Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Small Town Girl

You don’t really understand the place you grow until you’re gone long enough. Long enough is when you can see with the eyes of one who's never been there. It's a new place when you walk down the street and your name rings no bells, when places are memories, some no longer there. Then you begin to know where you’re from and something about who you are.

Growing up in a small town isn’t something I thought about. It was just how things were.

A small town is a small universe. It has no galaxies. It barely has solar systems. Small town stars just aren’t strong enough to get planets to orbit them not for long.

It’s the way of small towns to attract individuals not crowds, or maybe crowds don’t form because there aren't enough people. Every small town crowd is really made of tiny clusters of ones or twos or threes that happen to be together.

What that means is that the bikers, the theater folks, the dancers, the nerds, the geek, the jocks, the gays, the uptight, the laidback, and the “in-between, self-conscious-I-don’t-knowers,” all know each other/ We all talked and interacted in ways that we never would have if there were more of each of our own kind to hang out with. Instead we all learned how to talk to each other. We couldn’t help but learn.

I had no idea what that small town was teaching me about people.
−me strauss Letting me strauss

8 comments:

Dawn said...

We have so much to learn from the place we grow up in. And just like you said, most of the lessons are understood long after we've moved away.

I grew up in a big city in a small family, but I see that many of the lessons are the same, I just learned them differently.

ME Strauss said...

Hello Dawn,
The same lessons learned differently. I like that. There's so much sense in that. Like different languages talking about the same feelings.

Dawn said...

Yeah. There are so many different ways to arrive at the same truth. I guess that's what makes the world and the people who inhabit it so fascinating.

ME Strauss said...

Yes we are a fascinating, er, interesting, uh, quite remarkable, in every sense of that word, species . . . aren't we?

Janus said...

*Plays Mellencamp rifts* I grew up in a small town...

(Me too liz...though its getting bigger everytime I come home, and I don't like that.)

ME Strauss said...

Hi Janus!
Yeah, mine's not getting bigger, but it's getting to look more and more like an American suburb without a city. Sad.

Lance said...

Hello Liz, it is Lance saying hello. I am back thorugh to catch up in time. I am now moving through MDW on regularity, and I thought about your writing.

ME Strauss said...

Lance!
I've thought about you a lot. So good to know you're well. Thank you for stopping in. Gosh I hardly know what to say . . .