I’ve spent the last month or so running around a lot: pontoon boating on Lake Murray, South Carolina, sailing Narragansett Bay, watching the Red Sox up in Boston, biking the entire length of New Jersey, and in between trying to work as much as possible. Don’t worry, I’m still completely broke. But at least I didn’t spend too much on all my trips. Basically because they all relied on someone else’s hospitality. Thanks all you someone elses! Seriously. Is my life even somewhat legitimate? I don’t know. Vacation makes me think both no and yes. I mean, besides the whole making a living thing, I feel pretty damn good. I’m pretty sure I want to live here, in NYC, the most, as opposed to maybe somewhere else. My plan is to try to bake a lot of pies this fall and winter, and watch a lot of movies.
Vacation makes me feel kind of like this, from D.H. Lawrence: “He felt himself tiny, a little, upright figure on a plain circled round with the immense, roaring sky: he and his wife, two little, upright figures walking across this plain, whilst the heavens shimmered and roared about them. When did it come to an end? In which direction was it finished? There was no end, no finish, only this roaring vast space. Did one never get old, never die? That was the clue. He exulted strangely, with torture. He would go on with his wife, he and she like two children camping in the plains. What was sure but the endless sky? But that was so sure, so boundless.” Fuck yeah. I mean my god. I mean, forget vacation, can’t you feel that anytime? Every time? I think it’s why I live in New York. It’s one big train station; it’s one big bus terminal, and I love bus terminals.
Is that quite right? I’m not sure. When I live here I feel like I’m traveling, all the time. I love falling asleep on a bus seat. You pat the space around you, delineate your territory. What’s my bedroom, but a bus seat? We humans draw circles of various sizes, and live within them. And speaking of bedrooms, here’s Walker Percy. He also makes me think of vacation. “During those years I stood outside the universe and sought to understand it. I lived in my room as an Anyone living Anywhere and read fundamental books and only for diversion took walks around the neighborhood and saw an occasional movie. But now I have undertaken a different kind of search, a horizontal search. As a consequence, what takes place in my room is less important. What is important is what I shall find when I leave my room and wander in the neighborhood. Before, I wandered as a diversion. Now I wander seriously and sit and read as a diversion.”
Incidentally, I quote from these two guys because I’m reading them right now. If I were reading something else I’d probably quote from that. Diversion and meaning – I’m not sure if there’s a line there. I’m not sure if one isn’t the other. Tell me the difference. What is there to learn from, but the finite amount of everything that is in front of us? When you take a walk somewhere that’s the only place you are, in the entire universe. The universe! Which actually exists.
(Originally posted Sept. 18th, 2009 on Takethehandle.com)