I was informed of important things via telephone. There was a story underway about one of the urgent questions swirling around the front office and/or what if the academy is no longer considered successful or relevant by the websites that mediate our concerns in these matters? I sat at home in my arm chair, brooding, up in the attic, by the window, listening to my cousin Jay prepare food down below in the main living area.
If it was a matter of talking vs. listening there would be no hesitation or conflict. We would venture out into the public and interview random people about their opinions concerning the museum's ongoing importance to culture. Did they know about Johnny Appleseed? Did they care about Johnny Appleseed? Did they have any interest whatsoever in learning about Johnny's legacy and what it means for us in the year 2013? The answer to all these questions was usually a half-hearted "yes", so we continued on with our labor and research.
I don't really mind living alone up in the attic. Jay is often gone from the apartment for days at a time and he doesn't mind if I lurk about the common areas in his absence. His own bedroom remains a no-go zone, however, and I honor that faithfully, despite my long-standing inclinations towards eavesdropping. I wish I could go back to social media and tell people all about my latest ideas! The backyard, the front yard, the mailbox, the staircase, the bookshelf. These are all important realities that will not just reveal themselves! It is my job, as a greeter, to make people feel at home and at ease. If they want more information there is an information desk expressly designed for that purpose, staffed by a highly-trained person who knows virtually everything there is to know about Johnny Appleseed's legacy. If they want to silently browse for awhile on their own that is also perfectly fine, taking the exhibits in, one by one, at a pace of their choosing, reflecting on the many contributions that Johnny Appleseed made to this region.