One year ago today, the seduction began in earnest. It started weeks earlier, but it culminated with a visit to see his masks. His masks! How apropos! A visit to determine which of his personalities was the real one. Was it the quiet one, the one who intensely observed the world around him, but chose to limit pronouncements about his observations—except through an almost-hidden social media presence? Was it the reserved, but moderately cheery one, who watched “Trivia” players reveal their spheres of knowledge and the degree to which competitiveness defined their personalities? Or was it the solitary man whose fascination with creating ceramic whimsy matched well his obsession with language? Perhaps a little of each? With elements of energetic, opinionated anger thrown in the mix?

Or was it something unexpected? Was the man behind the masks, in fact, a hunter…a predator? Or an admirer who set a trap—no, that’s too harsh a description; call it alluring, tempting bait—to entice an attractive potential paramour into his den? Wait! Did he initiate the seduction? Or did she? Who was the seducer? Was it the bold woman who invited herself in, ostensibly to view his ceramic masks? Or was it the man behind those masks? Had he already decided the intelligent, bold, beautiful woman was enormously attractive—irresistible, in fact? Had he determined, well in advance, that something had to be done to lure her into his life? Were his public proclamations of his plans—to divest himself of his connection to the Village in favor of a nomadic lifestyle in search of…something—simply calculated to be temptations that would bring her to his doorstep?

Perhaps both core scenarios have some truth to them. But he really was planning to go. Yet he was feeling ambivalent about leaving without knowing whether his fascination with her was mutual. The bottom line, from his perspective, is that she clearly was the seductress. She decided to act before it was too late; before his plan to become a vagabond became reality. She has said as much. And as much as he misses what he expected would become a long, possibly unending, adventure on the road, he is glad his plans were derailed by hers. Today, one year to the day after the formal “seduction” was launched, they share a new home and unending possibilities. Perhaps the future even holds some elements of a nomadic lifestyle. Happy Anniversary, mi novia. What do you think? Who is the man behind the masks? And who is the woman he found so irresistible? Is she the same one who showed up at the door with wine? Was Malbec the right choice? I think so. 😉


Surprise is the greatest gift which life can grant us.

~ Boris Pasternak ~


It was no surprise to me that I woke at 3:38 this morning. What surprised me is that I was able to stay in bed, attempting to fall asleep again but failing in my attempt, until 4:21. While I have no interest in “sleeping in” until 7, it would be nice to wake up and see the clock report that it’s 5:05.  I enjoy watching darkness slowly dissolve into barely visible light, but I prefer that gradual, plodding dissolution to last no more than an hour or so.

I hear the call of a mourning dove announcing that dawn is here. It is light enough to see the trees across from my window. I even can make out their leaves in different shades of green.  Still, though, no deer in the driveway. No birds at the feeder. I should go outside to feel the cool morning air. And I will.

About John Swinburn

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