Still Unsure

Half of the year disappeared at a speed even faster than Time. If I were to try to be cute, I would say it was more like Time Squared. But I’m not being cute. This is profoundly serious stuff. Male Sugar Ants (those in Florida, anyway) live only about a week; so, a period we call six months is equivalent to 126 consecutive lifetimes for Sugar Ants. If human lives lasted as long, on a comparative basis, our average 80-year lifetimes would translate into 20,160  years. If Time correlates with lifetime experience, those of us who live longer than 80 years will be even more ancient when measured in Sugar-Ant-Lifetime-equivalents. But Time is not necessarily a correlate of anything. Time just is; unless you subscribe to the idea that Time simply is a notion developed to make it easy to pinpoint events relative to other events, on an imaginary line. (In much the same way monetary units were created to measure exponential increases in greed.)


Reaching the crescendo of a temporary social wave. That is the quickly-diminishing and overly-hopeful expectation. Social waves either create rip tides and guiding currents or cause mass drownings that should have been expected. Sociology and social psychology offer the only plausible explanations for those powerful circumstances in which collective thought (which requires individual thoughts) alters the individual thoughts from which they emerged. That is, the generation of collective thought by way of digesting an almost endless supply of individual—and frequently opposite/counter—thoughts.


My term as president of the local UU church is behind me. Not that it was legitimately onerous in any way, but I am glad to have had the shreds of pressure peeled away from me. Henceforth, when I opt not to attend a church service or other church function, I will not have to deal with as much unnecessary guilt. That, alone, has been a troubling pressure; because I am overly, irrationally sensitive. Sometimes, certain aspects of my personality irritate me no end. When they become intrusive, I should flog myself with a thick piece of wet sisal rope, thus forcing those quirks to evacuate my brain (occasionally leaving my cranial cavity completely empty).


Instead of watching Brit-Box programs last night (who-done-its, lately), I foraged through Amazon Music to listen to a few tunes I do not hear enough:

  • Quiet Town, by the Killers
  • Sultans of Swing, by Dire Straits
  • Making a Fire, by Foo Fighters
  • Multiple selections by Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ (together and separately)
  • Multiple selections by Ruthie Foster
  • And a long mix of others

Music—both the lyrics and the tunes—amplifies or solidifies or otherwise codifies one’s mood. Not always, of course, but often. When listening to music alone, I have a tendency to immerse myself in the lyrics and allow the tune to wash over me, insulating me from the world outside my insular shell. When listening with someone else (or in a setting with a few friends), the focus on the music is not as intense. I unconsciously look for clues in the faces of those around me that we share high appreciation for certain elements of a song—the emotional tone established by the tune or the path of intellectual excursions set by the lyrics. I used to get lost in music for hours at a time. Now, music is not as much of a part of my life as it once was. Yet when I immerse myself in music, I feel like I’ve shed 10 or 20 years; I should drown myself in music more often, methinks.\


Distance shares some mysteries with Time. But Time is ever on the move, while Distance can languish, eventually becoming meaningless by virtue of its stagnation. Philosophies about travel vary widely; frequently, philosophies are diametrically opposed to one another. “Travel is the best way to know the world and yourself.” or “Time away from home is time of lost understanding.” Something like that. Both are woven from the same fabric and both are true to some extent.


Another visit to the oncologist this afternoon, this time to spend one or two hours getting an infusion of magnesium—the mineral in my blood that seems perpetually low. I hope to learn the scope and schedule of my new treatment regimen, though details on those matters may have to wait on the as-yet-unscheduled bronchoscopy and the desensitization process which will enable use of the chemo as a treatment to which I earlier developed an allergy.  That’s an embarrassingly long sentence. After writing such a convoluted string of words, I feel dirty. I need to shower.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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2 Responses to Still Unsure

  1. Mine sailed 50+ years ago, too, David. I wish you the best, as well, David. I’ll buy those first couple of drink whenever we’re able to sync our schedules!

  2. David Legan says:

    These are times which make me wish I could pray. But, that ship sailed when I was 19. So I wish you the best, and I am always good for another couple of drinks.

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