The Story Hall
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The Story Hall

Running In Outer Space — But Not Alone!

Image by Royce Bair

I was contacted via e-mail on Friday by a journalist with the Columbia Journalist School, who wanted to talk with me about Cowbird. Jonathan Harris had referred her to me, as a “power user”, to talk about the platform.

What’s there to say about it? That I miss it? That it was great while it lasted? That it’s a shame its creator didn’t care about it as much as its users did? I have no idea what she might want to know about it.

She said in her email that she wanted to talk with me sometime over the next week, so I replied with my available hours Saturday and Sunday, but I haven’t heard back from her. She must not work on the weekends. I guess we’ll be talking tomorrow night, as the only other time I gave her was Monday evening.

Nightbarn Image, creative commons

I do miss it, but really, that ship has sailed. Time, and life, are marching on, and I’m doing everything I can to get in step with the march. I’m not inclined to spend too much of my time looking back, other than to say, yes, it was cool while it lasted. The fact that it only lasted five years made it kind of a lie, in my opinion. It painted itself to be something other than that. But, its creator lost interest, and wouldn’t let go of his creation to allow others to take over its stewardship. So, now, for all intents and purposes, it’s dead.

Long live the Story Hall! Here, some of us have gathered to share our stories by the warmth of a new fire. We’re still figuring out where the kindling is, and where the other stragglers in the woods have gotten to, but we’re sharing our stories, and taking turns throwing logs on that fire.

I am most grateful to Jean Claude, and Susan Holland, and to all who have made their ways here and are contributing to the storytelling, and listening to mine, and carrying on the tradition we all learned to love at Cowbird.

Sure, it’s not quite the same, but it is cool in its own right (write?) I’ve been mainly focused on what’s going on here on Medium, and Story Hall. I couldn’t quite keep up with what was happening at MeWe, and it acts funky on my computer, takes a long time to load up, and I never know what thread to follow, or what’s what there — just a little too confusing for my simpleton tech savviness, or lack thereof.

Yes, I still have to think a little bit about what used to just come instinctively. Sometimes that messes with my flow of thought, my story to tell. But, maybe that’s not such a bad thing. I think it might be good to sometimes have to stop and think about what we’re doing. When we fly along on instinct alone, we can sometimes lose our way.

Right now, I’m feeling a little lost. It’s okay — I’ve been lost before. Sometimes, you have to lose yourself, before you can find yourself. I have an overall trust in the spirit of the universe that has not let me down yet, since I have come to know of its existence, and to know that if I align myself with it, it always sets me free.

Right now, I’m not feeling free. I’m feeling bound by some of my own confusion. I’m feeling like a rock poet once penned the way it felt to be 18.

“Life’s formed on my face and hands

Life’s formed on the ups and downs

I’m in the middle without any plans

I’m a boy and I’m a man

“I’ve got a baby’s brain and an old man’s heart

Took 18 (62) years to get this far

Don’t always know what I’m talking about

Feels like I’m living in the middle of doubt

I’m 18 (62) I get confused every day

18 (62) I just don’t know what to say

18 (62) I gotta get away

I gotta get out of this place

I’ll go a-runnin’ in outer space, oh yeah”

Dawn Shot — by Pete Bridgeman, taken on a beach, somewhere

So, what is freedom? What does it mean to be free? For me, it means that I can tune in to my spirit, and follow where it leads. Not where anyone else tells me I should go — where my spirit says I should go.

Lately, I feel like I have too many others telling me what I should be doing and thinking. Who are they? Where did they come from?

They’ve always been there. I just wasn’t subject to their attempts to influence my thoughts. I was fully developing my own, tuning into my own spirit, and following it. Cowbird was my partner in crime with that. I would pull on a thread of thought, and just follow it to its conclusion, writing as I did, and I tracked my journey through stories on Cowbird.

I’m a multi-faceted individual, involved in many different journeys, so each story came to fit into a collection of stories that tracked the various journeys I was on. Whenever I lost my way, I could retrace my steps by referring back to the various collections of stories I’d left, as breadcrumbs, to find where I’d left off and pick a thread back up from where I last left it.

I still haven’t figured out quite how to do that, here. I thought that the series feature might serve that role, but that’s something that can only be read on the Medium App, on the IPhone, and that doesn’t always function properly on my IPhone.

Besides, that makes it too exclusive — I want to write stuff that anyone can access, by whatever means they’re accessing what I post. I have no idea why Medium has relegated that feature to Apps, only. Who comes up with these cockamamie ideas, anyway?

Image by Pete Bridgeman, taken in D.C.’s Sculpture Garden

But, don’t get me wrong — I do appreciate that we have Story Hall here, to meet and share our tales. It’s a start, and it beats sitting around pining for something that no longer is what it was, and never will be again. I’m enjoying it here.

I’ve just temporarily lost my way. But, all is well. I’ll find my way home. Some how, some way, there’s a way. I’m just glad as hell I don’t have to do it alone.

Outer space can get pretty scary, all on your own.

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