Friday, January 1, 2021

The work of our avocation goes on

 The first day of a new year always seems like a good starting point, but the thing is . . . it isn't really.

Everything we begin comes from what was before, whether we're changing, enhancing, attempting. It all springs from something, some past choices or influences. The interesting part is what we choose to focus on for this holiday of rebirth, recharge, and restart.

Chosen any Sherlock Holmes yet?

Not shaming you if you have not. Some of us, I have to admit, spend far too much time here in "cloud Sherlocko land," letting some other things slide. I've had an interesting balance of Sherlocking this morning, organizing some work by a Sherlockian I respect, and also collecting some materials on a Sherlockian of ill repute. In the process, I accidentally had a chance to review the works of a third Sherlockian who has put an impressive amount of time and effort into this hobby, and even ponder how the last decade went in a Sherlockian sense.

While one might be tempted to focus upon the miseries of the last year, to look back upon the last full ten years is to see a glorious rise of Sherlockiana across a spectrum and range few would have even dared hope for in 2009.  The opportunities that lay before us now are incredible. We can go so far beyond the same-old, same old should we so desire.

That said, we don't have to do everything, go everywhere, own everything, or accomplish anything just to prove our love of Sherlock Holmes. He doesn't feed our families or fix our plumbing. But he does make the load lighter by his presence by our side. Sherlock Holmes is very rarely anyone's vocation, normally our avocation. Holmes gives us connections, anticipations, and opportunities, but he isn't going to fire us if we don't hit our quota for the year.

Sherlockiana isn't a job, it's a path of discovery. Chances are, you're already on the path you'll take for this year, whether it's the familiar part of the trail with all the signs and maps established, or some unknown area you have to wander into to see if anyone has been there yet. If they have, you can enjoy finding what they left behind, if they haven't, you can tell others and leave your own trail markers. The key to it all is thinking of those who will come after you. Those who came before are fine at this point. We can hold literary seances so new folk can see their shades, but they're not who we're doing it for now.

When I come right down to it, thinking about the year ahead, I think my main resolution has to be just trying to be a little more considerate and a little less selfish with this thing that I love called Sherlockiana. We all have to know our limits, as well as when to just say "no," but if we're really having a good time with our friends Holmes and Watson . . . and I mean a really good time, as why else are we here . . . then there's probably enough fun to pass some along.

So welcome to 2021. Take "nothing" out of that number and it's "221." That should tell you something about the kind of year we're heading into. Good luck!

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