Sleep and Such

My intentions this morning were smothered in sleep. I woke late, giving myself so little time to get ready for church that I opted to stay home and view the service online. But not long after waking and having coffee with mi novia and my sister-in-law, I felt an overwhelming need to sleep again. And so I did. For a few hours. I can feel awake and rested one minute, only to suddenly feel fatigued and exhausted the next. My most recent chemo-therapy session was 2+ weeks ago, yet its effects seem to linger. While these sudden spurts of exhaustion frustrate me, the advice I receive is to just accept them as my body’s expression of how it needs to deal with cancer and cancer treatment. I will continue to view it from that perspective, to the extent I can.


Even geology—the natural science that relies on facts, observations, and rational understanding—can be tainted with perverse opinions and infected with political greed. Oil. Precious metals. Even gravel pits. Every aspect of geological science can be twisted to serve the worst qualities of humankind—attributes once, perhaps, decent but now gone irreversibly rogue and awry. So is it any wonder that psychology and sociology and dozens of other disciplines are manipulated so readily? The question is asked, “is nothing sacred?” The answer?  No. Nothing is sacred. Nothing. Not even family, friends…nothing matters, except power and money. Or so it seems. But slivers of decency and honor may still have a chance, provided adequate numbers of the “common man” are willing to excuse certain murders. When the ballot has been stripped of its validity, power to the people may be restored only with sufficient pressure applied to a supremely sharp and well-placed razor. How can such ideas find a place in the minds of good people? Peering back in time to the very beginning, witnessing the evolution of humankind, how can they not? A slender smile crosses his face as he contemplates competing moral judgments and wonders which one will win. He knows, of course, for every “winner” there is a loser. And vice versa. For every fact, a falsehood waits with a dagger clenched in its teeth.


Could a significant population of the U.S.—people who may not share ethnicity or religious beliefs or socio-economic position—find a way to collectively emigrate to a relatively unpopulated part of the world? Could this collection of otherwise like-minded people who share progressive beliefs and liberal perspectives become its own diaspora? I will never know, of course, because if a movement in that direction were to commence, it would take more time to come to fruition than most of us have left. But thinking about the possibility is intriguing. A pipe-dream that softens in our minds the realities that plague us today and the bleakness facing us in the immediate future.


I sometimes think the pain I occasionally feel in the upper right side of my torso, creeping around toward my back and just beneath my shoulder, must be akin to the pain I would feel had a bullet pierced my body. I have no experience with bullet wounds; it’s just my imagination.  I suspect the pain of a bullet would be far more excruciating, too, and I think it would linger, unlike my actual pain. My pain, I think, is an artifact of my lobectomy of five years ago. The location corresponds to the long scar left from that surgery, but the pain is not limited to the surface; it feels like it is an inch or two beneath the skin. I am used to the periodic sharpness that jars me into awareness; five years is enough time to make the pain natural. But still not welcome. Tolerated, though. The diagnosis that my cancer has returned after five years probably makes me more aware of the pain, too. I am tired of it.


I feel it coming on again. The need or desire for more sleep. The time is just after 3 in the afternoon. Damn.

About John Swinburn

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

  1. Trish, thanks for confirming that I am not alone in the sense, sometimes, that I wake up to go to sleep! I am sure it will pass in time. I look forward to that!

  2. Trisha says:

    John, I had the same problem with extreme fatigue. At times I felt like I woke up to go to sleep! At times it came on so suddenly, had make sure I was near either the sofa or my bed. Also, had the chemo brain that you’d mentioned yesterday. Neither are easy to deal with, but will pass with the time. Be assured you’re in my thoughts.

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