linkage1951: We're here at NetRoots Nation 13. And it's my opportunity here to interview one of the recipients of the community quilt. Can I ask you to tell us a bit about what the quilt means to you.
cskendrick: My name is Christian Kendrick. I'm known by the highly secretive name of cskendrick at Daily Kos. The quilt, when it came, was...it was a reminder that there was a world waiting for me. And it was a physical sign of what my wife Mary had already told me that many people online had sent their best wishes and their concerns, and that they had even formed the modern-day version of a concern circle, a Facebook pet group to receive the updates. Most of the folk there were Daily Kos people.
I suppose a lot of it goes back to the nature of why I received one in the first place. My case was it was simple strep throat that took a very very ugly turn, and then an even worse turn, I almost died of.
In order to save my life, the doctors at the hospital had put me into a coma -- medical sedation. So for me it was coming awake after close to 5 weeks of being in care, and then being told, and then forget it, and then told again, and then forget it, and then a third time it really stuck that I'd been sick, very, very sick, for a very long time, that I had undergone numerous surgeries to excise infected tissue, because the type of strep I had, it had gone into all sorts of places in my chest cavity. So for me, prior to that I had been someone who was very, albeit maybe a touch on the plump side, I had always been very healthy -- I could run. And suddenly this was taken away, and it leaves you feeling very helpless especially when you wake up and you lack the strength...I lacked the strength to lift my arm up.
For me, like some of the messages on here, Daily Kos becomes something more than even a community; it becomes a type of family. Or as one of my fellow Kossacks that goes by the name Stormy said "These are my peeps." And they are. And I can point to any number of these things that are especially not just the get-well-soon variety, but "please come back, we need you. Please, you know, our love and prayers are with you." Or for folks who are of a different persuasion, "Our love and sincere thoughts."
And it's that reminder that we in many ways online are alone, as we sit there pecking away nowadays on our phones and our pads as well as our laptops and our PCs. We're alone in our thought, alone in our concerns, but it's always a nice reminder, not just for the occasional conventions that we have here, but signs such as these, and smaller daily ones, that we aren't alone. We're part of carrying a good, good story -- a good, good progressive story -- forward into the rest of American history. And it's not done yet.
To invoke a series of the great thoughts and keystones within the arch that holds up the hall of our civilization together would be, you know, that there are truths that are self-evident: life, liberty, pursuits of happiness. So long as we strive it that...you know, strive for that true birth of freedom that government of, by, and for the people shall not perish from this earth, and last (unintelligible) the greatest. In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., "How long do we have to wait?"...to really put that last keystone in the arch and it be complete. The answer is, "not long," because the arc of the moral universe marches ever towards justice. I don't know, I mean, maybe in a high-minded way that sums up the feeling is that we're in a common cause. We are, as Norman (?) (Stormy?) says, "We are peeps."
For me to receive this quilt was fairly weighty. I was moved -- even still just reading these earlier when you asked me to do so, I was moving to tears even just reading through them, and these were messages I had read and read and read again. But again, I think that's the sum of it. We're not alone in this. We aren't alone behind our pads and our phones. We aren't just lonely voices wondering truly what...when are we gonna be done talking. It's the talk itself that moves an important inspirational story forward. Even if none of the above, none of us, are on the levels of theThomas Jeffersons and the Abraham Lincolns and the Martin Luther King, Jr.s of the world, maybe we can aspire, but we can be inspired.
linkage1951: Is there any particular quilt messages you'd like to share with us?
cskendrick: You know, there are like possibly...I don't even know the total number of spaces are -- there might be hundreds here. Maybe because this is someone who turns out to actually be a distant relative, it's from noweasels, a very famous person in our little world: "Hugs and love and health, dearest cousin. I am so grateful to have you in my life." Or um -- this is a shorter one. This is kind of an inside joke is from kath25: "Here's to never getting smaller in the distance!" He knows people, lives part away as they fade over the horizon. OK, this is from someone whose named Gloriana who lives in Pasadena, which is infamous for its parrots: "The parrots are calling for you, Chris. Much love, and get well soon." And it goes There's tons of these types of messages.
linkage1951: What about the graphics? Are there any of the graphics here-- the pictures and the pattern selection -- that appeals to you?
cskendrick: This is what I would think of would be the underlining of the quilt. It's very distinctive. I like it; it's very pretty. It sort of reminds me of ocean and flowers at the same time. There's coffee, which is incredibly important. There's some peace symbols. There's bears, which would be...I'd have to guess Mary must have said something about that, because this is kind of, you know, a very manly tool kit. I don't do tools at all... Pretzels. Chocolate pretzels, what's not to like? Apples -- that's like a good health icon. Music, guitars. I love music. I compose, but no one's in danger of paying me for it. It's signs of health.
And taking a step back, I can see a lot of the iconography would be, or however you're supposed to say that word, would be generic - signs of, you know, the context of love, health, life, activity. It's... But for me, I think perhaps, it was truly the messages and the effort to gather these messages. I do know that Sara and Ann, they take great pains to find these messages and gather the together so that (unintelligible) establish infuses the gifts with a lot spirit. And the gesture is definitly well...well executed.
linkage1951: Would you like to thank anybody?
cskendrick: In particular? Well, certainly I would love to thank the manufacturers of the quilt. Within the Daily Kos community...wow. It's such an immense list. I think, uh, my own tight-ass community would easily be the Top Comments team, which is sort of a family and a family within itself. We're the ones who in the last x-number of years, we've put together nightly lists of the top comments. And that involves making our own selves not just dilettantes and perusers of the commentary, but forces us to read more and be mor involved. It also...we tell each other these deep stories, and we become invested in keeping that regular series promoted.
So that would include, I mean probably, one of my best friends in the DKos community would probably be like, say, Mike and Brillig. Other names which are less active would be like, say, cronesence and noweasels. Who else? Some on the more political side, obviously, Kath, Lawrence Lewis, Blue Armadillo. I mean, it's just a host of other names. I'm ashamed that I would run out... I would literally run out of time, and you would run out of electronic tape, before I ran out of names to thank. I'm not mentioning names I know but just names I perused as I was looking for things to read. If you're not on that, anyone who hears this and gets miffed, that's why.
linkage1951: Well, thank you very much.
cskendrick: My pleasure.