All wells eventually run dry in the desert, cont.

California outpost
California outpost

I wanted to talk more today about outposts. The entire Western United States is an outpost. Our heritage hasn’t yet arrived on wagon trains—the first evidence of lost luggage. There is virtually no history but our own. We are like Australia, left on our own to develop civilization without the constraints of the East. Without the oversight and constraint of the first states—the European states—British, German, Italian, Irish. We are, instead, the Wild West. We are more Spanish and Chinese than we are British colonists. We are Asian-Pacific, Latino, and African-American. We are displaced caucasians of forgotten lineage. We are New Agers, reformers, rebuilders, conquerors, and renegades.

We are still trying to settle the West. We are in young country, as young as my own great grandmother who helped settle Guthrie, the first capital of Oklahoma.

A toast to outposts everywhere. Be nice to us, we are making it up as we go along.

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2 thoughts on “All wells eventually run dry in the desert, cont.

  1. “We’re making this up as we go along” – ah, it’s the same in England, but we have the crushing weight of history and the post-Victorian hangover to contend with!

    I studied in libraries that were hundreds of years old, I constantly draw upon the heritage of this country – hell even my trilogy is about it ultimately. I can’t imagine what it would be like to live in an outpost – that’s why I loved reading this.

  2. It’s bizarre and kind of lonely. There are cultures here who celebrate their heritage and investigate it, keep it alive, but I’m not in one of them. I am what my dad called Heinz57, a little of everything.

    And the east is full of arts and crafts. Everything east of the Mississippi, as they say, has arts galore! Out here? forget it. Little enclaves of “art as something to go look at if you have nothing else to do.”

    That’s what I miss most, arts being part of everyday life and there being a market for it. Only in Portland and a few other places are the arts really accepted as part of life.

    Glad you liked it. It was a revelation for me to realize that not only my town was boring, but the entire West!

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