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Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Our Town Letters

“I never told you about that letter Jane Crofut got from her minister when she was sick. He wrote Jane a letter and on the envelope the address was like this: It said: Jane Crofut; The Crofut Farm; Grover's Corners; Sutton County; New Hampshire; United States of America. Continent of North America; Western Hemisphere; the Earth; the Solar System; the Universe; the Mind of God...that's what it said on the envelope. And the postman brought it just the same.”

Our Town, produced by Trinity Street Players running May 13-24 upstairs in First Austin’s Black Box Theatre is an American classic written by Thornton Wilder. But it’s more than that. 

It’s a story about people in Grover’s Corners. And it’s a story that could easily be about people in Austin, Texas. But it’s more than that too.

Our Town is a a prayer.

It begins with observation and thanksgiving…

“there isn't much culture; but maybe this is the place to tell you that we've got a lot of pleasures of a kind here. We like the sun comin' up over the mountain in the morning and we all notice a good deal about the birds. We pay a lot of attention to them. And we watch the change of the seasons; yes, everybody knows about them.”

Our Town is a recognition of our temporal life that from ashes we have come and to ashes we will return…

“Some babies that weren't even born before have begun talking regular sentences already; and a number of people who thought they were right young and spry have noticed that they can't bound up a flight of stairs like they used to, without their heart fluttering a little. All that can happen in a thousand days.” 

Our Town asks us to remember and reflect…

“You know how it is; you're twenty-one or twenty-two and you make some decisions; then whisssh! you're seventy... you've been a lawyer for fifty years and that white-haired lady at your side has eaten over fifty thousand meals with you. How do such things begin? And particularly the days when you were first in love; when you were like a person sleep-walking. You're just a little bit crazy. Will you remember that, please?” 

Our Town is an anguished lamentation…

“Yes, now you know. That's what it was to be alive. To move about in a cloud of ignorance; to go up and down trampling on the feelings of those...of those about you. To spend and waste time as though you had a million years. To be always at the mercy of one self-centered passion, or another. Good- by to clocks ticking...and Mama's sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new- ironed dresses and hot baths...and sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth, you're too wonderful for anybody to realize you. Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it...every, every minute?” 

And Our Town is a confession…

“Now there are some things we all know, but we don't take'm out and look at'm very often. We all know that something is eternal...everybody knows in their bones that something is eternal, and that something has to do with human beings. There's something way down deep that's eternal about every human being.” 

“I never told you about that letter Jane Crofut got from her minister when she was sick.” Rebecca says to her older brother as they sit at his bedroom window and look at the moon, “on the envelope the address was like this: It said: Jane Crofut; The Crofut Farm; Grover's Corners; Sutton County; New Hampshire; United States of America. Continent of North America; Western Hemisphere; the Earth; the Solar System; the Universe; the Mind of God...that's what it said on the envelope. And the postman brought it just the same.”


Thanks be to God.