Dribbles and Drabbles

Warrior, a Scandinavian television series, is worth watching. I’ve noticed that one of the actors, Dar Salim, plays in many Scandi political and police thrillers. Born in Baghdad, Iraq, he moved with his family to Denmark, where he was reared. I won’t go into the plot; plots often are somewhat irrelevant, the underlying themes more important to the story.


I woke hungry. Ravenous. I am trying to control my desire for food, though. If I relent, I will empty the refrigerator and the pantry and then will go to a grocery store, where I will leave the aisles and the freezer cases barren. The cause of my hunger is a mystery to me. Most days, I am perfectly happy to wait for a few hours after I get up and before I eat. Today, though, I want to satisfy my hunger immediately. Waiting will just cause the flames of desire to grow higher and more intense. But wait I will. And when the time to eat finally comes, I will tear through the meal like a captive wolf that hasn’t been fed in several days.  Or maybe not. Though I have not been especially careful about my diet, ever since my short stay in the hospital in late July I have been more conscious of what I consume. And that should continue. A benefit of being more aware of what I am eating has been weight loss. Since late July, I have lost roughly 17 pounds. If I lose another 70, I will have reached a weight more closely identified as my “ideal” weight. Maybe it will happen. Maybe not. Time will tell.


Something opens our wings. Something makes boredom and hurt disappear. Someone fills the cup in front of us: We taste only sacredness.

~ Rumi ~


Even with all the doors and windows shut and various common house-noises filling the empty space, the sounds of two owls calling to one another last night were unmistakable. Though darkness and tree branches shielded the birds from our view, there was no question: those sounds were from owls. According to the Merlin app on my phone, the sounds were made by barred owls.

That was last night. This morning, I woke for the second or third time—around 5:30—to the same sounds. The “hoots” continued for roughly fifteen minutes, then stopped. I’ve waited for at least ten minutes, hoping the calls would start again, but those forest creatures are silent for now.


Humans’ senses are so feeble, in comparison to virtually all the creatures around us. Our senses of smell, taste, touch, sight, and sound are inferior; because, I suppose, our evolution focused on necessary attributes and not so much on the ones I think would be nice to have. Like extraordinary night vision. And daytime vision dozens of times sharper than my vision at its youthful peak. Oh, and the ability to fly; more like swallows than pelicans. And the nose of a bloodhound. I could go on and on, but indulging the fantasy is pointless. Secretly, though, I do it anyway. I indulge my fantasies as a means of keeping me sane. Or preventing me from sliding further into the madness of twenty-first century humanity.


Today is Veteran’s Day, a day meant to honor veterans who served in wars the U.S. has fought. Originally, it was Armistice Day, an event first celebrated in 1919 to honor the day World War I ended a year earlier. In 1938, Congress recognized the day as an official holiday. Then, in 1954, the name was changed to Veterans’ Day to honor veterans of all the wars in which the U.S. has fought. After seesawing between dates, the day is once again acknowledged on November 11, the day the first World War ended. Unlike Memorial Day, this day is not meant strictly to honor war dead; its purpose is to honor all those who served in the military during wartime. I suspect the limitation on honoring those who served during wartime has been abandoned, whether officially or unofficially. Today, the day seems to honor anyone who has worn a military uniform, regardless of when they served. Someone, I hope, will either verify or correct what I say here.


And a good day to you.

About John Swinburn

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