So many things on my mind, yet so few of them are compatible with thinking with my fingers. I can’t figure out how to write them to solution or resolution, so I’ll have to depend on my brain, with no help from the keyboard. Perhaps we all should learn to think without depending on external devices to trigger, smooth, shape, or otherwise create and mold our thoughts. I certainly should. My fingers have become something of a crutch; I can’t seem to articulate my thoughts or emotions without filtering them by beating mercilessly on a keyboard.

When I fail at writing an issue to solution, I generally find it’s not my problem to solve.  No matter how I tried to eliminate my concern about the potential results of my recent biopsy, I could not write my way to serenity. The only solution was external; medical professionals had to examine the biopsied tissue and make the call. I probably face dozens, if not hundreds, of similar issues every week. In most cases, I recognize them as external and move on. But some of them seem too intimate or personal or unique to me in some way to expect or even consider permitting an external solution.


I read something this morning that I think will stay with me for quite some time, if for no other reason than it demands reflection.

God, but life is loneliness, despite all the opiates, despite the shrill tinsel gaiety of “parties” with no purpose, despite the false grinning faces we all wear. And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter — they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long. Yes, there is joy, fulfillment and companionship — but the loneliness of the soul in its appalling self-consciousness, is horrible and overpowering.

~ Sylvia Plath ~

Those words, while depressing or demoralizing on their surface, provide solace in a way because they offer evidence that, no matter the depth of loneliness, we are not alone; someone else shares that terrible sense of aloneness.

I came across that quote in an article from Brain Pickings, a weekly newsletter dedicated (in my estimation) to spurring intellectual exercise. In that same article, I came across this:

…relationships are especially fertile ground for growing the twin roots of the stable soul: love and trust.

I loved the language: twin roots of the stable soul. But I was especially intrigued by the suggestion that love and trust are separate elements. I consider them variations on the same theme. Without trust, love is a fragile artificial construct that collapses on itself. And trust cannot exist in the absence of at least a thin sliver of love to serve as a foundation. Trust, though, can be as thick as cold molasses or as thin as hot alcohol. The viscosity of trust is the primary contributor to the density of love. The thicker the trust, the denser the love. Dense, incidentally, in the sense of heaviness of mass.


My old bigotries are breaking down, bit by bit. I’ve invested a lifetime in deriding professional team sports as the equivalent of a money-making opiate delivered to the masses by obscenely rich people whose mantra is “more, always more.” But a few years ago I admitted that, on rare occasion, I enjoyed watching an open-air baseball game under the bright lights of a baseball stadium (despite my utter lack of understanding of the rules of the game). I feel that old baseball bigotry melting even more of late. While I cannot imagine the same thing happening with football or basketball, it’s not impossible. And further evidence that my bigotry is cracking can be found in my willingness to even enter a sports bar. My girlfriend and I stopped in at a new sports bar a couple of days ago. Though I wasn’t especially enthralled with the place, I was surprised that a staff member adjusting one of several televisions was willing to put the “competitive swimming channel” on for viewing. I’m still up in the air on golf. I would love to know how to play, but I am absolutely opposed to getting “serious” about it. And I am absolutely opposed to spending a lot of money on it. “Free time” should be as close to free as possible, in my book.


We’re planning a trip to Tulsa soon. We’ll visit several museums and probably will stop in at Costco while we are there (just before we head home) to stock up on who knows what. Despite the fact that Costco will open a store in Little Rock next month, we will wait to go there. I expect the place to be crowded from day one, with lines stretching for several miles and several months until the novelty wears off. So the Tulsa store will do until then. I’ve wanted to visit the Woodie Guthrie Museum ever since I learned of it. And I’ve heard the Gilcrease Museum is outstanding. Ditto the Philbrook Museum of Art and the Tulsa Air and Space Museum. I suspect Tulsa has some pretty decent restaurants, too, so that will be another priority for the visit. And maybe I’ll look up an old colleague/friend who lives there. But my time will be devoted to enjoying the company of my companion.


Today is Father’s Day. I wish all the fathers out in the world a very happy day and I salute all the fathers who dedicated themselves to rearing healthy, happy, well-adjusted children (regardless of whether the kids turned out as intended).


I have a full day of “things to do,” but I already know that it will feel a bit empty because I will be alone for most of it. Such is life. I will adjust if I can.

About John Swinburn

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