Forests have a few incarnations I can gather. Forests, for one, are forbidden in some incarnations, and dark in others. They are synonymous with the natural, and "untouched" in some instances; here marked by their separation from the touched, referenced, cataloged world. In the neighborhood where I grew up, trees marked the border surrounding our homes from the noise and rubber–against–hot–cement of the highway.

forestTree line obscuring the view beyond.

The forest of my childhood memory was the divide between the quiet home and the howling of unknown traffic. The highways of suburban Michigan, quite literally and metaphorically, transported and piped the culture of Detroit to the outer rim of the metro area. The forest of my childhood separated me from the then cultural rift of the piped-out, exported populous of a decaying city. The highways enabled what has been deemed the "flight of wealth" from the city, and the forest, the divide, sheltered us barely from the growing disparity of suburban sprawl.

Forest, divided, separates in my memory. Forests conceived as forbidden, dark, and untouched separate the known and unknown. Forest as divide characterizes my naive, innocent childhood from the unknown, the yet–to–be known cultural heritage of a deeply divided region.