La Vacance

 

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Solitude: a luxury and a burden. No one to answer to, no schedule, no intrusion of traffic noises or construction equipment or neighbors’ waking coughs. In this setting, it’s easy to wallow in an illusion of timelessness,

The quiet is intoxicating. Ordinary tasks bring a delight unmatched in the default-world. The joy of puttering in the kitchen (my kitchen!), the pleasure of a well-executed batch of cookies, a perfect, wholesome meal. The pride of a comfortable, well-kept home. The coziness of ensconcement in wood and glass, with wild sky and distant mountains and lonely high-desert landscape outside.

Rising late. Coffee or tea. Healthy breakfast. A walk outside: bird calls, cool wind, a lightness of atmosphere. Naps call unexpectedly, coaxing you to lie down on a sunny patch of dusty carpet next to the dog. In the ease of this careless supinity, you can imagine whiling your life away just like this. And why not? Ambition and punctuality and worldly achievement are for the city.

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Sitting in the sun with a belly full of fruit and nuts put up by my domestically prolific grandma, it’s hard to want to rise. An inner voice screams, get up! There are things to do. Smart phones exist! Beyond this lax unhurried world there are things that demand your attention. If you’re to succeed on commonly recognized terms, you have to do: It’s not enough to merely be. You must justify your existence and your fancy college degree.

But… often I want to just be. To while away the hours in unconcerned languor, to succumb to the fantasy that I am, indeed, all alone, with no obligations to meet, no promises to fulfill. None, that is, but to myself, and my dog. To feed and exercise and keep us clean, to make for us a plain, uncomplicated idyll of basic needs met with delight.

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