I have a variety of reasons for plunging headfirst into Our Town.
But, as rehearsals continue, the motivations multiply. Here’s a new aspect of my motivation.
All Those Books
For decades, I’ve walked past the bookshelves in our home. Titles catch my eyes, especially those that I don’t know as well as I should. Many were assigned reading in high school and college. So, either I don’t remember them vividly or, worse, I never really read them in the first place.
I look at these familiar titles with their unfamiliar contents — and feel a pang of guilt, at worst, or a longing for a missed opportunity, at best.
Among the titles: Our Town.
Now, as I read and re-read Our Town, memorizing and internalizing the language of Thornton Wilder, I realize that I am, as Jennifer Hambrick suggested, exorcising a ghost. The ghost is the false impression that I am so well read.
But how well read can a late bloomer truly become?
For now, Our Town will serve as a representative of the other books on the shelf, the other ones that sailed through my fingers and over my head when I was too young to really digest them.
Even if I don’t know any other book so well, I will know Our Town intimately. I will know one book exceedingly well. I will know it cold.
So now, I know Our Town.