Author Archives: John Swinburn

About John Swinburn

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

A Day in ER

Yesterday was something of a bitch for me, more so for my brother. I got a call just before 9:00 a.m. from the cardiovascular surgeon’s nurse, for whom I’d left a message the day before. She apologized that she had … Continue reading

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Sleepless in Houston

The first three hours of the night went well. I went to bed quite early, around 9:30, and slept soundly until 12:30. During the next two hours, I slept in fits and starts. After 2:30, I may have slept an … Continue reading

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Caregiving

During the last few days, I’ve learned how very much energy an extensive and intrusive surgery can drain from a person. And I’m discovering that the remarkably difficult road to recovery presents its own challenges. I am providing post operative … Continue reading

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Last Minute Road Trip

I awoke early this morning, finished packing my car (except for the several things, including my cell phone charger, I left on the kitchen counter, and drove 425 miles.  I write these few words from Houston. The trip was planned, … Continue reading

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The Definition of Superficiality Doesn’t Involve Food

I mused, last evening, about the enjoyment I get out of taking pictures of my food. Maybe it’s a sickness. Or it might be an artist’s engagement with the manner in which the fruits of the Earth sustains him. Or … Continue reading

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Musings on a Wednesday Evening

I got word late this afternoon that my brother will be released from the hospital on Saturday. So, I’ll head down to welcome him to my niece’s home; I should arrive by late afternoon. There’s no time-frame for my visit. … Continue reading

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Wisdom

Wisdom grows not from the tender love of nurturing care, but from the abject neglect and brutal abandonment spun on life’s loom from frayed spiritual kudzu that tries to choke and strangle resolve. Wisdom struggles upward from the darkest depths … Continue reading

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The Menu

Join me? Food Item Paired with Arancini: Risotto balls stuffed with mozzarella and parmesan and peas, dusted with flour, dipped in beaten egg, dredged in panko crumbs, then fried Pinot grigio Patata Bombas: Mashed potato balls stuffed with spiced minced … Continue reading

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Special

Today was special, not because it was filled with activities in which we rarely have the opportunity to be involved but because we enjoyed what was available. After we visited several stores in search of fennel, we finally found it … Continue reading

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Sleeping Hallucinations

In a dream early this morning I experienced a place I’ve never been but which consisted of elements of various places I’ve either lived or been. A wall of glass doors and windows at the back of the house, much … Continue reading

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Thoughts Late in the Day

The smiling faces of friends and acquaintances can hide haunting secrets, painful memories, and dark experiences that will never see the light of day. We’re like icebergs, revealing only a fraction of our selves and keeping the bulk of what … Continue reading

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Appropriation?

I read a lot about cultural appropriation. And I get it. But, like so many other issues that tend to create friction where none previously existed, a burr seems to have grown into a full-fledged mesquite covered in monstrous thorns. … Continue reading

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Connections

Unexpectations. That’s what I call them. Experiences that one realizes will take place without any prior planning. You know they’re coming, but you don’t know why. And you didn’t know to expect them. I discovered, quite unexpectedly, that a woman … Continue reading

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Partly Taken Road Trip Recap

I decided this morning I should make a record of our recent trip to Texas and back, if for no other reason than to jog my memory at some point in the future when I ask, “What year did we … Continue reading

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Stunned and Empty

I learned yesterday of a young man’s death. He made the irrevocable choice to end his life by leaping to his death. I can’t help but think he might not have done it if he’d waited just one more minute. … Continue reading

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Of Words and Weather and Automotive Maturation

Uncharacteristically cool temperatures for late July and early August give me hope. Soul-crushing hot weather tends to sear despair into my brain, but the scar heals quickly when evening and early morning temperatures dip into the sixties. Were it not … Continue reading

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A Long and Winding Road Through Technological Delirium

During our time in Houston last week and weekend, I had several wonderful conversations with my niece, many of which led me to ideas that would make great stories. Naturally, my memory of said conversations is only of the “this … Continue reading

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Looking Out for Others

Facebook is too public for me. Though I’d like to express myself to friends and family, Facebook is, to me, the equivalent of posting a full-page ad in the newspaper. I’m more inclined to send individual letters to people I … Continue reading

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Old Home Week

We arrived at the fringes of Corpus Christi yesterday afternoon around 4:30, locating our newish hotel situated in an industrial district near the Coastal Bend State Veterans Cemetary.  All along Interstate 37, our route into the city, chemical and/or petrochemical … Continue reading

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A Simple Desultory Dystopic

I recall a somber afternoon in January when it all began to fall apart. We knew we were circling the drain, but we didn’t realize just how quickly we would be sucked into the septic tank, that basin awash in … Continue reading

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Emerson, Lake, & Palmer: Voices from the Past

It’s been years since I spent more than just moments listening to Emerson, Lake & Palmer. But I dedicated a bit of time to listening to them a couple of evenings ago. What prompted me was a recent NPR piece … Continue reading

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Scorpion Musings

I awoke an hour or so ago to my wife’s voice telling me there was a scorpion in the sink. I arose, walked into the bathroom, and looked into the sink. Yes, there was a very large, very lively scorpion … Continue reading

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Ties that Bind

A blogger, a man I’ve never met but who seems in many respects to share some of the emotional framework that keeps the flesh on my bones, wrote today about losing a friend and mentor. His mentor was a teacher, … Continue reading

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Expressive Mumbling

There’s nothing appealing about my blog. No reason a person would want to come back to read it after they stumbled upon it once. In one sense, I’m okay with that. But in another I wish I had the capacity … Continue reading

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Coffee and Contemplation and High Adventure

The sounds of the monthly “deep” cleaning at my house drove me away this morning. The woman we engage to help in this monthly task brings loud vacuum equipment and noisy brooms. Well, the vacuum is loud and disruptive and … Continue reading

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