A tangled swirl of unwelcome thoughts ruins any hope for sleep and serenity. Last night, the idea of a warm flannel cocoon was appealing. This morning, resting in a tub of very hot water—which conforms to the shape of my body—seems more attractive. Both, though, would be ideal only if accompanied by an empty mind and dreamless sleep. I dreamed last night that an incompetent plumbing contractor was attempting to arrange for the repair of a ruptured water pipe. His crew was to completely resurface a swimming pool, as well. But another contractor showed up with bad news about another serious issue with an underground pipe. I was upset and angry with the plumbing contractors, but equally angry with myself for my ignorance of the problems; I hated having to rely of the contractors, one of whom I knew was utterly inept. I want that sort of dream to leave me. I want to be unconscious and unaware while I sleep, not tormented by a keen recognition of my incoherence and confusion.


This morning’s sky is a very smooth blend of pastels: pink, blue, grey, and white. Like watercolors, but more evenly blended than one might normally see. The pink seems to brighten just a bit, turning into the color of a salmon or a peach, with almost imperceptible hints of orange. When the sky’s variations are indistinct, the way they are now, trying to determine which colors are actually visible and which are products of the imagination is a challenge that requires focused attention. The demand for focus is both exhausting and exhilarating; it draws my thoughts away from matters I would rather ignore and forget. Watching morning light unfold in the sky each day can be both a repetitive, boring undertaking and an introduction to an endless opportunity to experience the world anew. Sometimes, that latter opportunity is hard to seize, simply because so many that have gone before have not lived up to their promise.


Today’s obligations grate at me like sandpaper. By the time I force myself to meet them, my skin and my brain will be raw and caked with drying blood. Fortunately, the ruptured water pipe was just a dream; I can rinse away the residue and prepare for the next obligation.

About John Swinburn

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