The Annals of Time

One’s circumstances can change, dramatically, in a matter of hours. One moment, the Earth seems intent on following its accustomed path around the sun; the next minute, it veers sharply off course, as if undecided about which star’s guidance is most appropriate for the planet to follow. I won’t get into particulars right now, but I am relatively certain the planet upon which I live is now attempting to follow Proxima Centauri, the star (other than the sun) closest to Earth. I once may have thought the gravitational tugs I felt were from the binary pair of Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B; but, now, it’s clear to me that Proxima Centauri is the fiery mass that’s pulling at me with enormous force. This ferocious force will change things for me; there’s no question. The world will become more serene and I will dwell in a quiet forest. Distance is a relative thing; close is a term one applies to relationships just as appropriately as one applies it to distance.


Robert Frost understood the power of choice and the impact decisions have on the fundamental course of one’s life. Take, for instance, the final lines of his poem, The Road Not Taken:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Choices might seem minor, but they hide enormous power beneath their simple shells. Decisions can alter the course of time and can twist one’s personality into the shape of a pretzel—or a perfect circle or a perfectly straight line. Personalities, you see, are simply expressions of one’s response to the forces of the environment in which one lives. Personalities are just reactions, not immovable representations of one’s core being. Personalities can change. But, then, so can the roots of who we are. Our roots respond radically differently when places in a hydroponic bath designed to bathe us in nutrients, versus a crunchy, rocky soil that hold water and nutrients for just a flash before sending them to the center of the Earth to extinguish the flames of Hades.

I dreamed last night I was in conversation with a friend who seemed to have been asleep in a couch in my living room. The sky was just beginning to turn a very dim pink when she roused from her sleep. Dressed in a strange one-piece “pullover” sort of garment, she looked like she was wearing baby clothes. She reached our for me and asked me to take her to the “other side of the fabric.” I did not understand what she meant; she became flustered at my inability to understand. She gripped my hand tightly and told me she had to go to the “other side of the fabric.”  A quick kiss and she stepped through a large glass window; no broken glass…,her body just slid through the glass, as if if were water. I then saw a man sitting in a soft chair just outside the window. He spoke: “Hemophiliacs bleed through glass like knives slide through hot butter.” It made no sense then, either.


I can feel that today will be another strange one. I’ll get a pedicure late in the day, but that won’t be the strangest component of the day. Something else will slide in to make today unique in the annals of time.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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2 Responses to The Annals of Time

  1. Thanks, Meg, and thanks for forwarding the link, separately, to the article. Intriguing, thought-provoking stuff! I appreciate it!

  2. Meg Koziar says:

    Good morning, John, I enjoyed your post this orning. I hve a different take on choices, a belief I’ve held since I was 25, but have nver been able to explain convincingly to anyone. (Except I found one HSV friend who agrees with me). I came to the belief by logistically working it out – my AR Tech education didn’t include philopophy. I was working in NYC that year after a year in Denmark. When I asked my co-worker, whose education was classical, if anyone agreed with me, she said “yes, but I’m not going to tell you who because you’ll depend on their thinking.”
    Fast forward to last week. An organization’s NL included a scholarly artical explaining exactly my position. I sent it to several friends with the subject line “Now I’m completely happy! ” I will forward it to you later today.

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