Dear Wisconsin Rapids
Should I care about you? The thought occurred to me that I didn’t have to. I mean, I left you years ago and moved away. But, however long I remain away from you, I’m still psychologically tied to you in more ways than I can ever imagine. And now I’m trying to figure out exactly who you are.
I grew up to you, and only you, but I feel like I still don’t know you. Growing up felt bleak, that we were living past your golden age, as if in the shadow of your glory days. Perhaps you’d be appalled that I felt this way. Maybe that’s fair, but I left you didn’t I? Your streets are lined with ruins of old ages, where at once you seemed to thrive and prosper. And then in contrast, while I grew up, the only excitement seemed to come from the development of Walmart.
I suppose everyone goes through this hometown angst while they grow up, move away, and then come back. We all find that our hometowns will always be a part of us, but I want to start fresh. I want to reimagine who you are, and work to rebuild your culture and identity.
I want to work to shed the weight that I felt while growing up in your streets, the weight of needing to leave and move out. I want to understand why I felt so damaged by you, and hurt that you didn’t have opportunity for me.
I’m intrigued by you. You’re so much more than an aged paper mill town. You’re a place where real people develop lives and experiences, some for good, but also for bad. I want to care about you, I do care about you, and I want other people to feel the same way. Most importantly Rapids, I want to engage in your future.
Please be kind to me as I figure you out. I’m excited for the road ahead.
(I was encourage and thought-provoked by the responses to this post and made another post here)
Be sure to check out the rest of my artist website as well as my project Norde Tribe - a Northern narrative and critical experience to become more human in our digital world.