A couple of days ago, I wrote about the ways in which secretaries free their colleagues to be more productive. I lamented not having a secretary at the moment I wrote those words because of my study’s disorder. This morning, it occurs to me that my years of being secretary-free after having had secretaries earlier in my career might have been to my benefit. In the absence of secretarial support, I typed my own letters, reports, articles, etc., etc. The more I typed, the more confident and faster I became. Not that I have blazing fingers on the keyboard, but I can get by more than comfortably. I have long since not needed to look at the keyboard while I type, except when needing to find with my fingers characters my fingers rarely need to find. So, in hindsight, while secretarial support might have made me more productive, it might have stunted my keyboard skills. Every issue has at least two sides.


Morning sunlight is leaking into the sky to the north-northwest. Above and behind the trees, the atmosphere is dim but slowly brightening. Soon, the sun will illuminate the sky at a faster and faster pace until the morning is in full bloom. Once the sun begins to peek over the horizon, the day has begun in earnest—it cannot be held back. No matter how much one might wish to freeze time, or to return to an earlier period, it cannot be done.

Not yet, anyway. Not in the reality we have come to believe is the only reality. But the reality upon which we rely to make sense of the world may simply be the equivalent of the substance of a digital video. One day, scientists and searchers may discover that everything within our perception is an editable record of potential experience, captured among the protons and electrons and neutrons that densely pack the space we think we occupy. And if that were to occur, the discovery could lead to an ability to replay instances from the past. And the future. I am not referring to science fiction here, but to something else, something we have yet to name. This is as real as real can be in the context of an imaginary existence.


I have nothing intensely personal to share today. Sharing some of one’s innermost thoughts can make a person extremely vulnerable. It leads to emotional dissolution; that is, emotions become dry, withered wisps that blow away in the slightest breeze. In their place, dense, thick lengths of protective, unemotional rope encircle one’s psyche and tie him to an anchor of indifference. But that might be an overstatement, if not a lie.


For some reason, I am distracted this morning. My thoughts skip from one thing to another, never long enough to develop fully. The idea from the preceding sentence made me think of a dull aluminum structure, like the skeleton of a small building. And from there my mind’s eye sees a pond in the middle of a Nebraska prairie and in that pond are hundreds of sandhill cranes. Then, it’s a big kitchen with an enormous island, filled with appliances—mixers and the like—that will be used in making sausage kolaches. Next, I wonder how humans ever came to believe that love should be exclusive. Valentine’s Day springs from that thought, which leads to hearts and arrows and indigenous people trekking across barren landscapes in search of food. I had better stop or I’ll have to recommend a 72-hour psychiatric hold.

About John Swinburn

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