Thursday, October 15, 2009
Word Thursday - Getting Out of Dodge?
This is my version for the week of Word Thursday. Getting out of Dodge is one of my favorite phrases for when it seems necessary for my mental health to leave my little valley. I have been trying to get out of Dodge for two weeks now and things keep coming up like memorial services and pet sitting gigs and legal appointments. I am settling this morning for going over the pass to shop for necessities in Taos, but a longer sojourn seems impossible at this time.
This morning I began to wonder from where came this phrase of mine so I Googled it. And the Urban Dictionary says: "Get the hell out of Dodge" is a reference to Dodge City, Kansas, which was a favorite location for westerns in the early to mid 20th century. Most memorably, the phrase was made famous by the TV show "Gunsmoke," in which villians were often commanded to "get the hell out of Dodge."
The phrase took on its current meaning in the 1960s and 70s when teenagers began to use it in its current form of meaning - just leave and leave soon. For me it means I desperately need a change of scene. And I can even use it to mean get out of myself; stop obsessing over an issue.
A metaphysical friend of mine maintains that there is something to getting out of Dodge that does change the mindset. Going ten miles or crossing a natural barrier such as a river, mountain pass, or geological fault can change the energy. So lacking the time this week to go see my sister and best friend for a few days I will instead content myself by going over the mountains to Taos and roaming the aisles of the grocery store.
The above photo is of Dodge City, Kansas in 1870. And if history is correct there were a lot of reasons in those days for getting out of Dodge which was the destination for many a cattle drive because it was where the trains came. It had a lot of saloons and law enforcement issues.