Everything else gets painted gray

“Everybody’s searching, you know. Everybody’s trying to make the journey. But they’re going about it wrong. They’re seeking the wrong kind of privacy, the old privacy, never again to be found. Now here’s an item about a seventy-year-old man who’s sailing from Cape Hatteras to England in a skiff that’s only nine feet long. It says he plans to practice yoga at sea. This one is about a Bloom-ington housewife who’s flying from Minnesota to Australia in a balloon. Evidently she has relatives in Australia. That’s the ostensible reason for the journey. We both know the real reason. A group of Methodists from Pittsburgh are setting out next month for the Sinai Desert where they intend to pray and fast for forty days and nights. It says they’re being urged by their bishop to take along some kind of rations besides water but it says the group thus far has resisted the idea. Woman, sixty-two, circles world in single-engine plane. Now here’s a Norwegian man who sat for two hundred and two hours in a window box on his terrace, breaking the world record by thirty-some-odd hours. We both know he wasn’t interested in records. A man in Missouri spent a hundred and sixty-one days in a deep cavern. Missouri abounds in caverns. He ate canned food, he drank water, he burned over nine hundred candles. He said it’s the first time in his life he wasn’t bored. Sensory overload. People are withdrawing from sensory overload. Technology. Whenever there’s too much technology, people return to primitive feats. But we both know that true privacy is an inner state. A limited environment is important. Yes, yes. But you can’t fly off in a balloon and expect to find the answer.
The will has to urge itself to this task. The mind has to level itself across a plane of solitude.
-delillo

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2 Responses to Everything else gets painted gray

  1. being alone is a truly hard problem.

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