Author Archives: John Swinburn

About John Swinburn

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

Gender Noncompunction

Background… Preston struggles, almost alone. He longs for love and compassion. But he knows better than to ask for them. In an atmosphere of crushing loneliness, an admission of vulnerability could destroy him. His fragile bones might shatter into fine … Continue reading

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Stewing in One’s Own Juices

I’m in the process of either learning the virtue of patience or enabling my lack of same to overwhelm my sense of serenity. Yesterday, I expected the deck guy to arrive between 9 and 10; because that’s when he told … Continue reading

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No Imfinzi for Me

I’ve written before about Programmed Death Ligand -1 and the immunotherapy my oncologist recommended. Apparently, the drug she wanted to use for immunotherapy (Imfinzi (generic name, Durvalumab), which would be administered once every two weeks for a year, is very … Continue reading

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Trading Experiences

Just this morning, I began thinking what I might like to do if I were all-powerful and unconstrained by natural laws. It occurred to me that such expansive capabilities would open up an endless array of possibilities, options so utterly … Continue reading

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Easter Wanderings

The time is just shy of 6:00 a.m. I’ve been up since just after 4:00 a.m. During that almost two-hour stretch, I’ve had half a cup of coffee—reheated twice in the microwave—and read an enormous amount of unrelated stuff online. … Continue reading

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Some Enchanted Evening

As expected, our church “dinner for eight” last night was enjoyable. Good food, interesting conversation, and plenty of laughter. All the above took place in an environment that encouraged everyone to shed at the front door whatever stresses they might … Continue reading

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Sharing Ideas and Experiences and Droning On

One of the many benefits of writing stream-of-consciousness blogs (or diaries or daily journals or any other form in which one’s thoughts are recorded for access in the future) is the ease of retrieving what was on one’s mind at … Continue reading

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Heifer Ranch

I visited Heifer Ranch a couple of days ago. The visit, one of many periodic events orchestrated by the social committee of UUVC, was meant to accomplish two aims, I think. The first was to encourage more social interaction, outside … Continue reading

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Real or Imagined? Fact or Fantasy?

Drake used to admire writers, especially those whose command of language could bring people exposed to their words to tears or prompt readers to join uprisings. But now he understands that writers are simply manipulators, men and women who strive … Continue reading

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Meandering Mind with Punctuational Affliction

Notre-Dame de Paris burned yesterday. As I viewed television images of Parisians and others singing while the iconic building burned, I thought of the immeasurable number of people who must have worked to build the structure over a two hundred … Continue reading

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Undercooked Acrimony

This morning, I decided to forego my usual breakfast diet of two or three domestic and a sprinkling of international media. Instead of CNN and NPR and Aljazeera and BBC, et al, I opted to explore an online resource I … Continue reading

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The Willing Suspension of a Train of Thought

Mood swings. Everyone has them. The question some of us have is whether the ones with which we deal are “normal” or, instead, symptomatic of something ominous. But it’s not just mood, is it? It’s something deeper. Something that defines … Continue reading

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Musings on Marriage

Today is our thirty-ninth anniversary. Despite my remarkably flawed personality, she has opted to tough it out all these years. Based on the experience so far, I guess our marriage is going to last. And I’m very glad and grateful … Continue reading

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Patients and Patience

In spite of the routine nature of an endoscopy (though I’ve never had one before, so I speak not from experience, only from hearsay and what I’ve read), its preparatory paperwork is a bit frightening. For example, I was asked … Continue reading

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The Truth as I Know It

Recently,  I wrote  about  Death’s Door  Gin.  I wasn’t  making it up. It’s a real thing. A large but surprisingly light (for its size) package arrived sometime yesterday afternoon/evening, while we were away. When I opened it, I found another … Continue reading

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Temporal Freedom Season

I hereby decree that today is the beginning of Temporal Freedom Season (TFS). One of the tenets of TFS is that there shall be no constraints on one’s time, no requirements to invest time in a specific endeavor or event. … Continue reading

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Damn Calendars

It’s happening again. My calendar is attempting to control my life. It’s attempting to take charge of every day, forcing me into a regimen of rigid discipline. The calendar clamps my freedom in its powerful jaws, refusing me the flexibility … Continue reading

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Darkness. I go to sleep in darkness and I awaken in darkness. But it’s not total darkness. It’s near-darkness, punctuated by pinpoints of light. The thermostat, the kitchen stove, the bedside alarm clock, the modem, and other devices that alert … Continue reading

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Opening Death’s Door

Several days ago, I received a promotional/informational email from The message contained a list of gins that, according to the sender, represent the best of the beverage. My wife, a gin aficionado who rarely drinks any alcohol, found the … Continue reading

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Returning to the Empty Well

This morning, as I am sometimes wont to do, I wandered aimlessly through some of my old blog posts, looking for evidence of creativity and talent. “Looking” is the wrong word. “Hoping” better describes my motive. What I found did … Continue reading

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A Shot of Youth

The surprising experiences of one’s youth, suddenly reinserting themselves sixty-five years in, take one’s breath away. Just last night, one of those remarkable experiences both startled and stunned me, yet left me delighted. I awoke in the darkest part of … Continue reading

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Flaws and Faults and Hummingbird Care

If my computer is telling me the truth, and I have no reason to believe it is lying to me, the outdoor temperature is 41 degrees. That’s brisk. I know that’s brisk because I went outdoors a few minutes ago. … Continue reading

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Fools and Poetry

My April Fool’s post on Facebook yesterday was too obvious. It fooled no one, at least not for long. Here is a gently edited version: If I hadn’t seen the court papers myself, I never would have believed it. But … Continue reading

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Wide Open Spaces

Yesterday—during our drive to Morrilton and then to Russellville and to Dardenelle and, finally, back to Hot Springs Village—I realized again how much I miss wide open spaces. I love looking at pastures and flat, open land that stretches to … Continue reading

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Back to Wednesday Night Poetry

I’ve been invited to return as a feature poet to Wednesday Night Poetry, the event in downtown Hot Springs that began on February 1, 1989 and will mark on Wednesday this week 1575 consecutive Wednesdays with never a miss. My … Continue reading

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