I look in the mirror and see someone I do not recognize. He is an imposter. Someone far larger than I, attempting without success to fit into my body. Someone slack and pasty, a pretender who cannot possibly be the same man I remember seeing through the glass when I was younger and stronger and more powerful. This guy needs a body-lift and a face-lift. And, as I gaze into his soul, it’s obvious he needs some time in self-reflective repair. It might be time to exchange his ill-fitting parts for a complete replacement.


Today is Easter Sunday. Not a big deal to me, of course. But many people in the wider world consider the day a sacred reminder of all manner of spiritual matters to which humankind pegs its value. There was a time I would mock what I considered an intellectually stunted attachment to magic; no longer. I have matured (to an extent) to the point that I recognize and acknowledge that all of us should be free to believe what we wish, provided that belief is not harmful across a broader spectrum. If only I had achieved that level of tolerance much earlier. And if only the remainder of people on the planet would do the same. I do not wish for all of us to actively embrace the peculiarities of everyone else; only for us to refrain from mockery and worse. Is that too much to ask? I do not know. But perhaps tolerance should not be our objective; perhaps understanding, which goes well beyond tolerance, should command our aims. It is important to acknowledge that understanding does not necessarily equate with acceptance or support. Understanding equates with knowledge. Tolerance can be based on knowledge, but it can just as easily be based on grudging ignorance. There’s a place for both tolerance and understanding. When the two go hand in hand—I think that’s the golden ring we should reach for in our efforts to be more human.


It is not for me to judge another man’s life. I must judge, I must choose, I must spurn, purely for myself. For myself, alone.

   ~ Hermann Hesse ~


Despite early torrential rain and periodic reminders during the day that water can come from the sky with little warning, yesterday turned out well. After dropping off a variety of last-minute add-on items for a garage sale whose organizer graciously allowed us to latch onto, we went to town. Drenching rain notwithstanding, tourists flooded Hot Springs yesterday. Our intended visits to the Gangster Museum and the Ohio Club were derailed by lack of available parking. So we went to Riley Art Glass Studio, where we were first among a handful of visitors. We watched Charles and Michael Riley work their magic with molten glass, as Charles maintained a constant banter about the process. After watching the glass blowing and molding process for quite a while, we headed out. Before leaving, though, my niece bought a few pieces of lovely glass art. We had lunch at Sqzbx, then drove up the steep road to the top of West Mountain, where the views of Hot Springs are stunning, even on a cloudy day. We saw several deer along the steep drive up (and down). After we drove onto Whittington Avenue, we saw a groundhog in the thick grass of a lot between two old houses; it raced for cover when we got too close.  After we got home, the rest of the crowd opted to take a nap; I moved a few more items to our new house and then stopped by my sister-in-law’s house for a glass of wine and a relaxing conversation on her back deck, overlooking her back “yard,” which would be more appropriately called a Zen forest. After a carry-out dinner of sushi and various hibachi grill treats, we called it a day and eased into the evening.


In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher.

   ~ Dalai Lama ~


Time to slog through the day. More coffee, please; something to set me aflame with passion.

About John Swinburn

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