The Distant Familiar refers to the Midwest in the American imagination. It is at once far away and unseen, yet immediately recognizable in place, personality, and flavor. Almost forgotten, but always present. Everywhere and nowhere.
As a child you grow up imagining the past: finding arrowheads, looking at American Indian earth mounds, and visiting state parks named after tribes (Kickapoo, for instance). We spend a lot of time wandering the woods looking for the past (and the gnomes who might be there presently) in the form of fossils, Indian relics, and ghosts, and thinking about nature and those who inhabited our place here.