All the pretty horses

Where I was raised as a boy in rural Alaska, during the late seventies & eighties, the outer limits of civilization lay somewhere many leagues behind our back yard. We lived a subsistence lifestyle, with little in the way of luxury, or even basic creature comforts–seventy miles from the nearest highway (or to be more precise, seventy miles from the nearest “landing”), our source of transportation was a flat-bottomed river boat during the summer, and a dog team by winter.

We did not have electricity, indoor plumbing, or running water. If we wanted to eat it, read it, or otherwise consume it, “it” had to be hauled from somewhere by one of the aforementioned vehicles. That means we didn’t watch a lot of television, listen to a lot of radio, play a lot (any) of video games.

The sound of Dad’s 7mm magnum punching a hole in the sound barrier meant that something had just died, and that we were all going to eat.

I grew up with a solid appreciation for how thin the barrier between having things, and not having things, really is.

Few people who live on a highway system with instant access to power, water, internet, and food have an idea how good they really have it, and what it would be like if it were all suddenly taken away from them; no real appreciation for the civilized world they inhabit, or the wilderness patiently waiting just on the other side of that fragile veil.

That wilderness is a question as much as it is a place. A very simple question, but also a very powerful one. The question is this: if the electricity were turned off, would you know how to turn it back on?

My current writing project is a novel titled The Book of Ten, and within its covers I describe the true consequence of not having a firm answer to that query.

Thanks for tuning in–more to follow…


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  1. All the pretty horses « Jason Barron's Blog | Horse Sports Expert - February 25, 2011

    […] more here: All the pretty horses « Jason Barron's Blog Related Posts:All The Pretty Horses Movie – carroll garski's blog Good links to […]

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