“We interrupt this broadcast”; or, How to Be Away

Well, as I’ve been casting it broadly in the previous three posts, I’m off on a weeklong visit to Madrid. Sure, I could have taken my laptop along with me to continue my journal while away; or I might have taken a mobile phone to send messages and images (like the one here, of this morning’s glorious Welsh sunrise) on the go. Instead, I decided to leave both computer and phone at home and to sign off for the duration.

The privilege of being away appears to be one of the disappearing pleasures of privacy. It is a concept no longer readily grasped by those born in the cellular, wireless, and instant-message age. Perhaps that is why the television series Lost has become such a success (surely it is not the writing): to be unavailable to the world is now thought of as a loss tantamount to being shipwrecked. Treat yourself to a retreat some time. Avail yourself of a chance at being unavailable.  Experience the abandon of abandoning your everyday.  To have something to write home about . . . and keep it.

You don’t have to get all Piano Manly about your getaway. Just tell those you care about that you’re out of town or country and enjoy the freedom of being incommunicado. Tell the world to get lost, then shroud yourself in silence.  As long as there is someone or something worth coming back for, eventually . . .

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