There's a lovely spot I like to walk my dog, a strip of green perched on cliffs overlooking the majesty of Puget Sound. Rain or shine, the sprawling vista of light playing on ocean never fails to inspire.
But this summer, something is missing: I have yet to hear the delightful songs of the seals who used to hang out on rocks offshore and yelp like coyotes at a full moon. Have they moved on? Or is it a temporary hiatus?
As I meandered home tonight in the brilliant moonlight, I couldn't help but think about other voices that have gone silent in recent months. Although it's been almost six months, I still miss the Seattle P-I and the talented bunch of colleagues who made it special. The P-I's globe keeps turning but its heart is gone.
Many of the P-I's best reporters are now working for nothing, launching their own blogs, like Andy Schneider's Cold Truth, and Rebekah Denn's Eat All About It, or collaborating on nonprofit journalism websites like PostGlobe and InvestigateWest. These are noble causes deserving of our support. But they don't put food on the table yet.
I have had to take a different path, sizing up my skills and seeking work outside of journalism for the first time in 20 years. It's been a roller coaster few months. And I am grateful that my search has ended for now.
On Tuesday, I start a full-time job as communications manager for an environmental project protecting the Arctic Ocean in Canada and the U.S. It is very different work. Instead of digging for the truth and putting stories on the front page, I am helping an organization advocate for policies that will ease the toll that climate change and industrialization are taking on the people and whales and walrus who populate the north.
A bittersweet time. Have I moved on? Or is it a temporary hiatus?
(Photo: by Eggybird)