Planetary Perturbations and Insomnia and Pamplona etc.

I went to bed early and went to sleep right away. But two hours later, I was awake. I tossed and turned for what seemed like hours. I got up around 1 a.m. for a few minutes, then tried again to sleep. Maybe I got a little sleep, but not much. At 4 a.m., I decided to give up for the night. For the last hour, I’ve been playing Words with Friends and reading depressing news. I tried to resurrect a post I wrote last night, but to no avail. It wasn’t worth resurrecting, anyway.

Here I am again, attempting to turn a play-by-play of my unsuccessful attempts at sleep and the succeeding endeavors into something worth writing about. Where might this lead? I could write about the coffee I just made, but despite the fact that it’s what I drink most days, it’s deeply unsatisfying this morning, its flavor an odd combination of sour, steely bitterness and grass mowed days ago. I wonder if mood affects one’s taste buds? I’m tired, very tired, but my efforts at sleep failed and I have no reason to think they would succeed if I were to try again now. I really should attempt to get some sleep sometime today. We’re having dinner with a couple we haven’t seen in many years. They moved to Hot Springs from Las Vegas a month or two ago and invited us to have a Russian dinner at their house (she is Russian; I’m not sure I’ve met her, but I recall him talking about her years ago).

Yes, sleep would be nice. Restful sleep. Sleep uninterrupted by harsh dreams. Though I’ve not been able to remember much about my dreams of late, I know I’ve had them and they have been the kind of dreams from which one awakens disoriented and afraid, as if a solar eclipse that was supposed to last an hour has continued for days and no one can explain what is happening or why.

Speaking of things celestial, I heard yesterday on a radio program, Science Friday, that the planet Uranus rotates at an angle almost perpendicular to its orbit around the Sun, with one of its poles pointing at the Sun almost year-round. A theory, published recently, suggests that a planet as large as or larger than Earth may have struck the cold planet during its formation, knocking it out of its normal and expected rotation.

Among the things I read this morning before deciding to blog was a report that four men were injured during the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain earlier today. I remember a time when I longed to be able to go to Pamplona. I remember, only vaguely, that I had read The Sun Also Rises (about which I recall almost nothing). Something about the book appealed to my sense of adventure and my budding sense of what masculinity meant. I’ve since come to think the running of the bulls (especially involving people with no connection to the towns in which the events take place) is a remarkably stupid cultural expression of misguided bravado masquerading as masculinity. But I once dreamed that I would demonstrate my masculinity by fearlessly exposing myself to danger. There’s something incredibly immature about such an attitude.

One of the bits of news that has me on edge has to do with the twelve boys and their coach trapped deep underground in tunnels in Thailand. When I first heard the news that the boys had been found alive, I was jubilant. But as news came out that their rescue was by no means certain, my mood sunk. Now, as fears of torrential rains in the area grow, I’m growing more fearful that they may not be rescued. Those boys are not the only children on my mind this morning, either. I’m concerned about the immigrant children who have been taken from their parents and are being confined by the U.S. government. The U.S. government’s actions enrage me; if I could, I would dismantle the entirety of the current administration and would replace it with people who demonstrate compassion, decency, and humanity.

I’m tired. So damned tired. And no longer in the mood to write.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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