Monday, August 10, 2009


Closing day of Worldcon - a lament

Perhaps for the exhausted people who make the magic happen it is a relief to find that the blur of days is over and the con has ended. Their jobs well done they may finally get some well deserved sleep, food, peace and or quiet. I, on the other hand, always find it sad. My suspicion is that this feeling is not unique. The depressive reason might be given as the frontloading of personal expectations that have now no tomorrow in which to be realized, but whose fault is that but one’s own? There are always things left undone due to time, fate, cruel coincidence or faulty logistics. Such is the nature of life and is worthy of being honored with frustration but not mourning. The broader and more meaningful reason is that the end of a con signals the return to the real world; a stepping out of these stolen hours and days back into real time. The mundane terrors and stressors that haunt daily existence still wait to be released from oubliettes in the recesses of our brains where they have been sequestered, compartmentalized and nearly silenced while a popular madness of consensual reprioritization has elevated things beloved, but quite often neglected, to the highest level of urgency, gravity and import. For a few days we are surrounded by those who share our passions or at least understand the significance of those passions through the prisms of their own. We can be not simply as we will but as we would. This is a landscape and a society of our own making and while like all societies it includes dissenters and factions even they jostle on a field belonging to us all. We have gathered from all corners to share and sell and meet and court and preen and parade, drink and be merry. We gather to recognize our own; lauding those whose achievements we deem greatest; mourning those whom we have lost. We are in these moments “the people of the place”. It is always a celebration when the tribe gathers and always a sorrow when it disperses.

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