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Community at the Coffee Shop

The most disconcerting part of my day is when I step outside, onto Main Street. In the office, which is on the second floor of a big brick building, I’m surrounded by staffers talking about China (and curling), about a sale to India (and curling), about the catalogue for the London Book Fair (and curling).

Then I step outside into small town New England, where I’m not a global publisher but Tom and Rachel’s mom, and a former School Committee member whom some people will never forgive for not toeing the line. Nonetheless, I’m a proponent of the tired but still worthy phrase, “think globally but act locally.” Now that we’re starting work on a Community Building Handbook (Ray Oldenburg, an author I have never met but have admired for over a decade, has agreed to edit it with me) it seemed that I should try to do something locally. Something other than walk to Pearl’s for a drink after work, that is.

So I’ve started going to a knitting group at the Coffee Shop every other Wednesday night. These are the new cool knitters–knitters who blog as we chat and look up patterns online.(Yes, Great Barrington now has wifi.) It’s a wonderful break, a chance to be with a completely different group of people, and has been just the encouragement I needed to pick up a daunting project I started last winter: an afghan that’s a map of the whole wide world. Now that I think about it, maybe my knitting and my publishing aren’t so different after all.

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