For the past year and change, I kept bridging what seemed a naturally occurring gap and as such a sign of growth and life but turned out to be instead a pressure-induced crack, the first or more pronounced one of myriad to come and simply a sign of decay and death. While I am indeed willing to spend quite a lot of effort (as this past year shows, as much of my history otherwise records) to help new growth blossom and new life flourish, the flip side to this is that I can't summon any interest *at all* in merely mending cracks and thus preserving or artificially keeping in a semblance of life what is on its own almost or already or only-not-quite dead.
What started last year in July mainly as an accessible entry point to TMSR, grew very rapidly although at times in rather unexpected directions. Several newcomers joined indeed in the very first months and despite their needs being at times greater than I had initially expected, I happily extended my hours, my resources and my effort as required to support them since they were working for their part as well. A short few months later however, the increased demand came not as much from new people as from those who had been around for years. Although surprised at this unexpected direction, I still did not turn them down but added yet another part to the project to try support as well the rebuilding and revitalising of old endeavours basically rather than just the starting of new ones.
Then people were caught unawares and some quite distraught in the aftermath of TMSR's closure so I remained available and I didn't just move on as swiftly as I could have done, as it would have been easiest and most convenient for me to do, too. I remained, reviewed and restructured instead. As I said then in #ossasepia, I planned to remain available for as long as there was use to it, but not longer, since from my point of view I had committed already to help those I had accepted and therefore I wasn't going to shut anything down from under them. Yes, I hadn't said it until now in quite those words because they weren't required and I for one don't need otherwise to affirm some commitment of mine for it to still carry more water and be more reliable in practice than a whole lot of verbal "commitments" and pledges from many others. If you think that pledge was there because *I* needed it in any way, think again and then look perhaps at what everyone involved actually did each and every day over this past year.
Right after TMSR's end, there were various pushes and prods from old and new people alike and for the record, I'd rather state this part plainly too: while I was at the time quite open to anything moving indeed forwards and aiming for a new start (in other words: alive), I was at the same time indeed entirely opposed to any attempt at transforming the whole thing into either a preservation effort (dead but we keep it moving!) or a sort of cheapened, "more affordable" tmsr (sure, nobody called their intentions *that*, since finding the apt words is anyway a difficult matter and on top of it, plainly stating facts is unheard of and utterly scary - this direction was called instead a "continuation"). Given this position of mine and since preservation or cheapened replacement were indeed the only directions in great demand otherwise, things came to various heads and different more or less noisy dramas but when all those passed as well, there was mostly silence left and otherwise... going back I suppose, what forwards.
Perhaps one way to look at it now would be to simply say that it finally came to be indeed that there is no more use to it that I can see. After all, the Young Hands Club blog is unused since June and the irc chan has some use - if I use it, pretty much. This in itself wouldn't be enough reason for me1 to close it down and move on, since learning and sustainable self-improvement are just as needed today as they were last year, while the places that help and support that are just as scarce (or even scarcer) now than they were last year. It is however not at all the same time now as it was last year and I am more now than I was then, for the full experience of it. There's a lot gained from the experience with the project itself over this relatively brief but intense past year, as well as from all the further explorations (some published, most unpublished) that I did as part of it. As a result, I am quite satisfied that this project in its current shape has helped as much as it could but has reached now its end, clearly enough. I'll state it plainly too that I don't bear anyone involved any ill will at all. Each came when they needed help, got what they could out of it, learned as much or as little as they could figure out and then moved on (or even moved back) as their own revised interests pushed them to, whether acknowledged plainly as such or not. I wish them all good luck and all the best in what they are doing now.
If and when I get involved to this degree again with helping others learn, it will take indeed a different shape and most likely it will be on a different scale as well2 because part of the reason this ends here is precisely the fact that the uncovered problem is of such nature as to require a mass solution if there is indeed any solution to it. The one to one, highly personalized interaction may be in many ways great but it's not going to ever do enough by itself as things currently stand and so I'm simply ending the Young Hands project now, so that it doesn't drag on beyond its usefulness and doesn't keep anything or anyone tied up to it in any way, for no good reason. This being said, the significant advantage of direct relationships built to any degree for real is that they can endure and grow beyond and outside of any project-frame as such - if and only if both parties put in the effort required for that to happen, of course.
In practical terms, I'll get around some time to update the shared blog's About page and turn off any logins but I'll keep it all still online and accessible at younghands.club at least for a while so that if anyone wants to mirror it, they can. I'll leave my irc client on and I'll still be around at times in #ossasepia and in #eulora but not all that often and certainly not so reliably at the same hour every day any more3. I will probably turn off/devoice all the bots in #osassepia for the time being too, as there is little point indeed in logging just blog feeds or the like.
If you want to talk to me, a simple comment here on the blog will do - after all, I've been here for more than 10 years already and unless I unexpectedly die one day soon, I'll still be here for years to come, while countless others come and go, as others before them came and went having as they did all the consistency, substance and self-direction of dust blown about by the wind.
It's called staying power, dedication, commitment, at times even stubbornness. All sorts of words that once had a well-known meaning through common practice. ↩
For what it's worth and if it's any consolation to anyone, I rather think this will actually happen, although in a few years from now rather than next month or anything of this sort. Some things take time and some things moreover *have* a time of their own, too. ↩
For direct communication over the network, I still consider irc the best currently available solution and so I rather expect I'll come back to it at a later time but only if and when other projects require it indeed. ↩
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