Fresh Start

As the sun emerged from its evening slumber this morning, the eastern sky bathed my part of the world with muted brilliance. Orange, blue, and deep purple light filled the horizon, backlighting the forest of naked trees behind and below our house. Despite the frigid temperature (my computer’s display tells me it is 12°F in Hot Springs Village), the sky looks warm and inviting. Only when I approach the big windows on the back of the house does the reality of merciless cold sink in. This is not a moment to walk outside wearing only flip-flops, a t-shirt, and a pair of think sweat-pants. So, I add a sweat-shirt and slippers lined with artificial wool; still, I am unwilling to step out into air that is far beyond brisk. Even without the mess that ice and snow makes, very cold weather is unappealing in the extreme—except it seems to clear the air of even a hint of moisture, intensifying the crispness of vision. Everything looks clearer and in much sharper focus when air temperatures plummet toward the single digits.


Once again, I went to bed late and, consequently, awoke considerably later than normal. By the time I got out of bed, the pre-dawn sun had begun to strip the sky of darkness. Within minutes of taking my first sip of coffee, the night sky started its departure, replaced with dim light and soft versions of the colors I described above. Then, in what seemed the blink of an eye, the light show reached its crescendo. Morning colors faded into the starkness of day.

I wish I could slow the disappearance of the peak of morning’s beauty. The sense of awe and the intense emotions that accompany the dazzling display of Nature’s celestial art fills me so completely; but it fades far too quickly. That sublime sense of wonder brought about by a beautiful morning sky disappears so fast, replaced by a feeling of resigned indifference to the demands I face for the remainder of the day. With the right frame of mind, I might be able to capture that magnificent mood and feed on it all day long. Holding on to that frame of mind requires devotion and a sense of awe of its own. Alas, I’ll have to think those thoughts another morning, before the spectacular scene unfolds before my eyes.


Last night, we watched three episodes of season four of Ozark. I should have read a synopsis of the first three seasons before I began watching, because I could not recall the full story that led up to the opening scenes. My memory of books and movies is atrocious; within minutes of finishing a novel or a film, plot details are erased from my brain. I suspect the reason for the erasure is that there is scant room in my head. The storage space is small to start with; it is made smaller by my mind’s insistence on storing minutia that takes up too much of too little room for recollections. Despite my poor recall, I was able to get sufficiently familiar with the story line to enjoy the episodes. Ozark is riveting, both from the perspective of adrenaline-producing action and from the standpoint of psychological intrigue. Were it not immoral and illegal to launder drug money, and were the dangers involved in the endeavor much smaller, I think I could enjoy the occupation.


A doctor in last night’s dream discovered I had been given a misdiagnosis by another doctor. Unfortunately, the initial diagnosis found I suffered from something mildly annoying but innocuous, while the subsequent diagnosis by the other doctor involved a deadly malady involving both the bones in my extremities and my torso, especially my chest cavity. I do not recall much of the dream, only my surprise at the second diagnosis and my fear that insurance would not cover the diagnosis, much less the pointless treatment. And I recall laughing nurses and other medical staff; they did not seem even remotely disturbed by my terminal illness. I remember, very vaguely, a sense that the second diagnosis was made in a glass-walled clinic in what seemed like a mall kiosk. I wonder whether, when we cannot recall specific aspects of a dream, our minds attempt to fill in details? That might explain the absolutely bizarre circumstances I sometimes “remember” from nonsensical nighttime excursions into madness.


The last few drops of paint in the gallon simply weren’t enough to apply a first coat to the entire hallway. And it was getting late in the afternoon, so I was not interested in opening another can and pouring a bit of it into the paint tray. So, I left the hallway unfinished. I should be able to finish it today (if I kick myself in the rear hard enough to make me drive over to the house to get to work), as well as apply a second coat over the one I have applied. As usual, the most time-consuming aspects of painting has been the preparation. I do not like that aspect of painting. And, I’m discovering, I do not like the other aspects, either. Would that I could snap my fingers and the job would be finished. But that’s not possible. I have another several weeks of work to do before we can work on the floors. I expect we’ll move in before the end of August. Maybe.


All right. It’s time to dive into the day. It’s well after 8. I’ve dilly-dallied around long enough. I’ve returned to this post to put an end to it. So there you are.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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One Response to Fresh Start

  1. Meg+Koziar says:

    Dreams, I’ve read, are the mind trying to make a story out of random electrical impulses. Just like we see creatures in the random water droplets in a cloud, we try to find patterns. My recurring dreams are of walking on a raised path (like those of the irrigation ditches of my childhood in NM) and never getting to a destination, or being late for class and going up and down stairs trying to find the classroom, also never getting there. Yours are much more interesting.

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