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      20-20 Vision. By Thomas Putnam

      I like the tendency we have to look back at the year we're saying farewell to and looking forward to the one we're greeting. I find it healthy and almost impossible to avoid. As I type this the popular song “From a Distance” is playing on my new gifted Alexa thing-y. Today provides sort of a distance—a one-day distance—to observe where we've been and where we're going, or hope to go.

      The very year—2020—conjures up notions of observation, with it's allusion to our eyesight. (Watch for Michelle Lockwood's clever poster design for our 30th Season romp celebration in late February!) Of course our vision of the past year is colored by our experience and we can't possibly know what lies ahead, only what we might hope for in 2020.

      Briefly, however, I look back at this past year and am further committed to exploring our shared humanity through the performing arts. The news from around the world that continually pounds us on partisan news networks is wearing us down and often robs all hope. It the midst of that bombardment I have found great hope and light in so many moments throughout the year. Monday nights and Tuesday afternoons creating music with 50 area kids have been an incredibly hopeful experience for me. Talk backs following EVERY BRILLIANT THING were incredibly hopeful as people allowed themselves to be vulnerable and shared their stories. Creating something called THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME from a place of nothing was an incredible hopeful experience. These are just a few of what the Celtic Christians call “thin places”--those places of time and place where the boundary between physical and spiritual are almost imperceptible—in 2019. I've been blessed with many such moments. The moments are true connections I've experienced with others—human and other life forms.

      I can't even begin to list the moments I'm looking forward to in 2020, but they primarily involve hyphenation, in another word “connection.” I've often mused on the creation of the name for this group of local creative artists and am happy for the hyphen which celebrates connection. 2020 vision.

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