I have seen it before, surely I've described it before, the nearly lost ship rounding the headland and gliding into a sheltered bay, with water pouring from the scuppers: the sudden quiet, the gentle rocking, the empty shore: backing the sails and dropping anchor. Clouds racing overhead and tangling with the trees on the cliff tops. There, branches still whip back and forth with the wind, but here there is only the occasional gust.
Much to do, everything to do, but the immediate danger past. Send a party to scout the shore, post a watchman or two, and send every man else to his exhausted hammock.
Where are we? I hardly know, and hardly care.
Oh, my dears, I have wrestled so long with shadows. I've worn myself out against phantoms and tricks of the light. I'm tired of fighting long wars on borders that no one else can see, defending countries that no one believes in. It seems to me that I have done my best to keep faith, but the conviction of failure, of dereliction, grows on me. I have understood everything wrong. Or I would not be here, stranded on an unknown coast. This loneliness speaks for itself.
Well. I tire of myself, and shrug all this ship-captain grandiosity aside. I command nothing but this unwieldy tub of muscle and fat: a temporary and unenviable command. When called upon I'll gladly resign this commission, but till then, I must order things as best I can, and even do some good, should the opportunity arise. Back to work, and the pitter patter of the day, the little clawed feet trotting over the deck, the ordering of small things for small results! On the bald street breaks the blank day.