Memory and community

“Conversation’s got to have some root in the past, or else you’ve got to explain every remark you make, and it wears a person out.

-S.O Jewitt

Berry quotes this and further comments:

The conversation wells up out of memory, and in a sense IS the community, the presence of its past and its hope, speaking in the dumb abyss.

-Wendell Berry, What are people for?, p.87

I love that line. This is why building communities takes time. Lots of it. They cannot be fashioned out of thin air or invented online effectively. To be substantial, they must draw from the well of shared memory and that well is rather a cistern that takes many thunderstorms to fill with rain.