My neighbor Pete Seeger once told the musician Josh Ritter "the most important thing you could ever do is to choose a place and dig in."
I've done the first part, but I've fallen behind on the second part. So I'm taking a break of indeterminate length from Exurbitude.
This past weekend, I went away to San Francisco to see how much farther blogging could take me, and while I was gone the garden went batshit crazy. The tomatoes got heavy with fruit, reared up and fell over, deer ate practically all the leaves off the pumpkins, and the cilantro started to self-sow. My kids got larger. The tolerant, generous, dedicated woman who loves me went to the meeting for the new food co-op, and she introduced the clothesline I put in last week to its first set of fresh laundry. She sent me a picture of the sun shining on our lives.
Of all the things I learned in San Francisco, the one that applies here is that blogging differs from writing, which I’ve been doing all along. Blogging demands more, and writing is just the centerpiece to a world of commenting, flickring, twittering, emailing…what we call building virtual community.
I’ve found incredible people in that community (see partial list at left). And thank you all who are reading this for being part of it, and for your indulgence. But it also turns out that I live in a community. It’s made up of people I like and don’t like, resemble and don’t resemble, agree and disagree with, and whom I can look in the eye and argue with at a meeting, but keep it civil because later I’ll run into them at the convenience store. I haven’t been engaging my community properly, either.
At the BlogHer conference last weekend, there was a panel on following your passion in which everyone agreed that the lamest Internet thing you could do was to raise up your fist and walk off the blogging stage with a grand, gestural post. Eye roll. So I'm not doing that; I don't swear to be gone for all time. My five year old — who found his first loose tooth tonight — says things like "forever." I don't.
Ahhhh, who am I kidding? The grand gesture ROCKS. Anyone needs me, I'll be tending the garden.