On this occasion, however, John had not come over to tell me to run. Rather, he had come to tell me where to go: “Good work, but I think you’ll have to steer more towards audio,” he suggested.

“I know,” I answered.

I feel very lucky to be working with and for John Atkinson. He has a special, quiet, and simple way of motivating, a special, quiet, and simple way of making you want to run.

And I hate running. Running, to me, has always meant trouble: I was late for school, or being chased, or running away from my father’s drunken screams and heavy hands.

“Did you ever try to run away?” she asked.
I thought of being a child, and shook my head no. I remembered what it meant to run away: a Charlie Brown character with a bag attached to a stick and slung over a shoulder, walking alongside a sad, sad dog. I had no stick, couldn’t imagine what belongings were held in that small bag, and was afraid of, and allergic to, dogs. Running away was not an option.

To tell you the absolute truth, I’m also a bit afraid of this blog. Or, I should say: I’m a bit afraid of the responsibility. Like with falling in love, I don’t want to mess this thing up, and so I’m tentative, uneasy. I don’t always say exactly what I want to say, but I’m trying.

It’s a huge honor, and I want to do a great job. For John. For everyone here—and for you—but, right now, especially for John. When John comes around with his light, sober words—asking simply: “Are we rocking?”—it’s such a great feeling to be able to answer, honestly: “Yes.”

And so, when I answered his suggestion with, “I know,” I was more than a bit surprised by my cockiness. I have to remind myself that knowing is not the goal, that, perhaps—when it comes to the most important and beautiful things—knowing, really knowing, is often not even possible. Knowing—in the usual sense—is not an option. I like to remind myself that there is so much I don’t know.

It’s true: I was exaggerating when I said, "I know nothing about high-end audio." But I was definitely onto something.

eden's picture

you guys are rocking :-D

Al Marcy's picture

Audio is audio. High-end is schmooze. We each listen with the ears that grew on our heads in that assembly space ;)Schmooze is fun, too. Anti-schmooze, counter-schmooze, protective reaction schmooze. Thrilling and chilling.OK, some duds are hung up on being angry. Life is a puzzlement - to all.As the years go by and my system improves, with coaxing and coaching, I enjoy audio. More than I can ever say. Schmooze is OK, but, it ain't in the same ballpark ...

Jazzer's picture

It would be great if you could find us some cool audio resources around the web. Do quick write-ups and add links when you find stuff.

John Atkinson's picture

Read your comments with interest, Bob Wood. The fact remains that as under normal circumstances the sound of a speaker in a room is dominated by the first-arrival sound, 2 listeners to the same speaker in 2 different rooms will still hear variations on the same basic balance. I listen to review speakers in my reviewers' rooms and also in my room, and while there are quantitative differences in the bass, I don't otherwise hear a different speaker in my room.

Ward's picture

Nice writing. I like it so far. I assume you're going somewhere with this... Please, please provide an RSS or Atom feed so that I can subscribe to updates. The sites I read regularly all have feeds. The sites that don't have feeds, with just a few exceptions, and that's not just a coincidence. And can the Stereophile staffers please put together a system for this soon-to-be budding audiophile? Surely you have enough gear to do so. Glad to see another indie music lover breaking into audiophilia. Most people I know that listen to the music that Stephen (and myself as well) listen to aren't audiophiles. I've always thought there should be more overlap between the two groups.

Stephen Mejias's picture

Thanks very much, Ward. I agree with you: there should be more overlap between indie music lovers and audiophiles. It's funny, though: There might be more of an overlap than is commonly thought. Seems to me that more and more people I associate with outside of work - indie rocker types - are aware of Stereophile. More than that, they're actually fans. We'll try to keep it up.