We’ve been cleaning – both online and at home.
We have launched new websites (We hope you find them entertaining and useful).
We have also been cleaning out boxes of notes, legal pads of ideas and old newspaper clippings interest.
Among the old newspaper clippings was a New York Times travel section from December, 2001 and it’s main headline was “Finding America on the Road”.
It included a number of different articles such as “Seeking Peace in the Arizona of Coronado and Cochise”, “Listening to blues and history on Louisiana’s River Road”, and one quite novel then but quite commonplace 14 years later, “Using satellites to Navigate Back Roads”.
But the one that caught our attention is something that could be a mission statement for us.
Lesley Hazleton (born 1945) is a British-American author whose work focuses on the intersection of politics, religion, and history, especially in the Middle East. She reported from Israel for Time, and has written on the Middle East for numerous publications including The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, Harper’s, The Nation, and The New Republic.
At the time she was described as author of “Driving to Detroit: An Automotive Odyssey”. In this work, she recounts how she left her home in Seattle in midsummer to drive “the long way round” to the Detroit auto show, embarking on a five-month journey to visit the holy places for cars– where they are raced, displayed, crashed, tested, and made– as she seeks to understand our deep fascination with automobiles.
In this New York Times piece entitled ” To Find America, Get Lost”, she advocates that “a romantic land of wide-open spaces is still out there, off Interstates (and some maps)”.
I share with you some wonderfully crafted thoughts from the column:
“…..back roads encounters, at any time, but perhaps especially now (after 9-11), reveal an America we long for – one most of us never knew and now fear has all but disappeared. It hasn’t. It’s till there in the spidery maze of three- and four-digit roads that are such a pale gray on state maps that they almost blend into the white background.””It can be hard to find these roads. The signs are often sun-faded into near blankness. A few are shot full of holes, or rusted in to illegibility. Sometimes there’s no road sign at all. Don’t be deterred. These are all good omens They invite you to drive into America, instead of merely through it”.
If I’d stuck to the highways, I’d never have filled heart and mind with a sense of place that resonates far beyond snapshots and anecdotes. Driving slowly into the country itself, following those pale gray lines on the map, I discover that ineffable blend of intimacy and expansiveness, of longing and belonging, that is the essence of America.
I urge you to read and enjoy the entire article. Then I dare you to say you do not understand what “Journeys Into” is all about.Share