The Ark

Whatever floats your boat...

"Community, Sensitivity and the Leaving Concept"

When I read your excellent blog it brought back so many memories and thoughts of my time on social networking sites these past two years. It has been an amazing journey.
These days it is difficult for me to communicate my thoughts through speech or the
written word, so please bear with me.

Most of my time was spent on LV, this is how I envision it, looking back.

"When I opened my door in the morning and looked around there was a vast expanse of
land, green and quiet except for the birds singing and the rustling of leaves.
Down the road apiece I would stop in here and there and visit for tea.
At each house a friend would tell me a joke, a story, share their fears and sorrows,
even sing me a song in their bathroom while playing the guitar.
They'd show me their cats and dogs and share their love of animals.
There was even an English lass who served us tea and shortbread cookies
which never failed to delight me.

Sometimes a few of them would get together and perform a mystery, comedy or
group song. One never knew what they would come up with next, why, one day
there could be the 'twinkie' moment and the next a dancer wearing sexy black boots
or a little girl climbing out of a Big trunk!

Many folks came to visit at my house, I mostly had cat stories to tell but they seemed to enjoy them.

Now and then there would be a for sale sign on a front lawn.
We'd visit and say goodbye, wishing they'd change their minds.
Sometimes they'd move then be back after a couple of weeks, stay for awhile
then put the sign up again. After awhile I stopped attending the going away parties,
it was just too confusing. I didn't worry about them, it seemed they always had lots of company.

At times while walking I could hear a ruckus, arguments would break out, a few days later all was peaceful again.

One morning I ventured out to visit one of my favorite places but no one was home.
I didn't worry, I knew they'd be back, they'd lived near me for a very long time.
Soon I noticed that the mail was starting to overflow, newspapers were piling up
and the garden needed tending.
Being concerned I sought out their neighbors and asked if anyone had heard from them.
It seemed no one knew where they had gone or if they were alright.
None of us had the key.

We sent out search parties, trying desperately to find them.
I even created a new place at the crossroads, hoping they would see it if they
happened to pass by, with a big sign saying how much we missed them.

In the winter they came back.
They had new stories to share with us.
They probably wondered what all the fuss was about.
I didn't ask where they had gone or why, I was just so relieved to see them again.
In my heart however there was this tiny fear that stayed with me,
what if they left again? I had missed them, so very much.

One day the lights dimmed so much in my house that I could hardly see.
Outside it was as though a slow moving eclipse had taken place.
The darkness was so complete that I could hardly bring myself to step outside.
People still came to visit but it was difficult to answer the door.

The words to express what was happening seemed to elude me.
Somehow I managed to get a message out to a few people, I didn't want
anyone to go through the experience I had when the mail and newspapers
started piling up and the garden was left untended.
I thought I would fade into the darkness and never return.

When I moved, to a tiny place with few neighbors, it felt safer.
A few people found me and still came to the door. Even when I wouldn't answer it they
snuck in the back not seeming to mind the absence of light. They brought
candles, told stories and told me they heard me, even when I could not tell if I
was making sense.

They were stubborn as hell and would not leave.
In fact they told me to quietly come back and visit some of the
old places, there were so many stories I had missed.
I found myself telling little stories again.

One of them was called "Deja Vu" and was dedicated to the friend who left
came back and left again. It was difficult to write but I had to, it is so
hard to explain why, perhaps only the heart knows.

It is still dark here but every now and then I'm moved to
open the door and peek outside thinking one day I may hear that song
"Here Comes The Sun", again."

Thank you Sara.

Views: 26

Comment by Surfcottage on September 15, 2009 at 10:53am
Susan , how beautifully you have described the feelings of many of us , i think... mine for sure!!! LV was/is like a home of sorts to me, and when people i had grown fond of just "left".. it WAS a personal loss,and it HURT.If that makes me overly sentimental.. .well so be it.
I dont feel that one needs to EXPLAIN one's departure in detail... but a quick " goodbye, I need to go now".. sure does a lot to help with that loss......Exquisitely written!! xoxoxoxoxooo
Comment by SydTheSkeptic on September 15, 2009 at 1:37pm
Definitely captured what was there for a time, Susan.

Ya know, it wasn't ever perfect- even while we were laughing it up or deep in collaboration there was always bullshit happening around us that we had to keep stepping around in order to continue to have fun, but there was a good year and a half that was, for me anyway, a magic time. It felt like something very wonderful at the time, but now- in retrospect, it's become something of a dream.

Many of the same folks are here, so it's not like that spirit is not still with us, but there was an excitement around the novelty of it- to connect with people from different corners of the world...and to pull off some of the collaborations we did...or to just feel a part of something where it was an online "bar" of sorts...that was pretty special.

Here at the Ark- it's great, but it's just a different speed and a different interior- more like a casual lounge than a raucous bar. lol
Comment by SydTheSkeptic on September 15, 2009 at 1:38pm
Thanks, Susan, for sharing your experience- it's a great reflective piece, one that others can easily connect to.
Comment by JustAnotherUserName on September 15, 2009 at 8:16pm
That was absolutely lovely, and really captures how many of us feel about LV, as did Sara's blog. It was a special kind of camaraderie at LV that existed because of the kind of site it was, i.e., it really drew a diverse crowd in which we all somehow found common ground. The Ark, while certainly serving its purpose, simply doesn't appeal to everyone across the board like LV did.

I miss it too.
Comment by Cluelesswonder on September 15, 2009 at 8:33pm
Very Nice!
I was sad for a long time when I decided to close my account there. I just could not support it anymore. When I first got there I WAS NOT going to make videos and the more videos I watched the more I had to make one. My channel alone was nothing really but, I do miss the "Redneckdramacircle" and all of it's players.
I had a blast making videos as BubbaRay...and having my family involved and Wendy and Ernie and a few others. It was a great channel and it was part of LV.
I have tried to put Redneckdramacircle on other sites and we even have our own Ning site...but, it isn't like it was on LV. All of the new videos are posted on "ontheairtv" and "Youtube"...Those places are NOTHING like the community like LV use to have.
Now all of us are spread apart going into our own cliques(like here, moarvideo and I am sure a few others). We had them over at LV too but, we can still see each others stuff without looking for peoples videos on 20 different sites.
Awesome Blog!!
Comment by Jim on September 17, 2009 at 5:39am
The departure (without explanation) that caused the most anguish for me was when monizzle2 left, and later when mopthefloor left. I'm back in touch with Mo on another site now, but she really knew how to leave a void in her wake.
Comment by NatureJunkie on September 17, 2009 at 3:23pm
That's a pretty apt metaphor for what I feel about these social-networking neighborhoods and the disappearance of members. The times have certainly changed, but I still find these sites (the Ark in particular) to be worthwhile.

I'm glad you're here, Susan.


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