Walter Bitner

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Yearly Archives: 2022

Meditation 101

Meditation has been a big part of my life for my entire adulthood, like a personal mountain I have been climbing a step at a time, nearly every day, for forty years.


Hooteroll? & The Forest Play The 5 Spot This Saturday!

Saturday, April 9, 2022 at 6 pm
The 5 Spot, 1006 Forrest Avenue, Nashville 37206

I’m back in Nashville this week – we attended a beautiful wedding yesterday, and this week will be filled with family, friends, and rehearsals for another highlight of my year: The Forest joins Hooteroll? once again for a Saturday night performance at East Nashville’s iconic venue The 5 Spot. (more…)

My Hat

James River, Midlothian, Virginia, March 16, 2022 ~ click images to enlarge

This is my hat. If you know me personally, you probably recognize it: this has been my winter hat for about 35 years now. I bought it from a boutique in Asheville, North Carolina around 1987, give or take a year. My wife has one too, which we bought in the same store at the same time. Hers is white, mine is black. They are both made of wool, although her hat is softer than mine.

It is incredibly warm, and it fits my (big) head very comfortably, which is why I have never wanted, or worn, a different winter hat.


One a Penny, Two a Penny, Hot Cross Buns


Now I know what you’re thinking. It’s not that Hot Cross Buns. It’s not the Hot Cross Buns that you thought we had gotten past by now, those four measures of ignominy that haunt the deepest recesses of your early instrumental music education memories. It’s not that inane ditty that you practiced, repeating those three notes over and over, tormenting your parents and your siblings until finally, after what seemed like a very long time but probably was not very long at all, it was burned into your memory, burned into the memory of your fingers, those three notes:

B, A, G
B, A, G
B, A, G.

No, it’s not that Hot Cross Buns. It’s a different one.


A Snow Day on Tolkien’s Birthday



“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”

It has been about 46 years since I first read those initial ten words. Tolkien was still a figure of the “literary underground” in 1976 – none of my friends or classmates knew of him – and I was only ten years old.

Tolkien’s name is now a household word, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings now appear near the top of every all-time bestsellers list of books in English, and Peter Jackson’s film franchise based on the books is one of the highest-grossing in history.

The books are still the same today as they were when I first read them, but I am not.