My first art show of the season is this coming weekend. Up until now I’ve stayed within 1000 miles from home. This year, however, I was accepted to Art on the Square in Belleville IL. So 2060 miles later here I am sitting in my hotel room half way across the country waiting to set up this afternoon and thinking about what I learned.
Every time I travel, I’m struck by how beautiful, varied and how empty this country is. How different the lives of many of this country’s citizens are from mine. How people can make a living in the most challenging terrain.
I choose to live in a medium size city. The citizen’s concerns are the rising homeless population and the skyrocketing cost of rent. Through much of the country people’s lives are dictated by the weather and the price of corn (or cattle, or soybeans…). I listened to the weather and farm report channel while driving through Nebraska. Severe storms were headed north from Kansas. To me it was quaint that they were reporting the price of soybeans. But to the farmers it is dead serious. It’s their livelyhood. To me, severe thunderstorms and high winds means I miss one show out of several or I pull off the road and stop early for the day, as I did outside Lincoln. For them, damaging hail could mean a crop destroyed. I will never know what that is like, but I can appreciate the diversity of this great land of ours.