2nd Blogaversary and Nostalgic Musing

August 29th slipped by quietly.  Just like the first day I started, inconspicuously.  Upon a casual suggestion from my son, I set up a blog and posted my first mini movie review, oblivious to what I was venturing into, not knowing what a widget was, or how to embed a link.

Now two years and 176 posts later, I am a happy sojourner in the blogosphere.  Still, I have no idea where this will lead, but I’m not too concerned, because through these past blogging days, I’ve been enriched and gratified.

My thanks to all who have taken the time to stop by Ripple Effects.  I know a few might have just stumbled upon, your visit is just as valued.  While some bloggers might tell you they live on comments, and I don’t deny the life-sustaining power of comments, I must express my appreciation for my silent readers. A click on the readership map on the sidebar can tell where they are.  To all of you out there from all corners of the world, I want to assure you that you’re more than a red dot on the map.

These two years have seen some unexpected ripples, like a screenwriter leaving her comment in my review of her movie, or, a writer suggesting a differing opinion to a book I reviewed and pointing me to his own work. The most encouraging would be a private email from a reader who told me she had sent my post link to someone whom she thought could be comforted from a personal tragedy. The blogosphere is a virtual world of human experiences and pathos, a reality no less poignant and alive than our everyday encounters.

I’m glad to see as well that Ripple Effects has evolved into some sort of a mini forum where ideas are exchanged and experiences shared.  I’ll be all the more gratified if the trend continues, where people would come for the comments as well as the posts, or even instead of … just the same.  You are all contributors.

I’m inspired too that we can explore together the universals among us all, sentiments that connect rather than segregate, and to seek beauty in the mundane, the transcendence in the temporal.  My thanks to all of you who regularly leave thought-provoking comments to make Ripple Effects a worthwhile stop in the hustle and bustle of life.  I’d be happy if it can be a restful way station along the journey.

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I’ve been a book and movie lover since childhood.  As a young reader, I would rate the stories I’d read, putting a check mark or two by each title in the table of contents.  I remember also, for my own pleasure, I would write up chapter summaries of a book that I loved, illustrating the content with pencil crayons.

As for movies, I practically grew up with them,  both on TV and in theaters, during the pre-VCR days. I was a good re-teller of stories too, recounting in details the plot of movies that had touched me, to whomever that had patience enough to listen to a child.

Two people came to my mind as I write this.  During my childhood days growing up in Hong Kong, our family had had live-in maids helping with cooking and housekeeping.  One of them had been with us since my infancy.  I had watched her many times, peeping into her spartan sleeping quarter in her after work hours, and found her reading in bed.  She read classical Chinese literature, now that’s like reading Shakespeare without Coles Notes, or even Beowulf without translation.  Who says Renée the concierge in the Hedgehog isn’t a realistic character?

Another came at a later stage, looking after our meals. She was always the one who had patience enough to listen to me retelling stories from movies.  I would go into the kitchen and follow her around, describing to her in details the exact plot and even dialogues from movies I had seen.

I remember one time, I was especially moved by a film entitled ‘Misunderstood’, (Incompreso, Golden Palm Prize, Cannes Film Festival, 1966).  It was about a child whose mother had died.  The only memento of her was a tape recording of her voice, which he listened to frequently, until one day he accidentally erased it.  As I was telling her the story, I saw tears well up in her eyes, and she begged me for more.  That was one of the most gratified moments for me as a child… I had been heard.

I think blogging opens for us this powerful access and offers us unimaginable possibilities… every single voice can be heard, every view readily expressed and acknowledged.  Even if the feedback is an opposing opinion, it just means that the ripples have reached far or near, spurring resonance deep enough to rebound. In this world ruled by technology and bytes, blogging might well be one of the most human of modern inventions.  A voice can still be heard by those who have patience enough to hear.

***

Published by

Arti

If she’s not birding by the Pond, Arti’s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

15 thoughts on “2nd Blogaversary and Nostalgic Musing”

  1. Happy blogoversary, Arti! I am so glad that your voice is out here singing, for us all to hear (even though I don’t always listen properly). Many more happy sojourns to you!

    ds,

    Thanks for your well wishes and support. Your comment is always encouraging.

    Arti

    Like

  2. Happy anniversary, Arti! Your blog is indeed a restful way station. And I loved how you paid homage to your live-in maids. I have similar memories and I owe a lot to them. So much. Although, none of mine ever were like Renee the same way one of yours was. 🙂

    claire,

    Thank you for your kind words. The one who read literally raised me, from infancy to my early teens. Not exactly a Renée, but a reader, just the same. And yes, they were like family. I love to hear you share your memories… was it in HK too?

    Arti

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  3. Congrats on the anniversary, Arti! 😀

    Shari,

    Hey, thanks for staying with me the past two years… you were with me almost from the start! Thanks for all your comments. I look forward to more mutual visiting!

    Arti

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  4. Happy Bloggiversary to you. I think I let my 2nd one fly by. I appreciate your thoughts and your reviews and enjoy your love of the arts!

    Ellen,

    Thanks and I’ve been blessed from visiting yours… thanks for the encouragement!

