I was pleased today when I looked at the Top Ten list for my blog posts. It's over there on the right-hand column of my blog page. I have it set to show the ten most visited blog posts over the past month. As of today, these are the ten most viewed:
1. A Poem for the Longest Night – “To Zarathustra” is a poem I wrote which looks back over the centuries at our celebration of light.
2. Psalm 23 ~ Bobby McFerrin – Bobby McFerrin does something remarkable with Psalm 23. The music is lovely, but the most significant thing he does here is to use the feminine pronoun in reference to God. It is amazing what this shift does for the effect of the psalm. The first time my wife and I heard it was on a PBS telecast several years ago – I think it was with the Boston Pops concert series. We were both moved to tears as we listened.
3. Every Grain of Sand – “Every Grain of Sand” by Bob Dylan (from his Shot of Love album) is one of the most beautifully poignant songs I have heard. Elvis Costello, in an essay for Vanity Fair on his pick of the top 500 albums, said it might be the best song Dylan has ever written. Emmylou Harris sang the song at Johnny Cash’s funeral. I first heard it when I bought Shot of Love back in the summer of 1982 and was taken by it. The title calls to mind the opening lines from lines from William Blake’s poem “Auguries of Innocence.”
4. Southern Nights and Stereotypes –This is a look at Rick Bragg's book, All Over but the Shoutin'. It is also a personal interaction with his memories of life in the South. This one has been on the top ten list continuously since it was first posted in July of 2010.
5. Native American, or American Indian? – An interesting perspective from the late Tony Hillerman, the mystery novelist who enlightened many of us on the ways of the Navajo.
6. Tibetan Sand Mandala: Precision and Prayer – This is another one that has been a perpetual “top ten” contender. It is my report of the visit in Noember of 2010 by the Tibetan monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery in Atlanta when they came the University of Alabama at Birmingham to present "The Mystical Arts of Tibet."
7. Amazing Grace: A Unitarian Perspective – Here is a theological choice: a hymn that actually gives singers a couple of options. It’s the beloved hymn, “Amazing Grace.” It seems that rather than forcing worshippers to sing about amazing grace “that saved a wretch like me,” there is an asterisk to indicate that one may sing, “that saved a soul like me.” Do you feel wretched or a soulful today?
8. How Pete Seeger Taught Me about Forgiveness –This is one of my favorite essays. It is a personal story of how I can to a deeper understanding of forgiveness that allowed me to move into a new realm of freedom. I am happy to see this one once again in the top ten list.
9. Wednesdays with Dorothy: With a Little Help from my Friends – This is part of my story about my friend Dorothy Burdette who went from dire poverty, to institutionalization, to finally find a life in the community. I am still in the process of sharing her story, and so very glad to see it among the most visited blog posts.
10. A Jungian Appreciation of Mary – Another of my favorite essays that has personal significance. When I first posted it in August of 2011, it got off to a slow start, but has continued to garner readership. It has often made its way to the top ten list.
So there you have the ten most viewed blog posts for the month. If you haven’t visited them, I hope you will take a perusal and see why more are reading these particular posts this month.