Started as seeds, didn’t we? All of us spread out across this beautiful planet, tiny seeds waiting for the right breeze to pick us up, ready to ride like pollen on the right wings of the right bee, waiting for the soil to call home. Waited for the rain, too, all of us scattered out, the storm to pick up and water us, the water that would lend strength to our roots, then waited for the light. Sunshine came, didn’t it? Heat, and warmth, and a little fire from some glowing ball in the sky. We are the seeds we began as, and somehow, this place, this community, this garden of so many different flowers, became the water and the sun, the heat, the moisture, the soil. Somehow, this Signal Fire became the greenhouse that made room for so much growth, and I have felt the straining at our stems, all of our stems, and I am happy for it.
We are many, all of us seeds that came to this place not knowing what we’d turn into, but now we are one thing, too. We started scattered, this is true, but over time and words, over tragedies and humor, over pandemics and mass shootings, marriages, divorces, music, wishes, and words, we blossomed into a garden we never knew we were planting. We turned into a forest, dark, but welcoming. I couldn’t be more proud to know you all, I couldn’t be more proud to be part of what waters this garden, I couldn’t be prouder to grow alongside you, a single seed in a garden wide and absolutely stunning.
This is who we are, all of us that follow this Signal Fire, and I love what this has grown into. We are mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, we are men, women, non-binary; we are gay, straight, trans, and every other possible combination of words that come together to mean that we love, and we love who we love, and we are proud of the love we carry. We are quiet, and we are loud, we are those that share so much, and those that are so timid that sharing scares the daylights from them. We are fierce, but we are kind, we are support for strangers, all these unknown seeds scattered out across the world, and we show up for one another.
We are depressed, we are elated, we are joyful, and sometimes we are anxious. We are lovers, we are fighters, we are single, married, divorced, longing, or content. We are writers, we are photographers, we are meditators, we are singers, we are athletes, we are magic. We work in offices, or office chairs in our own homes, we work with people, we work to make the world a better place, and yet we still find time for each other, here, in this beautiful place. We are a garden, and I am blown away by the beauty that has grown up here, on this webpage, in these emails, in the comments we leave one another, little droplets of water for our thirsty roots. I never saw this coming, though I probably hoped for it deep in my own mind, hoped that all these words I have inside me would find a home, a safe place to exist far away from algorithms and the nonsense of Zuckerberg or Elon Musk. I hoped for it, but sometimes hoping is scary, sometimes you have to do it anyway. In every single way, you have all surpassed my hope, you have blown that hope so high out of the water, it forgot what the sea ever was. Thank you for that. Thank you for your courage, your vulnerability you have repaid mine with, for your honesty, for your care, for your hard earned $5 a month that keeps me doing this, keeps me creating, for you, as that’s truly who I do it for. You, it’s always been for you.
Truth is, it’s been a hell of a few years for artists like me. Sarah and I lost 90% of our income in the last 3 years as weddings were being canceled, and we were no longer flying around photographing them. To say it was scary is an understatement, as it is scary for anyone taking care of themselves, or a family too. You swooped in, and told me “This has Value” and told me it was worth those $5 each month. I don’t know how to repay you for this, and so I keep trying, trying to make this place a richer experience, this community even more beautiful than it was before. I hope you feel, again that stubborn hope, that it’s all for you, and always has been.
So, as we come to the close of 2022, of the last few years, I remain stubbornly hopeful that this time, this time around, things will change for the better once more. That 2023 will bring new health, new calm, new joy, for us all. Whilst holding that hope, I am staggered at how much room in me is taken up by that appreciation for you all. All you beautiful seeds that make this place what it is.
I’ll end with a Thank You, a simple, humble, Thank you. For everyone that came here and called it a home away from home. For everyone that reads. For all you who contribute, for all you too afraid to leave your first comment, but I know will some day. For all you free readers, for all you behind the little paywall. Thank you. I think we can continue to turn this place into something more magic than we ever saw coming. I really do.
For all you who want to join the community, be part of the conversation, interact directly, we’re here, we’re waiting, and we would LOVE nothing more than to have you. Click the little button here, and it’ll make that happen.
I’ll be here, as usual, waiting, grinning like that idiot, calling you all garden, calling you forest dark.
I love you all.
Scattered out like seeds
we’ve blossomed into garden,
into forest dark.