Far Fading West

I have said that Texas is a state of mind, but I think it is more than that. It is a mystique closely approximating a religion. And this is true to the extent that people either passionately love Texas or passionately hate it and, as in other religions, few people dare to inspect it for fear of losing their bearings in mystery or paradox…

John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley

 

The first time I went toTexas I was a teenager. I was not on a turistic tour but I arrived as an immigrant to live in Texas for a indefinite lenght of time, for years. It was an unexpected America. I imagined the huge U.S.A. as the one portrayed on TV: Manhattan, streched towards the sky, with its fast rythm, noise, with the sparkling lights of Broadway and its musicals; Hollywood with its stars and studios; the windy freedom of the California beaches with their huge oceanic waves, flowery shorts and roller blades. All this had nothing to do with the Texas that I met soon after I landed that very first day of August 1978; the huge periferic Texas in which I was about to stay the years to come. I often visit my Italian – Texan mother. I notice the changes of the growing cities which are rapidly expanding, changing to accomodate the immigration attracted by a Country still so rich in resources and work. The streets multiply, the universities grow, the skyscrapers create breathtaking skylines, new enormous suburban areas developments are built every year with their homes, schools, churches, sports facilities, cinemas, shopping centers, restaurants, medical centers… However, the Texas that makes my heart beat is the one I met as a girl. I do not love it, I do not hate it; seduced by it, I watch it. Its seduction is strong because it is to me so distant and alien. Its charm is fueled by the knowledge that inexorably it will be destined to disappear. With these images I try to retain a memory and testify a plural identity of South and North who resists the modernity that changes everyting; a Far West that loses its sharpness, a Far Fading West.

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