On the Road
Kelley Calvert embarks on a cross-country journey, powered by biodiesel, in search of something elusive.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Weekly contributing writer and MIIS instructor Kelley Calvert decided to find herself some hope this summer. How she's doing it, though, is a little different: The thirtysomething bought a biodiesel VW and is going to some rather particular places in the name of discovery. But let's have her tell it. It's her journey. Follow along here and at www.hopeindisenchantment.com.
Here's what she logged the day before she left:
It’s my worst night’s sleep in years. Tomorrow I set out on a fossil fuel free journey across 38 states and 5000+ miles in search of hope. Some scoff at the word, dismissing it as an election season buzzword, an empty promise, fool’s gold--and I agree. Hope is elusive. Hope is what old-timers in Vegas chase with buckets of nickels by their side. But the hope I am looking for cannot be chased; it is done. My hope is not a noun. It is a verb.
Hope in action is what I’m looking for in ecovillages and intentional communities from Los Angeles to Gainesville. It’s what I want to find at Vermont’s Folklife Center where linguists and storytellers work to preserve dying languages and histories. Hope is what I’ll be looking for in the controversial issues that divide us, along borders that most of us have never seen. In Tuscon, I’ll spend a week in the desert with No More Deaths, an organization providing humanitarian aide to people crossing the desert. From the largest solar fields in the country in New Mexico to algae-to-biofuel production plants in Texas, I’ll be looking for signs of a new green day in the United States. In New Orleans, I’ll be pondering what seems to border on absurdity: Why rebuild something seemingly destined for destruction? In the Rust Belt, I’ll look for hope in the bleak present tense of autoworkers.
Everywhere I go, I’ll be doing a little hope of my own with what I put (or don’t put) in my gas tank. The entire trip will be powered by biofuel and a whole lot of hope as I take the quintessential American road trip without the all-American addiction.
With a budget approaching zero and a car with character, I have more than an elusive dream keeping me awake at night. Hope may have disappeared into the dark spinning clouds overhead, but I have a few ideas of where to find it. I’ll keep you posted.