The end of the year is awash in people’s lists: 10 Best Movies, Top 10 International News Stories, 12 Stories You Missed, and the like. So why not a list of stories told on the Buller Back Porch this past year?
In that spirit, here’s a quick baker’s dozen of links to blog posts from earlier this year. A couple of these are actually series of related posts, so there’s more than just the 13 posts for your reading/viewing pleasure.
Quick & dirty version of the story I tell to start my Doodle Playground sessions — complete with doodles, a growing type of blog entry this past year, both as part of the post or as a stand-alone doodle.
Pappa’s Childhood (Parts 1-11)
Tales of growing up in late 19th Century rural East Texas, written by a so-called “guest blogger” — my grandfather, G.M.C. Massey — and edited into this series by my mother (his daughter), Dell Massey Buller.
2017 marked a time of change for us — we sold our house in Austin and moved to Cañon City, Colorado. This series of posts talks about the process of our transformation, prefaced by a quick doodle describing part of the transformation, “Quantum State of Home.”
I first saw the Who live in 1967 when I was 12 years old. Fifty years later, I’m still a huge fan. I most recently saw the band in 2016 and hope to see them yet again in the future before either Pete Townshend or Roger Daltrey (only original line-up survivors, now dubbed the Who2) exit their shared stage.
Doodles comprise a larger portion of my blog posts these days. Likely that trend will continue through 2018 as well. This one drew a lot of reaction. I suspect many people could identify.
Death & dying: something we all will experience yet we avoid talking about it. Several of my posts this year were devoted to opening a more frank and open discussion of our shared inevitable end. This was my first post on the topic.
Eddie Wilson tells the tale of the fabled Austin music club, the Armadillo World Headquarters, ably assisted by co-author Jesse Sublett. Chock full of behind-the-scenes stories and amazing photographs, this book describes a seminal scene in the re-birthing of Austin as the “Live Music Capital of the World.”
Having moved away from the (self-proclaimed) “Live Music Capital of the World,” we haven’t been seeing live music as often as we were back in Austin. So, when we saw that an old favorite performer, Shawn Colvin, would make a tour stop nearby, we made sure to get there.
Months after we moved to Colorado, we returned to Austin to fetch one last load of stuff. While there, we enjoyed Austin from a visitor’s vantage point, spending time with a few close friends and enjoying some Texas staple foods (Tex-Mex, chicken-fried steak, and barbecue!) as well a good dose of live music among friends.
Another post about death & dying, this one drawing directly on my experience at 22 when the death of a close friend, followed by the near-death of my beloved Granny, forced me to face some basic issues of life & death. These 2 events occurring so closely together re-shaped my thoughts and feelings in a fundamental way.
When other people talk about long-held family traditions for Thanksgiving, I think back to our family’s traditional Thanksgiving while I grew up: football, that is; The Game, more specifically: the annual match-up between the University of Texas vs. Texas A & M University.
Taking gameful elements derived from Jane McGonigal’s SuperBetter, I doodled a map of how to play — and win! — your day, whatever your day may have in store for you.
This one’s still fresh but has been receiving a great deal of reaction and feedback, so I’ll close this year’s list with this tale of my cousin, Will T. Massy, singer-songwriter struggling with schizophrenia.
As we end this year and prepare to celebrate of the start of the next one, I am reminded of the curious sequencing at the end of the I Ching‘s hexagrams. The hexagram titled “After Completion” is not the final one in the sequence, but number 63 instead. The final hexagram, number 64, is “Before Completion,” once again affirming the fundamental basis of the I Ching (aka The Book of Changes) that everything moves through cycles, and the end of something is always the beginning of something else.
Ring out the old — ring in the new — Happy New Year, people!