women of a certain age are like sunflowers; they know how to turn their faces to the sun.

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Quorum

quorum is the minimum number of members of a deliberative body necessary to conduct the business of that group. Ordinarily, this is a majority of the people expected to be there, although many bodies may have a lower or higher quorum."
-from Wikipedia

I have a confession. I have used Ravelry as a marketing tool.

Oh, the shame...

In my previous life, I was the Executive Director of an Indianapolis Arts group. (revelation by typo: Indianapolis Arts Grope. Now that is a wholly different type of organization!)

Anyway, one of the things I learned from working in the non-profit sector is:

You can't promote anything, be it a cause, a product, or an ensemble, unless they first know who you are.

So I went shopping for friends. (I really don't like that imagery; lets see if I can do better.)

I spent my weekend going out on a lot of blind dates.

Now some of you may consider that self-serving and off-putting, but a funny thing happened on the way.

I began reading the profiles, noting the ravatars, clicking on the website connections, sending private messages, adding to my friends list.

I started out eating spam (sorry, but let's call an ugly hoptoad by its true name) and I would up with something far more nourishing than I could ever have imagined. And somewhere along the line, it ceased being about me at all and became all about ...


I am in love with all of you. (Does this mean I have to move to Utah?)

I wondered before I began surfing the site for members of the same groups I was in, if this was kosher. Or if it was a heinous misuse of modern technology. I worried that, by inviting total strangers to join the KAL, I was selling my soul to the retail devil. I felt dirty, somehow, like I was using people. I fretted over the immodesty and worried that people would feel obligated.

But the most wonderful blossoming has happened instead. People were happy to be invited. They wanted to join.

I have said "thank you" and "bless you" in Swedish, French, German, and Japanese. I have found fellow opera singers, and fellow designers, and fellow writers, and fellow lace lovers. I have seen so many funny and wonderful ravatars that I want to know the story behind each one. I have read your profiles. I have viewed your FOs.

And I want to get to know all of you. ALL - OF - YOU... (my Christmas card list is going to be a b***h next year)

We are a deliberative body. We hash out the issues of the day (if you don't believe me, check out the Big Issues Debate group.) At any given time, we can be expected to be on line and on fire with enthusiasm, or the compunction to help someone.

Our business is the furthering of our craft, the feathering of our nests and those of the people we love with beautiful soft warm things, the support of those who most need us, and the everyday weaving together of the web that connects us all. To steal a line from the ghost of Christmas Present, "Mankind is our business."

The knitting community is such a powerful force for connection. In these days of increasing isolation brought about by advancing technology, we have found a way to put our hearts where our heads are. In an age when many relationships are falling apart, we have come together in love:

  • of our craft
  • of our world
  • of each other
And that isn't funny at all. It is inspiring.


margene said...

Welcome to the 'club'. You're finding out what many of us have known for a long, long time. There is no other on-line community like the knit blog community. Ravelry is a great addition!

Ronni said...

:mock pouts: You didn't "friend" me! ;-)

I'm finding the Ravelry/blog connection thing to be very interesting. It's particularly interesting when people you find via a chain of blogs/Ravelry connections turn out to be people your real life friend knows or something.

Anonymous said...

Your words are just as beautiful as your designs. :-)

Anonymous said...

Hey I'm not in Utah, I'm in Australia...ya gonna move here??? *giggle* Can't wait to get started on the KAL

Frieda said...

Your writing is very inspiring. I can't wait to start this gorgeous shawl. I'm kind of glad it will take a week or so to get the yarn so I can get over my back pain. Thank you for the beautiful shawl and your lovely words.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I'm just being a sentimental old sod, but your post brought tears to my eyes. Thank YOU for sharing your talent and enthusiasm and your sense of beauty with us! It's always an act of faith to take up the gauntlet for anything creative and go beyond oneself with it. The gift goes both ways and we all get to share in that moment of inspiration with you. Thank you!