Movement or Motion

There is no poison worse than hatred, nor no medicine better than love.

I wrote those words more than eight years ago, a couple of months before I moved to Hot Springs Village. Though I do not recall exactly what was on my mind when I produced that very brief blog post, the posts I made in the days before and after provide context that I think explains, at least in part, what was on my mind at the time. I had grown bone-tired of negative thoughts; both mine and those of strangers I encountered every day. I wanted a place free of unnecessary turmoil and artificial bravado. Ever since then, I’ve sought a place in my mind where I could find refuge from the world. Probably long before then, though, I had been searching for that spectacular stillness that I dreamed might exist for me somewhere. It’s not a physical place; I realize that. It’s an inner calm that has eluded me my entire life. The words, “There is no poison worse than hatred, nor no medicine better than love,” somehow bring that imaginary place into focus for me. Some days, when the reality hits me that I will never find it, I think I want to give up on everything; just curl up and disappear. Other days, when I allow myself to believe in magic, I feel like reaching inside myself and drawing out the energy to do the impossible. As I look back, I see time behaving like a long, powerful whip, snaking its way in undulating cycles from one end to the other until—crack!—it explodes, as if the air it touches splits open with a bang.

Stillness. The absence of demands. Nothing pulling on me or pushing me or otherwise disturbing my supreme quiet. I remember a time, long ago, when I thought I needed action, energy, motion. I could not sit still. I could not be contained by a room with four walls; I needed to be free to explore the wider universe. That’s what I thought. What I really needed was a placid experience in which all the noise of living could be shut off; the volume adjusted down from a chaotic cacophony to absolute quiet. But that was never an option; at least I did not think quiet was an experience I could tolerate. Had I heard that nothingness, though, everything might have been different. I’m too old now to ever know. But I know with certainty there is no poison worse than hatred, nor no medicine better than love.


Speaking of noise and chaos and the frenzy of living inside a pressure cooker…

My chest of drawers and my electric powered recliner sold in a flash, leading me to believe I might have priced them both too low. Or, perhaps, at precisely the right price. Whatever. I am satisfied that they are out of my house. After the sale, we gave  set of four outdoor glider/rockers that filled my screened-in porch to mi novia’s ex-husband, who had originally bought them when the two of them were married. And, then, he returned the favor by giving us a high-top, four-chair deck table for  the screened-in porch of the current house…as I prepare to sell it.

I got a text yesterday morning from the owner of the flooring company that installed our new flooring. He had said he would arrange to purchase my old fridge early this week; the text today, though, indicated he was attending to an ill relative. Consequently, one of his employees would contact me later in the day to arrange to pick up the refrigerator. Because I had not yet finished cleaning it, I immediately set about making the thing sparkle. But the employee never called. Perhaps there is a good reason. Maybe the  fridge will be picked up today.

A good friend came by with her behemoth of a pickup truck yesterday and helped us move some more “stuff” to the new house: a chair, an ottoman, and miscellaneous other things. Her truck and her labor, incidentally, were responsible for moving the high-top table and four chairs from the home of the ex to the home almost on the market.

Speaking of almost on the market, the Realtor called yesterday, informing me that she wants to show my house to someone today. To do that, I would need to complete the realty contract, which she said she would send to me. I have not yet received that contract, but I did receive the Seller’s Disclosure Notice, which I spent the better part of an hour in the wee hours (now coming to a close) completing. It should be in her hands when she wakes (which could be awhile, since she may sleep in today the form came through to my email just a few minutes before midnight last night). In a just world, she would show my house today to the potential buyer, who would then make an all-cash offer for a 15-day closing. I am a dreamer; always have been, always will be. 😉 I must convince myself to “chill” and let events unfold at their own pace, whether that pace be leisurely or frenetic.


Movement versus stillness. I wonder whether it is possible to have both at the same time? Exhilaration and depression, hand-in-hand. I think not. I think that’s a little like simultaneous up and down, good and bad, true and false. Or is it “motion versus stillness?” It doesn’t matter. It’s all the same damn thing. Grasping at handfuls of air, only to find they escaped into the ether.

Our lives are like a chicken’s eggs, we are both brittle and viscous. We are anomalies of physics. Living, breathing examples of the impossible, in shades of black and white, surrounded by colors so intense our eyes cannot see them. Like so much else around us. We are blind to this incredibly brief existence. I think we do not even know how brief it is until it is about to end. We deny the inevitable until denial becomes more upsetting than facts.


A busy day ahead. I must continue to clean and clear away daily clutter. The house must look pristine for the prospective buyer. Why do we not do for ourselves what we do for others? Why don’t we treat ourselves like prospective buyers, people deserving of clean, orderly, brilliantly attractive environments? Is it because we do not deem ourselves worthy? Is it laziness? What else could it be? Are we simply worn out?


About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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One Response to Movement or Motion

  1. Patty Dacus says:

    Best of luck with the showing today! There is beautiful light at the end of this tunnel.

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