Showing posts from September, 2011

Listening to the Fiddler

"The Earth keeps some vibration going
     There in your heart, and that is you."
           ~ Fiddler Jones,Spoon River Anthology, Edgar Lee Masters

Spoon River Anthology was required reading in one of my high school English classes.  I don't know if that's a common choice or if the fact that Spoon River is an Illinois location might have played a role, but I'm glad this book wound up in my path just the same.  It's a collection of poems, each written in the voice of a different "resident" of a small town cemetery.  Over the course of the book, you get the singular glints of individual lives, but also the collective glow of shared stories, and a larger picture of the town emerges.  In that respect, the literature reflects the way the real world works; A community is bound together by shared experience, but we each have our own perspectives and our own stories to tell.  I think this was a big part of the appeal for me and why I have kept my copy and …


Families are communities, though we may not always think of them that way because they aren't communities of place like the town or country where we live.  They aren't communities of time either, like a high school graduating class or even communities of purpose like a club, a job, or a church group.  Most people don't choose their family, and it's not the sort of community you can decide to quit usually.  Nevertheless, it is one and is subject to those group dynamics like any other.
     Whenever you put two people together, you will discover differences of opinion.  When there are three, there will be alliances, disputes, stratification and evolution.  Families are no different.
     A few weeks ago, my husband argued with one of his brothers.  It began as a simple online discussion about whether the pledge of allegiance to the American flag should be recited daily in grade school classrooms.  It flared suddenly into a full scale debate, then exploded into a hug…