So most of us are sick, not of the plague, but of being boxed inside a limited life, trapped in a cloistered world of fear, every new story coming out contradicting another, the hope and the tragedy forming a nexus of confusion, a time of uncertainty, creating a world getting ready to explode. How it will explode? There are many solutions. Revolution, tyranny, apocalypse, death, a parliament arguing the collapse of society, a repeated theme throughout the human adventure.
But we need to get away from this, spend some time at ease, exploring the world, drifting into that sandy sunshine that clogs the mind with sepia images of times you need to remember. We need a vacation, a getaway, away from the virus, away from concern. We need that same ordinary escape, that end of summer trip, the one that restores just a little bit of faith.
So the four of us are going to a place we’ve never been. A luxurious place, only a standard retreat to those small town folks who are too used to the beauty to give it much thought.
We are going to the beaches, going away for a swim in the gurgling waters, the voice of Mother Earth damning you under the waves. We want to see beauty, a more public isolation than the stagnant boredom of every day trapped at home. And so we have selected our landmark, an exciting opportunity for all of us, the offer of fun events we’ve never shared before giving light to the terror of stepping out into darkness.
So we’ve gone every year. Last year I wrote glowingly of Canada, a wonderful nation in its tourist spots, and I described the beauty that left each of us staggered, the glorious falls, the rightness of old world civilization, castles and ancient venues transformed into government offices and restaurants. There are glorious things there, in tourist Canada, from the shops and games and friendly excitement, to the solemn abandonment of those 18th century churches, God is dead and the world is getting scarier.
That was last year, before the virus, and the prospect of heading out takes on a whole new set of complications. Of course we don’t want to get sick, some bad luck inspiring us to live in a worst case scenario. But the danger is real, an isolated spot still pocked with other abandoning travelers, in a town where we don’t yet know if they believe in masks. The terror is genuine, the worry that all people suffer when the world is threatened.
I’d love to go into history and offer a soothing narrative of how people before have worked things out, but the differences between these eras is staggering, an unlivable confunction slipping into impossibility. I love discussing history. But the parallels are not solutions, and the days we live today have very little to do immediately with the past.
And so we need vacation, only some folks are shouting against it. We have a nation living in fear, some choosing to express this with coverings and masks, racing around away from others, gathering the things they need, then escaping back into their fortress where they can watch the world die through the shade of their window. Others, those refusing this, have jaunted to the other extreme where the loud-mouthed say they don’t believe anything is real.
Here are a few examples:
People Keep Shooting Each Other Over Coronavirus Restrictions:
This is a mere sample of the chaos fear inspires, the terror of others, the future world where our children may grow up unable to see anyone face-to-face, at the end maybe living through an on-line marriage, a nervous greeting with a person never met otherwise, mutual masturbation the replacement for the intimacy of lovemaking. Will their lives with masks on their faces, the coverings so many fear as oppressive religions continue to spread (by the way, as we know, conversion thrives in moments of crisis), never letting someone see them smile? Is this the future? Is this the only thing we have to look forward to?
Of course such fear limits our ability to live in society, returning to the echoing madness of life in a cave. And so we go on vacation, to topple our worries, to see beyond the terror thumping so steadily in our hearts. And on vacation we can forget about struggle, live only for the moment, enjoy your family and seek out the life we have always wanted to live. It is vacation. It is a trip away from the real world.