When I was young Arizona was a mysterious place. I grew up on the East Coast, or really just the east, we only rarely went to the coast. Arizona was far removed from South Georgia. It was an unfamiliar and under-represented state. California I knew, it was in all the movies, it was a glamorous place and that was where rich porn stars lived. But Arizona was different. People from Arizona were happy and successful, not angered easily, and perpetually busy with some revolutionary green technology. There was also a very spiritual (gasp) element to Arizona, or perhaps just the desert in general. I’m sure that if every bit of media that I encountered growing up could be studied the cause for this illusion could be discovered. Perhaps a few characters from movies I’d seen had been Arizonians and so I applied their traits to the entire state. Either way, I had maintained a very idealistic impression of Arizona.
I’ve come to find that Arizona doesn’t seem to be all that different from most other places, although it has better scenery. Sierra Vista is infested with the same line-up of ignorant locals as any other place I have lived, although Bisbee shows promise as being a memorable place. I have yet to get to know Tucson. It is a little further away than I had thought. The drive isn’t terrible but I’d need to plan a day’s worth of things to do before driving up there. I’d need lists and plans, and right now I have plenty to do here.
So Arizona might not be the spiritual mystery it once was, but I like it. It is growing on me a little more every day. And yes the locals leave something to be desired, but I haven’t met everybody yet, so I’ll stay optimistic. Part of my disappointment had to do with Seoul. I was around wonderful friends all the time in a city that never ceased to be interesting. Arizona will be more of a challenge.
This is one of the Matisse paintings I am considering for the living room. Nice framed prints aren’t really that much and it would look really nice I’m sure.