Friends seems like such a small word as I sit here — tears of gratitude in my eyes.
It’s 8 days after I left my home to check in at the Hotel 71, where — caught in weird math glitch going on my head about the event account and hotel bills — I actually heard the words “It’s okay. I AM the event,” drop out of my mouth.
I am anything but the event. I simply am the person who sets up the dominoes.
You, who come with your open minds and open hearts, you are the destination and the event. You who have been there more than once know that … at the nuance of setting up dominoes and blending colors I’m fairly good, getting better every year.
But also that …
for every nuance that I pick up from the air, from your eyes, and from the timbre of your words, I always will be woefully inept at seeing the obvious while I’m living it. It’s just not my gift.
And those of you who can see the obvious, don’t for a second think it’s not a gift, because those of us who can’t, know it is.
For every nail we hammered into every board we set as we raised the barn that was SOBCon this year, I know many friendships were forged between the splinters and between the cracks in my voice. I know it was you who did that.
Terry and I did what we could to make an environment, but you were the experience.
People say lives were changed by what happened in that room, over that weekend. Ours were too. We can’t take credit for that.
I know what I bring.
Terry knows what he brings too.
Do you know which parts were you?
With all of my head, all of my heart, and all of the meaning lives in my fingers and my feet, I’d like to thank every one of you who showed up to give and receive — attendees, presenters, sponsors, volunteers, family, and friends — those who watched on the stream — and that Starbucker guy who can’t seem to remember his own name.
My gratitude for what I learn from you is so deep.
The English language doesn’t have a word for it.
You already have changed the world.