Experiences of the Most Glorious Kind

Euphoria is an exaggerated sense of well-being; a state of intense happiness and self-confidence. The state of being—I’ll call it an emotion, though some might quibble with that characterization. saying it amplifies an emotion but is not one of its own—is at least moderately irrational. It is an emotion created entirely in one’s mind in reaction to a stimulus that prompt one to feel jubilation; but the stimulus probably does not warrant a sense of “over the top” joy. Euphoria is addictive, I think; morphine without the needle.

Rage exaggerates anger in much the same way that euphoria inflates happiness. Like its much more pleasant kin, rage grows from an internal seed. The stimulus that triggers rage might just as easily provoke euphoria, and vice versa.

Odd, the ways emotions and their allies manipulate us as we obediently comply with the directives launched by their twisted logic. Yet, even after years of acquiescing to their demands, we have the capacity to reject their prescribed responses to the world around us. We can override their instructions, thus taking control of our reactions to the taunts thrown at us by an emotionless universe.


Yesterday was a good day. My girlfriend and I joined a friend for a visit to the “candy store,” followed  by a stop in a favorite Mexican restaurant for lunch. We then picked up an order of pulled pork to serve as the centerpiece of an informal dinner last night. Last night, we had a great time visiting with friends over dinner. Two of them, a couple who live here in the Village, came over with the explicit intent of visiting with my former sister-in-law, who stopped here with the explicit intent of visiting with me on her way home to Ohio after visiting with her daughter/my niece.


Conversations of late tend to gravitate toward travel of one kind or another. Whether long road trips in camp-ready RVs or flights to exotic foreign lands, moving out of one’s immediate comfort zone seems to be on almost everyone’s mind. It’s certainly on mine. And my on-again, off-again love affair with the idea of RV camping seems to have flared up again, fueled by talk of nice camp sites, fresh air, and freedom from the humdrum drone of daily life. The long period of near total self-confinement caused by COVID is essentially over, allowing our thirst for breaking free to take total control. I’m now mulling over the idea of an oversized van-style vehicle with all the amenities one might expect from such a vehicle. I cannot afford to spend the money, I tell myself; I rebut that argument by pointing to the fact that I have no kids to whom I might provide an inheritance. I have yet to determine who is winning the debate. It might be the frugal me, the one whose allergies to overspending cause waves of hallucinations in which I see myself as destitute, sleeping in a decrepit old vehicle. Or it could be the adventurous me, the one who dismisses frugality as a sickness that can be cured only by accepting the risk of destitution. There’s yet another potential winner of the argument, but he is only half-way invested in the debate, focusing his attention on rebuilding himself from the scraps left over from a raucous self-intervention.


The cooling weather yesterday afternoon and last night capped off an excellent day. My computer tells me it’s 57°F, while the indoor-outdoor thermometer claims it is 62°F. Either one is perfectly fine with me. I would welcome a radical change in this microclimate in which I live; transforming from the tendency to serve as a furnace and chigger manufacturing environment for much of the year (alternating as an blindingly cold bit of inhospitable tundra). Yes, I’d like the typical daytime high to hover around 73°F, give or take a degree or two, with nighttime lows dipping into the middle-fifties or so. That’s what I was meant to experience every day since birth. Something has gone horribly awry.

But for the moment, I will relish the happy weather. The high today is expected to reach on 79°F. That’s close enough to my ideal to cause me to do a little dance of appreciation. In private, of course, because my dancing is a spectacle that can damage the eyes; once witnessed, it cannot be unseen. I’ve expressed a willingness to learn, though. It’s my understanding that “it’s the thought that counts.”


I think I should take the dog outside for a morning pee. The dog, not me.

About John Swinburn

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