Posts Tagged ‘death’

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My daughter Christy, the person on the right , played Mrs. Webb in the play Our Town. She has acted in many plays at the Pressor Arts center in Mexico Missouri. My wife and and I attended the Sunday afternoon performance.The woman on the left is playing Mrs. Gibbs.

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Christy in another scene during the performance. Photos are from the facebook page of the Pressor Performance Arts Center.

Below is a blog post by our friend Tim Carson who with his wife Kathy attended this performance.

Our Town is every town

by vitalwholeness

I was pleased to recently attend another presentation of the now classic stage play Our Town written by Thornton Wilder. As you know, the sparseness of this play makes it rich. And the running commentary by the Stage Manager actually interprets the normality of life in its bigger view. There are portions of the three act play that always bring me to tears, mostly in the closing act that pulls no punches in bringing the stark reality of mortality and eternity to the fore.

The Stage Manager warns us early on that however intrigued we might be with day-to-day life in Grover’s Corners and refrains of love and marriage, more somber themes are on the way. He wasn’t kidding. Up to the cemetery we go where the dead are “weaned away from the world” step by step.

The living can’t grasp the meaning of life until it’s gone and they sure can’t grasp eternity, not fully, though, as the Stage Manger says, “everybody in their bones knows that something is eternal.”

But it is Emily, dead too early, who captures the longing for life unobserved and missed when she looks back one last time. Her monologue is the nut of the play, and one sentence stands out more than any other:

“Good-by, Good-by, world. Good-by, Grover’s Corners. Mama and Papa. Good-bye 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 we lean in and listen to the answer of the Stage Manager, our resident philosopher: “No. The saints and poets, maybe—they do some.”

After Emily returns and takes her place in the company of those who have crossed over, darkness falls over Grover’s Corners and the Stage Manager helps us, one more time, to see how the ordinary turns under the aspect of eternity. After noting the time, the way we finite creatures understand time, he speaks to us and says,  “Hm…Eleven o’clock in Grover’s Corners…You get a good rest, too. Good night.”

Do we get a good night’s rest? The saints and poets, maybe.

Is this an Easter story? Part of it? Or larger than it?

Think about that as you watch the close of Act 3 in the Lincoln Center production with actress Penelope Ann Miller.

Here is a segment from  the director’s note by  Dave Roland from the play program.
“It is a play about what it means to be human, what it means for ordinary, unexceptional people to have life and identity, and to contribute their own verse to ” the powerful play.” And in it’s own uniquely powerful way, it encourages the audience to be sure that they are contributing their own verse, they take some time to fully appreciate the small, beautiful wonders of life and our relationship to those with whom we share it.”

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End of a Season

“End of a Season” by John Foster Dyess

This image, that I created in 2000, is based on several photographs that I took in the fall of 2000, of leaves,mushrooms, a work glove and a dead bird that I found. I have been recently creating images  of life cycle: death, birth,renewal and metamorphose ( “change or cause to change completely on form or nature”) Although this image was not based on a photo that I took on my recent trip to North Carolina, it fits into my new body of images titled “A walk in the woods”.
This is a mixed media painting which includes digital and pen and ink on paper. The size is 12.5″ wide by 9″ high.