Monday, March 4, 2013

A Reading from the Book of Rouse

In the beginning it was all good. We were all the right sort of Columbians. The world was wholesome and fair. We understood that all we needed was our own Village Center, and the great good Mall to unite us.
It was all forming into a beautiful utopia, just for us. Just to meet our families' needs. Everyone was involved in making Columbia a better place.  Participation in self-government was enthusiastic. Lifelong friendships were forged at the community mailboxes.

The world was safe; it was easy to find a babysitter.  But mostly, Moms stayed home and made our neighborhoods welcoming. Oh, mom took a painting or ceramics class now and again, for fulfillment, you know. But we knew she'd be there when we needed her. 

Once upon a time we were pioneers in integration and multiculturalism.  We had just the right kind of diversity, you know: nice upwardly mobile middle class integration and nice university professor sort of multiculturalism.  

God Bless Jim Rouse, he wanted there to be economic diversity too, so he made apartments and townhomes for the just out of college folks. They don't have a lot of money, you know. And they might need to walk to the Village Center until they saved up enough for a car.

He even thought of Interfaith Centers for all the right sort of religions, and everyone felt included and no one was left out because they could all worship the very same way, only different, if you know what I mean.  

We had lovely man-made lakes and public spaces and pathways and tot lots, and people appreciated them and didn't carp about wanting something different.  It was all new so people didn't clamor for change.  We were the change.

This was our Genesis.  This was our Garden of Eden. You can't have one.  Everyone knows miracles only happened in Bible times. Those were our times.  We get to live in the rosy garden of our memories, and you?  Well, you are what happened after the Fall. You wanted to taste of the Tree of Life, didn't you? 

That Tree is not for you.  But you can dance in its shadow. Just as long as we get to pick the music.

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