HORIZONS by Ken Booth

August 17, 2009


Filed under: Uncategorized — ycazso @ 5:02 am

   Newt was surprised.  The Captain never shared his decisions with him, and yet it seemed that the decision to leave had just been made, right there, behind the wagon.

   “Captain,” he asked, “how far is it, up north?”

   “Well, north is not a place, Newt. It’s a direction,” the Captain answered. It struck Call they should have educated  the boy a little better.  — Lonesome Dove

   “Up north,” may be a direction but “out west” is indeed a place. Oh there is not a dead black line that can define it but “out west” is anywhere that is far enough from the East to be out from under it and those folks who spend a lot  of their time trying to out-suffer one another it seems.

   No, it begins when a soul can find elbow room and freedom; wherever he can escape from crowds and the obsession of their strange superstitions; wherever he has space to stand erect and must stand because he will and not because he is so wedged in that he could not fall down if he tried.

   “Out west” is a place where a man alone can find direction. There’s freedom here in this place so blessed by a landscape the likes of which exist nowhere else. There’s freedom to really explore the land and one’s soul and the relationship between the two.  There is that kind of exploration here that is deeply rooted in history.  There is that kind of exploration here that teaches you that you cannot change who you are but that what you are is always changing.  I hope we never lose the cowboy ethic and allow the wrecking of the best of the last, best places.



  1. Well said. Guess I am one of the lucky that has had the pleasure of seeing the real “Out West” Some of my most memorable times of my 61 years. No doubt, There’s no other place like it. Thanks!

    Comment by Reggie Olden — August 17, 2009 @ 6:12 am | Reply

  2. I agree. Nothing better that the wide open spaces. Let’s you breath and frees the soul. My grandfather knew what it meant. Worked for the Forest Service in the Sierras. Would disappear for a month at a time and mapped the areas north of Yosemite. No four wheelers or jeeps, just his horse and pack mule with supplies. Would come out in the winter to prepare the maps. The things he found that were left by the immigrants were something special plus the arrow heads. Country is still wide open today. Lonesome Dove is one of my favorite movies and contains a lot of lessons.

    Comment by Tom Fields — August 18, 2009 @ 1:18 am | Reply

  3. Thank God for the cowboys. And, the pioneers, the explorers, dreamers and visionaries who still roam this great country today. I’ve found that some find their “west” down south, up north or in the east where they find peace and comfort. Sometimes it is more about exploring the soul than the landscape and discovery comes wherever we allow ourselves to really open our eyes and see…listen…and just be. There’s a cowboy in every good town. Lonesome Dove is a favorite and full of lessons. From the east, through the Plains and on to the West, love was shared, lessons were learned and discoveries were made. You have a way with words that causes a person to think and thank God for the Cowboy in you.

    Comment by Sheila Cottringer — September 2, 2009 @ 2:27 am | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: