Dispatches from the Empire

To wake up early—earlier the dogs and cats—and sip my morning coffee. To sit quietly with friends, unafraid of the silence. Plenty of warm showers and hot springs. A few old Star Wars toys laying around—cheap pieces of plastic that bring me joy. Spirited conversation, sometimes political.

A home in a quiet town, away from the noise of the culture. A place to retreat to retreat to when everything else becomes too much — the din of relations, the screeches of polity, the frantic need to make money.

A table, preferably in the garage, upon which to make models. Trains, ships, planes... little things to glue and paint while deep in thought. A garden with wild sprinklers.

Books, but not too many. Too many can erode my focus.

A home near the mountains, visible from my window. The promise of an adventure, of a journey into the great interior. Capable hiking boots — the kind that can take me anywhere. A mechanic or two as kind and thoughtful and thorough as those I now have.

Companionship, but not too much of it. Too much can erode my focus.

Neighbors that talk politics. Neighbors that bring over vegetables. Neighbors that play with my dogs.

Dogs. Many, many dogs.

A tent at the edge of things, from which I can look down and observe. Too close and my sanity frays, but from a tent on the edge of things, I can have space to make sense of it all.

The grace to forgive those I do not understand.

The grace to forgive myself.