O-(M.G. That's the biggest sky I ever saw!)klahoma

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by Jan Seides
Friday 5th June, 2009, 11:22pm


You know you're in Oklahoma cuz this casino is illegal in Texas (so far).

You know you're in Oklahoma cuz this casino would be illegal in Texas (so far).

When I first moved to Austin, I drove from New York City to Texas through Oklahoma on the way, pretty much the same route I just took driving home from Kansas yesterday. I clearly remember getting so tired of driving that I pulled into a farmer’s driveway in Arkansas and went to sleep, putting a note in the window to wake me if I was in the way. Which he did, with a bemused smile on his face. It was 5:30 a.m. So I had that entire day to watch a whole lotta nothing go by.

I remembered that when I was driving yesterday. When I got to Oklahoma, it was rolling plains, which I learned later is true of most of the midwest. And the dirt was red, beside the highway. I had lived in big cities all my life, and most of what I traveled through on the way to this point was either cities, or semi-mountainous landscape bearing tall trees. Lots of rock face as the road had been cut through mountainsides. Also, blue (really!) grass in Kentucky, which I’d always heard about but never seen. And as I said, I drove through Arkansas at night, so it was impossible to see much of anything beyond the road ahead of me. So I was pretty impressed by red dirt. 

But the thing that got my attention the most was the sky. It arched overhead in the usual way, but then it came all the way to the ground all around me. My sky where I’d come from was the size of a postage stamp, seen between the tops of either trees or buildings. Even in Central Park, the biggest open space in New York City, the sky only came as far as the buildings surrounding the park, or the trees surrounding oneself. In other words, the sky was not what one noticed. I found this new, improved version of sky somewhat terrifying. A little closer to G-d than I was used to. (No wonder people in that part of the country have such an intense religious thing going on.) How did anyone sleep under a sky like that? So exposed. So vulnerable.

See? Huge sky! (Not much else)

See? Huge sky! (Not much else)

I eventually did learn to sleep under it, of course. And forgot all about it. Until yesterday, when I found myself looking at the sky in wonderment again. Wow! What a big sky!

The entire trip through Oklahoma looked exactly like this...

Most of the trip through Oklahoma looked exactly like this.


Category: Travel

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