I’ve always thought GBCW diaries were stupid. So this is not one.
But Buhdy has asked me to leave Docudharma and, as the proprietor here, I’ll comply with his wishes.
But before I do – I’d like to recall the good times that this blog has been to me. There were times in my life that those who participated here were a rock in what felt like an otherwise intolerable world. And besides that…I’ve learned alot that I’ll take with me. So I want to thank everyone that’s been a part of that.
I signed up here on September 3, 2007. As a refugee of the “pie wars” at dkos and one other blog flameout – I was attracted to this place from the moment I saw it. Back then, we’d had enough time with our newly elected Democratic majority in Congress to learn that we couldn’t count on them to end the war in Iraq or stand up to Bushco. It was a demoralizing time for me both politically and as a blog refugee.
What I found at Docudharma was a place that seemed to be filled with people who were aware of all of that and were looking for another way to make change in the world. Perhaps it wouldn’t come electorally – we all seemed to recognize that it might have to come another way.
As I was wandering the nets in those days, I had recently found the diversosphere and had been reading there alot. The issues of civil rights, racism and white privilege have always been a priority to me. All over the nets, I was finding people of color talking about these things in a way that we are not often privy to in the real world. Its like they’d let us in behind closed doors to hear how they talk about these issues when we’re not around. And I was getting stretched – big time. So I thought that perhaps something I could contribute here was a summary of what I was learning that I called Blog Voices. After a couple of attempts, I was thrilled when Buhdy asked me to write it weekly for the front page. I signed up for a slot on Sunday morning and got started.
Not too long after that happened, we had what would be for me – one of the most powerful, difficult, and engaging experiences I’ve ever had in the blogosphere. It was a huge flame war on racism. I can’t really link to much of that because it soaked up almost every essay here over several days. I know that some people who were here at the time got hurt. But we also spoke about some very difficult truths and I grew beyond measure from the experience. Here’s a little summary I wrote at the end of it all about that. But even more important than that, I connected with some people here in a deep and meaningful way. It was the beginning of some very important relationships in my life at the time.
Pretty soon my penchant for getting too quickly bored with things kicked in. I wanted to write about something else. So without any prior approval, I started taking that Sunday morning slot in a different direction. Buhdy was more than gracious and supported me all the way.
What I realized over time is that my journey away from my fundamentalist rightwing christian roots had been grounded in a process of observing others and questioning myself. I felt the dissonance between what I had been taught to believe and what I saw happening in the world. Over the years, that process led me to eventually leave everything and everyone I knew behind and begin a journey to define myself in a way that felt authentic to me. I’m still on that journey, so I took the opportunity on most Sunday mornings to talk about some of my past reflections as well as the cutting edge of what was challenging me at the moment. I called most of those essays Be the change. And we had some great times here on Sunday morning. It was often a spiritual experience for me – the best replacement for “church” that I could think of.
Then along came another flamewar on racism. This time – it wasn’t such a great experience. It got more personal and I want to tell anyone who was involved in it that I’m sorry about that. I’ve spent countless hours reflecting on how/why all of that happened and what I needed to learn from it. Since it did get so personal, I won’t go into all of that right now. But relationships were ruined and the blog as well as many people were hurt. I’m truly sorry about that and hope that anyone who was involved will accept my humble apology.
I think the next turning point is the one that has brought me to this place today…the 2008 election. In both the lead-up to the election and certainly afterwards, I felt a deepening divide between myself and many members of this community. I’m sure that with some distance in time, I’ll be better able to reflect on how I haven’t handled that well. I fear getting into the particulars because I don’t really want to argue about them. I’m done with that unless and until I can find a way to do so without creating further distance with people that I’ve cared alot about over these last 2 years. I’ll just say that I want to be open to learning how I’ve blown it with several of you. And if it feels worth it to try to talk to me about that, my email is on my profile page and I invite you to contact me.
For most people here now, this is ancient history than didn’t involve many of you. I’m not trying to drag you into anything and I expect this essay will scroll off the page eventually with little notice. But writing it has been a useful experience for me in trying to capture why this blog and many of you have been so important to me. I thank you for that and hope that someday we can meet again under better circumstances.
And to close, a little schmaltz to keep me from crying.