There are so many people in the room and you don't know what life means to any of them but you know they're all trying to make sense of it somehow, and in some way in the same way, and for a moment in time they're all in the same place: Litquake's Book Ball.
Some are trying to make sense of it; some are celebrating; some are confused and awkward, just like anywhere else. Why write? Why delve? To what end anything? I don't know, lord, I don't! But I don't know how to dance either, really, and I did a lot of that. Tonight, I was one of the celebrators.
I didn't even take many pictures because I was too engaged, too excited to be a part of this vast community of people who either feel a need to beautify the world around them and actually try to or else need to understand it and endure the pains of blindness for the ultimate light that might never come. I've been writing for years now and can tell you honestly it's not the kind of thing you can fake very long; either you've got the passion or you don't, and if you don't it's very hard to retrieve through writing. The people in The Herbst Theater tonight were among the few people in the world right now who are passionate enough about literature to devote their lives to it, even as they face the process of trying to understand what that means.
I won't write much about the beautiful Bach arias we witnessed, nor the SF JAZZ High School All-Stars who were inconceivably talented and prolific, nor about the birthday songs nor the DJ's dancing. I've recorded all that and included it below so you can watch what you will. What really interests me is the meaning of this thing called Litquake, the community that has fostered its growth from 400 to 32,000 people in 10 years, and what this need and this desire represent and how we fulfill them.
I have nothing but Litquake on the mind for the next 8 days and will post my thoughts here as they develop. I am thrilled to be a part of this festival and honored and proud to cover it.
If you have any footage or thoughts you'd like to share please feel free to post here or simply send them my way: email@example.com.
Day 1, over.
The festival continues tomorrow!
For a full guide to day 2 click here.