Ends and Odds

Just before 4:00 a.m., I woke—alone in bed—to loud cracks of thunder and pounding rain. Moments after I woke, I heard my IC speaking words of comfort to her dog. The beast always cowers, seeking comfort on a lap or a cloth mat when the weather outside is loud and threatening. My IC told me she had gotten out of bed at 12:30 and tried to sleep on the couch since then; I’ll find out later whether my snoring was to blame or whether something else kept her from sleep.

I’m sure I could use more sleep, but sleep punctuated by thunder probably would be less restful for me than getting up and having coffee. I chose the latter. And here I sit, pondering how dramatically different—much cooler—the weather will be at first light this morning, compared to yesterday’s warm and steamy shroud of fog. This morning, the fog will have been replaced by rain and the warm, heavy atmosphere will transition to a more seasonal chill. I think the few hours between last night and this morning may represent a microcosm of the changing climate of the planet, though perhaps in mirror image. The planet is not cooling rapidly, it is warming. The speed of the change, once thought to be a centuries-long or longer process, has accelerated. What once was glacially slow has transformed into geologic time on crank. Climate changes that evolved over millennia now occur in months. Or weeks. Or days. Or hours.


It’s after 5 now. The remains of the first cup of coffee, now cold, stare at me from a white mug; “replace me,” they seem to say. “I will,” I say under my breath, “but not just yet.” The howling winds, pounding rain, and incessant cracks of thunder have diminished. Now, I hear only an occasional peal of thunder, followed by a long, low growl. What’s keeping me from making another cup of coffee? I don’t know, but perhaps it’s the fact that the growls of thunder seem to be getting louder and more ominous. Maybe the fierce storms of earlier in the wee hours are returning, hoping to wake those sleeping through the cataclysmic crashes of a short while ago. Time, alone, will tell.


Today’s calendar is empty. Nothing formal on the schedule, but I have plenty to do. High on the non-existent list is grocery shopping for ingredients for an all-tapas but not all-Spanish Christmas. And I will go to the new house and will attempt to connect to the internet, which ostensibly was installed yesterday. While there, I will continue creating my list of things to do before we commence the move, which will take place slowly sometime after Christmas.

I promised my IC last night that I would take her out for breakfast this morning. We did not settle on where we’ll go. Unfortunately, there is no place near for breakfast that is even remotely as intriguing as the chain, First Watch. So, instead of something exotic, we’ll eat more traditional fare. Oh, well, we’ll survive the mundane.


An article on CNN.com this morning was both heart-warming and maddening. The article detailed a situation in which a mother, who was holding a coffee cup, slipped on a patch of ice. The cup shattered and gashed the woman’s wrist; she was bleeding profusely. Her young son called 911. The dispatcher instructed the kid to find something he could use to fashion a tourniquet, which he did. While an ambulance was on its way, the kid kept the tourniquet on his mother’s arm. Though she had to undergo extensive surgery, the woman survived the injury and its associated loss of blood. CNN and the kid’s mother gushed in gratitude about the kid’s actions. What about the 911 dispatcher? What about his/her role in providing instructions about a make-do tourniquet? I hope the dispatcher was given kudos for offering life-saving telephone support that may well have kept the mother alive while the ambulance was on its way.


Unless one happened to read or watch news provided by Al Jazeera, Bloomberg, The Financial Times, The Daily Sabah, or the Hürriyet Daily News, one probably would not know that Turkish trading on all listed stocks halted twice on Friday as the lira crashed a to new low, Borsa Istanbul 100 index fell as much as 7 percent. Sure, today Turkey’s financial instability may not have the makings of the most important, top-of-the-news stuff, but it’s probably more important than news about a professor hiding instructions in a course syllabus to find a $50 bill. The $50 bill story was on CNN. The story about Turkish stock trading was not; unless you dug through gobs of links, ads, and meaningless fluff. That’s one of the reasons I find CNN increasingly irrelevant. Even PBS failed to mention the meltdown of Turkey’s financial markets. I sometimes feel that I am being kept intentionally isolated from the rest of the world by the news media. For what reason would they want to isolate me? I have no idea.

Solitude vivifies; isolation kills.

~ Joseph Roux ~


I think I’ll bring this post to an end and go visit this week’s edition of the Hot Springs Village Voice.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

I wish you would tell me what you think about this post...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.