Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Just A Folk Blogger

I have to get ready. 

I have to write one more piece before I go.

I need to memorize my "spotlight" thing so I don't freak out.

I need to learn how to fly in an airplane again after twenty years.

I need to figure out what to wear.

I need to do it all right now.

I need to not freak out.

I should do the laundry and go to the store and make chicken salad and clean the bathroom and shovel the driveway and give extra hugs to the boys and and make the  meatloaf and I was going to by a new sport-coat and get my hair cut and...

It is a snow day. 

The boys are here. 

I won't get most of these things done.

I should be better prepared.

I say I don't like to write about blogging, however, it is sometimes necessary when it is the medium I use.  I am going to a blogging convention of all things, the Dad 2.0 Summit, to be precise.  "The Dad 2.0 Summit is an open conversation about the commercial power of dads online, and an opportunity to learn the tools and tactics used by influential bloggers to create high-quality content, build personal brands, and develop business ideas ."  That's what it says on the site... embarrassingly, I'm not sure I really know what that means.

The more I think about it the more intimidated and scared I get.  I am not sure I should be going.  Ya'll know me, I am, frankly, out of my league.  I know it, and I suspect a lot of other folks do to.  I feel like a guy bringing an old homemade cigar box guitar to a Martin festival.  It's a sweet and strong little thing, the box guitar, but it cannot compare to the elegance and sophistication of the mother-of-pearl inlays and golden tuners and torrified spruce of the high-end models.  I am almost afraid to take it out of its little cardboard case, afraid to show to it the other guys... ashamed of it perhaps.

But... but...  I put a lot of time into making it.  I know every curve of it, every mistake, every messy glue spot, every flaw.  I know at what angle it is prettiest, where the shine is most lustrous, where the line is straightest.  I know how to make it sing, I know where the sweet spots are, it is comfortable and capable in my hands.  I know I love it, I built it as a labor of love, I built it for others.  I built it with hope in my heart and my heart on my sleeve.  I know I should be proud of it, that I have every right to be.

So, I'll pack it carefully.  I'll take it out tenderly and I'll show it proudly.

I had every intention of extending this metaphor a bit more.  I'll say this - the kind men who have extended me welcome, kindness, encouragement and love over the past few years will be happy to see my little hand-crafted instrument.  In their minds it is a Martin.  They see beyond the imperfections and see the very soul of it.

I want to look every last one of them in the eyes and thank them for that.  I want to thank them for showing me theirs.  I want to shake their hands, hug them, praise them for the beauty they've shown me, the beauty of self.

You see, it's not just the instrument, it is the song it sings.

You know what?  I'm not gonna get much done today, I'll put it off until tomorrow.  It is a snow day you might remember, and, although it is fifteen degrees, the boys deserve a sled ride, some hot chocolate and a cozy fire.

This is how it forever feels to be a boy when it snows (or when you're going to your first convention):

I am not done, I just saved this for last, perhaps hoping you wouldn't get this far.  I mentioned in a previous post that I love folk art, I love folk stories, I love - and play daily - folk music.  Last night as the snow fell and the wind blew and the fire sank into embers, I thought to myself, I am a "folk blogger."

I'm cool with that.

Thanks for coming around on such a frigid day, I appreciate it.  I will be at the Summit in San Francisco from Thursday until Sunday.  On Friday I have graciously been invited to read a past post, The Green Ball of Courage, as part of the "Blogger Spotlight" series in which a bunch of great bloggers read, well, past posts - they asked me too.  I have confidence in the song... and the instrument.  Think of me, if you get a chance, this old raggedy cigar box is coming a little unglued.


  1. Go! Have fun, share, engage and be open to the possibilities & experiences. We'll be here when you get back.

  2. What Kevin said plus, I have great confidence that you will do all that and much more. That is who you are. Don't even think of hiding your talents. Go with confidence. I know you.

  3. Best of luck, Bill! I'm sure you'll do a great job!

  4. Give em hell Bill! Can't wait to hear your stories as well as every one else's!

  5. Enjoy your trip.... at the rate this winter's going, there will definitely be another snow day when you get back.

  6. Glad I met you and got to hear your reading, Bill !