Testing…testing. Is this thing on? I’m not sure how to work the controls!
Yes my friends…it is actually me again. Four months after saying goodbye to the blogging world I’m back to say…I’m still not coming back lol! But to be serious though there are some things I miss about actively writing and sharing my thoughts, the thing I miss the most is the blogging community. And I suppose this is a way to again express some thanks and gratitude for all who have read or commented on anything I have written over the past six years by sharing some of my favorite posts of 2019 before I decided to call it a day.
Before we get into that, I did want to briefly share my latest venture with you for those who do not follow me on social media. I now have a for sale photography website-https://soundtrackphoto.smugmug.com/ where you can finally purchase some of the many photos I have taken over the years. Many have actually graced these blog posts in fact, so I invite you all to have a look and there are lots of options for prints and frames, as well as things like coffee mugs and gift cards. And I am making tentative plans to work on something even more special for 2020 that I will be sure to announce when it is finished. But I get ahead of myself.
I think before I called a halt to the blog that perhaps I was tiring of the concept slightly. Or maybe just feeling a sense of pressure or devotion to publish ‘something’ and I felt the quality of what I was writing about was suffering. But looking back at some of these posts this weekend after distancing myself from them, I realized that was not necessarily true. And that is why I decided to share some of my favorites with you all right now.
In Two Rivers I shared music from the wonderful album In The Heart Of The Moon by Ali Farka Toure & Toumani Diabate. The concept of rivers flowing in my imagination and in reality was on my mind and this outstanding collection of guitar and kora music set the thoughts perfectly.
Once the holidays are over and winter really sets in here, one obviously spends a lot of time indoors. It is a good time for reading, catching up on TV, and listening to music. It was then that I discovered the wonderful American Epic documentary series, and promptly bought the box set of music from the show. And it was there that I heard the startling, mesmerizing, gut wrenching sound of Blind Willie Johnson’s Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground.
It is always great coming across new artists and new music. Like many people this year, once I heard J.S. Ondara for the first time I knew I was hearing someone very special. Combined with the purchase of a vintage camera bag from a thrift store that was filled with lots of goodies, I had an idea thinking about how the really great artists craft their songs one at a time. Similar to how photographers used to take photos on that vintage equipment.
Not a new artist by any means, but someone whom I finally managed to see in concert late last year was the fabulous Dar Williams. Her song ‘Go To The Woods’ prompted some thinking on my part about what a magical, mystical, scary and beautiful place the woods can be.
In the end I abandoned a planned punk series (I know, I know…) but a series I did write touched me in a way that no other post has before. What was meant to be purely a historical telling of the Lord Franklin saga while weaving in some of the variety of music inspired by it became something much more personal. It coincided with a difficult time and a revelation of some long trapped pain from my past. The conclusion may have been unsettling, but it was one of the most important revelations of my entire life. So much so that when I thought I was done writing about so much personal pain, I needed to write one more post, working out that the way I ‘see’ and ‘hear’ things is my prism…my way of connecting dots or strands of my life that have seemed disconnected or disengaged.
And that my friends is where I essentially left off in this blogging world. Maybe all of it was my way of realizing that my passions and memories are tied together. And though music will always remain a passion for me, it was the photography that allowed me the ability to tie those strands together. Which is why for this moment in time, the photography will be my main area of focus. Like I said in my announcement I am certain I will return to writing someday when the time is right. And I am immensely proud of myself for what I did, for what I created. Which is why I think once you get to that place, you are eager for the next thing. My life right now is ‘my next thing’.
Join me one more time next week when I share a few of my favorite photos taken this past year!
Photograph By Robert P Doyle
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All Photographs By Robert P. Doyle