Burning Memories

Today, my mother’s birthday, I will think about a flower—a yellow rose—that was her favorite. And I will try to remember some of the cherished moments I spent with her before she died thirty-six years ago. Recollections of time spent with loved ones before death took them cannot, in my experience, be limited to memories of that one person who triggered them. One’s mind does not permit memories to be limited exclusively to one person or one moment. The mind is like an hungry animal with an insatiable appetite; always searching through a labyrinth in pursuit of food for thought.

Memories of one person’s death spark memories of others who died. In my case, remembering my mother on her birthday causes memories of my late wife to surface. Remembering my mother does not cause a drowning flood of grief to consume me. But it causes the grief of losing my wife—less than two years ago—to emerge from deep within me. It feels just as fresh and raw and unspeakably painful as it did the day she died. The pain will subside as the day wears on; whenever the pain erupts like a volcano, I know it will ebb over the next few hours or days. But I suspect it will never disappear. It is always there, like a clump of molten rock, in my chest. If I do not devote considerable energy to keeping it from bursting into open flames, it tends to consume me and scorch the earth all around me.  I am sure I am not alone with this perpetual burning ball of memory inside me. I know people survive it every day. I feel confident I will survive it, again, as I have so many days before. And, today, I will insist that it pause for at least a moment, so I can devote some mental energy to honor my mother’s memory.


GoDaddy and Jetpack each claim the problem with my accessing my blog (and subscribers being notified of new posts) rests with the other entity. After spending far too much money on getting a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate for my site, which GoDaddy assured me was the issue, Jetpack identified several additional concerns with the way GoDaddy is handling requests for Jetpack. It’s all far too involved and convoluted for my limited technical knowledge; I wish I could through senior engineers from both companies into a ring, where they would battle it out. The victor would take full responsibility and would be required to correct the problem within one hour or face stunningly horrific consequences. My praise two days ago for GoDaddy‘s responsiveness has been tempered by time and experience. That is, too often, the way of the world.


I would not be surprised at news that Russia has deployed nuclear weapons in its effort to absorb and control Ukraine. Perhaps my expectations are fueled by media suggestions of Putin’s state of mind. Which, of course, must be fueled by manipulative governmental propaganda. Which serves the important purpose of helping to ensure adequate support for the regime that’s responsible for spreading the rumors.

It matters not whether Democrats or Republicans are in control; both parties are conniving, manipulative, and driven by the hunger for control. While I find the rationale the Democrats use to justify their lies and manipulative behavior far more acceptable, I do not excuse their actions. I wonder what U.S. policies would look like if the people crafting them were more committed to their constituents than to their hold on power.


Propaganda is to a democracy what violence is to a dictatorship.

~ William Blum ~


It is the season for pumpkins and leaves changing colors. It is the season for cooler days and crisp Fall nights. It is a time to begin thinking about winter soup recipes and sitting in front of a warm fire, toasting marshmallows. I prefer Fall to Summer, but I prefer Spring to Fall. And I prefer Spring and Fall to winter. I prefer all other seasons to Summer; Summer would not be so bad if it were cooler and more suitable to comfortable outdoor pursuits. I suppose winter would be better were it a bit warmer and if it were not accompanied by ice and snow.


I am glad I am not hunkered down in the Tampa Bay area, waiting on the arrival of Hurricane Ian. Hurricane and their accompanying high tides can be massively ugly. I would be willing to tolerate the heat and humidity of living on the coast if I could find a nice, isolated, very private place; just so long as I could get reliable assurances that hurricanes and storm surge would not be permitted on that part of the coast.


You’re on my mind this morning. Yes, you are.

About John Swinburn

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