Even on days like today, when my calendar is empty and I generally am free of obligations, I can feel trapped; cornered, as if my choices are limited and none of them are good. I suspect this troublesome attitude can be traced to my anticipation of current and future commitments—knowing this brief reprieve from real or imagined constraints on my time will not last. Of course, when I examine my obligations carefully, I discover that most are not cast in stone. I have freedom of choice, in most instances. Often, though, the ramifications of exercising choices by dismissing obligations argue against doing so. I realize, of course, that most of those so-called “obligations” are so minor as to be unworthy of concern. Their irrelevance notwithstanding, too often I allow them to control me by artificially limiting my choices. I do not need a calendar to box me in. My brain does that on its own, without relying on tools. I curtail my freedom by interpreting others’ and my own expectations. I tend to give too much weight to what others will think of me if I abandon commitments. I ignore the fact that others probably will not think of me, regardless of whether I do or do not fulfill what I think of as a commitment. Rarely do I consciously evaluate whether valid expectations exist anywhere but my head. One would think all of this philosophical detritus would have been swept out of my head long, long ago. But, no, it remains today just as it was during my teenage years and all through the maturation process that has led me to today. If I had a shiny, sharp psychological scalpel, I would excise damaged remnants from my psyche. Ach! My attitude this morning suggests the best course of action would be to sleep through the day and let my sour mood morph into something more palatable. We shall see.


I dreamed last night that my late wife and I were searching for a cardiologist who held some sort of key to information we wanted. The information was not necessarily related to coronary matters, but I do not recall what we were seeking. I cannot describe the visual scenes I saw in the dream, because they remain quite fuzzy in my head. I woke from the dream around 5:30. It is past 7 now and I still am trying to remember more of it. The more I think about it, though, the more difficult it is to remember the dream. It becomes more blurry with each passing minute.


Perhaps my unpleasant mood can be linked to the restrictions on my diet, in response to the diagnosis of diabetes. Or, possibly it is not diet. Maybe it is the mere fact that I can track my physical decay by looking at a calendar timeline on which injuries and illnesses and diseases are displayed. On the left side of the timeline, depicting the earliest moments of my life, my healthy young face is displayed. As the eyes move to the right, following the evolution from youth to old age, the face loses its pink freshness, giving way to an increasingly dry, grey, gaunt, and wrinkled countenance. I can see it in my mind’s eye; a sight not at all pleasing to me.


Last night’s post-documentary-viewing dinner at the church consisted of chili. With beans. The documentary was interesting and informative. The chili tasted very good. But my blood glucose level this morning jumped up a bit from the day before. I think that increase was in response to the ingredients in the chili. It is amazing to me how quickly food can affect the content of the blood. As fascinating as that is, though, I am not happy about it.


Time to respond to the morning sky.

About John Swinburn

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