Truro Is ‘Heaven’
To the editor:
I am writing to express my concerns regarding the Dec. 19 letter from the editor entitled “Heart of Darkness” [page 2].
The editorial begins with a description of the editor’s head cold and general malaise, his busy schedule, and his frustration with not having enough time to make latkes. The writer then states that his mood worsened when he heard that a member of the Truro Planning Board “actually made an argument against affordable housing by saying he didn’t want to see the neighborhood turn into Flint, Michigan or the South Bronx.”
The writer quotes an unnamed source who states that she grew up in Truro and refers to Truro as the “Heart of Darkness.”
Truro is filled with all kinds of people with all kinds of opinions. The people of Truro are an eclectic bunch, not unlike our neighboring communities of Wellfleet and Provincetown. People in Truro are passionate and often outspoken about issues in their town. This is true about our housing crisis and many other topics that stir up strong feelings on either side of an issue.
The reference to “Heart of Darkness” is from a novella written by Joseph Conrad in 1899, which follows a man’s journey up the Congo River in Africa to “one of the dark places on earth.” The story line was used in the film Apocalypse Now as a metaphor for traveling to a place of moral decay and hopelessness. You get the idea.
So why would a fledgling neighborhood newspaper choose to describe Truro in this way? I really don’t know, but here’s a thought: let’s celebrate our diversity and passions; let’s not call each other names; let’s work together.
And, for the record, if someone were to ask me what I’d call Truro — that’s easy. I would call Truro “Heaven.”
Toward the Light
To the editor:
Thank you for Mark Gabriele’s honest yet hopeful appraisal of the U.S. as a pre-genocidal society, citing the presence of several of the 10 stages identified by the Alliance to End Genocide (“Fighting Darkness in the Season of Lights,” Dec. 19, page 3). It is only as we are sharp-eyed about reality that we may also perceive and move toward the light with audacious hope. Otherwise we mistake superficial glitter for the real thing.
Why do so many neighbors choose to ignore the actual depth of the darkness? For example, Christian traditions of this season emphatically do not. Following the story of Jesus’ birth in the Gospel of Matthew, a genocidal King Herod carries out a massacre of all boys under two years in the Bethlehem vicinity, presumably to eliminate a potential threat. (Although there is no historical corroboration of this, it is in keeping with what is known of Herod.) Mary, Joseph, and Jesus flee as refugees from their home country to Egypt, returning only after Herod’s death.
Flash forward to the U.S. in 2019. Children have died in the custody of Homeland Security. Many more have likely suffered permanent trauma through forced separation from parents. So-called Migrant Protection Protocols force desperate refugees to face danger and despair in Mexico while awaiting asylum hearings.
Yet many Christians join with others in the chorus to declare that the Trump administration is scoring “wins” for them and for America. They ignore or fail to see the dark forces at work beneath the glitter.
A season of lights will have arrived when more of us, of whatever beliefs, have been able to acknowledge the truth and then move toward the presence of true community with one another and the Earth. In this shines a light no darkness can overcome.
The writer is a Presbyterian minister.