Time and Space

Several months ago, mi novia and I launched a search for a dining table. We wanted something more modern, more attractive, more appealing. We found one we liked quite a lot, but several considerations caused us to keep looking; the one we liked was very expensive, it was located at a store in northwest Arkansas, and the cost to have it delivered to Hot Springs Village seemed exorbitant. So we kept looking. One of my brothers, who was in the process of planning a move, offered his very attractive teak table, but the cost and logistics of getting it from southeast Texas to the Village argued against it. So we decided to pause our search. For some reason, the matter of our search for a dining table came to my mind this morning. And what came to mind was a sense of relief—relief that we did not invest money and more time in our search. The rarely-used table in the dining room is perfectly fine. While it is not the sleek, Scandinavian-style teak table I had personally wanted, it is more than adequate. Had we spent several thousand dollars on a beautiful new table, we might have forced ourselves to use it more often than we use the old stand-by, but that forced use would have been an attempt to justify what amounts to unjustifiable desire. Or, perhaps, simple greed. Maybe we will, at some point, replace the antique table that is in need of refinishing and repair, but I no longer feel that there is any urgency to it. And, in fact, I think I would feel embarrassed to spend the money to satisfy what seems to me, this morning, to represent raw avarice. I have not shared my thinking on the matter with mi novia yet, inasmuch as it settled in my brain only this morning. I suppose I’ll find out before long whether our thoughts are aligned.


This morning’s blogging paused while I prepared an unusual breakfast of corned beef hash, poached eggs, and a Frankensteinian citrus created through human intervention in the reproductive process of tangerines and/or other such citrusy fruits (also known as Cuties™, mandarins, or other other such terms). During the course of eating breakfast, I wondered about the origin of the term “corned” as applied to beef. Mother Google responded to my curiosity by informing me that corned beef was created as a way to export Irish beef to Britain, explaining that “The term “corned” beef derives from the size of the salt crystals that were used to cure the meat.” I am now curious about the enormous salt crystals used by Irish exporters of beef. Where did they get those giant crystals? Or are large salt crystals more natural than the tiny crystals we find in our table salt? Or is our table salt actually composed of much larger crystals that have been crushed and otherwise processed to be more easily transported and/or shaken on our food at the table? Although I am curious about such stuff, I have other things to do this morning than delved into the genesis of the salt on our tables. [But, in fact, the salt on our table is Falksalt, salt flakes produced in Cyprus and distributed by a company based in Sweden. I became enamored of Falksalt years ago after my late wife decided to try it and we found it exceptionally appealing. And now you know how I came to use  flaked Falksalt at my dining table.]

Breakfast this morning was, in my opinion, a delight.


Sunday’s church service, an Insight presentation of a member’s UUVC Faith Journey, was quite interesting. The presenter, a very active member of the church whose participation in church activities included a year’s service as president, spoke of her evolution from a lengthy early history in a Catholic environment to a long period being “unchurched” through an intellectual and spiritual development that led her to an understanding of that the universe, and consequently humankind’s role in it, is ever-expanding. I enjoy hearing people think aloud, revealing their perspectives on the unknown and unknowable. The presenter’s history as a mathematician and engineer, intertwined with her curiosity about humankind’s almost infinitesimally small place in the expanding universe, was thought-provoking.


The time is approaching 9 a.m., literally hours later than I usually post my blog. The passage of time seems to accelerate lately. That makes me wonder whether time is actually compressing, to the point that the future will become the past and vice versa. Or, perhaps, space and time are in the process of becoming one another, so that tomorrow, for example, will become a physical thing—and a light bulb or a desktop will morph into concepts against which the sequence of experiences will be measured.

My mind is racing, now, far faster than usual. I wonder whether it might one day become possible for me to slip undetected into the brain of a friend, where I can poke around and see or hear or feel her thoughts. Would I be surprised to know what is there? Could I cross between or through or over walls that separate factual experience from fantasy or spiritual pursuits? Would I find, in the head of another friend, an unexpected curiosity about the ancient history of his ancestors’ experience carving canoes from monstrous trees? Would I find in another friend’s mind memories of his experiences that have yet to occur?

That finishes my excursion into a thick fog, laced with the remnants of dead leaves and bird calls. Call me crazy. Just call me. 😉

About John Swinburn

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