An inadvertent motion by an itchy “trigger” finger sent a raw, rough, utterly unfinished draft of the first few paragraphs of a prospective piece of short fiction onto the internet last night. Mi novia questioned why I used my WordPress account to write the draft, rather than writing it in Word. My response: Because that is the process I have grown accustomed to using. On rare occasion (like last night), my virtually automatic physical reaction when I decide to end my writing session—pushing the “publish” button—leaves me scrambling to correct a mistake. When that happens, I quickly change the status of the mistakenly published draft from “published” to “draft.” But that action does not undo what I did. When I hit “publish,” the file immediately is posted to my blog and notices of a newly-published post are emailed to my blog’s subscribers. I have no way of retracting the email messages. My only recourse is to explain, in a follow-up post, what happened. And to apologize—which is the purpose of this paragraph—for wasting subscribers’ time in notifying them of an erroneous and now-unavailable draft. I take this opportunity, as well, to apologize for my many other posts that waste readers’ time. Rarely do I write anything of actual value to anyone but me; and its value to me is questionable, sometimes in the extreme. Much of my writing can be justified as exercise for my fingers and nothing more. Well, perhaps reading it can provide opportunities for readers to exercise the muscles that move their eyes from left to right and back again. I struggle to find something of value—anything—that might merit the expenditure of readers’ time in absorbing what I share with this blog. There must be something that warrants regularly or periodically coming to this place, for the few human beings who do. Whatever it is, I appreciate the company, though I rarely get to know their reaction to what they read. Perhaps that is best. Withholding their opinions from me might, in fact, be acts of kindness from people who, if they expressed their thoughts, would crush my ego under the soles of their shoes.


The concepts contained in a couple of conversations with my church’s minister got me thinking: attempting to change the entire world, especially as we grow older and approach the end of our lives, often is a fruitless endeavor. Therefore, rather than expending our energies tilting at windmills, we would better serve humanity and ourselves by directing a significant part of our efforts to more achievable goals of improving the worlds of people close to us. For example, rather than directing all of our time, energy, resources, and efforts to feeding the starving peoples of sub-Saharan Africa, a considerable portion of our efforts aimed at enabling people in our immediate sphere to feed themselves might have greater impact. Let me be clear: the minister did not say precisely that; for me, though, his words delivered that message. And his words were not aimed specifically at me. His musings, in my mind, addressed a general idea: our efforts are likely to be far more impactful and considerably more successful at changing the world for individuals, one person at a time. We cannot feed all of Africa; but we can nourish the ability of one person at a time to be self-sustaining. The minister might take issue with my interpretation of his message, of course. But any disagreement notwithstanding, my interpretation makes perfectly good sense to me. And it conforms to my way of thinking. It won’t stop me from writing letters, affirming a woman’s right to control her own body, to my Congressional representatives, but it reinforces my belief in supporting local resources like Planned Parenthood clinics.


I had a horrible dream last night. I dreamt I was among a small group of people who decided, for a reason that is unclear to me now, we should kill a woman who had been a friend. We gathered at my house—which was in a nondescript lower-middle-class neighborhood—to implement a plan to murder her. The organizer of the planned killing was a woman who had conceived a process whereby she would kill the intended victim by striking her with a carpenter’s hammer. This woman, who would orchestrate the process, had thought everything through so that none of us would leave any traces; no one could find us guilty of the deed. But, after striking the victim in the head with a hammer, things went awry. The victim did not die. In fact, she was only dazed. So, the murderer put the muzzle of a gun to the victim’s head and pulled the trigger. But the bullet did not pierce the victim’s skull; it caused bleeding, but nothing more than the victim’s loud protestations that she had done nothing to deserve our ugly deed. Somehow, the process of protecting the rest of us from evidence of our guilt fell apart. Neighbors called the police because of the ruckus. The rest of us scrambled to hide evidence of our involvement and our guilt, but the police came and started investigating. For some reason, the victim was unsuccessful in convincing the police that we were the perpetrators. One of the “cover-ups” somehow involved an open outdoor faucet that flooded the yard around the house; water flowed into the street and the ground around the house was quite soggy, which stopped the police from investigating further. When the police left, others involved in the plot (who apparently had left) came back to gather up evidence of guilt, left in the scramble to get away. Part of the evidence seemed to be the victim, who was to be pushed into the trunk of a car. The rest of the dream dissolves into a fog; I cannot remember any more. And, of course, I do not recall many elements between the attempted murder and the police investigation. And the street that was flooded by the open water faucet. And more. I do not think I want to remember. I remain stunned that I was a willing participant in the murder plot, though I was deeply embarrassed and sorrowful for my participation.

I had another dream, quite different, in which the environment was a very old, terribly crowded, office building. It had hideously dirty unisex bathrooms with no doors. The bathrooms were outfitted with multiple wall-mounted urinals; no stalls nor regular toilets. Women using the bathroom straddled the urinals, backwards. A viewing area from a hallway in the building overlooked a massive field in which people who were obviously foreign, possibly Asian, were using scythes to cut and collect crops. I think the building was the headquarters of a company involved in petroleum in some fashion. The rest of the dream is a blur. Weird is the best word to describe it.


I found a pair of tortoise-shell plastic eyeglass frames at Costco last week. They are on hold for me, through tomorrow. I may call Costco today to ask that they extend the hold through the early part of next week so that I can combine a planned trip to see a Charles Schwab representative with the purchase of the frames. If Costco will not extend the hold, I probably will not get those frames. Either way, the world will continue to spin. Wars will continue to be fought. People will continue to starve, while others will grow fat and undeservedly wealthy. Life will go on, provided the planet’s nuclear powers do not unleash their capabilities in unnecessary displays of inhumane horror on the species remaining after humans have had a hand in eliminating so many of them. And, of course, homo sapiens would be among those annihilated in the fury of nuclear holocaust. But if none of that awful stuff happens, the world will go on as usual, whether or not I buy a new set of frames and lenses to fill them.


Yesterday’s visit to the Hot Springs RV and camping and fishing show was a washout. There was only one Class B recreational vehicle. On reflection, after the wasted visit to the convention center, I have decided I do not need nor really want an RV. The money I would spend on an RV would cover innumerable nights in decent hotels or motels. And the drive to those places would be less stressful in a smaller, more maneuverable vehicle. The downside, of course, is that motels and hotels usually prohibit campfires just outside the doors to their rooms. And the space between guests is much smaller in such lodging facilities than in campgrounds. But that is not enough to convince me, today, to buy an RV. The decision is made. And it will remain made, I think, unless I change my mind.


For now, though, my objective is to have avocado toast with a sliced tomato chaser.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Toast

  1. Sounds interesting, Meg. I’ve long been intrigued by dreams, though my assumptions about them have ranged from thinking they are meaningless to accepting the possibility that they carry psychological messages to the idea that they are physical/mental responses to the brain’s biochemical experiences. I might explore the book.

  2. kozimeg says:

    John, You got me interested in dreams, so I bought “When Brains Dream: Exploring the Science and Mystery of Sleep,” by Antonio, ZADRA and Robert STICKGOLD. It was published in 2021 and and scientifically sound. I have had a number of conversations with my visitors regarding what I learned. The basic premise is that sleep is essential and that dreaming is the brains way of processing memory. We dream throughout the night, but different kinds of dreams at different times, but remember only the dreams that we are having when we wake. The authors start by debunking Freud, but whether or not, we remember dreams, they are. affecting us.

    I bought the book on kindle. Otherwise, I would send it to you. I think you’ll find it very interesting. I’ll be happy to tell you more.

I wish you would tell me what you think about this post...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.