What delights will 2023 bring? What pleasures? What pains? There’s no value in anticipating the unknowable, nor use in wishing for circumstances over which I have little or no control. Hopes and dreams and dreads sometimes seem such wasteful expenditures of energy. But in what, instead, should we invest ourselves? As I contemplate my multiple answers to those seemingly simple questions, the pointlessness of guessing games becomes clear, yet all we can do is guess, for we have no way of telling the future. We can attempt to shape it, but unless we truly are willing to commit “time, talent, and treasure” to modifying our lives, we delude ourselves into thinking we have any control. One can see the absurdity of the dilemma, I think: one has no control unless one exercises the control one has. Control involves taking risks. And risks involve deliberately ceding control. But ceding control, by risk-taking, is the only means by which one can hope to take charge. Circular reasoning. “Living in sphere” is how I have decided to describe it.


I am restless. Not restless in the sense that I simply want to get out of the house, though I am restless in that sense, too. I am restless in the sense that I want to exchange my circumstances for another set. But when I try to envision the set of circumstances I want to explore, I tend to imagine my current self in a new environment. I need to imagine a different self in a different environment. Or, perhaps, a different self in the same environment. Changing both who and where I am would accomplish the difference I seek. But changing who I am without altering my environment would do the same, I think. Both, though, done simultaneously, would be a more thorough revision to the circumstances that define me—both in my eyes and in the eyes of those who see me.

To a great extent, accomplishing that dramatic reconfiguration of my circumstances would involve changing my story. That is, I would have to tell a story about myself that differs from the “truth.” For that “truth” to take hold, I would need to surround myself with people who, today, I do not know and vice versa. Staying where I am, then, would make impossible the idea of a different me. I would have to enter a new environment as a man with a different story. That is, I would have to abandon my history and the people in it; I would have to lie. It would require me to enter a new environment where I am unknown. There, I would introduce myself as a different man with a different past. A mysterious stranger whose history would mold itself around the way I want to be perceived. A believable history hard to confirm or contest. The transformation would be enormously interesting to me, but essentially impossible without a willingness to truly abandon—at least temporarily—my life as it exists today. I would have to leave my present circumstances behind me; my family, my friends…everything. That would be the most painful and most difficult aspect of the exploration. And, I do not have the wherewithal to put people through it. Unless…unless I could share my plans and get buy-in from people around me. Agreement to let me disappear for a while, only to return after my—hopefully—successful transformative experience. Ach! It’s silly to even think it. But I think it, nonetheless.


Though I awoke around 5:30 this morning, my blogging thus far today has been sporadic. I am returning to the computer now (around 8:40), with the objective of finishing today’s post, after which I will rest/nap for a bit. I think I am close to wrapping up my cold/flu/whatever, but continue to tire quite easily, which I find more than a  little irritating. I do not recommend this affliction, whatever it is, for several reasons—not the least of which is the constant tiredness/weakness that accompanies it.


Temperatures today should reach the mid sixties, dropping off to the low fifties and upper forties in the several days to follow. I am easily chilled of late, so I will go outside only when necessary (tomorrow and a few days hence, I have long-established doctors’ appointments).  I look forward to the time when I’m fully recovered from this crud; enough, at least, to deal with cool temperatures without feeling like an elderly geezer unable to cope with temperatures below 80°F (okay, that’s stretching it, but I make the point for emphasis). Enough of this talk. I’ll wrap it up here and take a pause to recover from inadequate sleep.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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2 Responses to Rebirth

  1. Thanks, Meg. I think I’ll skip running for office, though. And I don’t think Santos’ example is one I’d want to follow. 😉

  2. kozimeg says:

    Glad you are recovering. You could follow Santos’ example, fabricate a past and run for office, John.

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