posted by Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy
Ever wish you could just run away and have a brand new start on life? I'll admit, the thought has crossed my mind, or at least figured in my day dreams.
Back in the days of my DDJ (dreaded day job) my best friend and I liked to joke about running away to some tropical island where we'd lie about on the beach with native boys bringing us fruity drinks with little umbrellas.
Matter of fact, those shared day dreams eventually led us to make our very first trip to Hawaii back in 1992 (yes, I still have the T-shirt, old and faded in the rag pile)! However we were so busy sight seeing on that brief vacation (I think we were only gone 5 days because we both had kids at home) we only managed one brief afternoon on the beach. That was at Hanauma Bay, and alas there were no native boys. Also, our drink of choice was diet Pepsi. Still, that little jaunt whetted my appetite for lovely far off islands, and my BFF and I still joke about those native boys and umbrella drinks.
My recent trip to the Caribbean made me day dream once more about running away from it all. Take a peek at this photo I took on beautiful St. Lucia (yes, the water really IS that color) and tell me the idea of running off didn't enter your mind. Maybe for a half-second?
Whenever I think about running away from it all and starting a new life, I always think of the most famous of those who did -- the artist Paul Gauguin.
Like so many "starving artists" throughout history, Gauguin was unknown and unappreciated during his lifetime. At one point in the late 1880's he actually worked on the French attempt at the Panama Canal, and wound up on the French Caribbean island of Martinique. Apparently, that wasn't quite far enough away for him, because in 1891 he set sail for what was then called French Polynesia, abandoning his wife and five children.
He lived first in Tahiti and then on the Marquesas Islands, where he died in 1903. His most famous paintings were done during those years. Here's a self-portrait he did in 1893, and that's a copy of another of his paintings hanging over his shoulder. His life inspired lots of books (including Somerset Maugham's The Moon and Sixpence), and at least two operas. So I guess I'm not the only one who liked the idea of running away to a tropical island.
Sounds great in theory, but would I really be able to leave all my friends and family behind like Gauguin did? Do I even want to? Even if I knew my writing would become as celebrated and influential as the art Gauguin produced in Polynesia (he's been called the first Post-Impressionist and the father of modern art), I still don't think I could run away as completely and irrevocably as he did.
True, he had plenty of beach time, and lots of natives, but NO FRUITY DRINKS with umbrellas! OH NOOOO!
What about you? Ever thought about running away to a tropical island? Or maybe someplace else? Or are you holding out for the fruity drinks with Aunty?