Visions or Fantasies

I spent the last two hours writing and rewriting the president’s message for the church newsletter. The darkness I bring to so much of what I write on this blog found its way to the first three drafts—which I started writing the day before yesterdays—of the newsletter message. I abandoned and deleted those drafts—darkness is not what the congregation wants to see in messages from the president. The fourth draft may be acceptable. I will let it settle for a while and read it again; I will ask mi novia to read it and give me her opinion. I could never have been successful as a paid assignment-based writer because my mood dictates, in large part, what spills from my fingers onto the keyboard. Oh, I can try to override my attitudes, but the degree to which I am successful in that endeavor is hit-and-miss.


A recurring, but not frequent, theme in my writing involves my fantasy about starting over. Not from the beginning, but from the present. I have written about leaving everything behind, including (perhaps especially) my identity. All I would take is the money I could lay my hands on—I could not start over, at least not satisfactorily, in abject poverty. I would go to a place no one knows me and I would present myself as someone quite unlike the man I am. The history I would share about myself would be radically different from my real history. I would try to be an extreme extrovert, but that might be impossible for me to pull off. Failing that, I would have multiple personalities—I would be extroverted until I could no longer fake it and I probably would just be extremely shy and withdrawn. Or, maybe, I would make it easier on myself by simply shedding my historical surface self; that would not require acting. Just be me, but with a completely artificial past. Perhaps I would have been an artist or a tenured professor of psychology. Or maybe I would have been a farmer. Something very different from reality. It might be easier to conceal my past by pretending I am suffering from amnesia, having lost all memory of my past as a result of a tragic mountain-climbing accident, in which I slipped off of Mount Everest just after reaching the peak. Ach! The history would not be important; it would be the new present that would matter. How would I make friends? Would I? Would I even try? I have had issues with friends; actually, the issues involve defining who constitutes a friend and who constitutes only a pal. There is a difference, I have found. Friends reliably and consistently make time for one another.  Pals, not so much. But that’s another matter. I’m writing here about my new identity. How could I explain just showing up someplace? Amnesia might do it; I remember nothing of my past, including where I am from. I emerged into the present moment fully-formed but without any knowledge of history. Who is president? I don’t know; I’ll  have to check the newspapers. What year is it? Ditto. But I would need to know how to use modern technologies like computers, cell phones, etc., etc. That might take some thought. I am not sure just why I keep returning to this odd fantasy. It has been with me for many years; the first occurrence probably took place when I was in my early forties. Hmm. My version of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” but without the same impact. I should let the entire fantasy spill out of my fingers; one day, perhaps.


An eye doctor appointment today…I hope to discover what’s causing a recurring irritation in my left eye, along with a grey film that sweeps back and forth, blurring my vision when it does. I will take a list of concerns. The doctor will wonder what kind of bizarre patient she has in her chair…some guy with a list of complaints about his eye, including dissatisfaction with his vision, his prescription lenses, and the earpieces of his glasses (they have created permanent indentations in both sides of his head, making him look like he was patched together from unrelated parts).


Enough said. For now.

About John Swinburn

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