Heart Happy (cathy_edgett) wrote,
Heart Happy

"Our Town"

My high school, like most in the U.S., put on the play Our Town.  It was in our gym, and I went, but didn't really get it.  I loved Thornton Wilder's The Bridge of San Luis Rey, but somehow this particular production of Our Town didn't change my outlook or increase my participation and savoring of life.  Of course, the production quality may have had something to do with it.  It is not easy to take one's fellow classmates seriously, and I think I couldn't differentiate their roles from cheerleader, class president etc.  What I remember is that the actors were far, far away from where we sat on bleachers.  I don't think viewing from afar was the point.

In addition, I now understand that maturity is required for Our Town.  Evidenced by the volume of mail I'm getting announcing all the ways I might supplement Medicare, I am now entering mature years.

Yesterday, I downloaded Our Town to my Kindle and began reading.  Oh, my!  The Kindle version has a great deal of explanation as well as the play.  Perhaps the book version does too.  I recommend a visit to Our Town.

This seemingly simple play encompasses what I struggle to understand and live.

"Oh, earth, you're too wonderful for anybody to realize you."  Do we really need to look back from the grave to recognize that, to honor how precious the moments, the gift of the everyday in our lives?  Yes, I think the wake-up call needs to be stamped continually onto and into our psyches.

One character, looking "back", asks: "Does anyone ever realize life while they live it ...every, every minute?"

The Stage Manager answers: "No. Saints and poets maybe ... they do some." Aren't we all saints and poets?  I think so.

This morning I was also perusing the Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.  He seems to go back and forth on the value of travel, the importance, as he also exclaims on the joys of home.  He writes about John Ruskin, who encouraged us to sketch and draw to better "see", and also to write or "word-paint".  "We are all, he (John Ruskin) argued, able to turn out adequate word paintings; our failure to do so is the result merely of our not asking ourselves enough questions and not being precise enough in analyzing what we thought and felt."

Many of my friends exclaimed verbally over last night's full moon.  I seem to have been rendered speechless, but perhaps I could have uncovered some words for the experience, or not.  Today is exquisite.  Might I ask enough questions to give you the feel of air on my skin, the processing of my carbon dioxide by the leaves leaning in the window?  Perhaps, but I know you have a day of your own to explore.  I offer one question.

Can you and I, together and separately,  step into the wonder of this earth and realize what is here?

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