Thursday, November 17, 2011

Yup, I Might Be a Yuppie

The Midwest has safety permeating its scenery. Creeks meander through farmland, hills rise and fall, and even the mountains hug the ground instead of reaching for the sky, as if they are stooped out of concern for your safety.

The Southwest is all sharp edges and spines. It sometimes takes awhile to fully appreciate the stark, dangerous beauty and the careful delineation of rusted shades, but it's lovely nonetheless.

As far as I'm concerned, Colorado has the best parts of the Southwest and the Midwest. The mountains stretch up to the sky as if they just drove through Kansas and need to chase the numbness from their limbs and minds. The forests of aspens and firs even surpass anything that rural Missouri can display. The boulders sit as if only resting for a moment before rolling down further. Arizona's desert sands look upon the rocks, shake their heads, and mutter, "You won't be so big or so proud when you reach our age." If you equate conservatism with security and family values, well Colorado Springs, with a little poetic license, actually is a "City Upon a Hill." If you prefer the dangers of damnation, Boulder is a liberal bastion.

And I loved every minute in Boulder.

The day before her birthday, Cara and her mother picked me up at the airport. Cara has a unique ability to not only get me to play devil's advocate in an argument (which anyone can do), but then to stick to the side I picked completely out of pride, even when I have no actual desire to continue the argument. In Mongolia, we started to "discuss" which airports are the best in the U.S. after I made a flippant comment about hating DIA. Who talks about stuff like this? Who actually cares? But before I knew it, I had to prove that Lambert-St. Louis was superior to Denver International. This went so far as to result in me researching Blucifer, and before we were in the car, the argument began again.

Thankfully, Cara's mother was a great sport and made sure to point out the hideous statue as we pulled away from the airport and got on the highway headed towards Boulder. Long story short, I finally conceded to Cara that I have no real problem with DIA, and even the giant blue statue reminds me of Joyce Carol Oates' view on art:

"My belief is that art should not be comforting; for comfort, we have mass entertainment, and one another. Art should provoke, disturb ... expand our sympathies in directions we may not anticipate and may not even wish."
The 32-foot tall statue that killed its creator certainly does provoke and disturb.

For ten days we only returned to Denver once, before I had to fly back out. On my birthday, Cara gave me tickets to go see a performance of Swan Lake. It was the first ballet I've ever been to and it meant more to me than the tickets or even the ballet itself.

The rest of this post I have typed and re-typed about five times, before realizing that there was no way I could post everything I needed to say. It's personal, and I want to keep parts to myself to treasure. The ballet was a perfect present for reasons that I can't quite capture in words. While in Boulder, Cara thoroughly showed me the city and her sister, Megan, put it best when she warned me against trying to describe the city until I have lived there for a while.

What I can say is what I liked: A Tajiki tea house gifted from Boulder's sister city, Dushanbe, the Shambhala meditation center where a nice lady who knows nothing about hattuks sometimes leads classes, Southern Sun Brewery (their S.O.B. burger is everything I hoped for), and a tiny catholic church near Mary's Lake, about thirty minutes from a gorgeous state park on the Peak-to-Peak Highway.

I've got more to write about the ballet, but if you want to read that, you'll have to check out the article I'm writing. Which reminds me, my last bit of boasting or whatever for today, but while I'm still waiting for the next issue of WorldView, I got a different article published with Role/Reboot. It came out today, and you can chew on it while you wait to see how I compare ballerinas to automobiles.

Enough writing for today, time to give myself a 24-hour congratulatory break,

- John

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