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This is not the first time I have haunted, nor is it the first place I have haunted. But it is the first time I have haunted This place.
As some of you may know, I have been around Redstate a long time. Even preceding Leon by a few weeks, if I recall correctly. Despite this and the diaries I have written and the likely thousands of comments I have posted over the years, I have never truly been a member. I have ever been on my branch, looking into the house that is Redstate. Such I have ever been wherever I have gone. Some few have occasionally left a bread crust on the window sill nearest my branch and I have deigned or not deigned (or just been flying elsewhere at the time) to partake of the gift. Yes. I know my choice of words there speaks volumes of exactly why I am forever apart. That is me and it is my choice.
But this diary was not meant to be about me. Rather it is on the family that is the Redstate community; even the old grouches like Moe Lane. I saw Redstate when it was new and Erick Erickson was not yet a young family man trying to lead that family and improve its house as best he could with all the help of his brothers and sisters and extended family of the time; when the progenitors were still regular contributors. I watched happily as new faces joined the family. I was saddened as others passed or moved out and my feathers refused to lay flat at times of hardship within the family. This is not the first bit of strife Redstate has been through. Nor will it be the last.
This is not even the loudest bit of strife. Many have been the times where the noise of tantrums and arguments have passed through the panes of my window and disturbed me on my branch. Occasionally, these resulted in one or two persons slamming the door on their way out. Sometimes only to slip, sheepishly, back in through the kitchen.
This time, however, there was no explosion of noise. No loud arguments or tantrums. No out and out fist fights. Not sharing the table or the couch, I missed completely the daggered glances and snide remarks and cheap shots. I did see and commented on occasion on the changes in demeanor of some few I knew, when they occurred within the confined view of my window. I did not understand what was going on; did not comprehend why formerly cheerful, friendly people were saying such things in such anger.
And then I turned my back. But for a mere moment as I had gone on a trip and had no internet for a weekend. When I looked back in, nearly every face that I knew was gone. Yes, many I had seen leave over the years. But this was a sudden disappearance of many. So many, in fact, that I had no idea some of them were even gone until today. And those few who are left…
I read what they write and it is as if they are stooped and tired with age. Much of the light and joy is missing in their words that once I took for granted. It is as though I missed twenty or thirty years in an eyeblink. I am here, much as I remember being but everyone around me has changed. Changed in style, changed in appearance, changed their (user)names as often as not. And there are so many I do not know. So many even on the Frontpage that I do not recall ever reading word one of theirs from the diaries.
Redstate is the same beautiful house. The family is still loud and boisterous. Still full of hope and vigor, though tempered now by sorrow and hard decisions on the part of the Head of the Household. Perhaps, in time, those aged so much by this trouble will even regain some of what they lost.
I look forward to getting to know the new members of this family and their points of view. And I hope that those thrown out of the house will use it to their advantage and become greater than they could have otherwise, and yet still remember that they Are members of this family and think back on their time in this house with fondness.
As for me, I will always be here. Till the house falls from disrepair. Perhaps even after that. And I look forward to learning the different tastes in bread held by those kind enough to leave a crust on my sill…