Today is a milestone for Walking the Berkshires with this, its 100th post. Until recently I've been writing here about three times a week, finding my way in the medium and exploring where the form and content of this blog might lead. To those of you who have stuck with me from the beginning last Fall, my deepest thanks. To those of you who have found yourself here for various reasons and found common ground as well, beyond what you expected and despite the divergent paths I sometime take, you are most welcome. As Walt Whitman has said -and I am fond of repeating-
" Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes."
Still, there are patterns in what I try to weave, just as a tapestry has discernible threads that add texture and context to the whole. The major themes I explore have at their very core a desire for common ground, that place of recognition where folks of very different political persuasions and life experiences can get beyond labels and positions and relate on otherwise divisive issues. I've been like that from the very beginning, according to my parents, who should know. It doesn't work with all issues and all people - some things are beyond reconciliation. But our capacity for empathy is remarkable and precious and when it affords a different path I try to follow where it leads.
Then again, Aristotle says that "wit is educated insolence", and I cannot deny a tendency in that direction either. "Very well, then, I contradict myself", but not, I hope, out of mean-spiritedness.
I cannot predict for certain where the muse may lead, but anticipate further explorations of land and people and our relationships with the past and our environment, with these rugged Berkshire and Litchfield Hills as points of inspiration. There will be new light shed on ancient family archives, and Africa revisited in posts as I so often do in my heart. I'm enjoying the journey, and am glad of your company.