Like so many others around the world, I watched the slow unfolding of the American election result. I hardly dared hope for Joe Biden to win. An inspiring speech by Vice President-elect, Kamala Harris, followed by that of the President- elect, were sheer joy.
After all the humiliation and hardship inflicted upon so many people during the past four years of an increasingly chaotic administration, we can at last look forward to America moving once again in a constructive and enlightened direction. We can once again relate to America as a country of idealism, humanity and regard for truth. Enough of its people have voted this way to make such a resurgence possible. It feels like time to love America.
As it happens, the publication today of my fourth book, Love America: On the Trail of Writers and Artists in New Mexico, marks my own journey from alienation and powerlessness to a sense of deep connection with America. My explorations of writers and artists who expressed themselves and their feelings about their country with unflinching honesty and commitment have led me to a place of peace with America and its people.
Travel of all kinds offers the chance to develop an enduring sense of connection with a country’s people, but my journey to New Mexico, just days in a physical sense, but enriched and deepened by two years subsequent research into its history and works of people such as Willa Cather, Georgia O’Keeffe, D H Lawrence, Frank Waters and Ansel Adams, made this travel journey my most enlightening yet.
I heartily recommend this kind of reflective travel.