Going Away

2006-09-06 at 12:23 (article, diary)

Old gateway near the Bala Lake hotel

I recently went on holiday to Wales with my family. There were four reasons why I wanted to go away:

  1. to walk; feel closer to the world; simple pleasure
  2. to be away from high-tech and computers
  3. to clear my mind and think about the idea of “now”
  4. to accept the world and its inhabitants as they are, more than I did previously

The hotel itself was run by six Christian partners, and was a lovely listed building. I had a view onto Lake Bala from my room, which was the second most brilliant thing to wake up to in the morning (the other are the mountains surrounding Lake Louise, in Canada). The hotel was in the middle of nowhere, which was nice, as it was naturally away from high-tech. No Internet in rooms and poor TV reception (though I unplugged that anyway).

The rest of this entry is a disconnected set of anecdotes.

We didn’t do as much walking as I’d have liked, but we did do plenty. This seemed to naturally empty my mind somewhat, along with writing down everything that needed doing on a piece of paper as soon as I thought of it.

Boundary stone on the ground; old and worn

There was a problem with the restaurant, but I think it was only a problem for me: like many restaurants, it played music at us at dinner. I never like music entirely there for background purposes. It gets in the way and you tend to have tunes going round and round in your head all evening… so after spending time walking next to a river or in fields, it felt like an attack on my clear mind.

After dinner one day, I sat in the lounge (reading Ian Banks’ Espedair Street, if you care; a good read) and there were people there complaining about vegetarians. They were at crosspurposes to me, apparently; I went there to understand and accept what I found, and they were complaining about others’ dietary habits. (There’ll be a post coming up for the reasons that I’m vegetarian; and soon, I hope.)

Since coming back, I can’t help but feel somewhat claustrophobic when inside. I need to get out every day and find myself some open space or I start feeling trapped. I also find that I hate total silence, so I now open my window just a little at night, every night, so I can hear the beautiful sound of the rain pattering or the wind blowing. I find hearing these things much more comforting; they remove any feeling of being alone, which I find greatly beneficial.

My conclusion from this trip is that there should be more of them, for everyone. Being able to see the stars at night, and being able to have no agenda other than simple pleasure, is a return to how we were naturally designed. This is good.

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