Letter From New York October 25, 2011

Or, as it seems to me…

There is a autumnal nip in the air; frost has held off but it is supposed to come this week with rumors of snow by the weekend. I’m at the cottage, enjoying a rare evening at home, floodlights lighting the creek so I can enjoy it from where I sit writing, a blaze cracking in the Franklin stove after I had stoked the coals back to life and added wood.

The leaves are turning but their color is muted; too much rain, not enough sun, something? But the vivid, vibrant hues expected of the Hudson Valley have failed to appear so far. Driving down from Albany Airport after dropping a friend there, I thought about how muted the colors were and how muted I have been the last few weeks.

It’s the first time in several weeks I’ve sat down to work on a letter. After I finished the last one, I paused. It was, after all, ten years since I had begun to write these missives, asked by Hal Eisner to describe what it was like to be in New York in those weeks and months post 9/11. Perhaps, I thought, it was time to let the Letters go – perhaps they have outlived their time and their usefulness. Some friends have encouraged me to continue writing them. Some have admonished me to do what felt “right” to me.

And that’s what I’ve been thinking about: what felt “right” to me? Don’t know yet. Do know that tonight, I wanted to sit down and work on a letter, I wanted to tap away on my laptop and see if I could organize my thoughts. And I’ve been thinking about a lot of things.

One of them is “Occupy Wall Street” which has spread into a bit of a global movement though almost everyone is casting about in the runes to figure out exactly what “Occupy (you fill in the blank)” is all about. What we do know is that it has become a political force seen by some as a counterpoint to the Tea Party. Though it doesn’t seem as quite clear-cut as that. While I haven’t studied it deeply, it seems there are some things they have in common.

But then the question to me is this: why haven’t I studied them that carefully? Partly it’s because I have been sunk deep into the new media world, prepping several speeches on new technologies and tweeting like mad on the digital world.

But tweeting and the letters serve different purposes and satisfy different things in my soul. The letter gives me a chance to sort the world out a bit while the tweets are a sequential sharing of things I note about the digital world I think should be shared with those who are interested. Both are subjective but one is more emotionally satisfying – and the one that is more emotionally satisfying is the letter I once wrote on a weekly basis but have been a bit of slacker about lately while I have been figuring out its place in my life.

And while I have been figuring out the role “tweeting” is playing in my life. It’s been surprising to me that every week five or more strangers seem to begin following my tweets because they are interested in what I am passing on about the digital world – which has been fascinating to me ever since I had the epiphany that the world was moving digitally into this to be defined universe that will, in the end, change everything.

So, in the end, I guess I will keep on tweeting and writing my “Letter From New York” because they both feed some part of my soul and, hopefully, resonate with some part of your soul also.

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