Community is a big buzz word these days. It seems that any people are looking around this rapidly changing world and redefining what community means, and building new ones for themselves. Not only did I notice this poster here in Eugene, but we have also felt very welcomed into the Eugene community by many of our temporary neighbors who have shared with us their stories (and the occasional casserole). As I take a look around and think about who and what make up my own communities, I start to think about who my neighbors are.
Edwin Coleman (L) came in the MobileBooth to speak with his neighbor Jim Newton (R). Edwin’s life is full of stories. He spoke about meeting Robert Kennedy, touring as a bassist with Peter, Paul, and Mary, meeting his wife, and his years as a theater teacher at the University of Oregon. Jim and Edwin also discussed their relationship as neighbors. Luckily, being neighbors oftentimes means more than fences and lawn disputes. Jim and Edwin connected over their love of the written word and their mutual appreciation for the poetry of Langston Hughes. They spoke of the poems “A Dream Deferred,” and “I, Too, Sing America”. Edwin recited the poem, “Cross“, and when he forgot some words, Jim was there to help him out. Their conversations often involve “a glass of wine and poem.” As for their relationship, Edwin said, “It’s been said that fences make good neighbors. I’m glad we don’t have a fence.”
A neighbor may live next door to you, but I love Miriam Webster’s additional definition, “fellow man.” May we all have neighbors who can help us complete poems we forget.