Like The Olympic Torch

Wake up. Get dressed to be presentable enough for Zoom. Zoom. Zoom again. Eat lunch (maybe during Zoom with the camera off). Zoom some more. Miss people. Miss our friends. Wonder when we can touch another human again. Eat dinner. Sleep. Start over. That's become the new normal for a lot of us. In March, PauseOnError was planning Pause & Play – a Claris FileMaker unconference in St. Louis, MO at a cool hotel, with 100ish cool people. Well, then we know what happened next. It took us a while to talk about "what now?" mostly because we were hopeful that PauseOnError, in person, wasn't too far out. "This'll end soon, right?" And here we are. COVID is still a thing. Social distancing is still a thing. Getting 100 people in a room – not a thing. We were on Slack a lot, trying to figure out the next "PauseOnError thing" – what do we do at a time like this? What virtual thing can we do? What do we, as a community, even have the brain space for? And then an inspired, and inspiring, comment led to a whole new project. It was intriguing. And it led to a lot of questions: How would people meet? Is that safe to do? And what would they exchange? But no matter the question, we kept finding reasonable answers, and its viability as our next project became stronger. In fact, we just felt more inspired, more committed, and more intrigued by what this could be. So fast forward – there's now a suitcase at my house in Houston, Texas. The Suitcase Protocol, which started as an idea in virtual space, has now transformed into a physical object in my home. It's got the initials MJM on the outside. It's used but cared for. It feels nostalgic. It feels like it already has a story of its own, but it's about to take part in new adventures. The Suitcase Protocol is a polemic against the digital/virtual world we've been slung into. It's a chance to go from virtual back to analog. So here's our own version of the Olympic torch ready to make its way across the US. Will it? Who knows. Do I hope it does? Tenfold. Maybe it'll travel many miles by plane, train, and automobile. I hope the suitcase is a break from our current reality and brings us something to look forward to, something to hold, and something that brings new stories. We hope you join us as part of the Claris Suitcase – it needs you to help write its story.