Fluid Community

More heresy on the part of moi.

“Newburyport According to X” has this to say about Todd Freemont-Smith’s project in back of the Wheelwright property:

“The real kicker is that while he (Todd Freemont-Smith) and his family may live there for decades, they will more than likely, as many who move to Newburyport these days, live there a couple years until they move on to their next business or financial opportunity…”

And, Mr X is right.

I think I’ve gone and am going through a mourning process for Newburyport, MA. I liked it far better before it became an “it” town. But it has become an “it” town. And I am pretty powerless over its growing “it-ness.” So I have a choice, I can be angry and bitter, or I can be curious as to what will transpire.

For a long time my anger at the change to Newburyport’s blossoming “it-ness” felt like sticking a finger in a dike that was bursting all around it. It felt as if I was left with my finger in a small piece of concrete, while the water was gushing down all around me.

Todd Freemont-Smith is part of that gushing water thing. And yes, I agree with Mr. X, Newburyport no longer has become a rooted community, but one in which people stay for a while, or in many cases are forced out, and move on, leaving their mark, good, bad and indifferent.

But Newburyport reflects the larger world in which we live–global and mobile. And it seems that fewer and fewer offspring stay in the place that they were born. And fewer and fewer families, because of so many mobile jobs, can afford to stay in one place for a lifetime or enjoy a generational span.

So, Ok, this is what we appear to have. And what I guess I now hope, is that even as we would become a more and more fluid community, we could agree on the boundaries of the marks that people, who would come and go, could leave. How that would be done, I don’t know.

Mary Eaton