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Sunday, July 28, 2013

To Empire or Not To Empire

Empire, Michigan

It is the time of year to decide whether to go to Empire, Michigan, or not.

Our friend invited us to accompany her there during her stay with her daughter, there on the western shores of Lake Michigan's vast, vast expanse of sunny blue or overcast grey, a vast liquid response to the encroaching land and the Sleeping Bear sand dunes piled up just a couple of miles north...and lesser highlands just south...
The dunes are magnificent if you can manage to survey them and their hinterlands in their entirety, and remember that sand dunes are not fully appreciated unless you spend some time on them in a high wind... just make sure you protect your eyes and nose.

I like it for all the reasons available:

(1) endless beach and water and sun,

(2) a number of small lakes just inland, which make a parenthesis of sand and vegetation and cottages between the great water and the small, the open and endlessly airy Lake Michigan bounded by the wetlands bordering the small lake of frogs and egrets and dawn canoes,

(3) no motels or hotels, hence no carpets of people filling the wetlands and beaches like phragmites and mallows,

(4) and, thus, the incredible and antique venture of real kid-like vacation, where everything is left behind and we enter into a world where everyone kid is and adult, and every adult a kid again; a Moonrise Kingdom where we muse on lovers new and old as we sit skinny-dipping on the Devonian topography, moving like peach-skinned salamanders between the outcroppings of Traverse and Dundee limestones...


(5) the science fiction quality of it all, the sense of simulation based in literature of the tense poise of adolescence, the Lost Boys sense of Peter Pan and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, where we are enclaved between tall, sandy heights that impose their presences to our north and south like the mountainous Watchers in William Hope Hodgson's The Night Lands.....  but these Watchers in Empire are benign; they may be ab-human, but they are not inhuman; these are the emperors of Empire, the sources of all laws and norms and all that is customary usage
in the lands bordering 45 degrees North.

I am Caesar and Octavian; I dream of Empire.
The village of Empire is Tiberius' Capri to the Rome of Traverse City, city on the two bays, city too urban for 45 North, too many motels built on the beach...

But right now I am fixing a Whirlpool clothes washer. The drum did not spin, and by watching and listening to videos on YouTube, I thought that the problem most likely would be the motor coupling:

The plastic on the motor side was broken, and I can't get the part until Monday morning, so I carry on in the disarray around the laundry room, a disarray that is the direct result of my genius... and figure out a better way to duct the clothes dryer as I wait.


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