Artist and writer Makoto Fujimura, in a commencement address at Belhaven University, described the experience of seeing Our Town by Thornton Wilder in New York City. He described one scene that attempted to convey a memory. A character named Emily moves back in time to her 12th birthday, and this production conveyed this movement by slowly filling the room with the smell of bacon and eggs cooking. The back stage opened up to reveal another stage, this one full of light, color, and the smell of breakfast. “Emily’s memory, though fading away, is depicted as more real than the ‘reality’ of the main stage” by the full engagement of the audience’s senses. As Fujimura asks, “What if there is a Stage behind the stage of our life?” (Makoto Fujimura, “The Aroma of the New” [commencement address, Belhaven University, Jackson, MS, May 2, 2011], https://www.makotofujimura.com/writings/belhaven-university-commencement-address/). What if there is another story that, while less tangible or physical, is more real and alive than the one we think we’re living?
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