America has been troubling. The consumer push is thicker than I ever remember, the pressure to buy big and often and right now. Things are far larger than they need to be. It’s a difficult relationship, I think, that I’ve got to my home country. For moments I wish I had been born somewhere else. Then I back up, because of course this country and the people here have made me who I am, and were I somewhere else–well, I would have been a different person.
So I’m trying to figure this place out, to see its good and bad clearly as I might. I’ll share some photographs today. Let’s make of them what we can:
SCHEELS Outdoor Store
Our checked bag got stuck in Amsterdam (we heard at last just on Friday that it had been found!). We headed to the megalithic SCHEELS outdoor store to get some things we would need. We’ve got travel insurance in Norway (since the Norwegian national healthcare system covers us only in the EEA, the travel insurance is essentially our health coverage when traveling beyond), and this let us recoup some of the necessary things in our missing bag.
This western land of cattle ranch and hill and rocky butte stretches out to snowy mountains, these gateways of the Rockies. My in-laws tell me that the mountains aren’t referred to as the Rockies here at all but by the names of various sub-ranges: the Beartooths. The Crazies. The Absaroka. The Bridger Range.
In this country strange and wide, where do we go? What do we become? There are so many of us, it is easy, it seems, to section ourselves off, lay down barbed wire in between. We polarize in pockets, some million little countries. With the awful election results the other day in the UK and the continued furor of the Trump Whitehouse as impeachment knocks, this far-right push around the world… I wish there were a way to come together, and I also feel sickened sometimes at this thought, that to compromise, to search for common ground, when at stake it feels is human kindness–I struggle. I wonder at some way forward I can’t see.
This coming week, we’ll move on to Wisconsin and Minnesota: family, friends, revisiting old places. Perhaps I’ll find some time to write. I’d like to. But it’s good to take this time to reconnect.
Wishing peace for all of us,