Today, after a phone visit with a fellow church member to discuss a “workshop” I have agreed to facilitate, I will stop by another church member’s house to copy a video onto a flash drive. That is in preparation for facilitating discussion after the video has been shown to interested participants. Then, I will drive to Benton to run a few errands. And, then, I may go to Costco.  Or someplace else. Who knows? My brain is in a fog this morning; no reason, just the dullness associated with uncertainty.


If there are precipitating factors, I do not know what they are. Whatever triggers the experience, certain memories—like wave upon wave of  white-hot metal strips touching delicate, sensitive skin—cause me to shrink from the world. When that happens, I seek ways to burrow into a protective nest, hidden from sight. Though I seek, I never find. Because there is no safe refuge. No place to escape the torment that comes in the form of remnants of shredded comfort…transformed from soft sheets of smooth cotton to rigid strips of petrified steel and sharp rocky outcroppings.

Those soft, protective passages keep me from dissolving into a withered lump of wet bone and clumsy fear. But they expose me to the harshness that resides within reflections of the eyes’ images. These are the kinds of delusional hallucinations that merit intense privacy. They warrant a conversation that includes petrified steel and diamond-hard stone in battle against soft, supple fabric. That is all the chaos I am prepared to share at the moment.


An hour already has passed. In the blink of an eye, that river of time has dried up, revealing scorched banks. When I write, I tend to incorporate drama into the dullest of dull passages. No one else seems inclined to do that. But they willingly laugh when I retrieve overly-long words and phrases and sentences borrowed from pre-history to emphasize contempt. The laughs are derisive. They are not servile attempts to erase the derision.


I will pause now. Until tomorrow? Today? Sometime.

About John Swinburn

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