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| Oct 30, 2017
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This is a compelling photo of the U.S. at night. It’s very detailed and so very interesting to look at. I am a huge geography nerd. Oil rigs in the Gulf, and the roadways in the Midwest dotted with towns, are some of the coolest parts of this photo. But, this map also reminds me of, as well as explains my vague sense of isolation way out here in California. Yes, I just saw friends tonight and that was good. But it doesn’t change the deeper feeling of a nagging hollowness in my gut. Just like the California Gold Rushers of the 1800’s with their letters to home of hardship and the isolation they felt , I too feel this feeling. 

One look at this photo tells you the story. Except for a few large “islands” of light, like Denver, Salt Lake City and Vegas, it is a thousand mile sea of darkness until you reach the coast. The Rocky mountains and the desert Southwest see to that. Seattle/Tacoma, Portland, San Franciso, LA and San Diego lie on a thin ribbon of coastline. This ribbon of population is separated by that sea of emptiness. I feel that space in my gut. 

I see my brother and so many friends in that super dense cluster of light in the Mid-Atlantic. I see my Mom on the ribbon of light on Florida’s southwest coast. I feel so far from them. Heck, my friend Jess and I used to drive up and down the East coast in a day or two. It is very easy to go from one large cluster of light to the next in the East. That vast network of light is where the population is. 

The only other time I felt isolated was when our family moved to Hawaii for 2.5 years. But, I was young and had my family around. The people of Hawaii are warm and we made friends pretty easily. The Aloha spirit was great. Once we were there for a while, we didn’t want to go back to Pittsburgh. But, we did, and I spent the next 30 years in the Pittsburgh area. 

As I was driving home tonight, I thought about that vast sea of darkness that separates me from the places I know. The Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and California spans about 2,300 miles. Yet, having my family around me and warm, welcoming friends tempered any feeling of distance or isolation. The distance from San Francisco to my brother in Maryland is 2,583 miles and 3,050 miles to my Mom in SW Florida, yet, it feels so much farther. I feel isolated here because I AM isolated. One look at that photo of the U.S. confirms it.

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Category: Transgender Body & Soul


About the Author ()

I am a transwoman originally from Pittsburgh, PA. I have been living full time for 5 years. I work in retail but am an artist/Graphic Designer and aspiring writer. I tend to address the controversial in my writing. I would love to change the world one article at a time. I moved to The San Francisco Bay Area to start over, again. But recently moved back to the East Coast. The adventure continues...

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