Rotational Thinking

Several months ago, another blogger stumbled upon my blog and left a comment. I subsequently found his blog and decided to follow it. This blogger frequently shares insights and ideas from religious texts and other writers. This morning, his post shared the following thought-provoking quotation, from one of many books written by a doctor, a psychiatrist:

Forgive the past. It is over. Learn from it and let go. People are constantly changing and growing. Do not cling to a limited, disconnected, negative image of a person in the past. See that person now. Your relationship is always alive and changing.

~ Brian Weiss, Messages from the Masters: Tapping Into the Power of Love ~

Though I tend to avoid the “woo-woo” and trite motivational messages that often accompanies it, Weiss’s words struck a chord with me. The quotation was particularly meaningful to me in light of a relatively recent friendship (within the past year or so) that self-destructed. The aftermath of a series of interactions between this former friend and me left me with a very negative image of this friend. The words we exchanged left in ashes what had been an interesting, enjoyable relationship. Early on, I tried to repair the rapport between us, but my effort was rebuffed. Ever since, I have clung to a negative image of my friend, as well as myself, for permitting an unpleasant and unkind exchange of words expressed in anger to extinguish what was a budding close friendship.

Reading the quoted paragraph this morning prompted me to acknowledge the pointlessness of my negativity. Though I cannot change someone else’s mindset, I should be able to change my own. And so I shall. At least I will try.


President Biden is expected to formally announce his bid for reelection in the coming days. Though I think Biden is a decent, rather innocuous, reasonably progressive guy, I would prefer him to announce his retirement at the end of his term. Someone who is equally (or more) progressive, possesses more charisma, and who has a greater capacity to forge cooperative relationships between left and right would be more appealing to me. Who that might be is open to question. I like Kamala Harris, but she is not the leader I hope for. Most of the other potential presidential hopefuls do not excite me. Among the obvious possibilities, only one has the requisite charisma, in my view: Pete Buttigieg. But I am concerned that the American people collectively are not smart enough to discount issues like sexual orientation. Looking at potential female candidates,  I am not sure the majority of Americans have abandoned enough of their misogynistic attitudes to permit them to support a woman running for the presidency. But there are a few other possibilities, both male and female, whose odds of getting on the Democratic ticket, much less winning the presidency, are slim. Stacey Abrams. Amy Klobuchar. Gretchen Whitmer.

On the Republican side, most of the possibilities are equally ugly and intolerable. My assessments:  Donald Trump—obviously the spawn of Satan. Ron DeSantis—self-important Neanderthal Nazi who would accelerate the country’s dive into a childish, though dangerous, dictatorship. Nikki Haley—I loathe her philosophies. Oh, there are many more, but few of the worst ones would be able to survive any kind of challenge. But there are some very long shots that could be worth a look, despite our significant differences in philosophies. Liz Cheney. Asa Hutchison. John Kasich. Mitt Romney.

We’ll see.


We had a delightful dinner last night with friends. The meal was absolutely spectacular: chicken tikka masala, raita, salad, and for dessert a marvelous pistachio pudding. And, of course, the casual conversation was deeply enjoyable, and supremely comfortable. As I think back on last night’s dinner and conversations, it occurs to me that the same scrumptious meal could not have saved an evening spent in the presence of unpleasant people. Or, even among good friends, in a far more formal circumstance. The combination of a superb meal and a genuinely casual, relaxing, atmosphere with good friends is…what? The honey spot. Or something like that. What a lovely experience!


I need to see an eye doctor, either an optometrist or an ophthalmologist. Within the last few days, I have noticed a left-eye abnormality: when I keep my head looking straight ahead, but then move my eyes either right or left, I seem to see a fleeting, translucent “something” that moves in front of my field of vision. I wrote yesterday about the “floaters.” Until I mulled it over last night and this morning, I did not differentiate between my black “floaters” and the sense that a translucent veil moves in front of my left eye when I look either right or left. Maybe I will call the optometrist later this morning.


The rain, lightning, and thunder last night were entrancing, even after I went to bed. I awoke occasionally to hear rain pounding on the roof and splashing against the windows. At least that is what I think I heard. And Phaedra was acutely aware of the fierce weather, too. She yowled and howled and paced and meowed and jumped up on the bed and then off again. She sought comfort, I think. But she does not look to me for comfort; she only looks to mi novia. I am trying to be less terrifying to the cat, but I cannot seem to modulate the volume of my voice when I correct her when she claws on very expensive rugs (apparently, the condition of the rugs, and the fact that they were quite pricey, matters not a whit to her). I will keep trying. I would think she would like me for no other reason than the fact that I feed her every morning. And, often, at midday and late afternoon or evening. But, no, she barely tolerates me and certainly does not approach me to be cuddled. Mi novia is Phaedra’s target when the cat seeks to be held or looks for someone to serve as a mattress. I will keep trying. I will keep trying. I will keep trying. Up to a point…beyond which I will abandon that beastly feline as if she were a rabid wolverine with rage issues.


What’s left of my coffee is cold. I will get another cup soon. Today, I will abandon all foods that could raise my blood glucose levels. This morning, my number skyrocketed in comparison to yesterday’s very slightly elevated level: 146 this morning, last matched in mid-January. Two big, sugar- and flour-laden cookies, along with various and sundry foodstuffs that probably I should have avoided, were no doubt responsible. Our hosts for last night’s dinner very graciously made a sugar-free dessert. Had the dessert been sugar-laden, yesterday’s consumption of cookies might have sent my blood glucose levels into the stratosphere.  By this time tomorrow, though, I intend to have exercised sufficient control to reduce the number from 146 to 100 or below. We’ll see how that goes.


I find myself increasingly uncomfortable with identifying myself as a Democrat. Though my philosophies usually parallel those espoused by the Democratic Party, I do not agree with the party’s position in every case. For that reason, I have been moving away from self-identifying as a Democrat; I do not want to be pigeon-holed, nor to be seen as an echo chamber for Democrats. I do not want people to assume how or what I think, simply because I call myself, or am labeled, Democrat. I suppose I am a left-leaning independent who generally strongly disagrees with the Republican Party. I cannot, in good conscience, identify as a Democrat, though.  I have a growing desire to see a new political party whose left-leaning philosophies are tempered by practicality and realism. I am afraid, though, the new party would be small and intellectually and emotionally undernourished.


I still haven’t gotten another cup of coffee. I will stop writing, now. Off to face the day, which includes having my car’s oil and filter changed and its tires rotated.

About John Swinburn

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