Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Eulogy for "My Little Corner of the World"

I first met David Wagner of "My Little Corner of the World" fame back in July of 2009.  Our year of friendship and correspondence was a nice year, and now that he's announced that he's stepping away from his blog, I feel compelled to wax nostalgic (I've always wanted to "wax" something.  Forgive me.) and mourn the loss.

The first time I met Dave was in a tiny cafe on the corner of Edinburgh and Bathilda Ave. in downtown Minneapolis.  We were there for the intra-global convention of bloggers and Dave was the keynote speaker for the session on "How to Generate Fodder and Maintain Gaseous Buildup."  His speech brought tears to the eyes of many, and there was general wailing and moaning of repentance from Dave's conviction, like a modern day Jonathan Edwards (see "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" for more info).  But me?  I wasn't having any of it.  No sir.  I did not even get to witness his great speech, for I was too busy watching "Ernest Goes to Camp" with the kid-bloggers in the next room, gorging myself on marshmallows and CapriSun.  Had I only known.  But, I met him at the cafe and we played a rousing game of Scrabble, wherein he stomped my inferior vocabulary and then proceeded to name-call me and throw bagel pieces at my head.

At some point in the future Dave realized that I was a fan of Joe Abercrombie's First Law books.  I had just finished reading book one, The Blade Itself, and was musing about purchasing the last two books of the trilogy when Dave sent me a message saying he had them and would gladly mail them to me, free of charge.  I was taken aback at his generosity, willing to give two perfectly readable books to a complete stranger.  So I gave him my addy and then, lo, a few days later there were two perfectly readable books sitting on my kitchen table, silently beckoning me to dive in.  Perhaps it was this act of generosity that made me dive in a bit further to "My Little Corner of the World."

Dave's blog was a constant source of amusement and a perfect way to kill time.  (For, truly, what more can one expect with a blog?  While blogging is a great way to learn and discover new things, it's rarely something one can do professionally, and as such is usually relegated to free-time/down-time/slow-time.  How many of us actually place our blogs at the top of our lists of important things to do?  I enjoy blogging and reading other blogs, but they're certainly not top priority.)  Each morning I would open up my Google Reader and wade through the collected feeds, reading what I was interested in, passing what I wasn't.  But if "My Little Corner..." ever had a new post, I'd never skip.  In fact, almost always, I'd reserve it for last, cherishing the silly randomness that sits so close to my heart.  You truly never knew what to expect.  Perhaps it was this strange affection for odd and desultory posts that kept my attention on his world.

One thing Dave's posts never lacked was that they were always interesting.  It's fascinating how much you can learn about someone after following a blog of theirs.  They let, either intentionally or by accident, tiny pieces of their lives slip in.  Some bloggers go all emo and intimate.  Others guard their personality behind a wall of anonymity.  Dave fell more so into the latter group, but even then there were things he'd let out that could give you a peak of what was going on, never fully opening himself up to the public, but slightly cracking from time to time.  And at these times I felt compelled to say a prayer for him and his life.  Perhaps it was this razor-thin line between anonymity and real-life that pulled me back to his blog.

The hour draws nigh and it is now time to say farewell.  So long faithful blogger and frequent commenter.  Thanks for the beautiful landscape photos that were always breathtaking.  Thanks for recommending White Ninja and Left-Handed Toons and the many other recommendations.  Thanks for churning the motors in my mind, forcing me to think about deep theological quandaries from time to time.  Thanks for the often funny pictures.  Thanks once again for the Abercrombie books (which have now been passed on to K. Denby, another fellow blogger, in continuation of your generosity).  Most of all, thanks for sharing your world, even if it was only a corner of it.  The blogosphere will be a bit darker now without your posts.


David Wagner said...

Dang! What an honor! Makes me want to go back and re-read my blog to see what all the fuss was about! :P

Seriously though, I really appreciate that you took the time to write this. I had no clue what a blog was supposed to be when I started - I just dove in and went for it, most of the time not even knowing what I would post until I pulled up a blank text window and started typing. It was a lot of fun, and very satisfying.

And I'm glad we connected, and that I was able to send some attention back this way now and then. And I'll still be lurking and commenting, so it's all good. If anything interesting develops, you'll be among the first to know.

Thanks again, friend.


logankstewart said...

You're welcome, my pleasure, and thank you kindly, may it do ya fine.

Also, if you ever feel the itch again, drop me a line and I'd be happy to let you guest post.

See ya in the comments.

Carl V. said...

I must say that I was glad to read on after your title to realize that Dave hadn't passed away. I've had that happen personally and seen it in other bloggers' lives where you make a strong connection with a fellow blogger and they die unexpectedly. That being said, it is still sad when someone you liked visiting steps away from the blogging world. That has happened to me as well, only the examples of who I am thinking of didn't bother to do an ending post, they've just kind of faded away. thankfully we stay in touch via the occasional email. I hope you and Dave keep in touch. And who knows, maybe he'll be inspired later to come back to it.

logankstewart said...

@Carl: Ah, I didn't think misinterpretation, but I see it now. I've read a few blogs that simply ceased to exist and I've occasionally wondered what happened to the blogger. Did they lose interest? Did their car get smashed by a train? Fortunately, I've never read from a blogger that's passed away (that I know of).

I'm hoping Dave does some guests posts on my blog from time to time... Who knows what the future holds?

Carl V. said...

That would be a fun idea. A chance for you to keep in touch and for him to keep the blogging skills honed.