Another Time

Reminders about life’s fragility poured into my consciousness yesterday. First, I learned that one of my brothers was advised to have a heart pacemaker installed on an emergency basis. Next, I was stunned and saddened to learn that the younger brother of a former sister-in-law (with whom I became close long after she and another brother divorced) is in home hospice in response to metastasized stage 4 lung cancer. Then, last night, I got a call informing me that, just days ago, a man who had been extremely active in the local writers’ club in years lost his battle with cancer; he was 79 when he died. Other reminders of mortality abound. My IC’s dog, a sweet little twelve-year-old shih tzu, was diagnosed not long ago with a heart murmur that, in all likelihood, will claim his life sometime before too much more time has passed.

All life is temporary, though in most cases we experience it as if it were just as long as the sun is bright. Life is all we know, yet in the context of time, it is so brief that it passes in much less than the blink of an eye. I like the concept of life as an opportunity to pursue the equivalent of heaven (as if there were such a thing) here on Earth. Today is all we have. We should milk every moment as if it were our last; because it very well may be. Life is precious. It is not only only all we know. It is all we have. Life is not measured by how many dollars or automobiles or houses or boats we accumulate. It is measured by how much joy we experience and how much we share.

Sentient beings are fortunate in having consciousness of ourselves and our surroundings. We feel an almost impossibly strong connection to the the world of which we are a part. Yet humans know life ends. The more intelligent among us latch onto life as our greatest gift; one that deserves our utmost respect and attention because when it ends, it is over.


My IC made an enormous batch of macaroni and cheese yesterday. We took a sizable portion (enough for several meals, except for gluttons like me) to the next-door neighbors. The “he” of the couple experienced a mild stroke recently, but he seems almost his old self. When we delivered the M&C, he wanted us to sit and chat and drink, but we had to leave. We will visit them some time next week, when we will drink wine with them and enjoy munchies and conversation. The two of them are sharp and spry in spite of their advanced age (he is 92 or 94, I think) and they both enjoy “happy hour” as if they were sixty years younger. I like people like that—people for whom the pursuit of Earthly pleasures is among the purposes of our existence. I happen to agree with their perspective on the matter.


My recent visit to my doctor’s office was something of a dud. I went in seeking solutions to insufficient amounts of restful sleep, arthritic pain in my joints (especially my left elbow), and continuing wheezing and stopped up sinuses. I saw the doctor’s nurse practitioner, who said she would refer me for a sleep study. She forgot to address the other two issues that I told her nurse assistant about when I was first weighed (and queried about the reason for my visit). And I was sufficiently surprised by the rapidity of the visit’s conclusion that I did not bring up the other two issues. As I was leaving, the nurse practitioner learned of a family emergency and rushed out. When I called back yesterday, hoping to be given prescriptions to alleviate my pain and my symptoms, I was told the NP was still out with a family emergency and no one else could prescribe anything. I was advised to go to the critical care clinic outside the west gate to ask for solace. Bah. I want a personal physician dedicated to my health and comfort. And while I’m wanting, I’d like perpetual good looks, a six-pack abdomen, and one hundred and seventy-three million dollars in tax-free cash. I promise I would be philanthropic and generous in the extreme. My elbow still hurts (though Motrin helps a little) and I wheeze like a two hundred year old man with allergies and emphysema. But I’m moderately alive. I suppose that should be enough. After all, haven’t I just compared life to heaven and said it was all we have? I should stop with the ingratitude and whining. Neither become me.


Finally, we finished Bosch. And we started watching Knives Out. A friend sent me a link so I could watch the latest season of Unforgotten, but I haven’t started watching yet (but I am grateful for the link in the extreme and I want to do nice things for my friend in return).

It occurred to me that, until a few nights ago, I have watched virtually no television/film since the end of May. The TV has remained essentially dark and silent for all that time and I have been blissfully happy without it. Though I never watched it a LOT, I did tend to watch a segment or two of favorite seasons of TV series or short films; now, though, I seem to treat TV as entertainment of the last resort. Conversation and word games and such are at least as engaging. But, admittedly, television can be addictive if one is inclined to allow addiction in one’s life.


I’ve decided I will start posting nude photographs of “lurking” visitors to this blog, soon. If we can’t engage in conversations through comments, at least I can trigger excited chatter through soft pornography, right? So, if you have been reading this blog but have not commented or otherwise engaged in online conversation with me (and other blog visitors), you can expect to see photos of yourself, full-on buck-naked color images, before long right here on your computer screen. Lest you think I’m saying this in jest, please note the fact that most of your computers are  equipped with cameras and I am equipped with a vivid imagination. Combine the two and you’ll realize that I may have taken snapshots of the way I envision you in the altogether.  Now, if that’s not enough to spur comments here on a regular basis, at least it will reveal the exhibitionists among you.

Yes, I realize that what you read her may not be sufficiently intriguing to merit comment. Still, a simple “I saw what you wrote and I find it deadly dull” will suffice. (Admittedly, such comments will cause me to weep and wail openly, but what the hell.)


In about an hour, I will head out to breakfast with “the boys,” a group of old guys from church who have nothing better to do on Thursday mornings than listen to one another express themselves. Actually, that’s a pretty good reason to go have breakfast. Before I go, though, I will try to coax a small sleeping dog to go for a brief walk and do his business.  Time flies, and so much I. More bloggery at another time.


About John Swinburn

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