Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Movin' to Montana... soon?

Ever since hearing Frank Zappa's song in high school about the peregrinating dental floss tycoon, since reading Willa Cather's Nebraska-novel, _O Pioneers!_, and especially since drooling over my good buddy's pics and anecdotes from Wyoming, I have had an inexplicable, and inexplicably acute, hankering to live in Montana, Wyoming, or Nebraska, and in that order of preference. I've even taken a few longer than blinking looks at those states' big universities. (Grad school has to happen somewhere.) Something about the remoteness, the cold weather, the mountains, the forests and the echo of a Native American frontier world all draw me to the great central-northern states (why Idaho, North and South Dakota and Minnesota leave me cold, I don't know, but they do). I haven't ever visited them, ever, but these places, my “big three”, are profoundly beautiful to me, I think because they bespeak a kind of imperturbable majesty. They are, even more than our big cities, quintessentially USAmerican geography. Vast and abundant, stark and unbending, terrifying and sublime, both surreal and unsparingly real. These states are an ocean of land and therefore just as mysteriously alluring as the sea. (Did I mention I love water on many levels?)

I think I was taken with such beauty -- the beauty of vastness – during my bike tour through eastern Colorado and Kansas. Kansas was the most boring state I’ve ever seen, yet also one of the most beautiful. There is something like pure magic in seeing red, yellow and blue hunks of old combines studding miles and miles and miles of shimmering wheat. Natural cubism. Obviously, my big three aren’t flat or shimmering like Kansas, but they do have the same allure: to look and look and still see only more!

At any rate, I'd love to hear any readers' perceptions or experiences of my big three, or anything else in this post, for that matter, eh?

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