A Lesson from the Classic Western

All America lies at the end of the wilderness road, and our past is not a dead past, but still lives in us. Our forefathers had civilization inside themselves, the wild outside. We live in the civilization they created, but within us the wilderness still lingers. What they dreamed, we live, and what they lived, we dream. 
— T.K. Whipple, Study out the Land

I found this quote in the introduction to Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove.

Funny enough, it never occurred to me to look to the classic western for inspiration, but there it is. The Stone Eagle Series is frontier fiction--traditional values/lifestyles clashing with modernization in a lawless land.

It shouldn't have been a surprise. 

There are horses and "shoot-outs" (albeit with swords and bows and arrows); weak struggling against strong; make-shift systems of trade; and, above all, a question. What does it mean to live with honor?

T.K. Whipple's quote refers to the American West, but could apply to any time or place in history where men, women and children existed on the edge of the civilized world. All of the past, from all corners of the world, live within us. Our dream of the wilderness began in the first seconds of time, and continues on...