How about, “See you around”? I don’t know where, exactly, though I do have some good ideas. More on that at the end.
While that may suffice for us individually, though, it certainly can’t for us as a community. And that’s what I will miss most of all about Open Left. Of course I’m grateful to Chris, Matt & Mike for creating this place, and then giving me the opportunity to write here. But I’ve always craved online writing because of the immediacy of hearing what people think of what you’ve written, because there is so much to be learned. It’s axiomatic, really, that the group mind is orders of magnitude smarter than the individual mind, so the smartest thing the individual mind can do is find the best way to benefit from the group mind.
It’s not just about intelligence, of course. It’s also about wisdom, compassion, humor, patience, forgiveness, forbearance, resilience… and on, and on, and on. In a word, it’s about community. Because we are social creatures, made so by millions of year of evolution, this is the highest and deepest thing it can be about.
It’s messy as hell, though, because we’re also individuals with strong ideas and the ability to articulate and defend them. So counterpoint, more than harmony, is the ideal ideal for a place like this. Of course the ideal isn’t always realized. In fact, it’s usually not. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be an ideal. But we come close enough often enough to keep the ideal alive in the flesh, and not just some abstraction that all can agree on, because it’s never real.
I wish I could mention everyone by name, and acknowledge the sorts of things I’ve learned from them, the things I will miss. I wish this especially, because if I start with just mentioning one or two, then where do I stop? There are a few of you I’d especially like to single out by name… but then that would unintentionally slight others, and that’s the last thing I’d want to do. So, I wish I could mention you all by name… even though I know I cannot. And so, instead, I’m going to do the incredibly lame thing, and just say, “You know who you are.” But I will try to elevate it just a smidgen by adding, “And so do all the rest of us.” You’ve made this a truly wonderful place to write, a place that always made me want to do better next time. A place that kept me wanting to grow. And I hope, above all, that it was that sort of place for all of you as well.
I will continue writing, of course. Above all, I have a backlog of ideas for books I want to write, and I’m determined to focus on getting one of them done. But I also want to keep writing online–although at a lest all-consuming pace. Unfortunately, I’ve got things in the works, but not finalized yet.
That’s why God invented search engines. With date ranges. You’ll be able to find me, I’m sure of it. I should be popping up somewhere within a couple of weeks or so.
Oh, and one more thing. Well, two, actually: The last Chatty Cathies contest was won by sTiVo’s nomination of Joe Nocera, NY Times Business Writer. The last Idiot Wind was won by jeffbinnc’s nomination of Michelle Bachman’s Tea Party “rebuttal” against the State of the Union speech.
Click the links and savor what your fellow OL’ers had to say about the follies of the day. The last word is theirs, not mine. Or yours, in comments. Good-bye.