want to add to that. Moreover, in talking about books and films and such, I don’t consider myself a critic, and it’s the last role I want to take on. I want to share my excitement about these things, not sit in judgment on them.