May 5, 2011 (Columbia Patch)
It's May! Time for all the good folks to gather at the Village Green--if only we knew where that was...
Welcome to The Village Green. According to Wikipedia, a village green “… is traditionally at a central location and provides an open-air meeting place for the people of a village, for example at times of celebration, or for public ceremonies.”
I am envisioning this space, where I will be sharing my ideas, as a village green of sorts—a place where we have the “customary right to indulge in lawful sports and pastimes.”
Almost daily I read news of Columbia’s villages: calling for participation, creating new visions, or struggling to reach consensus amidst polarizing differences. Just as often I cannot make up my mind whether to be encouraged or frustrated by it all. So, this will be a place to sort it out with input from you, my fellow villagers.
In a related entry, town squares are described: “Most town squares are hardscapes suitable for open markets, music concerts, political rallies, and other events that require firm ground. Being centrally located, town squares are usually surrounded by small shops such as bakeries, meat markets, cheese stores, and clothing stores. At their center is often a fountain, well, monument, or statue.”
This sounds appealing to me. I’m wondering if we, as villagers, separated by neighborhood loyalties and generational differences, can come together to make a Town Square for Columbia that is as lively and relevant as a New American City deserves to be.
May 5, 2021
I have been exercising my “customary right to indulge in local sports and pastimes” for ten years now.
Guess what? We’re still reading calls for participation, the creation of new visions, and the struggles to reach consensus amidst polarizing divisions. After ten years I still cannot make up my mind whether to be encouraged or frustrated by it all. If this blog was meant to be a place to sort it all out - - with input from fellow villagers - - then we certainly have done plenty of sorting. Have we arrived at a bigger or clearer picture as a result?
Along the way quite a few community voices have disappeared from the blogosphere. I miss the semi-interwoven net of “colleagues”, if you will: Anneathema, Columbia Compass, Dinosaur Mom Chronicles, Do I Amuse You?, Examorata, HoCoRising, HowChow, Jessie X, Kiki(verde), Kirstycat's Meow! (and sometimes Growl!), Life’s Little Comedies, LisaB Mrs. S., Rocket Powered Butterfly, Sarah Says, Tales of Two Cities...
Some of us met in real life at Blogtail parties hosted by HoCoBlogs. Eventually the parties got too big and the network of bloggers too small. HoCoBlogs is no more; its familiar aggregator page has disappeared from the tinterwebs. While new blogs have sprung into existence over the intervening years, other ways of communicating have become popular, too: podcasts, videocasts, live video streams and Instagram. (Don’t get me started on TikTok.)
Blogs aren’t the big fish that they were back in the day. Where does that leave me? I’ll probably keep writing as long as there are good stories and people to share them with.
I’ll close today with a few things that folks have said about me over the years that meant more than any official recognition.
*Inviting HoCo friends to like and subscribe to a great local blog's FB page,Village Green/Town², written by Julia Jackson McCready with great humanity.
*Damn you and your kindness, openness and desire to help everyone and see the best in people. How dare you exist and show folks that it's possible to be smart and not consumed with blatant self-interest.
*For many years, she has dedicated herself to writing every single day, sometimes heartwarming stories, sometimes highlighting the work and talents of others, sometimes pushing dangerously into local politics and school board issues, sometimes just sharing a funny memory or touching quote, but always making us think consciously about our place in a vibrant and progressive community.
Thanks for ten years, friends. See you tomorrow.