I recently went up to Hunter Mountain, in the Catskills, a pleasant retreat about 2 and 1/2 hours from my house. It is a place to breathe clean air, gaze at the mountains, and feel things slow down. It is a sleepy place, where people come to ski in the winter or enjoy nature hikes in the summer. It has an artsy feel to it but it is not overly commercialized with tons of galleries, trendy restaurants, or even a thriving bookstore. No, it's a place that has to a degree, been forgotten by time, and yet it stands tall, out in the open for anyone seeking to escape the city to find a safe space.
My peaceful vacation from being stuck in my hometown, where I've traversed all possible walking pads, was at first hard to settle into. It poured the afternoon that I arrived (with my wife and two kids). We ate outside, under a covered area, at a good diner that we've called upon before when our bellies needed comforting food.
The next day, after driving a mile to a gas station that doubles as a mini mart to get milk and gas, my wife’s Buick Enclave (with 104,000 Miles) said on her dashboard a disturbing message: “Service Battery Electric System.”
Those four dreaded words came up a week before, when the car was humming south on I-95 when heading home from Boston. One tow -- and $1,300 later -- the car was fixed. So why is it looking bad again, just four days after it was fixed?
Getting into a panic, I called the garage that did the repair work - which was hundreds of miles away from where we were - and they assured us of a one year warranty on the work. We could call a local gas station to repair this at no charge. I drove 2 miles and found either an honest or incompetent mechanic, because he said he did not see that message come on again nor did he see anything wrong.
Could it be a ghost in the machine or a faulty signal that goes on even when all is fine?
It seems like 2020 has been a cancellation year. We have cancelled vacations and then cancel replacement ones.
We were supposed to head to Israel in August, but Corona ruled that out. Then, since we weren't going to Israel, we thought we could hit by car an oasis a few hours away from home, to Lake George. But my son got sick. He's better now. And that vacation got shot down. Our tickets to Florida for July got cancelled when that state went from experiencing not even 1,000 cases of corona per day to over 15,000. California in August? Same thing. I have airline credits that I may never get to use.
So, we went to Hunter Mountain since it's not by plane, but by car. It is a low-cost getaway but still no peace of mind with rain and then the fear of the cars knocking out.
Of course many people suffered things far worse than cancelled vacations. They got sick or lost someone to corona. Their jobs were lost or finances interrupted. There’s a lot of pain and stress out there. 2020 is a long, hard year for many, many people -- and it's only half over exclamation
The only real escape, for any of us is to either sleep through life, ignore it under the haze of an addiction, risk our health, or do what we do best – write a better life!
Writing is our refuge, our place in our hearts and minds, maybe even our souls, where truth exists only under the terms that we allow. When we write, we reconfigure the reality we live under. Our fate is controlled by us, to be written and edited at will. We are our greatest resource - and our biggest hinderance. It all comes down to which words we choose to honor and live by.
Authors can dream, and they can formulate those dreams into a living reality of the mind. We can transport others - and ourselves – to places that can't, or never did, exist. Who needs to travel when we need not go anywhere to write? Create and shift your thoughts - that’s all that's needed.
It's not easy when we see everyone as a threat, every activity as labeled with fear, every opportunity as mixed with danger. Corona has made us less adventurous, limiting who we can become, and stunting our ability to enjoy even basic things. I haven’t hugged my mom since February.
This is the Great Depression, economically and mentally. We have walled ourselves off from the people and activities that for years defined us, individually and as a society. There's no easy answer.
To just act as if the virus doesn't exist would be catastrophic on one level, while directly running from the virus and shutting everything down is also catastrophic. But there's not much of a happy medium. Just because a business or restaurant is open or a flight is available, it doesn’t mean many people will seek to shop, eat, or travel unless they felt it was safe.
No one can guarantee safety. And each of us doesn't know if we can survive getting the disease or to what extent it will exact damage upon our bodies. The only place to run is inward, where our inner writer comes out to live in a dream that we create. I can imagine anything, except the world that's normal. Unfortunately, that old normal is out of fashion in a world dominated by a killer disease. But life’s true living comes through the words we write and use to dream ourselves out of this maddening world.
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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2020. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent. This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo
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