Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Procedural Notes

Before I get down to business: My heartfelt gratitude goes out to everyone who made it possible for me to travel to Europe for the second time this year. A couple of months ago it seemed undoable, but you all made it happen. Your donations during our last fundraiser helped pay for the air ticket and accommodation in Brussels.

I deeply appreciate your generosity. You all know who you are!

CorrespondenceFor the past six weeks I have spent an average of 8-10 hours a day working with the planning group on the Brussels conference, on top of my regular blogging here at Gates of Vienna. Two weeks ago I had to go to Washington D.C. for three days, and right after that we lost our electricity for another three days. A few days after that I flew to Brussels (and spent a total of 39 hours flying in planes, sitting in airports, or traveling to and from airports, I might add).

The upshot of all this is that my backlog of work has piled up so high that I can’t even see the top. There are hundreds of emails still waiting to be read, much less answered. I don’t know when I’ll catch up.

For those of you who have sent translations and/or posts: I ask once again for your patience. I have at least a dozen items waiting in the queue, but the Brussels Process takes precedence. It may well fill up the rest of this week, and possibly the weekend as well.

So you should expect further delays (kind of like the final leg of my transatlantic flight yesterday evening — an extra hour sitting in the puddle jumper on the hot concrete, waiting to go from Philly to D.C.).

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In her post on Monday afternoon, Dymphna mentioned that the Brussels Planning Team has no leader as such. This is quite true: our working group is non-hierarchical. It’s small enough so that we can all contribute informally, without any need for a boss or manager, yet large enough so we can handle the necessary tasks. It makes our planning sessions lengthy and complicated, but fruitful.

Among those who spent so much time, money, and effort making the Brussels Conference a success were Henrik Ræder Clausen, Alain Wagner, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, and KGS of Tundra Tabloids.

Everyone pulled together to make it happen. It reminds me of these lines from The Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu (Chapter Two):
The ten thousand things rise and fall without cease,
Creating, yet not.
Working, yet not taking credit.
Work is done, then forgotten.
Therefore it lasts forever.

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More than a hundred people attended the event in Brussels. For that reason (and also because I was on the podium most of the time) I was unable to check with everyone to see if they wanted to be mentioned as attending.

If you were in the auditorium, and want to be listed as an attendee, please drop me a note. You may include a link to your website, if you have one.

We had an attentive and enthusiastic audience. There were a lot of familiar faces, and many new ones as well.

Stay tuned — there’s much more to come.