My friends: I will not be posting on articles for the next few days, since I will be in the Colorado Rockies, hiking and, hopefully, horseback riding. However, if I find the right horse, I will be gone for an indeterminate amount of time, because I will immediately “light out for the Territory,” as Huck Finn so adroitly put it. I know that this sort of escape is “such stuff/As dreams are made on,” but it is a decidedly American dream: Many of our greatest spirits have yearned to disappear from history, to leave the culturally scripted path of ambition, to move past self-created boundaries, and thereby discover a deeper, richer, more meaningful relationship with the larger world beyond society’s frontier.
Admit it: You know exactly what I mean, and some of you even now would gladly join me on a flight from what currently passes for civilization. Like Huck, we’ve “been there before” and can’t stand it.
I acknowledge the fact that adulthood is circumscribed by duties and responsibilities, and measured against the weighty authority of those imposing words, to heed what has traditionally been termed “the call to adventure” can seem, at best, quixotic. Therefore, within a short time I will almost certainly return from Colorado and resume the work and roles that shape my mundane life.
But I hope not.
Below – The Territory begins just beyond the distant mountains.