Monday, July 27, 2020

Vacation in 2020

I used to approach vacation as a celebration, an escape, a carrot on a stick to endure the hardest parts. Which is fine as far as it goes, but where it goes, inevitably, is to a dread or apprehension that will find you, confine you, about three days before returning. When the countdown to Relief resets to 365, give or take, and so you brace yourself all by yourself to hold again the longest breath.

Without trying, this has changed for me. Which is to say vacation no longer names for me escape. And because it does no longer, vacation, yes vacation, now occupies a place much more like discipline in my life. And, yes, this names a privilege, to have work that one loves. And also an achievement: to learn to love my work on the emptiest of days has taken work of its own and all kinds of help; to learn and to trust that discomfort names a day of new possibilities unfurling.

The only dread I fear now is that of failing my obligation to the work, with all the imagination, preparation, perseverance, and surrender that entails.

So vacation comes and says, "Hey, put it down." 

And I think of it as practice for retirement. Or death. Was it Michael Jordan who said he could imagine himself dying, just not losing the ability and position to which he'd grown accustomed? Vacation, retirement, death, all of it defying my claims to be essential, to be operating in any other than the space of life that comes as gift.

Thank you, gracious God, and help me to receive it, and wear it well,

this space of life,

that comes 

as gift.

Someone is ready for her trip. 💗

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