Our Town

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A wonderful quote from Thornton Wilder’s iconic play, Our Town, one that is especially suited for this Eastertide season between Easter and Pentecost:

Emily has returned from the dead to look at her beloved family, aching to be with them once more. She sees them as they were fourteen years earlier, when she was still a young girl, on her birthday, but she knows all that will come, all the joy and the sorrow:

EMILY, in a loud voice, to the STAGE MANAGER: “I can’t. I can’t go on. It goes so fast. We don’t have time to look at one another. I didn’t realize. So all that was going on and we never noticed. Take me back—up the hill—to my grave. But first, wait! One more look. Goodbye, goodbye, world. Goodbye, Grover’s Corners…Mama and Papa. Goodbye 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 anyone to realize you.” She looks toward the STAGE MANAGER and asks abruptly through her tears: “Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it—every, every minute?”

STAGE MANAGER: “No.” Pause. “The saints and poets, maybe—they do some.”

EMILY: “I’m ready to go back.” She returns to her chair beside Mrs. Gibbs. Pause.

MRS GIBBS: “Were you happy?”

EMILY: “No…I should have listened to you. That’s all human beings are! Just blind people.”

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7 thoughts on “Our Town”

  1. Danke Herr Parker… wie wunderschön der Einblick in dieses Zitat und gleichzeitig doch so wehmütig … ich habe das Gefühl ein enges Band zieht sich um mein Herz, wenn ich dies lese….dabei an Familie und Freunde denke und die doch so rasend schnell vergängliche (Lebens-)Zeit …Tränen schießen mir in meine Augen….nehmen wir uns doch einen kleinen Augenblick Zeit … Zeit für ein wenig Besinnlichkeit (-auch zu Gott-) und inneren Frieden, genießen ein Stück unseres bereits absolvierten Lebens, blicken darauf zurück, was wir vielleicht schon alles erreicht haben, noch erreichen wollen / werden und achten ein wenig mehr auf uns, unsere Mitmenschen und die Umwelt … Manuela

  2. …der Glaube an Gott, den Heiland, der Glaube an die Auferstehung von den Toten, (eine Art Existenz nach dem Tod), der Himmel und die Hölle, die Vergebung der Schuld, die Kraft des heiligen Geistes ….. ich hoffe und bete dafür, dass es so etwas gibt (jeder sollte für sich selbst entscheiden, an was er/sie glaubt) ….Ich glaube an Gott und den heiligen Geist und die heilige christliche Kirche….. Gott schütze Euch alle …. Manuela

  3. I really liked this piece. It’s always good to be reminded to stop and be thankful for what we have. As the old saying goes: ‘ you don’t know what you have till it’s gone.’
    Best wishes,

  4. A very passionate description of life in the 21st century. The thought that we aren’t realizing life while we’re living it has a certain poignancy to it, doesn’t it?
    The song “Come Alive” from The Greatest Showman, (have you seen that? If not, take it from me, you must!) I think fits here.
    “When the world becomes a fantasy
    And you’re more than you could ever be
    ‘Cause you’re dreaming with your eyes wide open
    And you know, you can’t go back again
    To the world that you were living in
    ‘Cause you’re dreaming with your eyes wide open
    So, come alive!”

    Now, about A Passage to India. I forced myself through Part 1, loved chapters 14-15. I’m now ready to begin chapter 18 and really want to pitch the book across the room. I knew this was coming. I knew it but argh! Not Aziz. Not kindly, lovable, funny Aziz.

  5. I’m a little Gabby Ginny today. (Okay every day.)

    I thought I’d let you and your wonderful readers know that a group of us get together on Twitter on Monday nights to chat about great books. You would love it and your thoughts would be so very welcome.
    It starts at 7pm (MDT, 6PDT, 8CDT, and 9EDT). Just follow #GreatBooks


  6. The poet A.E .Housman ( A shropshire Lad 1896) said it best when he penned:

    “Into my heart an air that kills
    From yon far country blows;

    What are those blue remembered hills,
    what spires what farms are those?

    That is the land of lost content,
    I see it shining plain,
    The happy hiways where I went
    and cannot come again.”

    A Farmwife from Nebraska

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