-“Summer Resort,” by avogado6
I often start my English classes by asking us to look at some contemporary artist’s work, and talk about what we see. It’s a nice door into thinking about themes, metaphors, and symbolism, and it helps us start out by exploring instead of deciding. That’s why I found avogado6 this fall.
I know people who spend all five weekdays miserable, and then go crazy on the weekend. I know other people just counting down the days until they can go to a “summer resort,” go on vacation, get away from here and all their usual patterns. I think it’s important to take time to reconnect and rejuvenate, but when our relaxation is a refrigerator’s freezer in the middle of a desert, I think we’re in trouble.
That little refrigerator is going to run out of energy. It’s spilling its guts out, and you can see everything it has to give disappearing in little wisps on the wind. Holding the door open so you can breath in winter isn’t just inefficient, it’s destroying the thing you’re after. It’s cutting down the tree so you can reach the first ripe fruit of the season. It must be possible to recharge ourselves in other ways. Besides, putting your head in a box doesn’t change what’s around you. It must be possible to make a society that isn’t a desert–socially, politically, economically–for so many people; and in whatever ways the heat and sand are inevitable, it must be possible to build a civilization that thrives within them. The answer to misery isn’t one day of insanity. The answer to inequality and existential angst isn’t a weekend in a four star hotel.
I’m going to watch myself for the moments when I stick my head in the freezer. I’m going to keep my eye out, and watch for paths that lead beyond the dunes, or else for places where we could live open-eyed in the desert. I think we can live, not only in the few nice (expensive, walled off, pampered, sunscreened) moments of a summer resort, but in the quiet, meaningful, working moments of every day.