Author Archives: John Swinburn

About John Swinburn

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

Nostalgia

I’m nostalgic for a future that will never be. ~ Rommel Wood, producer, Ask Me Another ~ Rommel Wood’s comment about what he’ll miss about the radio game show he produced echoes some of my emotions about the show, though … Continue reading

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A Life or Death Struggle with Dragons

Reveal too much and you expose the fact that you’re a bore. Reveal too little and you fail to spur even a shred of excitement in others about yourself. Yet the amount to reveal that’s “just right” is incalculable; it’s … Continue reading

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A String of Unspectacular Moments

Once again, my plans were slightly derailed yesterday. Instead of getting two CT scans, I waited patiently to be called back for the procedures, only to be told the machinery malfunctioned. The scans are now scheduled for a week later. … Continue reading

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Mentally Flossing the Morning

My friend, Deanna, left a comment on yesterday’s post that triggered recollections of many, many of my previous posts. Those posts reflect a theme I’ve lived with for my entire life, I think. And I suspect it’s a theme woven … Continue reading

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A Fine Line

Before I memorialize the unpleasantness of yesterday, I’ll wax philosophical about the future. The future does not simply happen. It arises from what came before it. The future emerges from what we did yesterday, what we do today, and the … Continue reading

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Avocations

Once upon a time, when I was younger, better-looking, and smarter, I spent three semesters (give or take) learning to make questionably attractive or utilitarian “objets d’art” from clay and to throw pottery. “Learning” is a misnomer, as is “art.”  … Continue reading

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Into the Deepness

Yesterday, I dozed—off and on—instead of accomplishing much of value. While I had plenty of sleep the night before, I felt mentally exhausted. Mental exhaustion sometimes is inexplicable to me; I have no idea what brings it on. Perhaps the … Continue reading

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Positive Territory

I watch online news video as people morph into the emotional equivalent of dried leather; tough, hard, inflexible, uncaring, bitter, cold-blooded, and callously inhumane. These people occupy philosophical space on the far ends of both sides of neutral—and every inch … Continue reading

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Learning to Go with the Flow

My to-do list has grown since we left for Fayetteville, Arkansas last Monday, our intermediate stop between Hot Springs Village, Arkansas and Fairfield, Iowa. Perhaps the most pressing of the items on the list came as the result of a … Continue reading

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Home Again

We drove today from Columbia, Missouri to Hot Springs Village, stopping for lunch in Branson. Missouri. It was my first trip to Branson and if I am lucky I will not need to stop there again. Though the visit was … Continue reading

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Winding Down Early

As intriguing as Fairfield, Iowa is, our experience there offered evidence that even fields of wild flowers can be degraded by noxious weeds. Confederate flags hanging in windows, Trump flags spilling out of yards littered with trash, and clear lines … Continue reading

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Eventually

I will post again, eventually. After my mind clears and I come to grips with the scrapes on the side of my car and I understand how a cool little town can be home to gods and devils, angels and … Continue reading

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Another Day

Oh, I must have been tired when I posted yesterday. At least twice I referred to Fairview instead of Fairfield. And now that I am using my phone to post, instead of my horrid little uncooperative laptop computer, the errors … Continue reading

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Deviations on a Theme Bent and Mangled by the Two of Us

The plan was to arrive early Monday afternoon in Fayetteville, after a leisurely drive from Hot Springs Village. A very rough, almost sleepless Sunday night, though, argued against both an early Monday departure and a straight-through drive to Fayetteville. So, … Continue reading

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You’ll Note the Absence of a Title

I wrote the first iteration of this poem, Independent Thought, about two years ago. My flagging memory makes it impossible for me to know exactly what prompted me to write it, but I could hazard one hundred guesses and they … Continue reading

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Those Rare Circumstances

No matter how hard a person works or how much effort he puts forth in setting the course for his life, circumstances over which he has no control direct the course of his time on Earth in many ways. It … Continue reading

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Canada by Way of Iowa and My Stomach

I’ve been hungry ever since I awoke, just before 5:00, this morning. Not just a bit peckish, mind you, but ravenously hungry. My hunger is the sort of sensation one might expect after being kidnapped and held without food—in a … Continue reading

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Secrets in the Wind

When we’re too free with information about ourselves, we risk sabotaging what little magnetism our personalities may possess.  We become open books whose pages hold little allure. I equate the experience to the once-common practice of reading the newspaper. That … Continue reading

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Mayoral Recall

The mayor of Cedar Rapids, Iowa is a recently-retired lawyer who also is husband to a woman who worked for me many years ago. The now-mayor and his wife, when the two of them lived in Houston, Texas, visited my … Continue reading

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Trying to Understand the World

Today is my sister-in-law’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Carol! And tomorrow is my brother’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Tom! +++ Let me tell you this: if you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, it’s not because they enjoy solitude. … Continue reading

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The Next Level

To those I may have wronged, I ask forgiveness. To those I may have helped, I wish I had done more. To those I neglected to help, I ask for understanding. To those who helped me, I thank you with … Continue reading

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And in the End, Good Vibes

Some days, the photographic reminders sent to me by Microsoft and Google—images from this day three or six or ten years ago—are welcome souvenirs of happy experiences. But some days the images bring back memories that tear me apart. They … Continue reading

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Circling Back

Attraction and aversion are two feelings that keep people within the bondage of ignorant repetitive behavior… If people do not crave to be pleased, they will not be displeased. What causes mental suffering is not the environment but the mind … Continue reading

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Cuttery

Geospatial World reports that the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), which keeps a record of  satellites orbiting Earth, says there were 6,542 satellites in orbit around our planet. Of those, 3,372 satellites are active and 3,170 are inactive—as of January … Continue reading

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Take a Break

Unexpected consequences. I’m referring to the effects triggered by COVID-19 on the automotive manufacturing supply chain. An article posted yesterday on AP Online reported that GM and Ford have halted some production in response to a worsening chip shortage. Both … Continue reading

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