I understand, compassionately, that too much choice is overwhelming to an individual trying to navigate a reasonably safe, reassuringly livable, life. That should not excuse or glorify obstruction against less usual ways, more ambitious or far-seeing strategies. Caela does not feel the pain or outrage of the outcast. She is happily enmeshed in her community, comfortably acknowledged. The solitude and self-directing she has carved out to accommodate her gifts, honed into skill for her best contribution, are well respected. If she wants to leave the group to follow her own dreams and visions, that is her choice and right.

The newer generations of her people no longer keep an outcast identity. They are woven into, continuing with their own threads, the rich fabric of a community that creates their experiences and goals. Her daughter, as an integral member of this younger, self-integrating generation, lives in a large home of like-minded self-identified professionals and their children, sharing familial chores, responsibilities, celebration, physical and emotional care. Caela is happy on the outskirts of the community in her small, cozy cabin. She visits and enjoys visitors, but spends much of her time on her own.

I am learning who these people are, slowly gaining their acquaintance. They are more real, immediate, than the world outside my self-absorption has become for me. I ask questions about how they live, what their world gives them. My grateful mind forms moving pictures, so beautiful, engaging. The scenes, the backgrounds, change to meet my changing expectations. It doesn’t matter if I ultimately put it all together in cogent words. It is the world I need now to be formulating, a soothing, enlightening meditation.

I keep getting caught up in the details. Lovely, soothing details, like doing sums in grade school. Weather. What would the differences in planetary physics do? And even if I am no scientist, how have they developed economic and cultural norms? How have the planet’s – let’s call it Eden – natural lifeforms (because if it is capable of sustaining life it probably already does) dealt with the invasion of life from Earth? I surmise they would have brought embryonic and seed life on the spaceship to continue farming once land was reached. Would there have been combinations, mutations, some species devouring others to become dominant in that ecological niche?

I recall attempting some preliminary research about space colonizing, some proto-musings about this race of genetically engineered empaths that seems to have morphed in my subconscious into Caela’s witchfolk. At that time I got too caught up in immediate living, abandoning forays into an imagined far future.

If I get too caught up in these endless details I could ensnare myself and be unable to continue. I can let them percolate, let the questions come to a head and seep through my imagination. Looking deeply into my metaphoric crystal, I can watch these people, see their details play out, feel out what feels right for these far off colonists and their descendants. In the mysteries of time and space and fantasy, I can watch these people I command into existence assemble into their customary daily lives for my inspection. See the scenes. Note the salient points. Feel the poignant stories. Those devilish details don’t daunt me. They will fill out as they will, as I will, once the grounds percolate and become more clarified, more real than reel (omg, what mixing of metaphors, what a mish-mash of maudlin strings). Willingly giving myself over to this fantasy, somehow this is who I am, at least for now. It feels right and safe. It’s like I want to be scared, but can’t feel it. But what is there to be scared of? I am protected by the great power of prepaid bills and social anonymity, the strongly purring cat beside me, the blessings of alcoholic bliss, and a total lack of real world responsibilities. Whoever the Hell I am, must be some mumbo-jumbo mystical power there. Caela would know about that kind of power. I see the beginning of a beautiful friendship, despite the boundary difficulties between worlds. As long as I’ve only myself to answer to, reality can be whatever I agree to.

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