On awaking, he found himself on the green knoll from whence he had first seen the old man of the glen. He rubbed his eyes—it was a bright sunny morning. The birds were hopping and twittering among the bushes, and the eagle was wheeling aloft and breasting the pure mountain breeze. “Surely,” thought Rip, “I have not slept here all night.” He recalled the occurrences before he fell asleep. The strange man with a keg of liquor—the mountain ravine—the wild retreat among the rocks—the woe-begone party at ninepins—the flagon—“Oh! that flagon! that wicked flagon!” thought Rip—“what excuse shall I make to Dame Van Winkle?”
(Rip van Winkle. Washington Irving. 1819.)
Re-entering the world of blogging after a self-imposed exile is not too dissimilar. Yet looking around it seems as if little has changed. Unlike Rip there is no rusting flintlock at my waking side, I still recognize my home, and there is no Dame van Winkle to whom this column is accountable, let alone excusable. As for the wicked flagon? Well there was that one evening after Christmas. Less of a woe-begone party at ninepins and more of wine with the neighbor!
Why begin again? As my Wall Street Journal friend told me after the New Year, as we struggled to decide from Bobby Van's menu, and the pinot noir hadn't yet arrived: You've got to write. You've started. Don't stop.
Thanks a bunch, Eric. So a new title. I'll explain that someday. Not now. Too much catching up to do ...