4.6 Change

The Year on the Road continues to unfold with daily candy for the eye and cake for the heart.  The tour races along and I feel that I am the last to know the itinerary.  I know I am treated to new sights and new insights faster than I can record them.

The freedom to be widely curious may be the big payoff in my road trip lottery.

I’ve met people whose lives are so different from mine, some more comfortable, some less.  The chronicling of my transition from a conventional life to a traveling life has carved open channels of thought.  The nostalgia periods have added a bit of clarity about the early programming that led me here. 

Anyone who has been kicking around for a half-century has witnessed many changes—minor but steady jolts—summing up to seismic shudders.

Consider for a moment the great changes that have been wrought in the areas of religion and national politics.

I am curious how others see these changes.  How are they perceived, how are they understood today as compared to the decade when we first (or last) paid attention to them?   How are they perceived by people who have witnessed three, four, or five decades? Or by people in their first decade of adulthood.

Studying the changes in religion and politics will be a continuing curiosity for me during the Year on the Road.  I bring up these topics as I meet people in McDonald’s and Starbucks, in truck stops and rest stops, in commercial and public campgrounds and dispersed camping areas.  I have some stock questions I slip in, as innocently as I can, to these casual encounters.  They are not questions about issues, rather they are systemic questions, institutional ones. 

What questions would you ask if you had the opportunity I have? 

My survey in not scientific and is skewed toward the geography I visit and the sort of people who will respond to me—each having their own vantage point.

11 Responses to 4.6 Change

  1. John Putnam says:

    Hi Al,

    You seem much more introspective than I’ve noticed before. Could it be that the people you meet and the questions you ask of them have planted seeds deep within you and now those seeds are breaking through to the shinning southwestern light of day? Whatever it is, it sounds like you’re getting a lot out of it.
    Interesting stuff. Keep it up!

    John Putnam

    • allevenson says:

      John, Thanks for dropping by.

      When we see people in extraverted contexts–as you and I have in meetings of the writers’ club–it is easy to guess that this in the core personality. Introspection tends to be a private affair. Blogging has changed that, many of us get to post the thoughtful part of our lives and are seen as multi-phasic. Imagine my surprise when I learned at http://mygoldrushtales.com/ the author of a novel of the Old West was also something of a scholar on the subject. Best of luck. AL

  2. Pat Bean says:

    I talk to people about birds … Politics these days can send my blood pressure soaring. As for religion, it’s something everyone has to find for themselves. These days Mother Nature is my higher power and the golden rule my creed. Nice introspective blog, meanwhile, that gives me lots to think about.

  3. Colleen Rae says:

    Al, I always look forward to reading your blog. It is the first email I open on any given day. It is refreshing and creative. Thanks. Great photo, too.
    I think I would ask strangers I met on the road what was the catalyst that sent them on their nomadic journey? Any reason for a big change in one’s life style has to be interesting…

  4. I think my answer would be like AL’s: curiosity. Also to see as much of the beauty of this world as Time allows, before I, or the world, am gone.

  5. Colleen Rae says:

    Thanks, John for those fascinating articles on the Gold Rush of CA. Great stuff! Al always seems to point out or suggest good writing to his friends.

  6. karen wittgraf says:

    History repeating itself, over and over again. In the fifties, women were hand maidens and glamour girls- discrimination and racism accepted. Then, with the late sixties and seventies, thinking began and great changes made- the eighties brought complete selfishness and disregard, the ninties brought some thinking back and concern for our fellow man- we are still fighting for decency today- but the clock has turned back with something called “The Tea Party”. I won’t give up, however.

  7. Gloria Reid says:

    Besides wanting to know what caused people to hit the road, I think I’d want to ask them how their journey has changed them. What’s the best part/worst part.

  8. Kristine says:

    I enjoyed the photo and the probing questions, Al. I appreciate your gift of time and insight and feel as if I am traveling with you. Thank you for the journey.

    I’ve just finished reading Cornel West’s Democracy matters: Winning the fight against imperialism, and appreciate his opinions on prophetic and Constantinian Christianity, and Jewish and Islamic democratic identities, all presented in their historical and polictical contexts. He posits that until we address the gaps of racism and socio-economic opportunities, stop trivializing public concerns, and move away from free-market fundamentalism, aggressive miltiarism, and authoritarianism, we will not attain true democracy.

    My question would be: What kind of country (community) would we like to leave our children and how do we collectively get there?

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