Late and Uncertain

More than half the day has disappeared, leaving only fragments behind—indistinct voices sharing indecipherable  secrets, smiles directed at unknown individuals who are hidden from view, barely disguised fantasies behind imaginary faces. There are many more remnants of the dwindling day, but none as visible as the foggy grey sky, melting into white. In the absence of connections with relevant ideas, the pieces of the day drift apart, finding their own ways into the wind and its ability to send them far, far away.


When the day begins late, long after the sun eclipses the night, all of the simple routines and rituals that should have been part of the day-breaking process go to hell in a handbasket. Every thought, action, and reaction seems out of kilter, as though Earth has shifted on its axis. Yet I remain situated as I was before, bent and at an awkward angle with my world. The coming hours will teach me to adapt to the world and simultaneously will insist that the world adapt to me. During the course of only a few hours, we will align with one another—Earth with me and me with Earth. But the several hours before realignment are uncomfortable and, in a sense, unbelievable. Therefore, I must wade through questionable thoughts and actions until reality sets in again. After it does, I do my best to accept it—reality, as brutal as it can be, sometimes is far preferable to the terror of the imagination.


Touch. Taste. Smell. Hearing. Sight. Those five senses were the only ones, when I was a child. Or so I thought. Since then, I have learned that there are two others: vestibular sense (involving movement and balance, allowing us to sense where our body is in space) and proprioception (body awareness sense, which helps us understand where our body parts are in relation to each other). I question the legitimacy of the idea that there are two “new” senses. While I comprehend the experiences to which the so-called “senses” refer, I think they are expressions of our sense of touch, rather than separate senses on their own. What I think, though, probably does not matter to scientists and others who have given the matter far more thought than I have or probably ever will. I am relatively confident that I could be persuaded to change my perspective and, therefore, my opinion.  That flexibility is necessary if one is to avoid being unreasonably obdurate.


Vulnerable. “Susceptible to being emotionally hurt or injured.” Another definition: “Willing to show emotion or to permit one’s weaknesses to be observed or understood.” Though the word describes a state of mind or being, it can be used, derogatorily, to mock a person, especially a male, who is seen as too easily hurt or too obviously weak. Probably, it is that derogatory usage that causes many males to attempt to hide their emotions and concomitant perceived weaknesses, especially those that support certain labels: Fragile. Overly feminine. Wimp. Crybaby. But it is not just the overt expressions of mockery that cause males to attempt stoicism in the face of emotionality. The barely-hidden smirks and the sometimes over-the-top appreciation of that emotionality may be equally embarrassing to the unfortunate male who cannot easily control his tears, whether of happiness or anguish. Though he might recognize and understand—from his intellectual perspective—the value and benefits of expressing his emotions, expressing those very emotions also can trigger humiliation or shame. Emotionality or vulnerability, whichever suits the circumstance—and the inability to shield them from view—is a double-edged sword. Either edge of the blade can carve away bravado, but that slice can reveal either one’s humanity or one’s artificial  masculinity. But there must be something else at play here. Ask a thousand people and get a thousand opinions of what, exactly, that might be.


Once again, creativity slipped out of my brain and under a nearby rock. I will simply wait it out. If I last that long. 😉

About John Swinburn

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