Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wide Open Spaces.

During my time in college, I heard a story in one of my classes about perception. The story was about a tribe of nomadic people who live in a dense rainforest. Anthropologists who were studying this tribe were curious to see how they would react in a new foreign land. They took some members of this tribe, blindfolded to a great wide open plain. Once there, they removed their blindfolds to see how they would react. When it came off, the members of the tribe freaked out. They thought what they saw wasn't real, possibly some form of witch craft. Considering that the people in the tribe never left a rainforest it shouldn't be to surprising. Everything they grew up with trees and plants were just feet from them. Seeing straight for miles on end with no interruption was a new experience.
Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I can relate to how these nomads felt. For me, it was either trees or mountains. Having your view obstructed just felt normal. I never complained. I loved growing up at the foot of mountains.

The few times in my life I ventured outside of the NW and wasn't in eye line of something a few meters away, I felt out of place. Last year I took a trip to Texas. On the ride from TX to OR passing through the desert was bizarre. There was so much sky. I had a hard time coping with it.

Even the year before when I took a trip to LA and was rolling through California, my mind just couldn't fathom it. I have been all over the USA but when I was younger, it never quite clicked. Now I live in Japan, in a fairly flat area. The mountains aren't far away. Its so weird because I can see in a straight line for miles on end. You might think that after six months of living here I would be able to cope.

When I step outside, this is what I see. Its like a mind game I can't comprehend. Not what I'm used to.

Sports day at one of my schools. Hills in the background.

The bike ride home. Its a bummer this image came out so high contrast. Luckily you can see the silhouettes of the mountains, far in the distance. Growing up, the mountains were literally at my door step. Here, they are maybe fifteen miles away.

If I could compare it to anything, I would have to say this is similar to Salt Lake City. A big flat plain with mountains fairly close by. Of course, these mountains aren't as big as you might find in Utah.

Anyway, thats all for now.


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