Over the past year my TOpoet.ca following blog grew from 468 to 470! Doesn’t sound like much but I did a major cull of followers who are no longer active on WordPress or who have never ‘liked’ a post. The WordPress map show my hits have come from over 70 countries around the world. USA still tops the list but that China & Bangladesh are in the top 10 is a surprise. Nigeria in the top 20 – but behind Malawi! Kazakhstan! Still no hits from North Korea 😦 My Tumblr is at 346 followers. 229 Twitter followers.
My top ten posts of the year includes 1 out of the archives! I also started a new blog – Second Sight – where I’m posting about my Wiccan/Druid explorations. Fewer photos & fewer posts as well.
In 2021 I did 227 posts; in 2022: 231 blog posts plus several on Second Sight. I’m not counting the posts from ten years ago I resurrecting as Flashback Friday. Four posts a week is enough for me to deal with. So far no complaints lol.
Picture Perfect finally came to an end in September with just over 188,00 in 133 sections! It may get another edit before I ‘release’ it as an PDF. I plan to repost ‘City of Valleys’ from 2012 starting in 2023. It only runs at 130,000, but who knows what a fresh edit after all these years will do to it.
I watch endless movies & documentaries. One that I have rewatched & kept to rewatch again is the documentary ‘Firestarter – The Story of Bangarra’ which starts as history of the Australian aboriginal dance company but becomes a powerful mediation on the cost of creativity. The dancing is stunning, the music is incredible & the cost of creativity is heartbreaking.
Memorable was ‘Eijanaika or Why Not?’ a 1981 Japanese film by director Shohei Imamura. This is an epic period piece about ordinary folk, in spectacular colour. A plot too complex to sum up but the ‘carnival’ world is amazing. Another an incredible Japanese movie written & directed by Kurosawa was ‘I Live In Fear’ from1955 – starring Toshiro Mifune. A devastating look at how the bombings of Hiroshima & Nagasaki affected the emotional climate of Japan. Despite bad aging make-up Toshiro Mifune gives one of his best performances. Worth searching out. Both of these via TCM
I also watched the DVD of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Endless Poetry – the follow up to The Dance of Reality. Both are autobiographic film journeys though his creative path. Surreal, imaginative, constantly surprising – for example, his mother’s dialogue is all sung bel canto. On the extras he rants about the loss of ‘art’ in mainstream cinema & difficulty of getting funding for his type of film. Will there be a part 3? Depends on crowd funding.
As usual no English-language films made the list. But I did see some plays in my native tongue (lol). We got back to the Stratford festival & throughly enjoyed all that we saw. In particular their production of Richard III that was staged perfectly & performed with energy & passion. Also I loved Hamlet 911 – highly experimental & multi-layered.
I read dozens of books over the year but the one that stands out is The Masterpiece’ Emile Zola’s powerful exploration of the creative drive, the emotional & psychological cost of both success & failure. Why isn’t Masterpiece Theatre making films from these classic novels. How many versions of Persuasion do we need?
The return to ‘normal’ life has been simple enough. I continue to mask when shopping, travelling on subway, going to plays, I’ve had all my shots & boosters. My health remains consistent. At the first sign of a cold I do a covid test home test to be sure. I’ve resisted the push to go back to f2f recovery meetings beyond one, that is a short walk from house & everyone there remains masked. Zoom continues to pick up the slack – many meetings have closed but some have become so established they re still getting between 80 & 180 people showing up.
No major plans for the coming year, though I do have a lotto max travel list – nothing international: who wants to get stuck in an airport for a week when a flight gets cancelled 🙂 We’re eyeing some of the coming Stratford season & will be booking a few shows, soon.