Rod Dreher

Sam Crane is performing in a community theater production of “Our Town” this summer, and it got him to thinking about Taoist themes in the play. For Taoism, he writes:

e complex is to be found in the simple, the vast in the minute. This is a central theme in Our Town. The persons and families move through ordinary experiences: making daily meals, going off to school or work, getting married, having children. There is nothing unusual here. Quite to the contrary, everything is very much in and of and about the ordinary. And in that ordinariness we come to see the eternal, the immutable, the universal condition of humankind. The wise person – and a certain wisdom resides in the characters of Our Town – doesn’t explicitly embrace the big, unanswerable questions of humanity. The sage has no need for fancy theories or explanations. He or she doesn’t really look for them because meaning and significance are rooted in the minute events of daily life. And it is in that unassuming manner that the Webbs and the Gibbses become “utterly vast.”

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