Happy 170!

Today’s musings mark one hundred seventy posts. As the number ends in a zero, I thought why not celebrate a little? I missed 100 and also missed 10,000 hits. Plus, I’m following Google’s lead on 101st anniversary of the first traffic light’s installation. I think that’s as close as I may get to “trending.”

I was on fire when I made my first entry on February 11, 2011. I’d been wrestling with the idea of the whole blogging thing as anyone who has ever done it will understand. I’d finally started.  I’d banked a bunch of posts based on my travel experiences in Japan intending to release them weekly over a few months while working on subsequent ones.

I’d also been long listed for a CBC Literary Award in the non-fiction category which, I have to say, was quite a boost.  Even though “Pure Wool” did not make the short list, my entry had survived the first cull of about 8000 submissions. Anyone who writes with the intention of publishing her/his work savours that sort of validation.

However, 28 days later that joyful kick-start was followed by an unforeseeable catastrophe. The Great East Japan Earthquake and nuclear disaster at Fukushima followed hard after my fourth post. (Four is considered a very unlucky number in Japan.)

With that event, my pieces about sussing out mom and pop sushi joints and the like seemed grossly insensitive. But I’d started the blog and was compelled to bumble along with other subjects as best I could while I tried to figure out what to do next.

Then in October 2011, the Government of Japan approved a Japan Tourism Agency’s project to help rebrand Japan as a desirable travel destination. After that development, my original idea of posting vignettes sharing my observations and experiences while travelling in Japan seemed appropriate—perhaps even helpful.

I plunged in with joy.  Occasionally I also added posts on other subjects which captured my fancy, but mainly this blog has focussed on my ongoing relationship with a country that is part of my spiritual geography. Along the way I have found an appreciative audience for my stories. Thank you for tagging along.


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