    Arti

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  5. Arti, thanks for another beautiful article… it brought me to tears… It’s been such a pleasure reading all your posts even if I don’t respond as much as I would like to. Happy anniversary and long live Ripple Effects!

    Yinling,

    Thanks so much for your very gracious comment. About the reminiscing of childhood memories, I believe some seeds are sown early in life… What we have here today might well be the ripples from that first pebble thrown into the pond of life.

    Arti

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  6. Happy blogaversary, Arti. I can’t imagine my morning news/blog reading routines without you. Well, actually I can — the two weeks when my computer crashed… Most grateful you are here, brightening up the English weather.

    cancan,

    What fun… at least Ripple Effects can help change mood short of changing the English weather. Thank you for your very kind words.

    Arti

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  7. I stumbled upon you and was instantly hooked. You combine writing so well with reading and movies. It’s a true gift. Thank you!

    Cathy,

    Thanks for stumbling by here and I’m glad you did, so I could know about your book club and reading. It’s exciting to see lots of happenings in the blogosphere are serendipities!

    Arti

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  8. Arti! everything here is so well articulated! hugs to you for your writing and your love of books and movies and your ability to share them with us. To be a storyteller, aloud, now that IS a wonderful thing, an art, really. Bravo and keep it coming!

    oh,

    Thank you for your encouraging words. I’m a story reteller most of the time when I recount books and movies in my reviews. It’s blogs such as yours that I find original stories and poetry! I thank you for writing!

    Arti

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  9. Hi, Arti:

    Happy Anniversary! It’s hard for me to believe that two years have passed since you began your blog. I have enjoyed it on so many levels — the informative reviews, the beauty of your prose, the community of readers and commenters you have created through your work, and most especially the fearless and tender way you reveal your own thoughts, background, and personality.

    My son and I have always shared a love of theater, a field he went on to pursue both as a college professor and as a professional lighting and set designer. I remember asking him once why he gravitated to the technical side of theater rather than to the acting side. He told me he wasn’t brave enough to trust an audience with his deepest, most personal self. I often remember that conversation when I read your blog, for I think you ARE so brave, and all of us who read your work are the beneficiaries of that courage. I so appreciate the trust that you have placed in your readers, and it gives me much joy to think that I can continue to share this cyberjourney with you for years to come. So please keep blogging, my friend :o)

    Jay,

    My heartfelt thanks for your eloquent words through which you’ve shared so openly. Again, I’ve been heard. It doesn’t come easily, this self-revealing thing. That’s why it has taken me two years to warm up. The fact that I’m not on Facebook points to how much I protect my privacy and inner self. But as your very kind description says, if there’s indeed any bit of courage here, I give credits to those whose blogs I frequent. They have shared themselves first, trusting us to see what’s in their hearts and minds. I’m just doing a reciprocal act. I do acknowledge however, that I’m so grateful to those who come here and are willing to contribute by leaving their comments, building a virtual community where respect, appreciation, and trust are given out so generously.

    I thank you all!

    Arti

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  10. Oh, Arti ~

    What a week it’s been. The demands of work prior to our Labor Day holiday and other obligations in the “real” world meant I wasn’t able to read and comment on others’ blogs, or do any of my own writing. I was amazed by my level of frustration and sense of loss. The blogs have become part of my daily routine, and I’m not happy when that routine is disrupted.

    Through it all, I found myself thinking, “Well. At least Arti doesn’t post every day – I don’t know what I’d do if I had to catch up with that much great writing!” Your blog is one I’ve always found especially stimulating and provocative, not to mention comfortable. I’m no longer able to check every blog I like, every day, but I rarely miss stopping by to see if some new ripples are spreading out into the world.

    I didn’t know it was your second blogaversay until a few minutes ago, of course, but in a strange way I noted it earlier this afternoon. I was in Barnes and Noble when I passed by a sale table. There it was – The Glass Castle. I thought of you immediately, and remembered your review. Of course I bought the book! Now, it’s in my little but growing pile, thanks to you.

    The truth of the matter is that anyone can write a blog, but not everyone can inspire to action. When I picked up that book today, it was because you had inspired me to do so. I suspect before this next year’s over, my little pile is going to be even higher, thanks to you and Ripple Effects!

    Many, many thanks for another wonderful year.

    Linda

    Linda,

    You’re just too, too kind. As I mentioned in my reply to another comment, I have much to learn from blogs, yours among them, where I find inspiration to write with authenticity. I’m convinced too that it takes more than one voice to evoke a chorus of responses and meaningful resonances. That’s what Ripple Effects is all about! So you see, it’s a group effort.

    I’m glad you’re seeing ripples everywhere, most likely because the good books and movies have made an impressionable impact out there. And yes, I’m sure you’ll find the books on your TBR list will give you much pleasure. Enjoy!

    Arti

    Like

  11. Hi, Arti, Just dropping by to let you know I’ve an award for you over at my place – I know the award looks/seems silly but it is nevertheless a most sincere award. (and may also make you laugh!)

    oh,

    My, thank you… I’ll go check it out.

    Arti

    Like

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