A Lesson in Time

Recent days have taught me more than I might want to know, but any knowledge—welcome or not—is fuel for both intellectual and emotional development. When I have time to process what I have recently learned, I will make an effort to document the lessons learned. In the meantime, I will attempt to understand what has taken place in the sea of thought in which I swim.


As I sat at a boarding gate in the Guadalajara airport recently, I watched a patchwork of people waiting to travel. Young, old, and in between, each had unique reasons to fly. The mixture of languages they spoke—mostly Spanish with an assortment of English, Croation, Dutch, and various others—blurred into an unintelligible hum. Yet that cacophony was precise in its meaning: the unintelligible noise was the expression of thoughts that mattered to them.

Several hours later, in the darkness of a confusing San Antonio night,  the abrupt, jarring stop of a rented automobile as it slammed into a concrete curb—unleashed fear, anger, embarrassment, and a thousand regrets. The rubber of the destroyed tire and the metal of the undercarriage grated against the pavement as I manuevered the car to the parking lot next door—the intended, but obviously missed, target. The next morning, my rage at myself tempered just a bit, I allowed happiness to drown some of the sorrow as a gathering of family began to unfold. The reality that none of us are are ever fully in control began to sink in, as I learned of others’ unavoidable obstacles that prevented well-laid plans from unfolding as expected.


When new expectations took an unexpected twist, the intersection of joy and sadness revealed, again, the impossibility of real control over events, time, and context. The world will turn as it will, regardless of plans…which always fail to take into account the randomness that intercedes on behalf of chaos. But chaos is not bad, only unpredictable. Some chaotic circumstances hide beauty beneath a translucent veil. The rest of these chaotic circumstances have yet to play out. Until then, we keep planning and forging ahead, hoping for the best, which sometimes comes and sometimes redefine goodness and sorrow.


If the universe cooperates, I will continue to document our experiences, in due time, but in more coherent fashion. I have my reasons for overlaying experience with a thick blanket of confusion; confusion has been a guiding principle for awhile.


Today is Sunday. At least that’s what we call it. For now.

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.

One Response to A Lesson in Time

  1. Todd says:

    Sorry for your mishap. I like the mystery in the first paragraph. Enjoy your travels and keep up your reporting and discovery.

I wish you would tell me what you think about this post...

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