Permanent vacation?

It’s hard to be reasonable, for an extended period of time.

The American ethos is built on weekends, on summer vacations, on relatively short bursts of unreasonable behavior, followed by an almost absurdly conservative work ethic.

We work when we are tired, sick, pregnant, grieving.. We work longer hours, have fewer vacation days than, as I understand it, any other industrialized nation and so – we are having a very difficult time just hanging out, even given the need to do so to save lives.

So I empathize with those who on hearing, however predictable it was, that the shutdown has been extended, facemasks are required, fireworks have been canceled, empathize with those who feel a sense of frustration, even anger, at taking more ‘vacation time.’ But our cruise to nowhere continues, and we need to continue to find creative ways to deal with it.

New ways, I should say. Netflix has run dry (notice all the dubbed series that they are promoting now). NBC has launched a rather flightless bird they call the Peacock Network. Puzzles chew time the way that a cow chews his cud. But we can do this!

Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and in the frickin ’60s! Neil Young is forever young and, if you search about, you’ll find a number of recent home performances that are amazing. Our own local artists – Hitch and Friends – are often online playing for free. We had oysters from Woods. We’ve re-discovered the classic Pimm’s cocktail. I’m trying to remember how to play the saxophone. After breakfast every morning I read poems from… well, this week it’s Nikky Finney.

Yes, I am going to miss the fireworks, and July 3rd at White Horse Beach, but maybe we can all step out onto the front steps at 9 that night and – like our grandparents – beat on a pot with a spoon, howl at the moon or simply drink in what I hope will be a lovely, dry, hot summer night.

I remember, I really do, a time when I wanted nothing more than to take a break from the everyday. You know what they say, be careful what you ask for.

But with apologies to those who are really suffering, I have to say that I am grateful for the quiet, for conversations, for a slowing of the pace of life and for the opportunity to recognize that to make any community truly effective requires the quiet heroism of nearly everyone.

Sorry to go on like this but, it’s just another way that I am dealing with this…

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