On being of America but not belonging to it.
That is so true, Jenna. Excellent work, as usual. Few places I go and see the USA that I once knew. It is terrible to witness society's fabric torn apart by so many ideologies infecting virtually every element of society. Of course, as we know, there are flaws from the past, like slavery and corrupt "national building," causing hatred for our nation. Our external and internal enemies harp on these things rather than using them as a true history lesson to unite us and make the country whole again.
Thoughtful post... who knew we would ever get to this point?
You struck a nerve pointing out the malaise in America with this essay. In my opinion, this is part of a master plan to cause despair in order to take down our country from within. Americans must resist joining the sheepeople. I grew up in the 50s reading & watching “how the west was won.” That attitude has not left me. I still believe. By example, my wife & I seem to have inspired this same attitude in our children & for the most part, now our grandchildren.
While our children did not immerse themselves in our western culture as much as I, like your family, they went on road trips,. We had a custom Chevy van much as you described. Our van was a pewter gray color with a blue velvet-like interior. It was embellished with custom paint panels with a surfer theme that included palm leaves, hibiscus flowers & even a hang glider. Our kids traveled from the Maine/Canadian border to Keywest, FL. They stood on the Continental Divide in Colorado & watched a herd of pronghorn antelope racing across the high desert in Utah. When circumstances changed, we flew to watch whales along the California coast. We were very fortunate to help educate them while showing them the greatest country on earth.
Again — in my opinion — one of the most interesting lessons in this essay may be “To become aware of the possibility of the search is to be onto something. Not to be onto something is to be in despair.”
Thank you — please keep up the great work!
Thanks well done
Really well done, Jenna! So good that you were able to travel the country as you did when you were young. - Apathy has set in, and I think most don't even know it, not knowing any better. Next is dependency, then bondage if this attitude continues. Thanks for writing.
This is excellent, Jenna. It knocks and drills into our unsatisfied longing for Place and Cohesion, where one or two things can be relied upon not to dissolve and disappoint. It’s always worth the tackle, this malaise or issue. So good.
Top drawer work, Madem.
Again, great writing!
What you did as a child my wife and I did long after we were grown. We were born in the city of Pittsburgh. We moved out to the country in the area where my wife's family farm was. Once we left the city, we were of course expected to drive back for family gatherings. When we said you guys can come to our house, they said that's too far to drive! We answered that it was still 32 miles for us also. Hmmm
While living there, the book and movie "Lonesome Dove" came out. My wife thought maybe it was time for a change. Maybe we should move out West, maybe Montana. Pennsylvania is beautiful and green. But the humidity in the summer will melt you and the humidity in winter makes the cold go right into your bones. My last January there, I was working rewiring an asphalt plant. The daytime temp was 15 ALL month. We would get to work, turn on the electric heater to ungell the diesel to start the tube heaters!
We told family and friends our plan to move to Montana and they were horrified! People in the East go to Florida for vacation, but grow up and raise a family only a few miles from where they are born because THAT is civilization! One girl even pictured us ending up in a house like "Little House on the Prairie"!
We sold our house, boarded horses and stored furniture and took off for Montana. We were on the road for 3 months and ended up in Washington state! We stopped in all the states in between, met people, saw sights and had a wonderful experience. We saw Yellowstone, Mt. Rushmore, the Pacific ocean, accidentally stopped in the seat of the Aryan nation in Idaho, (a whole strange story in itself). We had a teenager in Montana ask if we use the same money back in Pennsylvania🤔
It was all an absolutely mind blowing experience and we too learned what America is and what it is to be an American. But we didn't feel we belonged in any of those places. We belong here in Washington, despite our benevolent dictator governor and the crazy libtards on the West side of the state.
Despite all the forces trying to destroy us, I think all we have to do is remember why America is here in the first place. Why we all live here in the first place. Wherever you are, that will ground you and connect you to the people and the place you happen to be in.