Our visit to America served many purposes. We visited family and friends in Missouri, including elderly relatives who have always been central to my life, and are now in their eighties. I went shopping in the Land of Cheap Stuff, wearing the rattiest clothes possible there and returning with new clothes, shoes and laptop.
I spent an amazing week with old and beloved friends -- many of whom have their own children, whom The Girl loves to see. And I gave two talks in the Twin Cities on what the future might look like.
I gave one talk at the Walker Methodist Church in Minneapolis -- which I knew well, and spoke at several years ago when I lived in Minnesota -- and another two nights later at MacAlester College in St. Paul. The audience was attentive and asked a good range of questions on both nights, and part of the Walker talk was broadcast on public radio.
That weekend I also met with a group trying to start Transition-style organisations – a great bunch of Midwestern neighbours, each with their own stories of how they came to realize that we all faced a time of crisis, and found each other. There must be a hundred times as many people out there who feel like they’re the only ones. Some people I meet confide that they are hot-composting, raising chickens, making their own ethanol and so on, but don’t broadcast it – only a fraction of this movement can be seen above the surface.
Thank you all to the people who helped publicise the talks and those who helped organise the events. Thanks to everyone who came, who listened, who questioned. I hope to be back next year, and perhaps speak in multiple cities – until then, keep in touch.