Friday, July 4, 2014

Season of Blooms--and Blogging?

The advent of summer, marking a transition of some sort--whether the beginning of new ways or the return to old ones--seems an appropriate time to get back to writing here. For that matter, Independence Day could be appropriate, as well. In any case, it's been much longer than I expected.

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An appropriate metaphor?
Traditional or old garden roses (=pre-1867) generally had fragrant, double-blossomed flowers (white, pink, red), which bloomed briefly only once in a season, on old wood. In the course of the nineteenth century, breeders sought to develop cultivars with multiple desirable attributes, able to bloom on new growth throughout the season. One result, alas, was the insipid (not colorless, but usually odorless and sometimes tasteless) and ubiquitous hybrid tea rose that we give to our lovers on Valentine's Day and other special occasions. Go to a garden of old roses in June, and then tell me why we should waste big bucks on a bouquet of American Beauty.

Above: the Rose de Rescht, one of my stalwarts (though not recently sold around here), with the best virtues of an old rose and the new: ancient variety, strong fragrance, repeat (but not constant modern) blooming. A Damask, it was purportedly introduced to France in 1807, and to England circa 1880. Although the specifics of hybridization are unclear, it is generally said to have been reintroduced to England and Europe from Iran by Miss Lindsay, circa late 1940s.

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Lots of things--mostly work (a.k.a. the "day job"), but also sundry civic and family obligations--got in the way. Scribbling here just did not seem to be the highest priority (not that it ever was).

In the intervening period, I've also been changing my writing habits and outlets:  focusing more on a few important "longform" pieces (they used to be called: "essays," or "articles") for other venues (though I may sometimes link to them here), while more frequently sharing links and brief observations on Twitter (@CitizenWald), and images or other brief posts on Tumblr. Look to the latter in particular for images with short text, though generally cross-referenced to this site.

As for this page, I have a few new summary rubrics as well as individual posts in mind.

In the meantime, here are some "coming attractions" (though without guarantee of when any individual piece will appear):
  • Leni Riefenstahl goes grocery shopping
  • Mrs. Chamberlain defends appeasement
  • Best. Course. Title. Ever.
  • How I got quoted by the AP.
  • Proof that you can fool some of the people all of the time.
  • And of course material for the World War I centenary.


Ethan Lewis said...

I'm glad you're back! I look forward to reading your posts.

Jim Wald said...

Thanks, Ethan: good to hear from you. I hope you will find something of interest.