Several war memoirs I’ve read recently concern the desires of men who have long been in the trenches and I think about Ukraine and friends of mine who’ve been to war. Those dreams aren’t often directed at a steak dinner, hot shower, or even sex. The predominant wish, the same (almost to the wording) from various sources and across differing nationalities, is for a Sunday at home without any sort of stimulation whatever. Warriors yearning to be left to the enjoyment of bird chatter, gazing into an undefined middle-distance with no one shooting and no one to shoot at.
I wrote a poem once, mostly about my belief that man is at his best when idle. And I am idle and it is Sunday and no one is shooting at me. I take this moment to be grateful, to remind myself as I often do, that nobody out there conspires against me and I conspire against no man.
There is much to be loved about being unknown, unheralded, un-sought-after, unindicted, unmolested and generally left the hell alone. That great majority of us who enjoy the status of no status are able to lie on the hillside of our choice, sucking a blade of grass, perhaps in the company of someone we love, gazing at clouds and deciding how next to idle away our afternoon.
That is perhaps the greatest gift of all and I wish it for each of you.