Community memory is created in the exchange of story. Sharing. Listening, Finding a common bond. My 1st community overshadows my current community. Exploring the dissonance and barriers to having ‘Here‘ feel like home.
In the first settlement in Connecticut where an interstate cuts North and South
and meandering rivers still meet. Each year there is Shad Derby Day for all not just those with a fishing line over the bridge.There once was a movie marquee and a near 1st explosion of 31 flavors of Ice Cream, park ponds where ripples attracted Striders and dragonflies. Fresh coffee remains synonymous with A&P. And it is truth that my 1st awareness of the world was from inside a tobacco barn. My 1st encounter with infamy, the naming of public schools: John Fitch and Kennedy. Thew was also a private school for boys and girls, merged, remaining a dipstick for courageous intellect, aspiring to places bigger than where Native American Indians once lived and youth gathered day and night in “the center”.
The fourth relocation within Connecticut where the parkway cuts North and South
and an esplanade traverses one of many hilltops aside my front lawn. I chose relocation here with positive personal historic context: a decade prior I was a welcomed presenter among civic-minded women. Then I traveled the rustic parkway rather than interstate to a satellite office in a re-purposed foundry. From farm-like neighboring community my children had a double hitter summer at Indian Y-camp and were enchanting by the library with a community TV station inside. They had love for both.
Memories, more like miss-perception.
My community service reentry: Celebrate or Taste of Wallingford Day becomes a day of re-acquaintance. Ironically encounters across a parade ground, school yards and trail became false positives: There was nearby walk-to-school paths but better to bus to the city decisions. PTAC members without Dag Awakenings awareness and a library maimed, absent the progressive inclusion of a Community TV facility. Culture was in other places, even promotion of poets that slam was discouraged, more so poets of color. Discovery was commingled with a mystery story about silo-making: badgers, somersaulted ‘us’ into darkness. Badgering asked, and asked again thereby designated for appointment to serve without scaffolding.
Feeling it. A center full of dead.
My daily engagements with ‘the other’ happens where the mission is about barrier breaking
Twinkles become story: a blue chicken, a re-purposed barn, a face-off with history, a door to keep open to all, a my midlife consumed with powerful wild and free engagement.
To be the change I want to see in the world. I remain. Optimism opens one encounter at a time.