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131. Your Favourite Retreat  
3:29:00, August 4th, 2006
John Henry Holliday, DDS
What Is Your Favourite Retreat from the World?

My favourite retreat from the world is engaging in meaningful activities.
The only times I am at peace, sure and with a place are when I am working on teeth, when I am playing cards, and when a fight is impending or in progress.
I said it, without the cards. Wyatt said it, without the dentistry.
That in itself makes me smile.
But I dare say I felt the same fighting fire, at those times when I was on missions for Wyatt that did not involve gunplay, when I was studying in school, when I practice, as I do each day.

I am not sure that one ought to retreat from it. It is more a waiting for it to become fulfilling, and meaningful. Faced with its quiet disapproval, coupled with the knowledge that one is dead and it makes very little different what one does or what others think, for the most part - this leads to a great blankness of superiority. What can one do but wait? And in those moments, I hone my skills. You would interrupt me? To what end? And when I do not find myself in these... doldrums, to use a nautical allusion, I act with as much life and power and strength of character and will as I have in me. To carry on the metaphor, which is in truth a little alien to me, one must utilise fair winds while they present themselves. And it is in these moments that I make what I can of what little there is of my life. One must be always ready to do one's best - to put one's ideals into action, to back one's belief and ideals, and yes, dreams, with all one has. For I do have dreams, yet.

Dentistry. It is what I chose to give to the world. What I chose! And any engagement therein is a rest from unsurety and lack of place and purpose. I am a very good dentist. I learned, working and studying those long hours, until my eyes and hands and brain perform perfectly in unison, evaluating, deciding, constructing, healing, with quiet and gentleness and strength. I can work to my capacity, am not lost, and I am appreciated, contributing, beyond question or doubt.

Cards. I am trained to cards as to dentistry now. Perhaps I will speak more about that another time, for there is a fraternity to think of, there. It is not a social good, but I can concentrate and be sure of my competence. And again, I have a respected place there, a context. I am not lost and floating, not criticised for existence. And again, with long practice, my hands again work perfectly with my brain, and there is the added pleasure and pride of demonstrating my skill and talent, if it is indeed talent. And still the added pleasure of setting myself against others mentally, judging their own motives and lies. I excel, and do it with a cocked eyebrow and half a grin, not at winning, but at the rhythm of eternal play and again, the calm and quiet of my surety.

Fights? I would say: Emergency. It is the same thing - a chance to act with the practice of long thought and preparation. Does one thoughtlessly throw oneself forward with measured and useful action? No - one must be ready and prepared. One must know for certain that one is capable of moving quickly, knowing the very best thing to do when timing counts. Gunfights, yes. Again, one must physically practice, and it is a kind of peace when one has done so enough to be absolutely sure. And one must practice mentally - not practice exactly, but think out beforehand one's own motives and philosophy, so that they are as much better than one's opponents' as one's hand and eye. And there is a certain calm when that is brought to test and one finds oneself ready. One must know one can drop perfectly under fire, and then one can relax in the pride of ability fulfilled. Gunfights, yes, but the same can be said of fighting fire, for example, or indeed any emergency. One must be prepared to run into the building without hesitation, which could result in all kinds of calamity. So it too is a retreat from a world where such is unnecessary, through which one only drifts.

Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 736.
Please comment if you wish.
Nulli Virtute Secundus
affect: cheerful enoughcheerful enough
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