This post was due four days ago. I’m on my fourth attempt at being witty, and every time I sit down to write I hit a dark wall of distraction and indifference. The words are dry and lifeless. Now that I’ve abandoned a number of empty topics, I begin to understand the origins of my struggle. I’m going on vacation! And in my mind I’m already there. The glow of my keyboard can’t compare to the glow of the wide, open night sky, far, far away from Smog City.
While my dilemma is not as profound as Hemingway’s writer’s block, the lure of the open road does carry a slice of the Hemingway intrigue: no map, just fishing poles and great reading. We’ll just leave the gun at home (if you know what I mean).
Vacations are the jewels of my existence and lately I’ve been lean on baubles. Like a 10-year-old with a warped sense of time (especially when it relates to summer), I’m awaiting that long stretch of freedom that feels like an endless ribbon of exploration. Cue Chet Baker’s “Let’s Get Lost.” My boyfriend and I each, ironically, have 15-year-old sons. The two will command the back seat of the car, two curious bookends to the icons of a summer’s adventure: a dog-eared copy of Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, sleeping bags, maps of ghost towns, and a flashlight whose battery may die at any moment.
At a stalemate with your inner self? That is the sign that there is an action — or, in the case of a vacation, an inaction — to be taken. Listen and act accordingly. In my instance, our vacation was a demand to just to let go.
Tags: Chet Baker, family vacation, forty-plus, Hemingway, Let's Get Lost, Los Angeles, middle aged women, over forty, Ray Bradbury, road trip, Smog City, sons, The Martian Chronicles, The Open Road, vacation