The Vacation

boat-river-Euphrates-Turkey

Excerpt from wsj.com: “Have You Twittered Away Your Summer” by Danny Heitman:

“…As a veteran journalist, I’d be wary of following Twain’s example in disregarding an editorial deadline. But his larger point—that savoring the sheer joy of travel is more important than documenting it—resonates with special urgency these days, as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram compel us to chronicle every moment of a journey in real time. Can this kind of reportorial obsession destroy the very moment we’re trying to capture? Wendell Berry, writing a generation ago, thought that it could. In “The Vacation,” a poem published in his 1994 collection, “Entries,” Berry considers a tourist intent on faithfully recording his seasonal getaway:

Once there was a man who filmed his vacation.

He went flying down the river in his boat

with his video camera to his eye, making

a moving picture of the moving river

upon which the sleek boat moved swiftly

toward the end of his vacation. . . .

And so the poem continues, with Berry’s exacting traveler translating each fleeting moment of his sojourn into the comfortable permanence of videotape. He’s so busy filming his day, though, that he forgets to live it. “With a flick of the switch, there it would be,” Berry writes of this homemade travelogue. “But he would not be in it. He would never be in it…”

Read more @wsj.com: “Have You Twittered Away Your Summer


Image Source: Travel & Leisure. Photo courtesy of @danielkrieger: Halfeti along the Euphrates river in Turkey

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