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I have to confess that I’m having a great time with this blog. I started it a little more than a year ago but I didn’t really start getting serious about it until much later. I think I’ve written some really good stuff, gotten some insightful comments and sincere compliments from friends, and learned a great deal about myself in the process.

Since this is, in the main, a vanity project, I’m going to indulge myself by reviewing my Top Five posts from the past year. I’m pleased that I had a hard time getting the list down to that number. These aren’t necessarily the most viewed or most commented upon of the posts I’ve done, but each one means something extremely personal to me. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my words and viewing the images I’ve shared in the past 12 months.

5) Some Thoughts on American Art and Hating Wal-Mart (December 19th)

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art opened in November of this year, underwritten mostly by the Wal-Mart fortune. There was a minor tidal wave of reaction in the mainstream media and in the blogosphere, some of it positive, some negative. The negative stuff was focused wholly on the fact that it was filthy Wal-Mart money behind the project. Apparently, no one realizes that corporate robber barons have been financing the arts for over 100 years; before that it was the Catholic Church or royalty. Or, maybe they think Wal-Mart money is worse than, say, Getty money or Rockefeller money. I haven’t quite figured this out.

Kindred Spirits (Asher Duran - 1849)

4) Standing at the Crossroads (December 4th)

Written on the eve of my 54th birthday, this little fragment is a deeply personal observation on my personal Renaissance. That’s all I’m going to say on the subject. You’re free to read into it whatever you want.

Standing at the Crossroads (©2011 Richard X. Moore)

3) My Birthday at McSorley’s Bar (December 5th)

Maybe my best birthday ever. Great company, great art, a quest fulfilled. How much more could we ask for?

McSorley's Bar (John Sloan - 1912)

2) Images can Challenge the Power of Time (July 6th)

For the past year, I’ve seen searching. At first I wasn’t really sure what it was I was looking for. I have a much clearer picture now.

I found myself searching through the internet, looking for some shreds of my family history, when I stumbled on a page assembled by my cousin Dana, a woman I barely remember. I saw my mother looking back at me, a woman I barely knew.

I cried when I saw her there. There were photos of her brothers, her parents. I learned things about Mom from that page, things that I never knew or maybe had forgotten. I saw a picture of her brother Mike, an Uncle I never knew, who was killed in a car accident in the 1930s. She rarely spoke of him, never at any length. She never got over the loss, I guess.

Mom’s image still haunts me. It was a gift and a curse rolled into one. The words I wrote that day seem strangely foreign yet familiar. I still don’t understand it.

Mom - around 1944

1) The Journey Home #1 -#4  (July27th – September 19th)

I knew I needed to come home, although I no longer thought of it as home and wondered if I ever really did. That house, Saginaw, Michigan, memories, they had all been pulling at me for months. I had things to resolve, memories to bury, ghosts to set free.

Home (©2011 by Richard X. Moore)

In a series of four posts (here, here, here, and here), I wrote about how this journey home has changed me. What I’ve written here was completely accurate at the time, but I’m not so sure I’d have the same things to say today.

Hamilton Street Storefront (©2011 by Richard X. Moore)

I came home in mid-July for what was to be a brief visit. I’m now home for good. I never would have predicted these changes and I still doubt my good fortune sometimes.Sometimes, when you confront your demons, you find out they were only shadows.

My River #2: Relics (©2011 by Richard X. Moore)

Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.

Tao Te Ching

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