Wednesday, February 12, 2014

On life in Colorado

Every time I attempt to dabble in the blogging world I go through the dilemma of trying to decide if anyone, anywhere will have the slightest care in the world about what I have to say. Eventually, I decide the negative and hence why my previous blog (which I cannot really claim as a success of any sort) has melted into the abyss of the internet, in the no doubt highly overcrowded grave yard of forgotten passwords and half hearted blog attempts...

Anyway. My blogging aspirations have changed. I have left the 'big city' and moved (temporarily) to the beautiful town of Boulder, Colorado, USA. Living here amongst the majestic Rocky Mountains has definitely shown me a side to life that I have never had the opportunity to appreciate before. Having spent the majority of my life on the small, rainy island that is the United Kingdom, the sheer size of America enables so much that I previously never could have imagined. Being here you really begin to appreciate how the Western frontier became a space of so much potential and mystery, a theme which runs literally and metaphorically through so much classic American literature. Colorado specifically embodies this space. Suspended almost directly in the centre (or should I say center) of the continent, framed to the West by the Rockies with the great Plains stretching all the way East until the Appalachians - it is easy to see why this state captivated a young Jack Kerouac; who in his novel 'on the road' mused "I was halfway across America, at the dividing line between the East of my youth and the West of my future." Even though the Western Frontier has long been closed, being in Colorado has allowed me to really feel the psychological sense of unlimited possibilities that it presented to early Americans, and the lingering effects this still has.

Returning to the UK and leaving behind the privilege of being surrounded daily by so much beauty that literally sprawls across the state is not going to be easy. When people ask me how it was living from within American culture for a year (a horrifying idea to many in the UK...), I hope I can communicate that it the seeming lack of any human existance in so many places, the sheer open spaces, the highways that extend for hours, the feeling of being absolutely insignificant, that have made (and continue to make) my time in Colorado such an amazing experience.


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