Here is a purr of fortune’s, sir, or of fortune’s cat — but not a musk-cat — that has fallen into the unclean fishpond of her displeasure, and, as he says, is muddied withal: pray you, sir, use the carp as you may; for he looks like a poor, decayed, ingenious, foolish, rascally knave. I do pity his distress in my similes of comfort and leave him to your lordship.
— Clown, All’s Well That Ends Well
It has truly been a fortunate year. From my brother’s wedding to a brilliant research trip tp the Huntington Library, not to mention a relatively dry and warm fall and winter in Portland, I am sure I’m at the zenith of Fortune’s Wheel, and so steady myself for rougher waters ahead. In reflection on a great deal of good news and satisfying work, this post cobbles together a few year-end notes.
Over the holidays, I’ve been trying to keep to a regular writing schedule. It helps to have a partner who is a full-time writer by trade. They never balk when you ask for “Moratorium Mornings”: a prohibition on any interaction for the first two hours of the day in order to write, then indulge in breakfast and other things.
For good behavior, a reward seems only fair. I become rather addicted to the group of art history reality television shows available via the BBC, YouTube, and Vimeo. They all deal with the visual world of the Renaissance in different ways. More interesting to me are the debates the crop up between expert interpretation (“connoisseurship”) and what the scientific and archival evidence actually makes available.
That, and I kind of adore everything about Amber Butchart.