I’ve been sitting in front of my computer for the better part of half an hour, thinking about what to write this morning. Five days have passed since my last post, which suggests I’m running low on mental energy. I enjoy writing, but when I find I have nothing to say, I feel my mind wearing thin, like a delicate rag used too frequently to polish rough stones. That’s it. My mind is a delicate rag, a scrap of threadbare cloth so worn it can’t absorb even a drop of intellectual nourishment, must less share sustenance with the world.

My fingers, idle but ready for action, were until moments ago motionless in a way that suggested they may have been paralyzed. Yet here they are, finally, producing letters and syllables and words and sentences and paragraphs. Any other fingers could produce what mine create. These fingers attached to my hands have no unique ability to create especially pleasing or informative or compelling language. But they behave like faucets, words flooding from them when I muster the wherewithal to turn the valve harnessing the flow of ideas. Yet releasing ideas is insufficient to ensure wisdom.

Wisdom arises from sagacity and insightfulness, two states of intellectual acumen not necessarily assured by voluminous eruptions of incoherent ideas and incomprehensible syllables. I might as well be writing in Sanskrit for all the practical value my words have thus far exhibited. I want to express compelling ideas and provocative thoughts, but to do so requires, first, having them. At this moment, I don’t have them. Instead, my mind is drenched in recollections of visits with doctors, the muddy conversations therefrom  not in the least satisfying. My brain continues to wallow in chemotherapy-based mire, ideas unable to emerge from sticky muck that prevents coherent thought from escaping.

Do we try too hard to prolong our existence? Do we worship scalpels and chemicals in the hope they will transform aggressive decay into tolerable stasis? The medical establishment, or at least parts of it, encourage efforts to overcome the body’s tendency to yield to forces that would have us succumb to the natural order. We’re bombarded with televised instructions to inquire of our doctors whether Drug X might be appropriate to battle against our unique form of bodily deterioration. As if our doctors haven’t already been subjected to massive doses of pharmaceutical bribery. Despite the inarguable good done by the pharmaceutical industry, I’m absolutely certain the industry has been infected with terminal greed. Many, if not most, in its sales force and those occupying its executive suites are not satisfied to be in the top 1% of the population in terms of income and wealth. They want more, more, more, more, so they can occupy the stratospheric top 0.11111111% level. They want to have enough money and other forms of wealth so they can, if they wish, purchase entire hemispheres on Earth, along with other planets and entire galaxies. I don’t  know this, of course. But my suspicions are high. My hackles are raised.

I asked my doctor yesterday if an explosive temper can, indeed, suggest its owner may suffer from depression. He suggested it’s possible. He offered drugs. I opted not to take him up on them, at least not for now. Maybe the natural progression of an explosive temper and an unhappy mood is not correction in the form of pills but, instead, withering and disappearance. Not that I’m all that excited about withering. But there are days when disappearance has its appeal. Especially on days when the prospects of a long-term Trump presidency seem to have grown.

Though I don’t challenge Mueller’s conclusions, I wish they had been different. I wish he would have determined that the dangers posed by the temperamental child in the White House were sufficient to warrant arrest, imprisonment, and repeated beatings with heavy steel chains. I suppose the conclusions reached do not necessarily suggest otherwise.

My fingers are going places my brain shouldn’t go. I should sit at my desk, wincing at every sharp stab of pain in my chest and gut, and attempt to overcome my mental and physical pain with an approach that might be used by a Zen master. Yes, that’s it. That’s the approach I ought to take. But I’m afraid I won’t.

About John Swinburn

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

  1. bev wigney says:

    No advice. Just listening and nodding agreement on much of what you wrote.

  2. Smitty, the Aging Bartender says:

    We are who we are. And I believe you were right to take decline the offer of drugs after a diagnosis of “It’s possible…” Power through this, good sir. And think of the delicious libations that await you on the other end of this temporary struggle with pain and anger. And, if you need to vent, please feel free to call. This old bartender always has an ear to listen. Especially about the things that you’re interested in venting about! Cheers!

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