Oftentimes, I reveal too much here. I write as though this repository of many of my deepest and most personal thoughts is inaccessible to anyone but me. In fact, of course, anyone with access to the internet might find themselves here, whether intentionally or accidentally. And when a person lands here, she comes upon the equivalent of a psychologist’s or counselor’s notebook, filled with confidential observations—the kind of information one typically does not share openly with the world at large. Yet, here it is. A private journal, normally kept under lock and key; the lock, though, pried open and the pages visible to even the most casual passerby.

However, if a person were to assume all of my thoughts and deepest secrets are on public display here, he would be mistaken. Consider this comparison: a road cut into a hillside might reveal layer upon layer of rock, each a different color. The layers are the results of multiple eons of sediments hardening into unique strata. Beneath the road cut, though, there may be dozens or hundreds or even thousands of additional, invisible, layers. So it is with my “journal.” It is highly doubtful that I will ever write about, much less reveal here, the hidden strata buried beneath my public revelations. No one will ever know all the intricate thoughts and emotions underneath. I have mixed feelings about that. On the one hand, exposing all those hidden matters might enable others to better understand me; but on the other, exposing all those hidden matters might enable others to better understand me. Damned if I do, damned if I don’t. And, so, I continue wrestling with eternal damnation. Except, of course, “eternal” is a concept which never can be proven or disproven. And “never,” too, is a concept that relies on access to more knowledge than is available to us; so, “never” is just as inaccessible as “eternal.” And “always,” first cousin of “eternal,” similarly is an impossibility, given the brevity of human life in the scope of Time since the Big Bang, assuming the Big Bang is more than an explanation of the inexplicable.

I may rest for a while. I mean take a break from this infernal daily routine, using writing as a tool to uncover something about myself that seems always to remain hidden. Perhaps if I stop looking, it will fall into my lap. The likelihood of that happening is on par with the likelihood of losing a contact lens while frolicking in the waves off of Maui’s beaches, only to find it a year later, floating in the surf of Galveston Island. But we shall see, shan’t we? Indeed we shall.


April is winding down. The month pretends to belong to the season we call Spring, but evidence of its close relationship with Winter is clear and compelling. Whether this seasonal fling is permanent remains to be seen; but I would not be surprised to learn that the two have been surreptitiously courting for several years. Whatever the case may be, shivering leaves and frigid flowers offer testimony of something untoward. And when I see the morning’s temperature, just a hair above the high 30s, I know something seasonally inappropriate is afoot. Today’s high in Hot Springs Village, forecast to reach only 61°F, further testifies that the climate has gone rogue.


I am tired, both physically and mentally. A week or a month of deep seclusion, performing no obligations and ignoring all requests, may be just the ticket. But that will have to wait. As it always does. And, I suppose, it always will.


Enough for today and maybe tomorrow. And possible the day after that and, perhaps, the next day and the next and the next and so on. Hit the brakes.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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One Response to Brakes

  1. kozimeg says:

    Not unusual weather. The cold snap is so usual it has a name. It’s called “blackberry winter.” One of the saddest stories i’ve read is Eudora Welty’s “Whistle” about a family’s tomato crop lost to a late freeze.

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