I’m way too tired to write anything coherent besides “wow” and “whoa!” and “thanks,” but I will thrown caution aside for a moment and forge ahead. In fact, I will live recklessly on the edge of sleep and refer to a film that doesn’t usually win much respect from cineastes: The Big Chill.
Of course I love that movie, even though I’m too young to identify with the 60s-era boomers and too old to identify with the Meg Tilly character who gives them their comeuppance (mostly). I loved it not because of the generational conflicts or the political angst (yes, sanitized from The Return of the Secaucus Seven but still compelling, in my view) or even the catalytic death with all its ramifications. I loved it because it was a great story about friends, a great story about a reunion.
OpenEd 2009 was many things for me, but among the best of those things was the fact it was a reunion. Strangely, it was also a reunion with people I’d never met before–at least, not met face to face. For here I met folks I’d followed on blogs and on Twitter for several years, but now were seated across a table or a circle of chairs. More on that strangeness in another post (as well as some overdue shoutouts).
What I love about these reunions is summed up in my favorite moment from The Big Chill. The friends are sharing a meal, seated together around a long table. The talk has gone here, gone there, gone around various topics and at various tempos. Then suddenly Glenn Close, who’s been silent and a little withdrawn (and understandably so, given what she’s experienced), raises her head and looks around and blurts out words to the effect of, “I was always at my best with you people.” I don’t think she meant she’d never failed them or had a bad or awkward moment with them. I think she meant that they had always inspired the best of her to emerge.
So that’s how I’m feeling this evening. Reunion. Thanks to all who participated, thanks to all who continue to inspire and challenge me. Thanks to Brian, Chris, Scott, and Dave for organizing this head-and-heart-fest. Thanks for this reunion.