By Daniel Rigney (reposted from 1/5/2012)
Since I joined Open Salon nearly a year ago, I’ve been looking for a metaphor to describe what kind of strange and interesting community this is. I’ve found that one way to think of OS is to describe it as an electronic writer’s colony.
There are, no doubt, countless other possible ways to think about OS that are more political or commercial or urban or global or futuristic or what have you. Mine is just one possible way to imagine the community of amateur word-and-image artists that we seem to be.
If we were physically co-present, I would picture us on a forested lakeside, coming and going and staying awhile in hundreds of cottages within easy walking distance of each other surrounding the lake, with numerous gathering places for those who want to chat face to face. Some would choose to stay in their cottages most of the time, while others would be out there engaging each other in lively talk, often restrained and civil.
You may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one.
The colony would be culturally and politically progressive, but with ample room to accommodate those who march to the beat of a different drum. Thoreau would be comfortable here. So would Emily Dickinson, though she would rarely come out and mingle. Mark Twain would drop by from time to time just for fun. Writers from around the world would be drawn to this spot for its cosmopolitan and easygoing vibe.
In summer especially, the place would be humming. It would be like a kid’s summer camp for creative adults from diverse cultural backgrounds. All of this would be paid for by some eccentric billionaire.
In truth, we can create this world (or some other imaginary world of our choosing) in our minds any time we want, and every time we sit down to write at Open Salon.
Other Salonsters may wish to offer entirely different metaphors to describe this strange and interesting community, including images that are considerably more reality-based than mine. I’d love to hear about them, maybe in an open call.
Meanwhile, write on!