Last weekend, my wife and I once again had the opportunity to travel to western Montana where we were delighted and amused by the theatrical ability of Russell Moes and the Whitefish Theatre Company. This time, it was a play called "The Foreigner." The main character is a foreigner visiting the American South. He embarks on a journey filled with new ideas, new friends, exciting peril, and ultimately, the anticipation of happiness. When I travel west, I feel like a foreigner—I am blue collar, entering into a world of recreationalists, gay Canadian bikers, and strange beings that wear necklaces made of human hair.
In the course of the journey, I leave the reality of my home world; quickly pass through the despair of the Montana Democratic Party headquarters, and emerge into the idealism of a western resort town. A place where people have jobs that don’t leave perpetual dirt under their fingernails; where women don’t wear sackcloth dresses; where everyone lives a bacchanal life of wine and song.
|Midnight at the Pin & Cue|
When we leave this place, filled with foreign foods and strange laughter languishing in the pit of our stomachs, this prevailing perception evaporates like a summer shower on the prairie. We head east with the wind at our backs and the nascent smell of prairie dirt in our nostrils. No spurring necessary—just the reality of home and the realization that true happiness is knowing who you are and where you come from.
We know what awaits us there--wind, thunderstorms, and an environmental harshness that is tactile and sustaining. You cannot rely on the skills of others--you must develop your own. Skills that are innate and demand to be exercised. So for us, it is out of the mountains, onto the rolling hills and finally free on the flat prairie that we call home.
|Home Sweet Home|