A neglected blog feels like the loss of my writing hand ...
But here's the thing -- I'm busy, in ways I don't ever remember being busy, an almost breathless response to a pounding boom of a new & wildly expanding zeitgeist, both ephemeral and practical. Or, in English, suddenly what I do is popular.
A little background. I graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 1982, a lonely liberal arts major among throngs of budding engineers, attorneys, and financial tycoons ... a card-carrying liberal who believed in generous government and do-goody deeds thrust headlong in the middle of a Reagan Revolution where ultimately the noble point was to get rich. I found it all bewildering and remarkably short-sighted, fueled by deeply buried streams of fear and naivete.
So I hid out. Found a lovely little professional niche, organizational improvement & development for public and non-profit agencies ... helping them deliver better services, find money, use their paltry sums more efficiently, improve life for staff ... domestic violence shelters, Habitat for Humanity, child protective services, departments of planning, park & rec, health, food stamps ... the vast majority of my agency clients serve an even more remote & fragile fringe -- those with chronic alcoholism and drug abuse, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, children with behaviors so disruptive and beyond their control they can't go to school or live at home ...
It's been a wonderful professional subtext, full of highly capable people, life-changing outcomes and at the end of each day I can gratefully reflect on the woman now gloriously volunteering after 20 years frozen in her house from bone-chilling anxiety, the middle aged man working & living on his own for the first time in his life, the teenager heading for college instead of suicide. I love my work, make a decent living, and happily allowed 25 years of weird politics and economics to pass me right on by. Who cared if my friends had no clue what I did.
But suddenly, I'm kinda a hot commodity. Suddenly being able to guide 150 people through a discussion about community values is a marketable skill. It seems all those behaviors my marginalized industry has practiced for decades are now in vogue -- full transparency, rampant collaboration, open communication, sharing innovations, finding workable consensus among feuding stakeholders, thriving without capital, sparking hope from hopelessness.
Suddenly we're a country transformed from invisible to helping hands.
Which is why I haven't been exercising my writing one.