Soap Gets in My Eyes

The ancient Mayan calendar’s fourteenth month, K’ank’in, was represented by the glyph for the avocado, according to the website. The same source asserts that the avocado was first domesticated roughly 5,000 years ago, “making the cultivation of avocados as old as the invention of the wheel.” When I went in search of verification of that claim, I learned from a website for a French museum called Cité de l’Économie, that “The wheel was invented in the 4th millennium BC in Lower Mesopotamia(modern-​​day Iraq), where the Sumerian people inserted rotating axles into solid discs of wood. It was only in 2000 BC that the discs began to be hollowed out to make a lighter wheel.

The reason avocados are on my mind this morning is that two perfectly ripe (possibly on the verge of becoming over-ripe) avocados sit in my refrigerator, awaiting slaughter this morning. After storing three avocados in a dark kitchen drawer for several days, I took one out yesterday so we could enjoy avocado toast for breakfast. It was close to perfect. I put the remaining two in the refrigerator to stem further ripening, but I do not trust avocados to respond to common wisdom about ways to stall ripening, so they must be eaten today. Some people may not know that Tim Gurner, an Australian millionaire and land mogul blamed avocado toast (and pricey morning coffee) for millennials’ low rate of home ownership. I am neither a millennial nor a renter, so Tim Gurner’s assertions about avocado toast are meaningless drivel, in my eyes. At any rate, I plan to have more avocado toast this morning. My mode of preparation of avocado toast involves smashing and then whipping the green meat of the avocado with a fork. Then, I squeeze lime juice over the creamy stuff. Lastly, I spread the dreamy cream on a piece of rye toast and drizzle my jalapeño paste on top. My housemate foregoes the jalapeño paste and prefers oat bread to rye. There’s room for everyone’s taste in the land of avocados.

I do wish I owned an avocado orchard. I would find a way to preserve my newly ripe avocados so they would be available year-round. If I owned an avocado orchard, I would need to live in a different climate, though…if I wanted to be near the orchard. It is my understanding that avocados do not respond well to climates that deliver snow, sleet, subfreezing temperatures, and avocado predators —whatever they may be. I am not entirely convinced that I belong in such a climate, either. But that’s the world we live in, isn’t it? A world afflicted with the likes of climate catastrophes, Putin, Trump, and other predatory creatures that do not care a whit about the peace, serenity, and life-affirming calm delivered through consumption of avocados. Gentleness and wisdom flow from avocados like water from a mysterious artesian well.  I would argue that the Buddha ate avocados. As did Jesus Christ, Muhammad ibn Abdullah, and Mahatma Gandhi, among others. Jim Jones of Jonestown, Guyana did not. Nor did Jimmy Swaggart, Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson. In fact, I suggest that avocados are anathema to televangelists; because avocados represent decency and purity and goodness, whereas televangelists represent greed, power-mongering, and other things too awful to express in words that may be seen by the young and impressionable.

EDIT: I took a break and had breakfast of…guess what…avocado toast. Except that my phone refuses to let me send a photo to my email, I would have posted a photo here. Oh, well.


It amounts to an epic, high-budget soap opera with a Western theme. It is loaded with stereotypes of Native Americans and real estate agents and rich cattle barons and “cowboys.” The writers seem to feel superior to “cowpokes” and politicians and ranchers and anyone else who might fit stereotypical descriptions of people who live in “big sky country.” But, even with myriad offensive—and occasionally laughable—flaws made by inept make-up artists, we’ve allowed the series to seep into our brains enough to want to keep watching it. I am embarrassed by my interest in it, but because it was recommended by a friend for whom I have enormous admiration and deep affection, I will overlook my embarrassment and admit to enjoying the series. The series is Yellowstone. We have invested $40 so far in subscribing to two seasons, though we’ve only begun to watch season 2. I expect we’ll invest another $40 to watch seasons 3 and 4 on Amazon Prime. Despite my disappointment in myself for becoming enamored with the series, I am glad my friend recommended it. Thanks to her recommendation, I can yank her chain by pointing out her uncanny ability to identify in me the same bizarre taste taste in epic soap opera drama that makes her to so enjoy Yellowstone. 😉


My girlfriend will attend church today. I will not. I have good reasons for missing church again, but I will return. In two weeks’ time, I will enter the community hall and then, the sanctuary. I have gotten used to free Sundays and I will have a time getting used to giving up that luxurious freedom from obligation (except to paint, which also has been an obligation, just not as unencumbered with…something). But get used to it I will.  Between now and the time my girlfriend leaves, my sister-in-law will come join us for coffee and conversation. Just like the old days. I liked the old days. And I will like the new ones. Should they come. As I said recently, only NOW is assured. Now is the time to which we should devote our full attention. Now should command us to behave as if it is all we have. Because it is.


I hope you who read this post are now and will forevermore be happy.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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3 Responses to Soap Gets in My Eyes

  1. Deanna, all kidding aside, I’m glad you recommended Yellowstone. It’s a fascinating, gripping (if dramatically a tad over-the-top) program. And Becky, I know…you and Ducky are also a little over the top (!!!). And that’s why I love you all!

  2. BH says:

    Well, John, another of your friends named her truck Beth, and her spouse has a favorite shirt that says “A little sweet, a little Beth Dutton.” Yellowstone is a big deal in this house.

  3. Deanna says:

    Okay. I will ‘fess up here. Yellowstone drew me back with every episode because it has cowboys, horses, and big trucks. Also, big surprises. Not to mention Kevin Costner.

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