Perfect Blue
Kona Macphee
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Commentary: A year in the back country

Many of us engage in a bit of daydreaming, to soothe the irritations and juice up the banalities of our lives. We imagine taking that year off to write a novel, or ditching everything and travelling the world on a bicycle, or starting our own business instead of spending slumped days clockwatching in the office.

For me, the daydream is one of dropping out - heading off to some remote and beautiful place, and leading a minimalist existence in some small-but-perfectly-formed retreat like a Tiny House. It's not so much a Thoreau-esque "back to nature" fantasy as an introvert's desire for peace, quiet and stillness, and to escape the weight of all these stupid domestic possessions, the mounds of burdensome junk that any family with children seems to accumulate.

There's a cheat built into my plan, however, because my minimalist lifestyle would definitely include a laptop and an internet connection - so while I might be isolated in the physical world, I'd still be just as connected in the virtual one. I do wonder what it would be like to drop out "properly", and spend a lengthy period alone and out of all contact with my everyday life. Would I be more or less productive in my work? Would I get lonelier than I could bear, despite my introversion? Would I start to lose my grip on reality? The characters in this poem are exploring that terrain.

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