Saturday, July 4, 2009

Face to Face...Soul to Soul...

Posted by: Minnette Meador
Currently Working On: Keenan's Dilemma
Mood: Philosophical

This last weekend, many of us attended the First Annual Northwest Book Festival, an event put on my Dr. Veronica Esagui and her crew to support local authors, including small press, large press, and self/independently published authors. They worked selflessly and I'm certain put more than a few bucks into the event. The day was beautiful, there were over 40 authors there, and advertisements had gone out to simply everyone! Yet, attendance that day was very poor, despite Veronica's best efforts to get people to the event. Some of us still did ok that day and we had a blast just visiting with the other authors, sharing stories, and just hanging out with each other. It was a great opportunity to meet and greet, if nothing else.

Around 3pm, a man came up to our table (I was thrilled to be sitting with the incomparable Lisa Hendrix and Delilah Marvelle) and said he had just come from an event in West Linn; a cancer run. They had ordered 2000 hamburgers, water, all the accouterments needed for the the run.

Six people showed up...six...

This got me to thinking; why don't we attend outside events anymore? I'm just as guilty as the next person; my life is too busy, I have too many other things going on, it's all I can do to keep up with the schedule I have, etc., etc., etc. When was the last time I mixed with humanity, face to face, soul to soul in something other than my own signings or commitments? It's a sad state of affairs when I have more virtual friends than I have real ones. Egad!

We may be spreading out internationally via the Internet, but we're shrinking away from our local worlds. I remember a day when a weekly concert in the park or an event at the downtown library was something people really looked forward to. Attendance at those events were staggering. I used to attend at least one event a week somewhere in Portland, sometimes even two or three. A reading, a play, an art opening, a concert in the park. But not anymore...

What about you? When was the last time you went to an event and met strangers? How often do you attend community activities? Do you feel like you have more virtual friends than real ones these day?

I for one am making an Independence Day resolution; I am going to try much harder to become more involved with my community by attending local events, rubbing elbows with complete strangers, and working more diligently to support the local arts by attending readings, art shows, community literary events, and causes I support. Don't know how well I'll do, but at least I'm going to try. If you'd like to join me, then let's break out the paper and see what's cooking...you never know; maybe if we go, so will others...and they'll invite their friends, and their friends will invite their friends...

So what's on your events calendar this week?

4 comments:

Delle Jacobs said...

Wow, only six? I would have come even if I were a non-writer, if I could have. I'm so sorry I had to miss it.

It it the internet, do you think? Are we learning to relate cyber-ly? When I can interact with a thousand or so people a day and not even leave my chair, maybe it's just plain become too easy.

I'll be going to the Antique Show and the Hillsboro Bead Show after the RCRW meeting next Saturday. I never miss those- too much fun.

Minnette Meador said...

We had more than six at the festival...the six was for a cancer run.

Bead show? Did you say bead show?

ooooo.....;)

Delle Jacobs said...

Oooh, that's bad for the cancer run.

Bead Show! I'm taking my step-daughter who does wonderful wire wrap work.

You want a get in free coupon? I think I have an extra. I'll go look.

Genene Valleau said...

Interesting question you pose, Minnette!

When my kids were in school, it seemed like we were always going somewhere. But you're right. For a long time, I have piled my plate so full of my own commitments that there's no room in my schedule for those fun community events.

I am actively cleaning up unfinished projects because I want to live more simply and not have every day be crammed full of busy, busy, busy. And maybe have time for those community events.