03 January 2006

The Escapist Files

I'm currently re-reading one of my favorite chits of escapist literature... An Embarassment of Mangoes by Ann Vanderhoof. It's a tale of two Toronto publishing folks who pack it in for two years and go sailing around the Caribbean. What I still can't understand, and I've read the book many, many times, is why the heck they went back at all. The narrative of the journey is pretty cool, but then it just kinda....trickles down to nothing. I just don't get it. Which says something about where my head is at, clearly. I mean, there they are. They have the boat. They have the income generation from back home. All they'd have to do is get a little frugal, and they could spin it out to three, four, five years. Or a lifetime. But no. Apparently there's something compelling about Toronto's "flat greyness" over the panoply of the Caribbean. It seems to me that once you've reached escape velocity from a life that clearly stresses you out, that involves less mental, spiritual, and physical fulfillment than the one you're leading, that what you should do is congratulate yourself on your progress, and keep going that way! I think that of the many horrors the Industrial Revolution has perpetrated on the western cultural psyche, the idea that we must, individually and collectively, settle, is one of the worst. It's common knowledge that the old idea that you pick a job/career at a particular company and stick with it, for a bit of mutual support between you and the company, is dead. No one looks out for the worker in these times. And personally, I think the drive to consumerist attainment as a measure of personal success is pretty lacking. I mean... I have a house, why do I need the house? My car gets me there, why do I need it to be a personal symbol? Just when did stuff become people, anyway? I'm thinking that if I'd gotten my hands on that boat, they'd have never pried me off.

2 Comments:

At 1/05/2006 04:30:00 AM, Blogger ~ danielle said...

Lurker here, popping up to say hi ~ I think I happened upon your blog from a link in your siggy in an ICAN post maybe, not sure. Anyhow, I really appreciate your thoughtfulness and writing style. Your on my blogroll :-) This post speaks to something I've been struggling with lately, the value of things (myself, my work, etc). Anyway, just wanted to say hi and let you know I've been enjoying your blog!

 
At 1/09/2006 12:04:00 AM, Anonymous Deb said...

ICAN, TCC, Laura, so much we have in common, no accidents hmmm!!
you read celestine prophecy i bet, no such thing as coincidence...i am so glad to get your messages!
thanks for sharing and i am with you girlfriend, i would NEVER come home!!

 

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