Chapter 2 - "blacktop"

When you go out in search for yourself, you aren't looking for a look-alike, you're actually looking for a look-nothing-like. You're hoping to find a piece of yourself that you barely recongnize because you've met so few times. You're hoping to brush up against sights and smells and sounds that introduce you to a part of yourself that is unrecognizable, yet feels so familiar all the same.

I have a feeling that my heart wasn't created to know how to live in the world that has slowly and methodically come to be. I don't ever remember hearing in the creation narrative, "And God said, 'Let there be blacktop!' And behold long winding roads emerged covering fertile ground and fragrent grass. And he saw that it was good." Cement, sheetrock, smog, hanging wires, sidewalks and florescent curbs, parking lots and prefab homes, vehicles in congested traffic, cell towers and telephone poles, shopping malls...all these and more congest our landscape with "population pollution". You can barely turn around without bumping into something man-made. And though there are some pretty cool man-made inventions, they don't compare to God-made beauty. The heart knows this even when it's raised within the confines of cultural clutter. It pines for the pines. It feels drawn to life outside the world we've created, the world God created. Like Truman in the "Truman Show", we long for Figi and we don't know why. We have to get out. We are wild about the wild. At least I am.

And though I find solace in certain pleasures of the industrial revolution and the modern age, a large part of my heart is restless for the West, a place of vast, virgin soil and undisturbed, unadulterated landscape. This becomes my obsession as the time drawns near for me to go in search for myself out there in the wilderness of Montana.


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