Safe Haven by Larry Gaudet. “Sanctuary porn”, fantasies of a simpler place to retreat from the pressures of modern life.

Safe HavenLarry Gaudet has a dream of sanctuary. He takes his family to a quiet seaside village in Nova Scotia and builds a “barn” home with an ocean view.

Gaudet says we all have a dream of sanctuary, and I do not disagree, but is “sanctuary” the right term? Sanctuary has historic associations with churches and cathedrals but my thoughts of comfort are more base, simple rougher habitations like a log cabin, a cottage, a quiet apartment, even a tent. It’s all “sanctuary porn”, fantasies of a simpler place to retreat from the pressures of modern life. Of course, reality is somewhat different. Run from your outer demons and you will start hearing the voices of your inner ghosts. Despite the idyllic setting, Gaudet has difficulty staying emotionally at home with his wife and sons. He mentally revisits places and situations, always trying to get a grip on the meaning of sanctuary. Gaudet is not a religious man, but he recognizes that at the heart of sanctuary is something sacred, something more important than our daily hurry-burry, and for most of us that is our loved ones and a feeling of home.

Safe Haven is timely given the issue of safety on the world scene. Gaudet is a fine guide on this psychological journey, though his wife and boys remain disappointingly peripheral to the end. Perhaps sanctuary is always elusive.