I read too many books that spoke of quests and fellowships and dangerous adventures. It shaped the way I looked at things, sometimes to the point of absurdity.
I remember my first law firm job in New York City. We had just gotten WANG stand-alone word processors. I immediately went into Starship mode and began hollering out faux reports on how my work was going, “Deletion in process! Stand back!” That kind of stuff. It was an adventure to me.
And now I blog about politics and the culture wars and such, and the same feeling grips me every now and then.
I guess they’re not called archetypes for nothing.
When I first got my own computer I started interacting on the AOL discussion boards, where there was no moderation. I was amazed at some of the hate speech.
But then I started reading one fellow who was posting about the Valerie Plame case.
At first it was just fun being rude and argumentative to the hate-speech folks who were defending Bush. Soon, though, I realized I had no real information and that became boring. So I read some of the stuff this fellow was posting and it was fascinating to me.
It wasn’t long before there was a group of five or six of us researching the Plame case. That’s how I discovered Josh Marshall and Talking Points Memo.
I felt like Nancy Drew!
In that fellowship I learned how to retain focus amid all the noise of the chatterers.
After a while, the arguments themselves began to get boring, and I wandered over to TPM Cafe. The conversation there was too cautious for me (when I wrote about impeachment, they actually called it the “I-word”), so I ended up at Daily Kos.
I’ve been in many fellowships and gone on many quests both in meatspace and online. Sometimes the fellowship naturally dissolved as time went on, and led to other allies and other goals.
Other times the fellowship never ended in my heart. Working on Election Diary Rescue (in 2006 and 2008) was one of those. It’s where I met Alma, and eeff, and siddiny and a whole host of others and whenever I see their names in comments, I feel that bond.
Now we’re facing some strange times indeed. Both short-term and long-term thinking are required, I feel. Failure, in this context, is not only unavoidable, but necessary in order to meet the challenges we are facing. Both failure and success is impermanent, so I see them as forces to work with and shape.
I’m at the age where I see life patterns repeat, so I know there is no one goal, no ending as such. Yet there is always something to be done and something to learn. Organic fellowships form and the task becomes clear.
And there’s always a damned ring that everyone, at one time or another, finds very preciousssssss!
Happy Friday to one and all. It’s been a wild full moon week here in the Big Apple and now it’s Friday the 13th! Cold, very cold, but I can finally see buds on the trees and know spring is approaching.
(Miss Sarah Vaughn, “It Might As Well Be Spring,” courtesy of YouTuber Johnflugelhorn, with his photo visuals)