I’ve spent this week’s meditation thinking about Tribes. Nor so much biological tribes as the tribes we make ourselves. Your own workplace subgroup of like-minded employees would fit this mold I’m forming.

A section of roadwork, where the contractors used a branding tool to leave their name stamped into the wet pavement of a North Hollywood street in 1928. "Gibbons & Reed, Contractors"
Almost 100 years ago, this tribe stamped their road work into a North Hollywood street. Subsequent work has carefully paved around it.

Something I’ve long missed is the self-elected tribe that formed around me in Alaska. These were people delighted in cartoon art and FM radio, where the DJ didn’t talk over the good songs.

I was surprised to find myself in this tribe, as I’d never belonged to so many people before. After all my struggles as a young teen, all I had to do as this still-new adult was produce all the things I liked. And I was in. It was magical. Frightening, to have my (hungover) self name-checked by a stranger, but all I had to do afterward was stand and endure their welcome.

Today, my new book needs a tribe. A tribe who loves memoir, and appreciates what’s at stake for writers of the books enfolding Time and Place.

If you’d like to be an Advance Reader of “Drinking the Waters at the Shores of Hell: True Stories – drop me a line at the Contact.

Do you have your own example of this? Doing something you love, and having it suddenly celebrated?

"League of Friends" 1982 photo of mine. Three boys, one still in his Little League uniform, hold a fourth boy over water next to a curb. His shirt is dipping into the water and his stockinged feet are without shoes. At the left edge, another of the boys holds one sneaker. All are laughing. It's clear the shoeless boy is a dear friend.
League of Friends, 1982. ©1982, 2023, Su Coe. All Rights Reserved.

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