Newtown is Our Town

Newtown, CT, is a town described as being “typically New England”. Having lived in that area for over 5 years in the 70s, I have a true sense of what is meant by this description. And though I don’t, for a minute, believe that the inhabitants of a prosperous professional neighbourhood believed that they had immunity from the madnesses of the world, I do have a sense that they believed that such devastating madness could not incubate from within a community such as theirs. The 21st century global village is indeed a double-edged sword. It offers the osmotic prospect of quantity of communication, but this magnitude of scale brings with it a prospective diminution of quality. I am a great fan of the internet and greatly value the potential offered by Facebook, email, blogs and the like. But we need to take care that more doesn’t become less; indeed meaningless. Isolation brings danger of alienation in both the micro and macro universes; and in the real and virtual worlds. This surely is the quintessential essence of this time of the year – a seasonal opportunity to embrace and meaningfully connect with one another; not only family and friends but also ‘the strangers in our midsts’.

 

I am not very good at “Love”….

….but today is our 25th. This poem says it best for me:

NOT LOVE PERHAPS

This is not Love, perhaps,
Love that lays down its life,
that many waters cannot quench,
nor the floods drown,
But something written in lighter ink,
said in a lower tone, something, perhaps, especially our own.

A need, at times, to be together and talk,
And then the finding we can walk
More firmly through dark narrow places,
And meet more easily nightmare faces;
A need to reach out, sometimes, hand to hand,
And then find Earth less like an alien land;
A need for alliance to defeat
The whisperers at the corner of the street.

A need for inns on roads, islands in seas,
Halts for discoveries to be shared,
Maps checked, notes compared;
A need, at times, of each for each,
Direct as the need of throat and tongue for speech.

ASJ TESSIMOND

All my love, Jane. Thanks for being with me this 25 years (and more).