The word often carries with it a pejorative connotation. An escapist is someone who runs from things and ducks responsibility: A slacker and a fraidy cat.
Lately, I have been thinking of taking myself out to a nearby swimming hole, a small pond with a small beach. The place is great for kids because the water doesn't get very deep very fast and the chances of anyone getting into serious trouble are pretty slim. There are lifeguards too, which seems a bit much, but it fits with the community I live in.
The sun has not cooperated in the last few days, so I haven't gone to the pond. But I have thought about it -- a change from potatoes, an escape of sorts.
At first blush in my escapist mind, the adventure is all about water. I love water -- the look, the feel, the soothing something-or-other that bubbles up inside as if I were taking a shower within. What a nice escape from the routine in which one chore or another calls out to be done, the tightening of the shoulders as I assess one task or another ... and the tasks, however small, seem endless.
But it's not just about the water, I have decided. It's also about being in a place where there is no escape. By limiting the surroundings -- beach, sun, water, chattering kids -- I am able to let go of the small tasks that can natter at home. I can't do a damned thing about them ... and it's a relief. A relief to be trapped in this place ... no where to run. This...is...it. So, relax! I have had the same feeling on boating expeditions and airplane rides and walks in the woods. Limited location and input encouraging some more sensible sense of the limitless.
To escape to a place from which you cannot escape.
It makes you wonder: "What's the matter with here and now?"