God as seen from the ground in Nebraska:
It was farther into the local countryside than Lara had ever been. On the way back he drove a country road, partly unpaved, that ran through Harrison County’s scrubby hills and sunken meadows. The days was sunny, snowy and bright.
“My God,” she said. “It’s so desolate. Desolate, desolate. So far from anywhere.”
“You’re in Flyoverland, my dear.”
“You’ve never heard the middle of the country called that? Flyoverland. That’s what they call our little corner of nothing much. On the coasts.” He shifted down as they approached dirt. It was a shame to muddy the car. “At least,” he said, “that’s what they tell me. No one ever called it that to me.”
She laughed. “Flyoverland. And what would you have done if someone had called it that to you?”
“I don’t know,” Michael said…. “Nothing much.” It’s how we think of ourselves. We don’t expect much.”
“But all Americans have the right to happiness, isn’t that right?”
“How long have you been out here?” Michael asked her.
She shrugged. “A year.”
“Do you have the impression that you’re among people who think they have a right to happiness?”
“But yes,” she said. “They do think it. It’s why they’re so unhappy.”
“You’re mistaken. You need a good history of the settlement.”
“Secrets,” Michael said. “Deep melancholy. Sudden death. Those are what we have the right to.”
“But no longer.”
“But they have God.”
He glanced at her, to judge how contemptuously she spoke. It was hard to tell.
“We don’t presume on God. Now we see Him, now we don’t. Mostly we don’t.”
“Sometimes He flies over.”
---from Bay of Souls by Robert Stone.