Author Archives: John Swinburn

About John Swinburn

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


I do love this “commercial.” Would that it were not fantasy.

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Mourning, Anger, and Bleak Despair

Today, this day after the monstrous attacks in Barcelona and other parts of Spain, I mourn for the dead and injured and their friends and families. And I mourn for civilization, an experiment our species going terribly wrong. We are … Continue reading

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I watched Desierto tonight. It’s not an uplifting film. It’s an action/horror film whose premise is that a group of illegal immigrants attempting to enter the U.S. are forced to abandon the truck in which they are being transported. Because … Continue reading

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A Taste of the Globe

My global gastronomical journey restarted yesterday afternoon when my sister-in-law came to the house with a bottle of Babich sauvignon blanc, some grapes, crackers, and a couple of cheeses. We added to the feast with garlic-and-jalapeño-stuffed olives. As we sat … Continue reading

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A Diverse Ending

We saw the  Earth shudder when the first nuclear blast took place. Though we were only a few hundred miles above Earth, we could tell something ghastly was happening below us. The Earth winced, like a person stabbed with a … Continue reading

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Yesterday, as I was searching for recipes of various kinds, I stumbled upon a website,, that intrigues me. The proprietor, who lives in the mountains of British Columbia, enjoys cooking as much as I do, perhaps more. And he … Continue reading

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Think about the word, “relative.” Are you thinking about a cousin or has the level of humidity in the air captured your attention? Or, perhaps you’re thinking of the degree of connectedness between multiple concepts. Now, think about “aspic.” Does … Continue reading

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Drowning in My Own Tears

I wish I knew what part of my psyche is so fragile that I am moved to tears by simple things, things that may move normal people in some way, but don’t twist their spigots the way they do mine. … Continue reading

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Who Are We?

Calvin stood motionless as he observed the magnificent beast walk past him, just a few feet away. Apparently, the unicorn did not see Calvin. Otherwise, the animal would have bolted. Instead, it was the picture of serenity as it grazed … Continue reading

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Blue Eyes

Her penetrating eyes were talons. Once they had him in their grip, he was helpless. Though he was a victim, he was willing prey. He treasured every glance, every sweep of her eyes across his face. She knew the power of … Continue reading

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Five Years

This post, number 2415, marks the fifth anniversary of this blog: August 10, 2012 marked my first post here. I’d written hundreds of other posts on other blogs I’d started years earlier, but that first post on a blog that … Continue reading

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In last night’s nightmare, I was behind Janine and another woman. We were on our backs inside a tiny tunnel, the ceiling of which was just inches above my face. The two of them were riding on their backs on … Continue reading

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There’s something about the word “scrawl” that I find appealing. Appealing may be the wrong word. Magnetic might be more appropriate. I say this because I’ve used the word in several posts on my blog. In one, I named a … Continue reading

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I drove a car, which my neighbor had borrowed  from a friend, to the gas station. Actually, he had traded vehicles with another friend; he had let his friend use his nondescript sedan in exchange for the use of his … Continue reading

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Smoked Jerky

If the Universe is decent, kind, and caring, these strips of eye of round I marinated for twenty-four hours will be—seven hours hence—delicious, mouth-watering beef jerky. The kind of jerky I used to seek out on long, aimless road trip … Continue reading

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Seductive Spices

“What the hell are we going to do with three pounds of goat shoulder?” Geneva’s tone revealed her doubts about the gift from Jacob’s friend, Katrina. Jacob flashed a conciliatory grin at her. “You needn’t worry about it, darling. I’ll … Continue reading

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Distrustful Sky

The sky remained almost dark, distrustful that my appearance on the deck was a good sign. As I hung hummingbird feeders in their assigned places, replenished with fresh nectar, the sky brightened a bit, satisfied that my presence was not … Continue reading

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David and Amanda Spears spent the first ten years of their marriage focused on work. He worked for a granite company as a buyer, a job that involved considerable international travel. She split her time between hautes écoles training in … Continue reading

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Fresh Joys and Unending Tears

I love sitting outside on the screen porch at the intersection of dusk and darkness. I sit listening to the frogs and toads and insects and who-knows-what make a cacophonous racket in the trees and hillside just beyond the deck. … Continue reading

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Lost Among Serpents and other Reptiles

A bizarre merger of odd dreams into a nightmare A young woman from Australia, who worked for my company years ago, was visiting. We were in someone else’s house. I remember windows looking down on a street below. And I … Continue reading

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Mi Escritura Estraña

When I took the hummingbird feeders out this morning, I was surprised at how cool it felt to walk outside. The indoor/outdoor thermometer read 67 degrees, a much more civilized morning temperature than recent morning lows of 76 or more. … Continue reading

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I do not follow film. I do not wait with anticipation for announcements of Oscar nominations, nor do I track predictions about which new films will be the latest and greatest contributions to filmdom. I guess that’s the reason I’d … Continue reading

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The Last Cold Front

“Man, the weather is changing a hell of a lot faster than the models predicted. Two years ago, I was among those saying we wouldn’t see a sea level increase by three feet until 2100.” Angus McCutcheon’s leathery face was … Continue reading

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Constraints exist only in one’s imagination. Possibilities have limits only in the mind. If a person can conceive of time travel, he can travel forward in time, carrying a notebook in which to record his reality. Circumstances impose boundaries only … Continue reading

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Venezuelans and Their Food

Earlier today, an article on the National Public Radio website about a food common in Venezuela, called arepas, launched my exploration of the dish. Several recipes later, my interest grew beyond food as I became increasingly intrigued about the current state of … Continue reading

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