Ignorance and Blindness
Hello Dear Followers,
I didn’t expect to write tonight, but I just finished “Our Town” and felt I had a few things to say before I head off to dreamland. I just tweeted if it was possible to love a book more before you read it than you do afterwards? Because this is how I felt for “Our Town,” while I understood the significance of the shortness, I didn’t feel I got to really know the characters, there was little character development.
But it is three acts after all, so I guess it makes sense. I definitely understood the play’s symbolism since the story is centered on life and the way most, if not all people live it. We live it quickly, especially in America. We don’t stop to appreciate, we are too much in a hurry.
I think that is what Mr. Wilder tried to convey, life is one big cycle and before you know it, you are on your death bed and all you have are glimpses of meaningful moments you didn’t realize were meaningful until after.
I am not going to give this story away, I thought it was okay, I didn’t find it exciting, but I don’t think it was meant to be. I think it was meant to be as ordinary as it was.
At the end, the character of Simon Stimson says to the character of Emily- “Now you know! That’s what is 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. Now you know- that’s the happy existence you wanted to go back to. Ignorance and Blindness”
We are all ignorant and blind in life, we don’t learn until we have experienced our experiences and sometimes even our experiences aren’t enough to teach us anything and we are then on to the next thing hoping to learn our lesson. What a waste of time.
The irony is that this book was written in a time when things did move a lot slower than they do now, yet according to Mr. Wilder’s screenplay people didn’t stop to notice the little things in life. So have we changed all that much since this play was written? I think we move even faster than Mr. Wilder tries to convey to his audience. So sad. He’d be so disappointed.
A well-known quote said by the character of Emily rings true even today -“Good-by, Good-by, world. Good-by, Grover’s Corners…Mama and Papa, Good-by to clocks ticking,…. and Mama’s sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new-ironed dress and hot baths…. and sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth, you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize you.”
We often miss the simple things in life because just don’t stop. We miss the appreciation of waking up every morning, sleeping, flowers and clocks. Because we are too busy, always so busy. My generation spends most of its time looking down at their cell phones and laptops to smell anything at all. We have gotten worse since Mr. Wilder’s time or the time when this book took place.
I work in Northwestern Connecticut, and for a moment each day I get a chance to see life move at a slower pace, its a part of the state that has forgotten to move at the pace of its neighbors. I swear there are people that still leave their front doors unlocked. I come to work each day and appreciate what is around me all the time. It is a section of Connecticut that is very interested in the present affairs of the world, but still holds hands with its history.
Well, I have to admit I am writing this with one eye open, proving my lack of appreciation for wonderful sleep.
Until next time..