And Here I Go

Mi novia and I got our second COVID vaccine boosters on Friday. Mine had no effect on how I felt yesterday, but mi novia felt achy and very tired. In fact, she spent much of the day either sleeping or in a recliner, resting. She also had a fever and there was a large, red, raised area on her arm around the injection site. I have never had any appreciable after-effect of any vaccinations (knock on wood). I hope mi novia feels better today.


I spent a good part of the day yesterday painting the “bonus area behind the garage;” a white primer over the rather dark brownish-beige paint. Like the laundry room, the finished room will be a light grey. I wish I had painted both rooms this way eight years ago; they look absolutely spectacular! I know, how can a laundry room look spectacular? Well, maybe the laundry room simply looks very good; clean, fresh, inviting. The bonus area, which has its own HVAC system, separate from the main house, consists of two distinct rooms, separated by a door between them. Several windows bathe both rooms in sunlight, but light-blocking roll-down shades can block virtually all external light. When I finish painting the bonus area, it will be gorgeous. I used the rooms both as storage (they have enormous numbers of cabinets and drawers) and as a “getaway,” where I could burn my incense and write and simply “chill.” I’ll miss that area (especially now that it will be so beautiful) almost as much as the room I call the “sky room,” the room off the master bedroom that has three walls made mostly of windows. But the new house will have its own superb attributes, as well. Life goes on.


Blessed are the hearts which bend, they never break.

   ~ St. Frances de Sales ~


I have written so much for so long. Writing is both therapeutic for me and  presents an opportunity for me to express my appreciation to the universe for being here with me as I travel the roads of life or sit in the sun and watch life go by. If the Pareto Principle represents reality—and I think it does—twenty percent of my writing represents eighty percent of whatever value I might have created with my words. My problem with that reality is the difficulty of separating the wheat from the chaff. As an aside, that phrase, “separate the wheat from the chaff,” has biblical roots; depending on which version of the Bible one consults, its origin is from Luke 3:17—but so many versions of the Bible have been produced and so many different translations have been made that the real origin and the real meaning of the phrase always will be suspect. But, back to my thoughts: I hope there is, in my writing, at least a kernel of value to be found. Otherwise, pounding my keyboard for umpteen years has been a monumental waste of time.  This blog, the third or fourth I have produced, has been around since 2012. It contains more than 3900 posts. Somewhere in that collection of moderately organized characters of the alphabet, there must be something meaningful. Something thought-provoking. Something worth keeping. Ah, but everyone thinks they have produced something of value in their lives; whether a lasting thought or an ability to make people laugh or a legacy, like a farm or a business. Oh, well. Whether it’s valuable or not, I’ll keep pounding out characters from the keyboard. Maybe one day I will return to writing fiction or philosophical essays or even poetry. For now, though, the “value” is probably all mine. I’m the only one who gets value from using this platform as a daily journal of sorts. I know that and I am okay with that. Life goes on.


I want to be remembered as a poet, a peacemaker, and a philosopher who played.

   ~ Mattie Stepanek ~

Matthew Joseph Thaddeus Stepanek died of dysautonomic mitochondrial myopathy at the age of 13. Before he died, he wrote seven books of poetry and peace essays.


I spoke to a Realtor yesterday about selling my house. Now that our new  house is nearly ready for move-in, we can begin moving “stuff” out of the “old” house so it does not look over-stuffed with furniture, etc. I want the current house to look as inviting and charming and lovely as possible; that cannot happen until we get some furniture out of here. That, of course, suggests we’ll have to pare down “stuff” before we move into the new house, lest it, too, look over-furnished. And that is what we will do. I suspect we’ll discard (either give to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore or sell or…) a lot of stuff before we move. Between now and then, though, I want to make this house just as appealing as it was to my late wife and me eight years ago. I remember walking in and instantly falling in love with the place—the view, the modern style (more or less) with clean, simple lines and beautiful wood floors throughout. When we entered the house, my wife’s face told me she felt the same way I did: this was the place! We had looked at around 40 houses and I think our real estate agent was about to drop us because we were too time-consuming. But, finally, we found this one. It will be a fond memory. The Realtor said it should sell quickly and should be priced to maximize profit; if she is right about the value and her suggested listing price is correct, I will be thrilled to sell it. Bring on the buyers. Yeah, but I have mixed feelings. It’s a mixture of excitement and nostalgia; not only for where I have been, but for who I was when I was there. The quotation that follows hits home with me; I will never again be the man I was when I was who I was before now.

You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place… like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way ever again.

~ Azar Nafisi ~


Breakfast, then church, then painting. The day holds promise. And here I go.


About John Swinburn

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