October 9, 2003

By Michael Strickland

Flee the City

More and more often these days, I feel a gathering urge to flee into the country. Though it is a fantasy, the provocative idea of packing all my belongings, heading up into the hills and moving into a mountain cabin in the middle of nowhere has a strong attraction in our modern times. Destructive politics, a sleepwalking economy and the ever-present prospect of terrorism all contribute to my social malaise, but the feeling wells up from more personal depths as well. Encountering obnoxious and often enraged drivers on the freeway virtually every day sours my feelings toward my fellow humans. Dealing with irate customers in my supplementary customer service job probably instills at least a few more ounces of xenophobia. Earning a buck in a city with a ridiculously overinflated cost of living can be discouraging.

I'm probably also influenced by a couple of friends who have made the leap. They both have burgeoning home-based businesses, which enabled them to escape the rat race and make a living from deep within Los Padres National Forest. They bought good-sized houses amongst pine trees for far less than one would probably pay for a one-bedroom condo in one of San Diego's scarier neighborhoods. And so far, they're loving it.

Truth be told, I guess I've just had a bad day. We all have such days, and probably many of you daydream about escaping it all just like I do. Though the pace of life in our modern society has certainly sped up, such escapism is not new. Henry David Thoreau wrote about it, John Muir lived it—and Mark Twain did both. Right now, reality keeps me here, slave to my wage. But perhaps one day in the not so distant future I'll break the shackles, heed the call and flee the city for good.

 

©2003 Michael Strickland ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

What is "The Daily Strick"?

I have long called myself a writer, but too often I don't do what a writer must do daily: write. So you, dear reader, are the beneficiary of my resolution to make a positive change in at least one area of my life. Every single day of this new year (almost), I will write something, anything, and post it here. It is my intention to use this daily exercise to jump-start my too-long-dormant creative energies, and perhaps generate some worthwhile material this year. Hopefully you will find at least an occasional amusement or insight in my daily musings.

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October Columns:

10/31: Halloween's History
10/30: Good GDP, Still No Jobs
10/29: Disaster
10/27: Ash Monday
10/26: En Fuego
10/25: Diving in the Desert
10/24: Dead Car Canyon
10/23: Reflections
10/21: Le Métro
10/20: Pain
10/17: Jury Duty
10/15: Labor Pains
10/14: The Business of Losing
10/13: Owls and Jobs
10/12: Hooked
10/11: The "S" in SUV
10/9: Flee the City
10/8: Sore Losers
10/5: Turkeys
10/4: It's Not the Economy, Stupid
10/2: Focus
10/1: Twenty Years
Previous months in The Archive

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