Friday, August 5, 2011

I Must Truly Hate Myself-Down the Path of Being Actively Involved in my Local Community Again.

A couple of months ago a friend of mine from Pantheacon contacted me about starting up a Pagan discussion group here in the South Bay.* I was truly flattered to be asked to help with something, and I got excited about it and agreed to help out; even though to do so meant breaking a rule I had given myself when I moved out here.

You see, before Ari and I moved out here I placed a two year moratorium on myself when it comes to Pagan Community activity and organizing. I know that probably sounds stupid to a lot of you out there, but as an outsider in a new community, I thought just observing for a few years would be the prudent path. I am extremely fearful of stepping on toes, and have been trying for the last eight or nine years of my life to avoid conflict in the Pagan Community**.

I can be a lightning rod for conflict in Pagandom. That's mostly due to an ability to walk in and dominate a conversation or group. I don't say those things lightly either, I have ended up "leading" or "taking a very active role" in lots of little projects over the years, mostly by accident. This has led to some resentment by many in the Pagan Community, so I though I should establish myself as an over all nice guy before alienating a bunch of people in my new home. Apparently my self-moratorium has ended twenty-one months earlier than anticipated.

My role in the little discussion group I was asked to help out with has grown quite quickly. I found myself making flyers for it, announcing its existence at a local event, and doing all the online promotion for it as well. That's all fine and good, I'm certainly not bad at those things, and I have plenty of time, especially with the crippling writer's block that has made writing anything of substance much like wringing water from rocks. So I'm happy to do those things, but I'm trying to do them while walking on egg-shells, I really fear offending people by getting overly involved in things too quickly.

The South Bay Pagan Salon I helped put together hasn't been a roaring success right out of the box, but it hasn't been a complete failure either, especially for August (a hard month to start new groups). We had eight people at our first meeting, and I expected maybe four, with two of those being another one of the other organizers (Amy-who is pretty awesome) and my wife (who is also awesome). So I was thrilled with eight, and apparently that's good enough to get asked to help with scheduling more meet-ups and whatever in the area.

I'm excited about the prospect of helping to organize some of the more open events in the area, but wary too. I have lots of ideas, but there are several groups out here that have been in existence for decades, finding a good balance between my exuberance and their traditions could be a challenge. I see so much potential out here, I hope I can help manifest it.

*Dear readers not from Northern California, the greater Bay Area is divided up into lots of little subdivisions. Depending on one's interpretation I either live in the South Bay, or perhaps just "The Peninsula." What is mostly apparent is that I don't live in the overly active hot-beds of Pagan activity that are Berkley and San Francisco proper.

**Seriously, I scaled back on lots of stuff in Michigan by plan.

1 comment:

  1. just showing up some times can step on toes, you ain't no one until some one bytches about you is a saying in this area... but I have lived threw more than a half a dozen witch wars in the area and have to say yea I see where you are coming from.