Love is an immortal force, though there is nothing magical or supernatural about love. Love is not the emotional expression of  god-like experience. Yet love sometimes seems supernatural. It survives even the most monstrous attacks and the most heartless abandonment. Neither age nor death nor the eternal passage of time diminishes love. Love never weakens, nor does it shrivel or decay. Unlike our bodies—the vessels within which love is carried—love does not wither into dust. Like bronze, love endures as long as time itself. Though we may try to extinguish its flames, love survives as a permanent beacon of light and heat. Love is an everlasting source of glowing embers that sometimes flare into conflagrations, providing warmth and illumination during even the darkest, coldest moments. But if love ever were to die, frigid darkness would envelope the length and breadth of time and space. The cold emptiness would smother stars and turn the blazing cauldrons of emerging galaxies into ice as cold and hard as hatred. Yet that can never happen, because love in an immortal force. Treating love as an illusion—a fantasy, a figment of our imaginations—only delays the inevitable realization that love is the foundation upon which all else rests. Love is real; more real than sight and sound and taste and touch and smell. Love binds all our experiences together, making possible all our accomplishments and all our mistakes.


I have so much on my mind this morning my head feels like it might explode. Neither words nor gestures nor telepathic communications can express what’s inside my head. And nothing I can say or do is sufficient to communicate what I think and feel. I am a pressurized cooking vessel—filled with air and water and steel ball-bearings—thrust into a fiercely hot flame. There is no option to remove me from the heat. Or vice versa. When the pressure becomes too great for the hermetically-sealed steel container to withstand, a chaotic explosion will cause scalding-hot water and shrapnel to rain down upon the emptiness around me. Of course my head is not really that air-tight. Nor is it as hard as tempered steel. And it is not filled with ball-bearings. The pressurized cooking vessel is, of course, a metaphor for my skull and the contents are metaphors for my thoughts—air, water, and steel ball-bearings. What the hell good are metaphors? Well, they reduce the immediacy and the intensity of anxiety and depression and despondency. Metaphors are like medicines. Wait. Using metaphors within the confines of similes can cause drug interactions, as if metaphors and similes were Schedule II narcotics and I had taken a cocktail of oxycodone, fentanyl, and tramadol. Yes, I agree. Apparently, the pressure-cooker has gone off the rails. That is to say, misbehavior has become my closest ally; she is my constant companion.


I can stop drinking coffee any time, without any negative effects. Apparently, I am not addicted to caffeine. That notwithstanding, I like to drink coffee. Assuming coffee itself is not bad for me (I only drink 1/2 to 3 cups per day, usually toward the lower end of that range), coffee is not one of my bad habits. But I still have not been able to replace coffee in the morning with water. I try to supplement coffee with water, but that effort only lasts a day or two at a time before I forget that I’m trying to drink more water. I wonder whether that would change if I were to cut out coffee entirely? I’ve done it before (but not with the purpose of consuming more water) without any problems. Maybe I’ll try. Perhaps I’ll resurrect my “doing without” experiment, in which I go for a month at a time doing without something I regularly enjoy. In the past, I’ve replaced one thing for another. For example, I’ve replaced coffee with tea in years past. And I replaced meat with vegetables. We’ll see. Maybe. Or maybe I’ll just ignore this entire train of thought and will get on board at a different station, perhaps with a different mode of transportation; possibly a yacht or a barge.


You may think I haven’t noticed, but I have noticed. Oh, yes, I have noticed.

Have you ever had these conversations in your head? The kind of conversations that would never take place in the real world, but which seem perfectly natural and normal in the deep recesses of your brain? I participate in those conversations on a fairly regular basis, engaging in conversations that I doubt would ever happen outside the confines of my brain. I once had a brief conversation with Aesop. You know, of Aesop’s Fables fame. Ah, but that’s enough.

About John Swinburn

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