Loss in the Wake of Something New
For me, personal posts on social media platforms have always been fraught with a certain amount of hesitation. The exhibitionistic and hence voyeuristic nature of a mass exchange of poignant moments hijacked for the purposes of data gathering and segmented mass marketing seems to cheapen genuine communion. So here I was on the day I had decided to help my dog pass quietly away, pondering as to whether or not I wanted to simply post a picture of him as a cover photo. That need to connect, to share with people, is so fundamental to assuaging the essential loneliness of the human condition. Because ultimately, as much as people can empathize, no one really can know what you are going through and how you perceive things.
Still, we strive to connect. And on some levels in this world of digitized, monitored and monetized feelings we do. This brings me back to community.
The past five years I have been struggling to hold together and grow a community. What started out as sharing workspace almost 10 years ago became something more. Family. Tribe. Community. Call it what you want, but the place where I lived and based my work out of became that for me and for others.
Establishing a permanent home for my tribe has been a long and odious task at best. From acquiring, to planning, to developing, there has not been one pitfall that I have sidestepped. After the hiring and firing of two general contractors and working through a process that is caliginous at best, I slouch toward completion excited, but worse for wear and minus a member of that community for which I was working so hard to build a home.
You see, my dog Bailey and his canine mate Ginger who died a few years back, inhabited that first building we lived and worked out of at Highpoint and Moore Street. They were shop dogs, sometimes under foot but always happy to be a part of a pack. At the end of a long day, opening the door to what was essentially a brick and mortar shell was like coming home, tails wagging and pups ready to walk the neighborhood that was their domain.
As we got closer to construction, Rob, Claire and I took up residence in a traditional home and Bailey has resided in the comforts of an air conditioned abode. I was always pushing to get this project done so that we could get back to where we were, but in a newer polished place that wasn’t a collection of leaks, faulty wiring and dusty surfaces. Since this all began, we have picked up a new little guy along the way, Sherman, a Staffordshire bull terrier. While it won’t be quite the same without Bailey and Ginger, the original gangster doggies, he will come to know what it is to be a shop dog as his mommy will surely have him in tow when crafting jewelry or plugging away tending the books.
This is why The Highpoint has a policy open to pets. As people work longer and harder hours, shouldn’t they be able to bring those people and pets that enrich their lives to work if they so choose? My only regret is that I got in the way of this coming together sooner. Maybe my vision was too big or my lack of understanding fell short. Perhaps I could have worked harder and been more willing to compromise. It is not lost on me that the whole neighborhood has seemed to develop around us as our project has plodded along.
Now that things are going and we have officially broken ground, there are forces that will undoubtedly push this to a quick and hopefully smooth completion. Deadlines will be met and our mortgage is building interest that needs to be paid. When the doors open, we will welcome new friends, forge moments that will pass into fond memories, and hopefully find ourselves in a warm little center of where we want to be.
Still, I’ll miss Bailey.