We all know how much the world has changed in the last year, but for me at least, it's slowly sinking in how much the Sherlockian world might be changing long-term based on the changes pushed on us in the last ten months or so. (It hasn't even been a year. Astounding.) Yes, yes, Zoom meetings, we know, we know. But without actual social gatherings to delight in the company of our friends in person, a lot of energy had to find somewhere else to go.
Now, I don't want to suggest it had anything to do with the ACD Society that raised its flag this morning -- one can see the signs that it has been building up for a while now. But the much less ambitious Sherlockian Chronologist Guild? Probably wouldn't have happened without a series of pandemic-triggered events (one of which I hope to be letting the world at large know about on Friday). But it's more than that.
How many new Sherlockian friends and acquaintances have you made since we've been locked down? I know I've gotten to know more than a few new folks. And so many of those new connections have brought new opportunities for collaboration and creativity in ways that will pay off for a long time to come, I suspect. You can see it all over the place, where the human energy batteries that fully enthused Sherlockians are got plugged into something more than a local scion society or single event.
Unlike a new Sherlock, a Brett or Cumberbatch, charging up the old hobby, the things we're seeing now seem to be "coming from inside the house," as the old horror movie trope goes. Why?
Because the more we connect as Sherlockians, the more energy each individual Sherlockian has for the thing itself, all the parts and pieces and related side interests of Sherlockiana itself. The scholarly side gets more energy. The goofy side gets more energy. The films get more consideration. And the Canon, that good old philosopher's stone of a book, gets more users tapping it for whatever magic at which they excel.
I had a lovely two hour chat over zoom on Sunday with perhaps the oldest Sherlockian friend who doesn't live in my house, and it really made me think about the opportunities we've been given by this horrific world-wide event that's knocked us out of our routines. There has been loss, there has been pain, and our lives will never be the same. But amid all that, there has been hope for better things. We've seen that things can be different, and a "different" thing can sometimes be an "improved" thing.
I have a feeling 2021 is going to be a very memorable year for Sherlockians. In a good way, too.