This last week has been hard. Alarmingly hard.
The weekend before last, the Palinode and I were in Chicago to attend the BlogHer '09 conference, and true to my reaction to last year's conference, as soon as I arrived home, I fell ill with some dread virus and spent the next week under the dual-purpose rock of depression and irritability. It's one heavy rock.
This depression doesn't occur because the BlogHer conference is terrible, though; this depression occurs because the BlogHer conference is so good. Both last year and this year, I entered onto the conference scene worried that I would be a fish out of water, a blogger that no one cared to notice, because walking into a hotel with over one thousand other internet voices can be an intimidating affair, but both years I realized that my fears were unfounded. I spent three days coming across familiar names on nametags, shaking hands, hugging friends, and clinking glasses with an amazing array of people in possession of an amazing array of talents. I swam in sea of people brought together by their passion for creating places and things that did not previously exist. That's freaking cool.
Bloggers are a generous lot, by and large. They give of their talents in writing, photography, design, crafting, cooking, etcetera freely and regularly, and they are excited by your dedication to do the same. Our respective famousness among dozens, to steal a line from Maggie Mason's weblog, is a peculiar twist of both our apparent skills and our generosity in sharing them, and that can breed a quick intimacy and exchange of inspiration with both old and new acquaintances that I find hard won elsewhere. It is both nourishing and intoxicating.
In short, my world was rocked, and then I found myself back in my home city with laundry to do and cat litter to scoop and paying work to find with far fewer people around to call me adorable.
Now that I've rolled the depression-irritability rock from my person, though, I would not pass up the opportunity to meet with so many creative spirits despite this predictable fallout. Just when I was once again taking into consideration an end to my writing life, a decision with which I have been threatening myself off and on since I first began writing at the age of seven, I made a journey to find my people, and they were there, and it was good.