Small Summer Philosophies #4



Everyone is on vacation. Officially, I have been “free” for a few weeks now. That’s what the word “vacation” literally means, by the way: “to be free”, from the Latin word vacare – also the root of vacuum, which is a space devoid of anything. But I don’t feel very free at all, especially not on the inside. To continue the metaphor of vacationing as “emptying” – I feel like I’m trying to dig a hole in the ocean. Yes, a lot of Work is tossed out of the daily routine, but immediately Daily Stuff has flowed in and replaced it with small worries, aches & pains. Nope, I’m not in vacation-mode at all yet.

My inner unrest is made worse by the general imperative, shouted at me from commercials, billboards and through the social media, that THIS IS THE TIME TO RELAX! HURRY UP! SUMMER’S HERE! ENJOY YOURSELF! NO STRESS! OR ELSE!!

I must forget about getting a vacation. I’m not going to be “free” from my own thoughts & routines. A better approach is to consider this period the Holidays – and I really mean Holy Days. (called that because in the Olden Days people only got days off that were religion-related).

What did people do on holy days? It was not a matter of being free, but of doing something ELSE than the daily routine. To find an occupation that is a bit more edifying than just work. Something that lifts you up and gives you a new perspective.

When you look at it this way, everything can be Holy. As long as it gets you away from the ordinary.

This Summer, I’m not going to be Vacationing – I’ll be Substitioning.


Author: Margreet de Heer

Dutch graphic novelist, known for her educational series 'A Discovery in Comics', featuring 'Philosophy', 'Science', 'Religion' and 'Love', as well as a comic about world domination. Margreet lives and works in Amsterdam with her artistic husband Yiri and two cats. In 2017, Margreet was voted Comic Artist Laureate of The Netherlands, an ambassadorship of Dutch comics which she holds for the period of three years.

One thought on “Small Summer Philosophies #4”

  1. I enjoy reading your blog entries, Margreet. I learned a little bit about philosophy in high school, but I never really followed it up. I enjoyed the little musical animated blog a few days ago. My dad has a book of some of Spinoza’s works, but I haven’t read it. Thank you.


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