Leave a Thank You comment for departing elephant editor Kate Bartolotta.
And wish her godspeed and best of luck, in comments below! Kate, along with Bob Weisenberg, marks the second significant loss for elephant over the past year—that said we’re honored to be working with new editor Sara Crolick, as well as a few new elephant colleagues who are helping out Walk the Talk Show in the coming year.
I have a horrible memory, so it’d be fun to do an interview with Kate about her experiences with elephant (we went vegan together, for one). In any case, she’s been more than a writer to me, though she unlike most “writers” is possessed of a voice. And though her care and compassion and groundedness and ability to listen and lead will be missed—she’s been more than a colleague.
She’s been a personal friend, particularly a year or so ago when I was working every night, all night, and she was often working, too, and we’d chat on Facebook IM (where we have 7,000 messages together—I checked) or Skype text messaging (where, doubtless, we have some thousands more). Evening after evening, working, editing, writing, blogging, tweeting, facebooking…nurturing the “mindful life” noble beast that is elephant…we’d keep each other virtual company. It was as if we shared a virtual newsroom or virtual cafe or living room. We were both going through relationship stuff. I miss those times, and how close and genuine and friendly we were. Kate was, and is, a positive and mature
(she, like me, is an avid practicioner of Drive All Blames into One and move on, a great technique for [life, love, and] workplace joy and efficiency)
force for elephant, as well as for me personally.
And that means a lot to me. For elephant is not a business. We’re a mission. And if we can’t grow and succeed, as well as walk our talk along the way, well, there’s no point to any of this. And she helped us both grow, and do so with integrity and good cheer.
Her departure is in some ways my fault—I was perhaps too hard on her sometimes, and a grouch—my faults are many.
But, too, it’s a natural and positive phenomenon—elephant is 11 years old and we’ve lost Travis, Rose, Maron, Abbey, Merete, and a half dozen other heroes who, at some point, grow to the point where, like a flowering plant in a too-small pot, they want to move out and on to, if not bigger things, things that fit their own life’s passion more closely.
One note: I do know that controversies, high-drama authors and anonymous, unconstructive criticism take their toll. While that is in no way the reason for Kate’s departure—
1) she’ll continue to write with elephant, she’s an amazing writer, look for her work here and
2) again it’s a natural and positive thing for her to leave, though it is sad for myself and elephant
—I do want to say that running a major independent media company, negotiating the whitewater waves of the internet—serving as an editor—it is a full-contact sport, and I do wish Kate a life full of merit, of benefit for others, but also an easier time that we had together in the trenches of elephantjournal.com.
None of this is eloquent, or orderly, but it’s Kate’s last day, and Bryonie and Sara and Brianna and Samara and Colin and Lindsey and all those who care about elephant and have worked and played with Kate over the past years…well, we wanted to share a public thank you, gassho, and a final
This isn’t good bye, but it is deeply sad, as well as joyful.