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  • A lot of different memories have swirled through my head today. A lot of Cowbird memories. Don’t worry, this is not a farewell or a final story, here - far from it. Jonathan says we have until March 1st to post, read and love stories on Cowbird – as I have done since I first stumbled onto this site, I plan to make the most of this opportunity. That’s still 21 days away.

    I kind of dove right in when I found this place, and for the storyteller in me, the water’s been perfect the entire time I’ve been here. I’ve found this to be a great place to share stories with people who read them, provide meaningful comments on them, and who’ve shared many of my life’s joys and struggles over these past 5 years, and I theirs. This has proven to be one of the finest communities I have ever been associated with, and I have had the good fortune to be associated with a lot of fine communities.

    The entire time I’ve been on Cowbird, I’ve also had a very active life outside of Cowbird, in the “real” world. Cowbird has simply been a place where I could reflect on what’s gone on in my life, and make connections with other storytellers from all over the world.

    I find it a little ironic that Jonathan characterizes the addictive nature of digital technologies, trapping us into isolation and all of that – that’s certainly what I see happening on many other digital platforms.

    Here, on Cowbird, it always felt like we were reporting in from the “real world”, in a genuine connected environment. I shared the journey I took with my Mom in the last three months of her life, and was given so much genuine support here throughout that journey, it sustained me in a way that was indescribable. Is that isolation?
  • When I struggled with a brain tumor for a year and a half, I processed that struggle here, and found incredible support for my struggle. Quite the contrary to isolation, Cowbird provided me a place to process that struggle, and helped me to NOT feel isolated while I went through it.

    I get that, for some, like anything else, this might have fed an addiction. Believe me – I know addiction well. I lived it for half of my early life, up to age 25.

    This was much more real than that, for me, and for many others.

    One might look at the numbers and say, “Hell, Hawkeye, you were the biggest addict of them all. You told the most stories, you read and loved the most stories, you never went 4 days without posting a story, you averaged more than a story a day for nearly 5 years.”

    All true. But, I will tell you, I’ve really LIVED these 5 years, I’ve journeyed to mountaintops, across oceans, through the past, into the future, and more than anything, I’ve loved what you all shared, and I’ve loved having you along on my many journeys. For me, this was one, beautiful love story – NOT an addiction - and I have not one single regret from any of it. Not one.
  • My journey here was not without its bumps and rough patches, but that’s life – life has those.

    I’ve really appreciated the opportunity Cowbird provided to me to connect with all of you. I hope you’ll all stick around for these next 20 days, and continue to connect here, while we can, and continue to connect on other sites, as we can, after they send Cowbird into mothballs. I’d like to keep a lot of these connections going.

    But, there will never be a place quite like Cowbird has been. I guess the time is right for them to do this – I accept it – but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

    I don’t.

    It will take me these next 20 days to figure out a way to be okay with this.

    Right now, I’m not. I’m a mess. Physically, I feel like I just got kicked in the gut, and I'm struggling to find my breath. I'm trying to make sense of it.

    Quite frankly, I think it sucks.

    But, that’s life. What are you going to do?

    I will start with breathing. That's always a good place to start. This is going to take some time for me to get used to this one.
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