My Sunday evening continued, even after I wrote about finishing Hinterland and my experiences over the past few days. Despite feeling tired and ready for sleep, I opted to stay up, thinking I would begin watching Hillbilly Ellegy and finish it Monday. I finished watching it just before 11:20 Sunday night. I enjoyed it immensely, despite its tendency to drag tears from my unwilling eyes. That’s life. I’ve intended, for quite some time, to read the memoir upon which the film is based. I think watching the movie has provided the impetus to get my hands on the book.


I misspoke (miswrote?) in my last post. The most enjoyable experiences of the last several days did not contribute in any way to my sense of strangulation by kudzu. Those experiences saved me from that unpleasant fate. They provided comfort when I needed it most; they chopped away at the vine, freeing me to breathe fresh air. And, of course, I was wrong about relaxing rather than writing this morning; writing IS relaxing to me, at least most of the time. So here I am again, writing about whatever pops into my head.


My list of things to do includes making an appointment with an ophthalmologist (or, at least, an optometrist) to update my prescription for eyeglasses. Once I get the prescription, I’m going to invest heavily in coddling my vision. First, I’ll get new glasses with frames that will accommodate magnetic snap-on sunglasses. Then, I’ll get a pair of reading glasses and a pair of computer glasses. Even though my “normal” glasses will include an invisible band of the lens for reading, a lens dedicated to reading is the only way I will be totally content as a reader. And the computer glasses will enable me to avoid kinks in my neck from trying to see the computer screen clearly. First world problems, to be sure, but this is a luxury I feel is a “necessary” luxury.


Eventually, our brains quench the fires of the unattainable. Over time, intense desire dissipates into a clutching fog that clings to us forever but finally loosens its powerful grip. At some point, we can move on, damaged but not destroyed.

But in the midst of that fierce longing, we feel certain it will never release us. We don’t believe there will be an end to hungering for that which will never be within our grasp.  Futile craving can lead to madness if we cannot tolerate the wait or do not believe waiting will ease the pain of impossibility.

So, that’s how I will frame the position of a character I one day will write about. He will be secretly in love with a married woman who senses his desire but who, he decides, does not feel the same way about him. He dares not reveal his feelings to her, and the impossibility of having a relationship with her tortures him. But, suddenly, the woman’s husband leaves her for another woman. And then, almost as suddenly (and before the character gathers sufficient courage to approach her), the woman enters into a relationship with another man.

This sounds a little too much like soap opera stuff to me. It needs massive rethinking and, very probably, disposal. That’s what happens to many of my plots. They go nowhere because they start from nothing and end in the same place. Maybe that’s why I’m writing so much stream-of-consciousness non-fiction.


A friend called my attention to a CNN piece about international soups. I found the piece online and copied the article. Among the soups are bouillabaisse (synonymous with Marseilles, the article says), chorba frik (a North African soup popular after sunset during Ramadan), chupe de camarones (Peru), gazpacho (Spain), moqueca de camarão (Brazil), yayla çorbasi (Turkey), among others. I am fascinated by international cuisine, so I will make it another of my missions to seek out recipes and ingredients for many of these soups. The CNN article seems to have emerged from a book entitled Soup: A Global History, by Janet Clarkson. I’ll have to look for it.


Enough of this for now. Three more hours until my appointment with my oncologist. In the interim, I have to shave, shower, and otherwise make myself presentable to the world outside my window.  And I wasn’t going to write this morning. I am a dissembler, apparently.


About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Please talk to me about what I've written. I get lonely when I'm the only one saying anything.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.