this is if only [dot] org

remembering leslie

I missed my one best chance to meet Leslie Harpold, but this isn’t about me, except to say that just as my musical tastes were formed in the early 90s and stuck there, my sense of what the web is and does at its best is gathered and knotted around the old-school mid/late 90s, those few pre-blog years when home page and zine converged into something else that got called ‘personal narrative’. Measured and crafted; daring, yet with a sense of the boundaries that sustain daring, too much of it is lost or archived deep; and though you should seek it out, you’ll have to take my word that just being around its creation was very heaven.

Smug mattered. Regarding mattered. And so on, and so on, and so damn on, and I’m going to go back again and again: slowly, though, just so that there’ll always be something new to me. But deeper than the web, having Leslie in our little email cabal these past few years was a privilege she should have billed us for.

She was a maker of things, an artisan in the truest sense. Although a consolation when we mourn makers is that their works remain, it’s different for someone whose entire life was a continuous making. It’s not so much that we miss the works not made, but the experience and sensibility and capacity to guide us in the right direction: we’re left as apprentices without a master. And the master’s longest and most important work is always the ‘prentice, because from that flows the making of mastery.

Your tip for making applesauce worked perfectly, Leslie. Thank you, forever.