Sunday, October 29, 2006

Life Lessons in New England - Part Two

Sadly my New England vacation is fading to a dim and distant memory. But do I recall my visit to Salem, MA. It's known around the world, not for its maritime traditions, but for the infamous Salem Witch Trials.

At the Salem Witch Musuem, I watched a remarkably restrained history of the trials. But what was more surprising was a fair and balanced presentation on modern-day witches.

I know a fair amount about witchcraft. Once upon a time I played with the idea of writing a novel about witches in the 21st century. But it was one of those 'big digs' I decided to abandon.

The presentation reminded me of the core belief of modern-day witches: 'And if it harms none, do what you will.'

What if we all lived by that? What changes would we make in our lives? Would we give up our 9 to 5 job and travel the world? Start that internet business we've always dreamed off? Move across the country and start a new life?

But why don't we? What would our partner do? What would our parents say? What would our friends and neighbours think?

Are these really valid reasons?

Take a page out of a witch's spell book. And if it harms none, do what you will.

I'll see you on the back roads...


Monday, October 16, 2006

Life Lessons in New England - Part One

After a few hectic weeks on the road with my day job, I reckoned it was time for a family vacation - and where better than New England in the Fall.

We arrived at Logan International on Saturday, picked up the hire car, and headed into the night in search of our hotel.

But first we had to get out of Boston.

For more than a decade, Boston's been at the center of the largest highway project in America - the Big Dig. We'd visited Boston back in '97 and the Big Dig was underway. Now it's 2006 and it's still going on.

We snaked through the city following yellow diversion signs. As we drove, it occured to me that many of us have our own 'big digs' - projects that seemed a good idea at the time but have dragged on unfinished for years.

Maybe it's the boat you've been building in the basement. Maybe it's the half-written novel lying discarded in your desk drawer. Whatever it is, it's sapping your energy.

Isn't it time you made a decision? Either finish it or forget it.

I'll see you on the back roads...