The Greening happened overnight. When I woke up this morning, even the tallest and largest trees were sporting leaves, and every car was coated in green dust. No matter how carefully I look for it in the Spring, the Greening happens suddenly, without warning.
In the front yard, I noticed that the seed I scattered carefully on top of the mulch, and missed by both squirrel and bird, has sprouted. Good. This will be food for the bunny that makes its home in the bush on the side of our townhouse.
Frank from Sandhill and Jim from Noded had lunch at the BloggerCon conference and talked about the possibility of Jim hosting a BloggerCon in Chicago, or me hosting something like this in St. Louis. Though I agree that we need to focus more conferences in this lovely city, I can’t see myself doing something like a BloggerCon. A blogging conference has little appeal to me nowadays.
Meeting people I’ve come to know online has more appeal. I could see myself inviting any and all to St. Louis just to show off the city and all of the many, many places I’ve discovered. We wouldn’t need a hall because we could take our conference to the parks or along any of the water fronts, and get together at any number of good places to eat, or to listen to St. Louis’ own unique form of Blues. Rather than backchannels and facing each other other silver titanium barriers, we’d sit next to each other, and just talk. That, now, that does have appeal.
Fall. I would invite people to come here in October, because the heat of the summer has finally died down, and the Autumn colors are in full swing. People talk about fall colors in New England, but the Northeast has nothing on this state. Nothing. And neither San Francisco or Boston, or even New York, can match our unique blend of Northern/Southern history, nor our less expensive but just as quaint Bed & Breakfasts. Not to mention genuine riverboat gambling.
I wouldn’t invite people for September, because it can still be too warm in September. Besides, I’m planning a long drive in September, visiting friends and family here and there. Weblogging friends, too, if they’ll be glad of a visit.
Of course, meeting outdoors or at restaurants wouldn’t provide wireless access, but there are Starbucks all around for those who just have to blog any event immediately or they’ll implode into green pixy dust. And the libraries in town here all have Internet connectivity in all of the meeting rooms if we must shut ourselves away, though why I couldn’t understand.
There would be no fees and no sponsors and no formal invites, and all of you would be welcome–but there’s a potential glich in these plans: I have no idea of where I will be in October, or what I’ll be doing. By choice and by fate, my circumstances are uncertain day by day and I may not even be in St. Louis in October.
To be even more contrary, I’m also not sure if I’ll be a weblogger at that time, and no, this is not another “Why do we do this?” writing. But to assume that I’ll be a weblogger in six weeks, much less six months, implies that I’ve set my course and fixed my interests and nothing can possibly happen to change this. Life is far too quixotic and filled with fascinating possibilities for any of us to say with any certainty that next week we’ll not only have something to say, we’ll want to say it online.
There are a few, a very few, that we can comfortably say of, “they will be weblogging in six months”, but not necessarily among the people I read with the greatest delight. No, not even among you who are sure, without a doubt that you’ll be blogging in six months. Though we may say that the Internet is forever, there’s more than a hint of the ephemeral in this art form, and that makes it unique, and interesting. We are not sculptors, making statues of marble for all time; we are the street artists with our bits of colored chalk.
This impermanence and the subtle underlying promise of empty spaces makes this experience that much more alive and vital and beautiful because, just like the Greening, we never know when a new voice will suddenly emerge, or a beloved voice go, just as suddenly, quiet.
We are mono no aware, and that is our essence and our uniqueness:
By lonely roads
this lonely poet marches
into autumn dusk.
So by all means, please come to St. Louis the first week of October if you will, and you’ll see such beauty as will leave you forever changed; and you’ll listen to great music and eat wonderful food and enjoy interesting conversation and have a marvelous time. But I may not be here. I hope you don’t mind.