5/22/2017

I drive from Boulder to Illinois and Missouri, where I am from originally, and back at least once a year. These road trips from one home to another take me on a nonstop coffee fueled drive through the rural midwest through Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa Illinois and Missouri. This creates an understanding of the land as an almost blank spot on a map, a space that I would prefer to fold like the surface of a map in order to quickly get from one destination to another rather than move through. Entering Kansas this time felt like I was really there for the first time, no longer thinking about a destination but rather absorbing the landscape and really getting a feeling of home.  I have had to change tires on this road before. I have been here before but never have I really been present. We stopped at a gas station to stretch and fill up the tank. Walking behind the convenient store I found a field smelling of manure, which like the birds, the trees and the light was astoundingly familiar. I have never associated the midwest with a real feeling of home. But that is what it is to me. This trip is giving me a real sense of the prejudices and stereotypes that I hold of the midwest, that keep me from truly seeing and feeling. It took a few years living in Boulder to really come back and feel it. A fullness returns to the landscape.