This weekend I went away to the mountains for a ski trip. It's a five-hour drive to get up there, which is good, because then you don't go unless you really mean to, and once you are up there, you are far away from many things.
The problem with a totally unplugged weekend is also the point: my mind downshifts into this really pleasurable grade of slow and there is time to look at the way the ice has melted itself off a rock or stand in bare feet on the porch (sunny spots only) and try to spot the jay in the pines.
The thing with skiing that I figured out somewhere around age 22 is that to do it well, you have to concentrate on it and use your whole body. There's a lot of observing: figuring out what's around you, gauging the surface of the snow, timing. But all that information is funneled into an effort that is purely physical, instinctual and rhythmic. It's the complete opposite of a computer screen. And then on the chair you float above the world on a little shelf with your friends, ahhhhh.
On the way back down in the car in the sunshine between changing CDs, the radio came on for five seconds and told us that North Korea had fired their first test missile and someone in New York had shot a whole bunch of people.
O to live in the country,
With some chickens and those other things.
Take a wife and no paper,
Never again to wonder,
Did that rapper rape her?