Wicked Hunger

Once again, heavy rains took their toll on yesterday’s plans; lunch with friends at a country diner, postponed from Wednesday to Friday due to weather, had to be scrapped again for the same reason. Fortunately, though, weather was not a factor in the gathering with my extended family (siblings, spouses, nephews, nieces, etc.) on Zoom. Thirteen of us logged in to the event. For about an hour, we updated one another about the mundane and the meaningful. I was glad that mi novia and my late wife’s sister (still my sister-in-law, yes?) were able and willing to be on the call. It was good to all the faces and hear all the voices. We all (or most of us) agreed a face-to-face gathering in the foreseeable future is a legitimate goal; whether one or more of us takes the bull by the horns, initiating such an event, remains to be seen. Inasmuch as I am the one writing about it, I think I should at least lend support for it; and with more than just words. Time will tell. It always does.


Very early this morning, around 4, when I was awake and caffeinated and restless, I skimmed some Facebook posts.  Images of the broken remnants of the stone entryway to Hot Springs Village dominated the feed. Late yesterday afternoon, a car smashed into the wall of stone that served as the backdrop for the Village sign, essentially destroying the imposing entrance. Though those images dominated, it was another one that captured my attention and interest.  A Facebook friend, Trish, reposted an image originally posted by someone who identified as Gabrielle is Dreaming. The photo showed the interior of the National Gallery Singapore and its caption indicated the image was from the show, “Century of Light.” It took a tiny bit of sleuthing to learn that the show was held from November 2017 through March 2018. And the photo I found so intriguing apparently was not a piece of art from the show but, rather, an image that seemingly shows temporary walls and arches created for the exhibition. The walls were painted deep cobalt blue and the arches/archways were ochre. Even before I noticed who had posted the image, its bold colors made me think of Trish; the colors are among her favorites, I think. She sometimes posts photos of her house (she lives in Mexico City), which she has decorated in bright, bold colors. If memory serves me correctly, cobalt blue and ochre are among the colors of some of the walls in her house.

But I’ve gone off track…again.

The colors, especially the ochre, sparked my interest in learning more about it. For some reason, pairings of cobalt blue and ochre, and the sharp contrast between them, are suggestive of north African and Middle Eastern environments. I suspect I have seen such pairings in pictures of those places, but I cannot recall specifically where I might have seen them. During my exploration of ochre, I learned (re-learned is probably more accurate) that ochre is a family of earth pigments whose main ingredient is ferric oxyhydroxide. Yellow ochre, which is the color with which I was so intrigued, is a hydrated iron hydroxide, also called limonite. That bit of information spurred me to look for examples of the color in art, which led me to a video of an artist demonstrating how various colors can be mixed and matched to create complex textures of color that suggest different moods or emotions. It was fascinating. But, just now, when I tried to find it again, I could not. That’s a shame, because it was exceptionally well-done and very informative.

That deter into color, during which I barely touched on cobalt blue, took me to just before 5. It was then that I returned here to memorialize my morning thus far. And here I am.  Thinking about repainting the house with variations on cobalt blue and ochre. No, not ME repainting the house. Someone else with far more patience, more flexibility, and considerably greater skill. It’s probably a bit too early to do that; my domestic partner might take offense to the idea.


I had a telephone conversation with a friend yesterday afternoon, before my Zoom call, that troubles me still. My friend was upset and frustrated with circumstances I fully understand. I empathize and sympathize, but it was clear from the conversation that my suggested approach to dealing with the matter does not represent who my friend is. That, I suppose, is part of what troubles me. And it’s what prompted me to think of Shakespeare’s famous lines from As You Like It: “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” Though it’s not necessarily what Shakespeare intended to convey, sometimes we have to harness our natural emotions in favor of behaving in ways that, although uncomfortable, might reduce conflict, resolve tension, and secure resolutions to problems. Yet I realize there is a fine line between promoting harmony by “acting” outside our normal personal styles and succumbing to the pressures of a situation by placating other people. I think that fine line can be radically different from person to person. In fact, I am well aware of how that line is different for the person I am today compared to the person I was ten or fifteen years ago. Today, I am far more willing to flex and bend and mold myself around circumstances I find unpleasant. So, advice must always be considered—and taken or rejected—in context. I suppose what troubles me is that my advice and the arguments I made in support of it might both be at odds with my friend’s personality. And my advice might have been too accommodating to the person with whom my friend had a conflict. But the bottom line is that I offered only advice; my friend was (and is) free to take or reject it in whole or in part. I hope my friend understands my advice, whether fitting to my friend’s personality or not, was offered with the best of intentions. Sometimes, I think I can come across as too invested in a situation; as if I would be hurt or offended if my perspective is not adopted at the “right” one. I need to work on that.


I am wicked hungry. If I had been less slothful yesterday, I could prepare something wonderful to satisfy my cravings right now. If I were less of a lazy slob, I would have gone to a grocery store and bought some sausage or bacon or some other form of cruelty-laced but deliciously tasty protein suitable for breakfast. I would have prepared for today’s breakfast, had I been more energetic and forward-thinking. Instead, I stayed home-bound all day. As a consequence, I will be limited today to a meatless breakfast, which might consist of cereal or eggs or cantaloupe or some combination thereof. I’ll survive. I just won’t be as thrilled with breakfast as I otherwise would have been. Oh, I could have eggs and chicken, but who mixes those ingredients for breakfast? I would, but I might get an unhappy glance, or worse, in response. Such is life in the food desert.


About John Swinburn

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