Emotions can consume a person, the way flames consume a fireplace log. After the conflagration, only ashes remain; the burnt-out, misshapen scraps of a façade that became fuel. That’s the problem with emotions. Although they can enrich life and make it beautiful, they can just as easily torch one’s sense of safety and well-being. Emotions become nourishment for heat that will sear and melt away the parts of us that make us who we are. That’s the danger of emotions. Their beauty can transform the flame of a candle into a uncontrollable blaze; an inferno that devours its source of strength and beauty.  Like all aspects of life, emotions exist along a multi-faceted spectrum, with hatred and love at opposite ends of one facet; fear and attraction the opposites of another. And on another, rage and peaceful embrace sit at opposing ends. We are simply vessels for emotions. When flames and sparks ignite them, the vessels in which they dwell become victims of their own willingness to attempt to contain them.

There are times when the mind is dealt such a blow it hides itself in insanity. While this may not seem beneficial, it is. There are times when reality is nothing but pain, and to escape that pain the mind must leave reality behind.

~ Patrick Rothfuss ~


I’ve been cautioned against getting too little sleep. This morning, I feel the lack of sleep catching up with me. Last night, I stayed up until close to midnight and slept only four and a half hours. As I attempt to write this post, I slip in and out of consciousness, as if my body and my mind are screaming for rest. That is what meditation may do for me; allow me to recharge my energy, normally done during sleep, by soothing the waves that carry me through the day as if I were in a dinghy on rough seas. But I slept awhile yesterday afternoon, so it’s not a lack of sleep that’s sapping my energy. It must be something else entirely. There I went, again; slipping into a twilight-like dream and  having a conversation with myself, a conversation that turns into an argument we both lose. Perhaps I’m just losing my mind. These lapses into a sleep-like state while I’m awake at the keyboard may be symptoms of dementia. I am not serious, of course. Just speaking to myself by exercising my arthritic fingers


Keep calm and buy a house.


The clock read four-twenty when I finally got out of bed this morning. Almost two hours have passed since I abandoned attempts at staying asleep. I had been half-awake for quite some time, thanks to the BIPAP mask slipping slightly. When that happens, the air leaking from the sides of the mask blows against my closed eyelids at the same time it creates an odd sound, almost like a howl. When I had enough of the wind in my eyes and the wolf in my ears, I swung my legs over the side of the bed and extricated myself from the mask.

The room felt cold. After I pulled on my casual morning pants and sweatshirt, then slipped into my decaying flip-flops, I padded out to the living room. The indoor/outdoor thermometer read 48°F outside, 65°F inside. I had forgotten to return the thermostat to its normal 69°F (normal used to be 68°F) after feeling to warm sometime yesterday. It’s amazing how a difference of 3°F can make a house feel frigid. That minor variation in room temperature can accelerate the cooling of a hot cup of coffee as well, I discovered.

My desk is uncluttered, relatively speaking. Yesterday and the day before, I shoved the clutter into boxes and moved them to the new house, where later I’ll have to spend weeks finding paperwork I need. I like an uncluttered desk. I like an  uncluttered house. I appreciate order in and around my home. Moving and the preparation for it involves taking temporary clutter and turning it into semi-permanent chaos by institutionalizing it in unmarked boxes.


The glass shower enclosure was installed in the new house yesterday. We hauled more “stuff” over. There’s more to be done, of course, but we’re getting there. I’m beyond tired of this slow-motion re-housing event. In the end, though, I hope the new house will prove worth waiting for.


My current house is not yet listed (no contract with Realtor yet). Yesterday’s showing was a kind of off-book event. I still have to sign the agent’s contract, have photos taken, write and/or okay the description, etc. And, ideally, I should have emptied enough from the garage so that cars can once again fit. Just last-minute straightening up. I hope the listing can be finalized today or tomorrow. And, then, we wait for a buyer.


Too much sanity may be madness and the maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be.

~ Miguel de Cervantes ~


A bone-jarring clap of thunder just awoke me from the state of semi-madness to which I aspire this morning. I do not recall whether the meteorologists and other atmospheric magicians predicted bone-jarring claps of thunder. Whether they did or not is immaterial. Reality tells me it is nearing 6:30 and I am alive and craving food I cannot find in the refrigerator. What the hell. I wish I had the discipline this morning to begin a thirty-day fast; nothing but water until my body rebels. It may not be healthy, but it would surely cause me to lose a few pounds and their attendant inches. I might fit into my clothes again. No. Probably not. No fasting today. Instead, I’ll double check to see whether Amazon has next-day delivery on “big and heavy man” shirts. Hah! I am a bundle of laughs today. Off to the races. And an early breakfast.

About John Swinburn

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