My biggest take-away from BlogHer this year is that I need to learn how to take pictures in low light. Either that or invent a freeze-ray that keeps everyone completely still for three seconds while I take a shot. Here are my seven good pictures. Okay, 36, but argh! So many didn't make the cut that would have been so cute if I just got my manual out and read it once in awhile. Damn blur.
But, hey! It's also a metaphor. The weekend went by so quickly and with such whirlwind force that the blurry shots actually do a better job capturing the moment. I had an incredible amount of fun this year. Not a surprise, given that so many of my Internet friends were all packed into one midtown block. There were lows too, as usual, but not too bad and mostly generated by my over-taxed imagination. One of these days I'll learn to pace myself at these kind of things. And figure out shutter speed and ISO numbers. And fly like a birdie and breathe underwater.
I went to some great sessions, I went to some ridiculously fun parties. I saw almost everyone I wanted to see (with some very sad exceptions) and got to make some new friends too. Unfortunately not that many new ones as it turned out. The conference was so big this year that I tended to flock with the people that I already knew and not mingle as much as usual. Which is a bummer because meeting new people is always the biggest highlight for me. But thankfully I did have a bunch of strangers line up so that I could type out poems for them. That helped.
This was the "performance art" I alluded to in the last post. At the Kirtsy BlogHer Voices of the Year Gala they had a bunch of different people doing interactive things with the party-goers. I sat at a typewriter and wrote a poem for anyone who wanted one. When they originally asked me to do it I thought "Hey, that'll be fun!" but it turned out to be way more than that. I didn't expect people to open up to me the way they did. They would tell me, sometimes in great detail, what they wanted their poem to be about (new love, addiction, divorce, career change, reality television) and then stand there and wait for me to tap it out. I was surprised by the responsibility I felt to honor their requests with something that didn't completely suck. I can't say they were all good but I was lucky that the muse was in the room. Because of that many people walked away genuinely pleased and happy with their poems. It was a total pleasure to be in that role, a public poet, out of my comfy garret and commanded to compose. I always love when I can have a random connection with a stranger and I got to have several that night. It also felt like yet another message from the universe to give up my crippling perfectionism already and just write.
(Me doing the 2-finger shuffle. Thank you to Heather for this picture.)
Sly little universe. Obviously still not taking that message to heart because here it is two weeks later and I still haven't written my BlogHer wrap-up. Honestly don't know what's going on. I have completely lost my blogging mojo this year. It's hard to figure out why because I do want to post all the time but when I find myself in front of a blinking cursor I can never seem to get the words out anymore. Maybe I do need to take up typing on a page again. Or pencil and paper. Wait, quill to parchment, yes. Maybe writing with a pen that I'd have to dip every other sentence would finally keep me off the freaking Twitter for five minutes.
I am sad that it will be a long time before I see you, my Internet friends, in four dimensions again. (Especially JenB who was my roomie this year and is just filled with goodness and light. When they hand out the brownie points in heaven for kindness she is going to need a wheelbarrow.) As much as I enjoy scanning all your words in my reader or hearing your voices in my head on Twitter nothing beats being face-to-face talking and laughing. Next year, God-willing, I'll be able to take a picture that shows us all standing still.