The Joys Of Non-Driving

It proves I'm not an American, I guess, but I still don't know how to drive, don't have a license and have managed to get to the age of 44 without missing one. Yes, the husband has to drive us all the way to Ptown each summer, but once I get here, even more than when I'm in DC, this sentiment by C.S. Lewis rings all the more true:

I number it among my blessings that my father had no car, while yet most of my friends had, and sometimes took me for a drive. This meant that all these distant objects could be visited just enough to clothe them with memories and not impossible desires, while yet they remained ordinarily as inaccessible as the Moon. The deadly power of rushing about wherever I pleased had not been given me. I measured distance by the standard of man, man walking on his two feet, not by the standard of the internal combustion engine. I had not been allowed to deflower the very idea of distance; in return I possessed "infinite riches" in what would have been to motorists "a little room."

The truest and most horrible claim made for modern transport is that it "annihilates space." It does. It annihilates one of the most glorious gifts we have been given. It is a vile inflation which lowers the value of distance, so that a modern boy travels a hundred miles with less sense of liberation and pilgrimage and adventure than his grandfather got from traveling ten. Of course if a man hates space and wants it to be annihilated, that is another matter. Why not creep into his coffin at once? There is little enough space there.

$4 gas? Maybe it will be good for us.

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

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