The world can become too much. Too intense, too hard, too harsh, too unforgiving. Compromise is brushed aside by the force of inertia. Entreaties fall on deaf ears. Or, rather, pleas go unspoken. Because nothing is to be gained by attempting to reason with a steamroller. And making a stand is a pointless, suicidal invitation to obliteration. Hiding— and hoping not to be found—is the only sane response to the threat of being crushed under the weight of obligations and demands and expectations. The immediate reaction to such avoidance might be to call it cowardly, but a more careful assessment would lead to a different conclusion: it is the only lucid, prudent response to the inevitable. Yet hiding or retreat or surrender or whatever else it might involve often is labeled weakness, especially by people who have never faced an existential peril. You can’t understand someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. The wisdom in that saying is undeniable. Yet we judge people all the time, without taking the time or expending the effort to learn the “Why?” of their actions.


Today will be hot—weather forecasters say the temperature will reach 91°F today—but the next three days will be considerably worse, with highs of 100°F or more. Thursday’s forecast calls for a brutally high temperature of 104°F. As bad as that is, it pales in comparison to the hottest USA temperatures on record. Death Valley, California has climbed as high as 134°F. Failure to take appropriate precautions when temperatures reach those levels is an invitation to heat stroke and death. In spite of an awareness of the dangers, I would not be surprised to learn of people who go jogging (without taking water with them, by the way) during the hottest part of the day. They must be out of their minds. Yet, what was I saying just a few minutes ago? You can’t understand someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. Or jogged some distance…


The veins in my hands and arms seem to be much more visible than usual of late. Whether or not the enhanced visibility of one’s veins corresponds to higher-than-normal blood pressure, there seems to be a correlation; at least, to me. My veins have been more pronounced lately, which has corresponded with higher-than-normal blood pressure measurements. Whether that correlation is causal or coincidental, I cannot say. But I have noticed what appears to be a relationship in the past. My limited research suggests there are causal correlations between blood pressure and the visibility of veins, but several causes other than blood pressure exist. Thinning skin as we age, for example. Decreasing body fat. Hot weather. And various health-related issues. Summer has arrived, with its searing heat. Advancing age, with its searing effects on the body, has arrived as well. And I’ve lost weight; hence the body fat in my hands may have decreased. Without considerably more investigation, I cannot know the cause of my more visible veins. In the overall scheme of life, my ignorance of the cause(s) probably has little to no importance. But it gives me something to write about.


Still, there’s little of consequence I want to share this morning. Therefore, I will put my fingers back in their cases and put an end to this useless drivel.

About John Swinburn

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