I have been thinking a lot lately about blogging communities. I started blogging after 10 years of reading and lurking and sporadic commenting, because I wanted to fully join the conversation. Over the years I have learned about bloggers, and grown to know their voices and to care about them. I really like the community of progressive bloggers and it is a relief to know there are others out there who care about the things I care about.
A few bloggers have disappeared lately. A few of them have announced their departures. A few not. In some cases, there was a change in tone before a disappearance which may have led more bloggers than myself to wonder if someone was okay. Last week Lorne talked about the nature of this community and about missing people we have never met.
Today Jymn posted a letter that made me ashamed. Gretchen wrote to him to tell him that she was alarmed at the tone his blog had taken. She said things that you should say when someone you care about is melting down. I nearly quit reading Jymn’s blog this week. It alarmed and frightened me. And I didn’t know what to do about that. I have been thinking about the way his posts make me feel- frightened and small and misunderstood- all week. And also wondering what the hell to do, because if I felt frightened and misunderstood, Jymn, saying these things, must feel really really bad.
This sounds unrelated but it is not: Last fall at a community meeting about serious city budget cuts, 0.002% of our population turned up. Maybe it was apathy that kept some people away. Maybe it was ignorance. But I bet two big reasons were: "I had something else even more important," and "I don't know what to do to help." After the meeting, discussing this with my partner I said, "what we need is a movement where we all turn to someone else and say, 'What can I do to make something easier for you?' "
I think of myself as a caring individual. And someone I cared about was in pain. If I want a movement, maybe I gotta start it myself.
Jymn: What can I do to make something easier for you?