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We are focusing on building a community, bringing the Mortal Muses photographers together, and making the world a bit smaller. On this page, you will find mission: MUSE, muse university and special features.

Friday, December 10, 2010

where i live - nebraska, usa

mission: MUSE -"where i live"
by guest lisa

When I tell people I live in Nebraska, typically people will say "I've never known anyone who lived in Nebraska!" or "I've flown/driven over/through/around it" or "I think I had a great great Aunt (or Grandmother) who lived here." Of course, there are the people who have no idea where Nebraska is located. “Nebraska?  Is that next to Missouri?”  When people find out I grew up just miles from New York City they inevitability ask: “How did you end up in Nebraska?”

Indeed.  I guess the accurate answer would be I ended up here by default.  Having lived in Los Angeles for a few years, my husband and I knew we didn’t want to live there.  We loved the East coast, but we knew we could not afford to live there.  The South was too hot and humid for me, so we landed in the middle: the Midwest.

I’ve called this place home for close to 17 years.  In the beginning, I would be quick to tell anyone asking about all the signs of “progress” that had materialized in Nebraska since I moved here: big bookstores, trendy coffee bars, a decent art and music scene.  I would say, “Nebraska is so much more than farms and corn and cows.”    But what I’ve come to love and cherish about my home state are those features I initially wanted to gloss over. 

What I love about this place I call home are the wide stretches of farmland and open plains that snuggle up against the very edges of any city.  I love how patches of sunflowers spring up in any untended ditch or lot of land.  I love how I drive past grain silos as I travel from my suburban home to my daughter’s martial arts class.  I love how the transition from Autumn to Winter is announced by the passing flocks of wild geese and snowbirds heading south.  I love the hawks that sit on the lampposts of my neighborhood and watch over me as I walk my dog.  And when I am out walking, I am aware of how the land is one third of my experience while the sky occupies the other two thirds.

I love the spaciousness of a Nebraska sky and how that sky is constantly changing as clouds and storms roll across the surface of the land.  I once read in a storybook for my daughter the line “There’s no sky like a Nebraska sky” and that is the truth.  And there are no storms like Nebraska storms. The crashes of thunder, the vibration of nearby lightening strikes and the threat of tornadoes send me scurrying to my basement in fear but also out of respect for the power of Nature.

What I’ve discovered about my home is it cannot be fully appreciated by anyone quickly passing through it.  The beauty of this place becomes apparently only when you can linger and take the time to look and feel deeply.  There are ranges of golden yellows in the autumn fields not yet named in any paint set.  There
are greens found in spring that both soothe and delight the senses.  And there is a sense of proportion and place under the wide Nebraskan skies that I’ve never felt before: a comforting sense of smallness that allows me to recognize my place in the order of things while at the same time an expansiveness that encourages me to dream big.

Thank you for visiting "where i live."


We would love to see where you live.  If you would like to join in, send an email to mortalmuses [at] yahoo.com.


  1. What an extraordinary tribute to your home state - even without photos I could close my eyes and picture it just from your description. And then the photos act as a bonus. Thanks for sharing, Lisa.

  2. what a gorgeous place. beautifully captured.

  3. Beautiful photos and thank you for this visit to your home!

  4. I agree with 'mosey', what a lovely tribute to your home state. I love all your images, especially the first one. My daughter and her family lived in Omaha where her husband attended Creighton Pharmacy school. We traveled by car to see them several times, and I, too, loved the beautiful rolling farmland and countryside. Thanks for sharing with us!

  5. That is a fantastic essay about Nebraska....and describes it wonderfully. I am from Missouri and a few years ago, had to drive up there a few times on business and spend a few days......I appreciated some of the very same things you speak of. You have articulated it all so well and the images are fabulous.

  6. The perfect tribute to an appreciated land. Lisa, I love both the pix and the text. You truly live a special life.

  7. This is a beautiful post - makes me want to see Nebraska! Love the photos, too!

  8. My dad was born & raised in Atkinson, Neb. I grew up going there as often as possible & I love it! What I love the most, besides the family, is my memory of the smell just before a storm. mmmmm

    Thanks for bringing it all back!


  9. what a great story you have told! i can tell how much nebraska means to you :)

  10. We lived on the CO prairie for almost 8yrs. I felt the same way. Things I glossed over are things I miss most now. The sky was indeed 2/3 of the landscape. You can't appreciate that ratio til you live it and walk it I think! Lovely tribute indeed.

  11. Such gorgeous countryside. Thank-you for taking me to Nebraska (I too - have never been!!)