I am curious about life experiences that have shaped the attitudes and beliefs of people I know; both people close to me and others with whom I know only casually. If the world were as accommodating as I would like, I would have the opportunity to sit with people, privately, and ask deeply personal, probing questions that might help me understand how these folks came to be who they are. It would not be enough to just ask the questions, though. The questions would have to be answered. Honestly. Openly. Thoroughly. I doubt I would feel comfortable asking many of the questions about which I might be deeply curious. We all have secrets of one kind or another that are so personal, so private, that we do not want to share them with anyone. Ever. Not even ourselves, I sometimes think. But it is precisely those deeply personal matters, the ones that may fuel some of our behaviors and attitudes that cannot otherwise be explained, that one must know in order to truly understand certain crucial aspects of a person’s personality. Getting at the answers to questions that might explain aspects of a person’s personality would require the “investigator” to be absolutely trustworthy. And the one asked to give the answers would have to firmly believe in and completely trust the questioner. That kind of trust—both earning it and giving it—is extraordinarily rare.


After bouncing back and forth between various Scandinavian television series, I finally finished the final season of Borgen, a Danish political masterpiece, last night. Before that, evenings were consumed by three exceptional seasons of Deadwind, a Finnish crime series, much of which I had watched some time ago, but needed to revisit in order to fully grasp the entire riveting storyline. I suspect my adoration of Norwegian and Finnish and Swedish and Danish and related television and film is fed, in part, by my fascination with both the similarities and the stark differences between Scandinavian society and U.S. society. Not just the broader society; the characteristics and attributes of individuals in society. My life-long interest in certain vaguely appealing aspects of cultures that help define entire populations drives my interest, I suppose. Though I have a moderately deep and abiding interest in those aspects of cultures, my interest has never been sufficiently deep to fuel real passion. It seems I lose interest after a while, though my interest always returns. Perhaps my entire life can be explained by assuming I may have lived under the influence of undiagnosed ADHD. My experiences are rife with deep but brief plunges into topics of interest, after which I skitter near the surface of those topics and a thousand like them. My interests are broad but shallow, leading me to say about myself: “My interests are broad but shallow.” Or, “I know very little about so very many things.”

That’s a repetitive theme in this blog, isn’t it? One day (or one year or more), I will spend time with an astute therapist or other mental health professional who will help me delve into what makes me tick. I really would like to know why I do not seem to have the capacity to more thoroughly explore matters of interest to me before I lose that interest—at least temporarily—in them. It must be caused by psychological deviance of some sort. I am curious about it; just not curious enough to pursue it with enough vigor to find the answers.


When I woke—much later than I would have liked—the temperature was 25°F. My computer claims it has now reached 29°F, on the way to 55°F. I am ready for temperatures in the mid-to-upper 70s. I want to feel thoroughly warm. Comfortable. But I’ll have to wait for several weeks, I suspect. Or months. On one hand, I want time to speed by. On the other, I want to pause the passage of time; even reverse it. I would reverse it if I could. Perhaps reverse only certain aspects of time, allowing me to reorder my experiences in some fashion. Weave multiple dimensions of time into a tapestry of experience that would wrap me in the kind of warmth that sunlight cannot offer. Ach. Daydreams. Fantasies. The sort of impossible dreams that bring tears to my eyes and sorrow to my soul. The kind of wishes that cannot overcome the brutal force of regret.


It’s late. Almost 8:30. Time to abandon this expression of…whatever it is. Breakfast calls. Though I am not hungry for food, I need sustenance.

About John Swinburn

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