Saturday, November 22, 2008

Goodbye Catalexis

One can't complain. I have my friends. Someone spoke to me only yesterday. ~Eeyore

To tell the truth, I've been in denial about the death of long time Atrios commenter Catalexis. I've been checking the internet daily for an obituary or any notice of his death on the intertubes and finding none, I've been hoping until this morning that this was all a cruel troll joke or maybe some kind of elaborate ploy for him to change his identity and we would see his wry wit resurface again under a different avatar, although I admit the latter would not have been his style. But hey I was desperate to avoid reality. Having finally checked Marcellina's beautiful tribute to him today, the commenters to that post convinced me to accept his passing.

It's weird to miss someone you don't really know. As Atriots go, I'm still a newbie in the community and Catalexis didn't interact that much in the comments. But when he did, it was really measured and insightful. I always tried to respond because I thought, like his avatar, he was really smart and didn't get enough notice in such a speedy format. He always thanked me for responding. I'm glad our last exchange ended on that note.

I felt an odd kinship with him, believing we were a lot alike. As I searched the intertubes for his past, I found it was truer than I had ever suspected. I dug out his old blog(s) on the Wayback Machine and see we suffered from the same doubts and fears. In one of his first posts in 2004 he said:
I've been hanging out over at Eschaton for several months now and I have really become a fan of his and of several other bloggers and commenters there and elsewhere throughout the blogosphere. I hesitated to start my own blog (though for some stupid reason I now am trying to start up two ) for the usual reasons: I'm not an HTML whiz. Everybody else is already doing it and I'll look lame coming in late. All the good ideas are taken already. I'll say something stupid and some million+ hit wizard will link to me with "Check out this dork!"
And we both worked to find our voice and wondered if anyone cared:
OK, I think I see how Atrios does it, he doesn't try to write a whole days worth of thoughts in a single post. I need to be a bit more compartmentalized here. It sure would be nice if I had readers. Well, someday.
And we had similar self-esteem issues:
What's wierd is that it isn't that I don't have anything to say, it's just that I'm so sure everyone else is saying it better than I do and faster and to way more people. Which kind of defeats the whole purpose of a blog actually, it's..ahh no, just let that go.
I wish he hadn't died so suddenly, much less so young. I wish we could have had more time to get acquainted and mostly I wish I hadn't taken him for granted, just expecting he would always be there. It's a good reminder to seize the moment and let those you treasure in your life, know it while you can.

For those who want to let his family know what he meant to them, I see in Marcellina's comments that his Mom, Ginny, has been checking his email at I'm going to write today and hope they're still checking. [graphic via]

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Libby. I didn't know these things about him, but like you, I feel this immediate kinship. I wish we could have had him with us for another 40 years or so.


12:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice post Libby. Very thoughtful and I'm impressed with your ability to find his old blog. I tried that day we learned of his death and got nowhere. Best to you.

12:54:00 PM  
Blogger Ali said...

His death made me realize just how unattached we bloggers (or readers) really are. I tend to forget that we are not all really sitting in a room together. ;)

It is frustrating not to be able to give his family a hug and tell them he was a good person.

1:24:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Thanks for coming over everybody. I treasure you all even though we are just pixels on a screen. You feel realer than just that to me.

1:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finally found a newspapery obituary for Catalexis here:

I confess to being mystified as to why his family waited so long to publish one.

I miss him.

-- Heather

2:24:00 PM  

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